Print Checklist



Transportation Safety Checklist

This Transportation Safety Checklist form can be used as an aid by agricultural employers, farm labor contractors, and others providing transportation subject to requirements under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) or the H-2A visa program. For a more detailed description of the safety standards that apply to the transportation of agricultural workers, please see Wage and Hour Fact Sheet #50.

Vehicle Identifiers



State and License Plate #:


General Obligations

MSPA 29 CFR 500.100(a), 29 CFR 500.120

  • Comply with applicable federal and state standards
  • Ensure each driver has a currently valid driver’s license
  • Ensure that each vehicle is properly insured

H-2A 20 CFR 655.122(h)(4)

  • Comply with applicable federal, state, and local standards, including vehicle safety, insurance, and driver licensure requirements
  • Provide, at a minimum, the safety standards, driver licensure, and vehicle insurance requirements described in the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (See 29 USC 1841, 29 CFR 500.104 or 500.105, and 29 CFR 500.120-500.128)


Note: Use the checklist below that applies to the standards (DOL or DOT) applicable to your vehicle.

DOL Standards 29 CFR 500.104: Passenger automobiles, station wagons, and all other vehicles used for trips of 75 miles or less

External Lights

  • Head lights, tail lights, stop lights, back up lights, turn signals, and hazard warning lights are operable


  • Operable brakes with no leaks


  • Adequate tread depth with no cracks/defects in the sidewall


  • Steering wheel and steering mechanism are safe


  • Operable air or electric horn


  • Rear view mirror and side view mirrors are present and not broken

Windshield/windows/windshield wipers

  • Windshield or windows not missing, broken, cracked, or with opaque obstruction that obscures vision
  • Wipers present, operable, or otherwise allow operator full frontal vision in all weather conditions

Fuel system

  • No leaks in the fuel lines or fuel tank
  • Fuel tank cap is present and secure

Exhaust system

  • Exhaust system in place with no leaks, and discharges away from passenger compartment


  • Windows operational to allow fresh air to occupants

Safe loading

  • Vehicle only driven when the combined weight of the vehicle, passengers, and cargo is below the manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating


  • Seats provided for each occupant or rider in, or on, the vehicle

Handles and latches

  • Door handles and door latches provided and maintained to allow exiting by occupants

Passenger compartment

  • Compartment floor and sides free of openings, rusted areas, or other defects

DOT Standards 29 CFR 500.105: Vehicles other than passenger automobiles and station wagons used for day-haul operations or for trips over 75 miles

Drivers or operators must fulfill the following minimum physical requirements:

  • No loss of foot, leg, hand, or arm
  • No mental, nervous, organic, or functional disease likely to interfere with safe driving
  • No loss of fingers, impairment of use of foot, leg, fingers, hand or arm, or other structural defect or limitation, likely to interfere with safe driving
  • If poor eyesight, properly prescribed corrective glasses must be worn when driving
  • If poor hearing, hearing aid must be worn when driving
  • Not addicted to the use of narcotics, habit forming drugs, or alcohol
  • Received physical examination within the previous 36 months
  • Has (or maintains a copy of) a valid, unexpired doctor’s certificate

Drivers or operators must fulfill the following minimum age and experience requirements:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Adequate driving skill and experience of at least one year
  • Sufficient knowledge of regulations
  • Sufficient knowledge of English
  • Has proper driver’s permit

Driving of motor vehicles

Driving rules to be obeyed

  • Vehicle driven in accordance with the laws, ordinance, & regulations of the jurisdiction in which it is operated

Alcoholic beverages

  • Vehicle not driven under the influence of alcohol
  • Driver has not drunk any alcoholic beverage or liquor while on duty

Schedules to conform with speed limits

  • Schedules must allow enough time to operate the vehicle within the speed limit

Driver ensures before operation that equipment and emergency devices are in working order:

  • Brakes and parking brake
  • Steering mechanism
  • Lighting devices & reflectors
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Windshield wiper(s)
  • Rear-vision mirror(s)
  • Coupling devices
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Road warning devices

Safe loading

  • Loading properly distributed and secured adequately
  • Tailgate, tailboard, tarpaulins, doors, equipment, and rigging securely in place
  • Objects secured and do not obscure driver’s view, interfere with the movement of arms or legs, prevent access to emergency accessories, or prevent exit from cab
  • Number of passengers does not exceed seating capacity
  • Passengers are seated

Rest and meal stops for drivers

  • Driver’s rest stops provided at least once between meal stops
  • Driver’s meal stops no more than 6 hours apart
  • 30 minutes or more given for driver meal breaks

Kinds of motor vehicles to transport workers

  • Workers may be transported on a bus, in a truck with no trailer attached, or in a truck with only a semitrailer and no other trailer attached. Workers may not be transported in a van without windows or other ventilation.

Limitation on distance

  • Transportation ceased for a period of at least eight consecutive hours when transporting migrants more than 600 miles

Lighting devices and reflectors

  • Required lamps or reflectors are not obscured by the tailboard
  • Lighting devices lighted during darkness

Ignition of fuel; prevention

  • Vehicle fueled when engine is off
  • No smoking or exposure to open flame in the vicinity of the vehicle when being fueled by driver or another person
  • Vehicle fueled while fuel hose is continuously in contact with the intake pipe of fuel tank
  • Driver or another person does not engage in an activity likely to result in fire or explosion

Reserve fuel

  • Any fuel supply carried on the motor vehicle is in a properly mounted fuel tank or tanks

Driving by unauthorized person

  • Vehicle only driven by authorized driver

Protection of passengers from weather

  • Passengers protected from inclement weather by use of the top or protective devices

Unattended vehicles; precautions

  • Parking brake set, wheels chocked, or reasonable precautions taken to prevent the movement of the vehicle when vehicle is left unattended

Railroad grade crossings; stopping required; sign on rear of vehicle

  • Full stop made at railroad crossing
  • Sign present on rear of vehicle

Parts and accessories necessary

Lighting devices

  • Vehicle equipped with required lights and reflectors


  • Vehicles equipped with proper brakes

Coupling devices; fifth wheel mounting & locking

  • Fifth wheel coupling devices present and in safe condition


  • Tires are of adequate capacity and in safe condition

Passenger compartment (other than a bus)

  • Adequate floors and sides
  • No nails, screws, splinters present to potentially injure passengers
  • Adequate seats for each passenger
  • Adequate protection from weather
  • Adequate exit(s) from compartment including emergency exit
  • Adequate gates/doors, ladders or steps, and hand holds
  • Adequate means of communication with driver

Protection from the cold

  • No exhaust heaters or unenclosed flame heaters used
  • Heater fuel does not leak
  • Heater air is not contaminated
  • Heater securely fastened to the vehicle
  • Hours of service; maximum driving time adhered to
  • Vehicle inspected and maintained


This publication is for general information and is not to be considered in the same light as official statements of position contained in the regulations.