Fuel for Thought


By Greg Huggins
Posted May 24th 2022 8:18AM

Another safety blitz has come and gone. If you were fortunate, you received a complimentary Level 1 inspection during the 3 day safety blitz and also received your new CVSA decal to show for it. Those unfortunate drivers, who also were subjected to a Level 1 inspection during the blitz, did not earn the privilege of displaying the decal. 

Whether you received your CVSA decal during the recent blitz, or if you gained one on a prior date, you may wonder why the decals differ from time to time. If you have never given it any thought, well read on because I’m going to tell you anyway.

There is a method to the madness of CVSA inspection decals. They are available in four (4) colors. They may be a complete rectangle shape. They might be missing one top corner. They might even be missing both top corners. While these are the available options for a decal, you do not get to choose which one best compliments your truck’s paint scheme. You do not have a choice of which one you get. 

The color and shape of the decal can tell you a lot about when the decal was issued.

The year of issue is probably the most obvious. The big number printed on the face of the decal denotes the year. 

G.Y.O.W. - Just remember - Go Your Own Way - Green, Yellow, Orange, White. Each color represents a quarter of the year. Green is for the first quarter, yellow for the second and so on.

What about those missing corners? Well, I’m glad you asked. Each quarter is three (3) months. For inspections during the first month of any given quarter, your decal will have both top corners missing. For inspections during the second month of a quarter, only the top right corner will be absent. Finally for the last month of a quarter, your decal should be a complete rectangle. As you may have deduced, this method will not allow you to modify the decal to make it appear newer than it is. Cutting off one or both top corners just makes it appear older.

As you can see, just a quick glance at a green decal, with a big number 1 printed on the face, and missing two top corners can instantly tell an officer that this decal is from January 2021.

If you somehow missed all the fun taking place at the weigh stations during the recent safety blitz, and subsequently missed out on getting your new decal, never fear, every day is a new opportunity to get your very own decal, or maybe the next blitz will be your lucky day! Those who keep their equipment in good working order do not fear the blitzes or the take their vacations around CVSA events. We know that any day can bring about a random inspection either roadside or at a weigh station. 

A side note about CVSA decals, many drivers believe that if you get a Level 1 inspection today and receive your new decal, that you are not subject to another inspection in that quarter or year. This could not be farther from the truth. Fact is, you could get another inspection at any time, regardless of the decal displayed. 

Well, there you have it, the somewhat hidden meanings behind those (dreaded by some) decals. 

One last thing, you can only get a CVSA decal for passing a Level 1 or Level 5 inspection. There is a special Level 6 decal, but it is only for Level 6 inspections.

Did you know there are eight (8) inspection levels? That’s right, Level I - Level VII.  Maybe that could be another article for another time.

See you down the road,