Ask a Trooper: What are rules for commercial vehicles?

Published 9:00 pm Tuesday, November 24, 2020

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Ask a Trooper, By Troy Christianson

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

Troy Christianson

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 walkaround inspections, and Level 3 inspections, which are paperwork only. All include the driver’s 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 St. NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848; or reach him at

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.