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

19VAC30-70-150. Rear lamps: tail lamp; license plate lamps; and rear lamp combinations.

Inspect for and reject if:

1. Vehicle is not equipped with a rear (tail lamp) or rear lamp combination of an approved type or light assembly does not work as designed by the manufacturer.

2. The vehicle is equipped with more than one rear lamp, if all are not in operating condition.

3. Lens on rear lamps, or lens area in combination rear lamps (tail lamps), are not red. LED (light-emitting diode) lights with a clear lens are acceptable. Vehicles equipped with multiple LED lights (not filament-burning bulbs) will pass a safety inspection if more than 50% of the diode lights are burning.

NOTE: Replacement tail lamps, commonly sold as "clear" tail lamps or "Euro-Tail" lamps, will not pass inspection if the red lamps are replaced with clear ones.

4. Lens has piece broken from it or does not fit properly. The lens may have one or more cracks provided an off-color light does not project through the cracks. Taping or gluing cracks or pieces is not permitted.

5. Filament in all rear (tail) lamps does not burn when headlamp switch is turned on to any position, or if lamps do not provide a red light visible to the rear through an approved red lens as annotated in subdivision 1 of this section. If it is a rear lamp combination incorporated with a wraparound side-marker light, then the side-marker lens must be red and not a clear lens with a red bulb. If the bulb, socket, and wiring are removed from the side-marker lamps, then they will not be considered during the inspection.

6. Rear (tail) lamp is not mounted near extreme rear of vehicle. Dump trucks and other specially constructed vehicles may mount the rear lamp at a point other than on the extreme rear, provided such rear lamp is clearly visible from the rear, and further provided that a red reflector of an approved type is mounted on the extreme rear. In unusual cases, the rear lamp may be mounted on the cab. Reject if the lamp is hidden by a bolster or other part of the body or frame, is not mounted securely, or if the lamp does not make a good electrical contact.

7. The vehicle has wire, unapproved lens or plastic covers, any other materials that are not original equipment, or any colored material placed on or in front of rear lamps, license plate lamps, and rear lamp combinations.

8. Wiring or electrical connections are defective or filaments do not burn.

NOTE: Every trailer shall carry at the rear two red tail lights of a type approved by the superintendent.

Statutory Authority

§ 46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 § 15, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994; Volume 21, Issue 4, eff. September 22, 2004; Volume 24, Issue 8, eff. March 1, 2008; Volume 28, Issue 24, eff. August 1, 2012; Volume 32, Issue 24, eff. October 3, 2016; Volume 35, Issue 25, eff. September 1, 2019; Volume 40, Issue 10, eff. February 1, 2024.

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