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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 19. Public Safety
Agency 30. Department of State Police
Chapter 70. Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Regulations
5/22/2024

19VAC30-70-360. Motorcycle lights: auxiliary, headlamp, rear, signal, warning.

A. Headlamps. Inspect for and reject if:

1. Motorcycle is not equipped with at least one motorcycle headlamp.

2. Any motorcycle headlamp is not of an approved type (SAE-M). A motorcycle may have one or more headlamps. In addition to the headlamp or headlamps, a motorcycle may be equipped with not more than two auxiliary headlamps of a type approved (SAE-C) by the superintendent and identified as "auxiliary front lamps."

3. Lens and reflector do not match except in sealed units, or if the lens is cracked, broken or rotated, or if the lens and reflector are not clean or bright.

4. Any motorcycle lights-headlamp, rear lamp, signal or warning lamp has any wire, unapproved lens or plastic covers, any other materials that are not original equipment or any colored material placed on or in front of lamp or lens.

5. Lamp is not focused or any filament or bulb fails to burn.

6. Lamp is not mounted securely or if switch does not operate properly.

7. The center of the hot spot is set more than four inches up or down from the horizontal centerline or more than four inches to the left or right from the vertical centerline. Inspectors shall rely on their education, training, and experience to determine if the headlamp is properly aimed. If improper alignment is observed, the headlamp shall be checked for proper aim by using an optical headlamp aimer.

8. The high beam indicator does not burn when the high beam is on or does not go off when the low beam is on.

NOTE: Motorcycles may be equipped with means of modulating the high beam of their headlights between high and low beam at a rate of 200 to 280 flashes per minute, provided they are equipped with a switch or device that prevents flashing of headlights when headlights are required to be lighted.

NOTE: Inspection is to be performed with lamp on high beam.

NOTE: The use of strobe lights being placed inside the headlamps of police motorcycles is permitted. The strobe light system developed by Harley-Davidson for use in police motorcycle headlamps has been tested and does meet the current standard; therefore, strobe light systems of this type and similar types may be used in police motorcycle headlamp systems.

B. Aiming the headlamp. All headlamps that do not comply with subdivision A 7 of this section shall be aimed straight ahead. (Zero inches up or down and zero inches to the right or left.)

C. Rear lamp. Inspect for and reject if:

1. The motorcycle is not equipped with a rear lamp of approved type (SAE-T-S-P-A).

2. The lamp is not mounted near rear of vehicle, or is not mounted securely, or if lamp does not make a good electrical connection.

3. Lenses are not red to the rear and clear or amber to the front or any lens has a piece broken from it. The lens may have one or more cracks provided an off-color light does not project through the cracks.

NOTE: LED (light-emitting diode) lights with a clear lens are acceptable if of an approved type. For motorcycles equipped with a multiple LED light (not filament-burning bulbs), they will pass inspection if more than 50% of the diode lights are burning.

4. Filaments in all lamps do not burn when headlamp switch is turned on to any position.

5. The rear license plate is not illuminated by an approved license plate bulb.

D. Signal device (intention to stop or turn).

1. Signal devices are not required on motorcycles; however, if installed, they must operate and be inspected.

2. Signal lamp lenses installed on the front of the motorcycle shall be amber and be located on each side of the vertical centerline of the motorcycle and as far apart as practicable and not closer than nine inches, measured from the optical centerline of the lamps, and to be located on the same level and not less than 20 inches above the ground level. The optical centerline of the lamp shall not be less than four inches from the retaining ring of the headlamp unit.

3. Signal lamps installed on the rear of the motorcycle shall be red or amber and shall be located on each side of the vertical centerline of the motorcycle as far apart as practicable but not closer than nine inches, measured from the optical centerline of the lens, and shall be located on the same level and not less than 20 inches above the ground level.

4. Inspect for and reject if:

a. Motorcycle, except an antique vehicle not originally equipped with a stop lamp, is not equipped with at least one stop lamp of an approved type that automatically exhibits a red or amber light to the rear when the brake control foot pedal or hand grip brake control device is activated. (On motorcycles manufactured prior to January 1, 1972, the activation of the front wheel brake control device is not required to activate the stop lamp.)

NOTE: Motorcycles may be equipped with a means of varying the brightness of the vehicle's brake light upon application of the vehicle's brakes.

b. The signal lamp is not of an approved type (SAE-D) or does not flash.

c. Lens in brake lamp or signal lamp has a piece broken from it. (Lens in brake lamp or signal lamp may have one or more cracks provided an off-color light does not project through the crack or cracks.)

d. Wiring or electrical connections are defective or any filaments do not burn.

e. Switch is not convenient to the driver and not of an approved type.

f. Signal devices are not installed as provided in subdivisions D 1, 2, and 3 of this section.

E. Warning lights. Inspect for and reject if:

1. Warning lamps are not of an approved type or have been altered.

2. Any lighted advertising sign is present.

F. Auxiliary lights. Inspect for and reject if:

1. Motorcycle or autocycles are equipped with any color other than red or amber standard bulb running lights or light-emitting diode (LED) pods or strips.

2. Auxiliary lights are not directed toward the ground.

3. Auxiliary lights are not designed for vehicular use.

4. Auxiliary lights project a beam of light greater than 25 candlepower per bulb.

5. Auxiliary lights display a blinking, flashing, oscillating, or rotating pattern.

6. Auxiliary lights are attached to the wheels.

NOTE: Such lighting is not subject to approval by the Superintendent of the State Police.

Statutory Authority

§ 46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 § 36, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994; Volume 12, Issue 21, eff. August 7, 1996; 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 1, eff. October 4, 2018; Volume 35, Issue 25, eff. September 1, 2019.

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