How to Become a Certified Mobile Vehicle Inspector (State Car Inspector Certified) in Minnesota

According to Minnesota state regulation 169.781, commercial vehicle owners must have their commercial automobile inspected before they can legally operate it on the roadways. Inspection certifications are awarded by the state, and can offer those seeking an automotive technician job an excellent way to build their resume.

The state of Minnesota does not require that passenger vehicles be inspected to be titled. In order to be certified as a Minnesota Mobile Vehicle Inspector, a person must fall into one of the following four categories:

  • Be an employee of the Department of Public Safety or the Minnesota Department of Transportation, and be certified by the state after receiving inspection training from the State Patrol.

  • Be an owner, or the employee of an owner, of commercial motor vehicles, and be certified via the state.

  • Be a licensed dealer in the state of Minnesota who buys and sells commercial vehicles, or be an employee of such a dealer, and be certified via the state.

  • Be an automotive service technician who repairs and services commercial vehicles, and be certified by the state.

Minnesota inspector qualifications

In order to qualify as a vehicle inspector in the state of Minnesota, an automotive service technician must meet the following criteria:

  • Understand all inspection criteria according to state and federal law.

  • Have the ability to identify defective vehicle components.

  • Master all methods, procedures, tools, and other equipment used during an inspection.

In order to meet this criteria, a mechanic must have at least one of the following:

  • Completed a state-sponsored training program through the Minnesota State Patrol or the Minnesota Trucking Association. These are held at the State Patrol headquarters in Mendota Heights, and are offered to students of Dakota County Technical College, Alexandria Technical and Community College, or Minnesota Trucking Association members. Classes are scheduled every month.

  • Experience totaling at least one year in an auto technician job with a motor carrier maintenance program.

  • Experience totaling at least one year in a commercial garage, fleet leasing company, or similar facility.

  • Experience totaling at least one year as a commercial vehicle inspector in another state or Canadian province.

Minnesota commercial vehicle inspections

According to Minnesota law, these are the vehicles that must be inspected annually:

  • Any vehicle with a gross vehicle weight that is greater than 26,000 pounds. Farm vehicles are exempt from this law.

  • A bus

  • Any vehicle, no matter the size or type, that transports hazardous material that requires display placards by law.

Annual vehicle inspection report for commercial vehicles in Minnesota

The following systems or vehicle components must be inspected to declare a commercial vehicle safe, according to the FMCSA’s Annual Vehicle Inspection Report, used by all Minnesota automotive tech jobs:

  • Brake System
  • Windshields
  • Wipers
  • Fuel System
  • Lighting Devices
  • Coupling Devices
  • Exhaust System
  • Safe Loading
  • Suspension
  • Frame
  • Tires
  • Wheels and Rims

If you’re already a certified mechanic and you’re interested in working with YourMechanic, submit an online application for an opportunity to become a mobile mechanic.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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