California Vehicle Code
Sec. § 34501.12


Vehicles and the operation thereof, subject to this section, are those described in subdivision (a), (b), (e), (f), (g), (j), or (k) of Section 34500.


It is unlawful for a motor carrier to operate any vehicle of a type described in subdivision (a) without identifying to the department all terminals, as defined in Section 34515, in this state where vehicles may be inspected by the department pursuant to paragraph (4) of subdivision (a) of Section 34501 and where vehicle inspection and maintenance records and driver records will be made available for inspection. Motor carriers shall make vehicles and records available for inspection upon request by an authorized representative of the department. If a motor carrier fails to provide vehicles and records, an unsatisfactory terminal rating shall be issued by the department.


The number of vehicles that will be selected for inspection by the department at a terminal shall be based on terminal fleet size and applied separately to a terminal fleet of power units and trailers, according to the following schedule:
Fleet Size
Representative Sample
1 or 2
3 to 8
9 to 15
16 to 25
26 to 50
51 to 90
91 or more


The lessor of any vehicle described in subdivision (a) shall make vehicles available for inspection upon request of an authorized representative of the department in the course of inspecting the terminal of the lessee. This section does not affect whether the lessor or driver provided by the lessor is an employee of the authorized carrier lessee, and compliance with this section and its attendant administrative requirements does not imply an employee-employer relationship.


(1)The department may inspect any terminal, as defined in Section 34515, of a motor carrier who, at any time, operates any vehicle described in subdivision (a).


The department shall adopt rules and regulations establishing a performance-based truck terminal inspection selection priority system. In adopting the systems rules and regulations, the department shall incorporate methodologies consistent with those used by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, including those related to the quantitative analysis of safety-related motor carrier performance data, collected during the course of inspection or enforcement contact by authorized representatives of the department or any authorized federal, state, or local safety official, in categories, including, but not limited to, driver fatigue, driver fitness, vehicle maintenance, and controlled substances and alcohol use. The department shall also incorporate other safety-related motor carrier performance data in this system, including citations and accident information. The department shall create a database to include all performance-based data specified in this section that shall be updated in a manner to provide real-time information to the department on motor carrier performance. The department shall prioritize for selection those motor carrier terminals never previously inspected by the department, those identified by the inspection priority selection system, and those terminals operating vehicles listed in subdivision (g) of Section 34500. The department is not required to inspect a terminal subject to inspection pursuant to this section more often than once every six years, if a terminal receives a satisfactory compliance rating as the result of a terminal inspection conducted by the department pursuant to this section or Section 34501, or if the department has not received notification by the system of a motor carrier operating while exceeding the threshold of the inspection selection priority system. Any motor carrier that is inspected and receives less than a satisfactory compliance rating, or that falls below the threshold of the selection priority system, shall be subject to periodic inquiries and inspections as outlined in subdivision (f), and these inquiries and inspections shall be based on the severity of the violations.


As used in this section and Section 34505.6, subdivision (f) of Section 34500 includes only those combinations where the gross vehicle weight rating of the towing vehicle exceeds 10,000 pounds, but does not include a pickup truck or any combination never operated in commercial use, and subdivision (g) of Section 34500 includes only those vehicles transporting hazardous material for which the display of placards is required pursuant to Section 27903, a license is required pursuant to Section 32000.5, or for which hazardous waste transporter registration is required pursuant to Section 25163 of the Health and Safety Code. Notwithstanding Section 5014.1, vehicles that display special identification plates in accordance with Section 5011, historical vehicles, as described in Section 5004, implements of husbandry and farm vehicles, as defined in Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 36000) of Division 16, and vehicles owned or operated by an agency of the federal government are not subject to this section or Section 34505.6.


It is unlawful for a motor carrier to operate, or cause to be operated, any vehicle which is subject to this section, Section 34520, or Division 14.85 (commencing with Section 34600), unless the motor carrier is knowledgeable of, and in compliance with, all applicable statutes and regulations.


It is unlawful for a motor carrier to contract or subcontract with, or otherwise engage the services of, another motor carrier, subject to this section, unless the contracted motor carrier has complied with subdivision (d). A motor carrier shall not contract or subcontract with, or otherwise engage the services of, another motor carrier until the contracted motor carrier provides certification of compliance with subdivision (d). This certification shall be completed in writing by the contracted motor carrier in a manner prescribed by the department. The certification, or a copy of the certification, shall be maintained by each involved party for the duration of the contract or the period of service plus two years, and shall be presented for inspection immediately upon the request of an authorized employee of the department. The certifications required by this subdivision and subdivision (b) of 34620 may be combined.


(1)An inspected terminal that receives an unsatisfactory compliance rating shall be reinspected by the department within 120 days after the issuance of the unsatisfactory compliance rating.


When a motor carriers Motor Carrier of Property Permit or Public Utilities Commission operating authority is suspended as a result of an unsatisfactory compliance rating, the department shall not conduct a reinspection for permit or authority reinstatement until requested to do so by the Department of Motor Vehicles or the Public Utilities Commission, as appropriate.


A motor carrier issued an unsatisfactory terminal rating may request a review of the rating within five business days of receipt of the notification of the rating. The department shall conduct and evaluate the review within 10 business days of the request.


The department shall publish performance-based inspection completion data and make the data available for public review.


This section shall be known, and may be cited, as the Basic Inspection of Terminals program or BIT program.


This section shall become operative on January 1, 2016.
Last accessed
Jun. 6, 2016