Frequently Asked Questions
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are questions and answers about Compliance,
Safety, Accountability (CSA) that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
(FMCSA) compiled to assist the public. As questions come in through the website,
FMCSA adds them to the database along with their answers. If you do not see your
question or topic addressed, please
by submitting a feedback form. We will respond to you directly and consider your
question for inclusion in the FAQs.
The FAQ area has recently been enhanced. Users can now search FAQs by stakeholder
group, topics (displayed on the left side of the page), or by entering a keyword
below. Choosing “Show All” will display the entire collection of FAQs.
What is a pre-inspection screening?
A pre-inspection screening, which takes less time than an actual safety inspection,
may take many forms. It may include, but not necessarily be limited to, a cursory
check of the vehicle. These cursory checks are commonly confused with a complete
safety inspection. If an enforcement officer conducts only a pre-inspection screening,
then a safety inspection report will not be generated. It is also important to note
that different enforcement jurisdictions may use different methods to select or
screen a vehicle for a safety inspection. There are strict criteria regarding what
needs to be done for a roadside inspection report to be generated. If the pre-screening
doesn't meet those criteria, no report will be generated. Keep in mind that an inspection
usually takes a lot longer than a pre-screening and involves much more intense scrutiny
of the driver and/or the vehicle. A driver can request an inspection, but it is
up to the roadside inspector to determine if he or she will give one or not.