Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 19. Public Safety
Agency 30. Department of State Police
Chapter 70. Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Regulations

19VAC30-70-10. Official inspection station requirements.

A. Official inspection stations, except private appointments, shall be open at least eight hours of each normal business day and shall be able to perform inspections 12 months throughout the year, except during illness of limited duration or normal vacation.

1. Normal business hours, Monday through Friday, are defined as an eight-hour period of time between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

2. Stations are not prohibited from performing inspections at times other than during normal business hours.

3. A station that advertises inspections beyond normal business hours shall be able to perform such inspections.

4. If a station desires to maintain business hours that are different from those defined in this section, written permission must be obtained from the safety officer and a sign setting forth the inspection hours must be posted conspicuously at the station where it can be observed by a person desiring to have a vehicle inspected.

5. Stations seeking to participate on a part-time basis, due to not having a full-time inspector available during normal business hours, shall be available for inspections for a minimum of 20 hours per week and shall notify their supervising trooper of the following items to have documented in their files:

a. Hours of operation the station will be conducting safety inspections.

b. Intended methods of notifying the public what hours inspections are available.

c. Name of the inspector who will be designated for part-time hours of operation.

d. Time period established for ownership to find and employ a full-time inspector.

B. At least one full-time safety inspector (stations in compliance with subdivision A 5 of this section excluded), to perform inspections and one inspection lane meeting the minimum requirements shall be available for inspection at all times during the normal business day. All inspections must be made only at the locations and in the inspection lane approved by the Department of State Police. All stations shall have other lanes, bays, or areas in which repairs can be made so the inspection lane can remain available.

The designated inspection areas, including any location where customers are permitted to enter when submitting vehicles for inspection, must be kept clean and free from excessive dirt, grease, and loose materials. If requested, customers presenting vehicles for inspection shall be allowed to observe the inspection process from a safe location designated by the station.

C. Inspection station facilities must be properly maintained and must present a businesslike appearance to the general public. Property adjacent to the inspection station that is owned or controlled by the station must be free of debris, litter, used parts and junk vehicles. Vehicles properly contained within fenced storage areas shall be deemed to comply with this requirement.

D. Official inspection stations may, at their discretion, accept vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis or by prescheduled appointments for the safety inspection of a motor vehicle pursuant to § 46.2-1157 of the Code of Virginia. Appointments shall be made for those motorists that are required by subdivision A 12 of § 46.2-1158.01 of the Code of Virginia.

E. Safety inspectors, managers who supervise inspection activities, and business owners, through participation in the Official Motor Vehicle Inspection Program, are representatives of the Department of State Police and should conduct themselves in a manner to avoid controversy in dealing with customers presenting vehicles for inspection. The use of profanity or verbal abuse directed at customers presenting their vehicles for inspection will be grounds for suspension from participation in the inspection program and will be considered a Class IV offense as set forth in 19VAC30-70-6. Controversy that cannot be calmly resolved by the safety inspector, managers, and owners should be referred to the supervising trooper for handling.

F. The "Certificate of Appointment" must be framed under glass or clear plastic and posted in the customer waiting area where it can be observed and read by a person submitting a vehicle for inspection.

Inspection stations must have garage liability insurance in the amount of at least $500,000 with an approved surplus lines carrier or insurance company licensed to write such insurance in this Commonwealth. This requirement shall not apply to inspection stations that only inspect their company-owned, government-owned, or leased vehicles.

G. The required "Official Inspection Procedure" sheet and the "Direct Inquiries" sheet furnished to each station must both be framed under glass or clear plastic and posted conspicuously in the customer waiting area where they can be observed and read by a person submitting a vehicle for inspection.

H. The poster designating the station as an official inspection station shall be posted in a prominent location, outside or visible outside the station, to alert passersby that inspection services are available. Private inspection stations shall not display an outside poster.

I. Each official inspection station shall display a list with the names and license expiration dates of each active inspector associated to the station within the Motor Vehicle Inspection Program (MVIP) system, adjacent to the certificate of appointment. All inspectors listed must be actively employed by the station.

J. Important -- Any change in name, ownership, or location of any official inspection station cancels the appointment of that station, and the Department of State Police must be notified immediately. The department shall be notified when an official inspection station discontinues operation.

K. All inspection supplies, inspection binders and manual, unused stickers, duplicates of certificates issued, bulletins, and other forms are the property of the Department of State Police and must be safeguarded against loss.

L. Inspection supplies issued to an inspection station can be used only by that station and are not to be loaned or reissued to any other station.

1. Stations must maintain a sufficient supply of approval stickers, trailer and motorcycle approval stickers, rejection stickers, and inserts. When reordering supplies, station owners or managers shall request sufficient supplies to sustain their business for at least six months. However, it is realized that some stations will not be able to comply with the six-month requirement since there is a maximum of 100 books per order limit. Also, when ordering supplies, the following information should be considered so the station does not order an excessive amount of supplies: each book of approval stickers contains 25 stickers, the rejection book contains 50 stickers, the month inserts are packaged in strips of 50 each, and trailer and motorcycle decals are five per strip.

Stations are responsible for maintaining an adequate supply of inspections supplies to operate efficiently and without delay; therefore, after stations receive the first shipment of the calendar year, additional supplies shall be ordered through the MVIP station account.

2. Inspection stations that exhaust any type of their supplies, such as approval stickers, trailer and motorcycle approval stickers, rejection stickers, or inserts shall immediately stop all inspection operations and contact their supervising trooper or the nearest Safety Division Area Office.

M. All losses of stickers must be reported immediately to the supervising inspection trooper or the nearest Safety Division Area Office.

N. Every precaution against the loss of stickers must be taken. If the loss occurs through carelessness or neglect, a suspension of the station may result.

O. The Official Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual must be kept at or near the point of inspection for ready reference. Additional manuals, bulletins, regulations, and lists of approved equipment must also be available at all times. All reference materials may be kept in written or electronic form. Revisions to the Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual will be sent to each station electronically through the MVIP system. Station management shall be responsible to see that each safety inspector is familiar with all bulletins and manual revisions and shall be required to furnish evidence to the department that all bulletins and manual revisions have been reviewed by each licensed inspector.

A copy of the diagram drawn by the investigating trooper, showing the approved inspection lane or lanes, will be maintained for review and kept available with the station's inspection supplies.

P. Private appointment may be made of company stations or government stations that own and operate a minimum of 20 vehicles and they may inspect only company-owned or government-owned vehicles respectively. When authorized by the department, they may inspect vehicles of a wholly-owned subsidiary or leased vehicles.

1. A private station may perform inspections during each month of the year or may elect to inspect only during certain designated months.

2. A private station not electing to inspect vehicles every month of the year that finds it necessary to inspect a vehicle during a month other than those selected for inspection may issue a sticker to the vehicle from the nearest past inspection month.

Q. All official inspection station owners, managers, and certified safety inspectors shall comply with the Virginia inspection laws and the inspection rules and regulations and will adhere to all instructions given by the supervising trooper or the Safety Division. Reports of violations will be investigated and, if found to be valid, may result in the suspension of the station, suspension of the inspector, possible court action, or other appropriate action, or any combination of these actions. Repeated violations or serious violations may result in a revocation of the inspector or station appointment, or both, by the superintendent.

R. The arrest of any person associated with the inspection program for a criminal offense of a nature that would tend to immediately reflect upon the integrity and reputation of the Department of State Police may be grounds for an inactive station status until final court disposition. Any finding other than acquittal may result in a suspension or revocation of the station's appointment.

S. When a station has been suspended or revoked, it must release to an employee of the Department of State Police all inspection supplies, posters, and papers including the certificate of appointment. Failure to do so is a violation of § 46.2-1172 of the Code of Virginia.

T. The authority of the superintendent to suspend the designation or appointment of an official inspection station as provided in § 46.2-1163 of the Code of Virginia, or to suspend the certification of an inspector designated to perform inspections at an official inspection station, and, in keeping with the provisions of § 46.2-1166 of the Code of Virginia, is hereby delegated to any of the following supervisory ranks of the Department of State Police: Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Captain, Lieutenant, First Sergeant, and Sergeant.

U. Each station must purchase and keep in proper operating condition the following equipment: computer, printer, internet connection, paper hole punch, black ball point pen or pens or black marker or markers, sticker scraper with replacement razor blades, tire tread depth gauge, amp meter, headlight and auxiliary lamp adjustment tools, 12-inch ruler, 25-foot measuring tape, torque wrench or torque sticks, brake pads/shoes/disc/drum measuring device, dial indicator, micrometer, pry bars, roller jack (at least 4-ton), and an approved type optical headlight aiming device. Each station that requests an additional inspection lane that is not in close proximity to the originally approved inspection lane must purchase an additional approved headlight machine for each lane that meets the minimum requirements. Stations are required to have one of the following headlight aiming devices: Hopkins Vision1, Hopkins Vision 100, American Aimers Vision 100, American Aimers Vision 2 Pro, or the Symtech (former L.E.T.), DVA-6, HBA-5, PLA-11, and PLA-12. This shall not apply to "trailer-only" inspection stations.

Statutory Authority

§ 46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 25, eff. September 1, 2019; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 25, eff. September 4, 2020; Volume 40, Issue 10, eff. February 1, 2024.

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