Ask A Trooper: What commercial vehicles need

Published 6:30 am Wednesday, November 25, 2020

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By Troy Christianson

Question: If driving a commercial vehicle and stopped, what documents are needed to present to the trooper?

Answer: I will list what is covered in a “level 1” inspection, done along with weight enforcement.  North American Standard Inspection: An inspection that includes examination of driver’s license; medical examiner’s certificate (if non CDL) and Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) Certificate (if applicable); alcohol and drugs; driver’s record of duty status as required; hours of service; seat belt; vehicle inspection report(s) (if applicable); brake systems; coupling devices; exhaust systems; frames; fuel systems; lighting devices (headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals and lamps/flags on projecting loads); securement of cargo; steering mechanisms; suspensions; tires; van and open-top trailer bodies; wheels, rims and hubs; windshield wipers; emergency exits and/or electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments (buses), and hazardous material/dangerous goods (HM/DG) requirements as applicable. HM/DG required inspection items will be inspected by certified HM/DG inspectors.

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There are “Level 2” inspections, which are walk around inspections, and “Level 3” inspections, which are paperwork only. All of which include the drivers portion and registration on vehicles.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at, Twitter:MSPPIO_SOUTH