As a driver, there are many different kinds of inspections to be aware of and ready for at any time. In this blog, we detail every kind of inspection a driver can encounter and what it means for them. Here are the eight different levels of inspection, as stated by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).


Level 1 Inspection: North American Standard Inspection

 Driver inspection items:

  • Driver’s license
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate (if applicable)
  • Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate (if applicable)
  • Driver’s record of duty status (as required)
  • Hours of service (HOS)
  • Seat belt
  • Vehicle inspection report(s) (if applicable)
  • Alcohol and drugs


Vehicle inspection items:

  • Brake systems
  • Cargo securement
  • Coupling devices
  • Driveline/driveshaft
  • Exhaust systems
  • Frames
  • Fuel systems
  • Lighting devices (headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals and lamps/flags on projecting loads)
  • Steering mechanisms
  • Suspensions
  • Tires
  • Van and open-top trailer bodies
  • Wheels, rims and hubs
  • Windshield wipers
  • Undercarriage


Passenger-carrying vehicles (uses, motorcoaches, passenger vans, etc.)

  • Emergency exits
  • Electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments
  • Seating
  • Hazardous Material/Dangerous Goods (HM/DG)
  • Specification cargo tank requirements (as applicable)


Level 2 Inspection: Walk-Around Driver and Vehicle Inspection

This inspection is almost exactly the same as a Level 1 Inspection. The only thing that isn’t checked in the Level 2 Inspection is the undercarriage, anything that requires an inspector to physically get under the truck.


Level 3 Inspection: Driver/Credential Inspection

This inspection only covers the driver inspection items in the Level 1 Inspection. Additionally, the inspector may have the driver identify their carrier and status with the carrier.


Level 4 Inspection: Special Inspection

This inspection usually is a one-time examination on a specific item, either driver-related or vehicle-related. It’s usually done to verify or a refute a trend with a truck or driver.


Level 5 Inspection: Vehicle-only inspection

This inspection only covers the vehicle inspection items in the Level 1 Inspection. It can be conducted with or without a driver present.


Level 6 Inspection: North American Standard Inspection for Transuranic Waste and Highway Route Controlled Quantities (HRCQ) of Radioactive Material

This inspection is conducted only on specific radiological shipments and includes:

  • Level 1 Inspection items
  • Radiological requirements
  • NAS out-of-service regulations for Transuranic Waste and HRCQ of radioactive material


Level 7 Inspection: Jurisdictional Mandated

This inspection includes any jurisdictionally mandated inspection program that doesn’t meet the requirements of any of the previous inspection levels.


Level 8 Inspection: North American Standard Electronic Inspection

This inspection is conducted electronically without the interaction between driver and inspector. It is done remotely while the vehicle is in motion. To be a full Level 8 Inspection, the data exchange includes:

  • GPS coordinates
  • Electronic validation of the driver
  • Appropriate driver’s license class and endorsement(s) for vehicle being operated
  • License status
  • Medical Examiner’s Certificate
  • Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate
  • Current driver’s record of duty status
  • Hours of service (HOS) compliance
  • USDOT or (Canada) NSC number
  • Power unit registration
  • Operating authority
  • Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) compliance
  • Federal out-of-service orders


How DriveELD can help

DriveELD’s DVIR (Driver-Vehicle Inspection Report) option is incredibly helpful in staying up to date on a vehicle’s status and if it has any current defects. When properly used, this can help prevent a lot of unknowns from happening during a roadside inspection. On top of that, they can be viewed at any time by both driver and carrier. As always, if you have any questions or just want to talk more about the trucking world, give us a call at (866) 623-7483 or email us at contact@drive-eld.com