Department of California Highway Patrol
CHP 800H (REV 08-07) OPI 062
Destroy Previous Editions
WHAT IS BIT?
THE BIENNIAL INSPECTION OF TERMINALS
The California Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1988, commonly referred to as the
Biennial Inspection of Terminals (BIT) Program, was enacted by the California Legislature in an
effort to alleviate the growing number of truck related collisions on California’s highways.
Primarily, the intent is to ensure every truck terminal throughout the state is inspected by the
California Highway Patrol (CHP) on a regular basis, thereby creating a level field for all motor
Terminal inspections have been conducted by the CHP since 1965 as a tool to determine if
motor carriers are complying with Motor Carrier Safety regulations on an on-going basis,
particularly with regard to the legal requirement to maintain commercial motor vehicles
according to a scheduled maintenance (preventive maintenance) program. Each motor carrier
is permitted to establish his or her own maintenance program. The CHP’s role is to determine
whether carriers’ selected maintenance schedules are adequate to prevent collisions or
mechanical breakdowns involving the vehicles, and all required maintenance and driver records
are prepared and retained as required by law. These same basic requirements are applied to
all carriers, large and small.
Section 34501.12 of the California Vehicle Code (VC) requires any person or organization
directing the operation of certain trucks and/or trailers to participate in the BIT Program. The
law requires the CHP to inspect California truck terminals every 25 months.
Who is a "motor carrier" for purposes of the BIT Program?
A motor carrier subject to the BIT Program is the registered owner (with some exceptions) of
any of the following vehicles, whether or not for hire:
• Any motortruck with three or more axles having a gross vehicle weight rating of more than
• Truck tractors.