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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 19. Public Safety
Agency 30. Department of State Police
Chapter 70. Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Regulations
4/15/2024

19VAC30-70-550. Clearance lamps, side marker lamps, and reflectors (under 26,000 pounds GVWR).

Inspect for and reject if:

1. Any motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer or other vehicle is not equipped with clearance lamps if the vehicle is over seven feet wide or if any portion extends four inches or more outside the front fender line.

When a motor vehicle with a trailer attached is presented, the combination may be considered as one unit in meeting this requirement. If presented separately, the individual unit must meet these requirements except that any tractor-truck need not be equipped with rear red dimension or marker lamps.

2. Lamps or reflectors are not of an approved type or a lamp has been altered; any wires are exposed; unapproved lenses or plastic covers; or any other materials that are not original equipment or any colored material placed on or in front of lamps or reflectors.

EXCEPTION: A law-enforcement special weapons and tactics (SWAT) or tactical armored vehicle, designed and manufactured exclusively for SWAT missions, may apply protective bars in front of the clearance lamps, side marker lamps, and reflectors when designed and installed by the manufacturer.

Retro-reflective surfaces. Retro-reflective surfaces other than required reflectors may be used, provided (see diagram):

a. Designs do not resemble traffic control signs, lights, or devices, except that straight edge striping resembling a barricade pattern may be used.

b. Designs do not tend to distort the length or width of the motor vehicle.

c. Such surfaces shall be at least three inches from any required lamp or reflector unless of the same color as such lamp or reflector.

d. No red color shall be used on the front of any motor vehicle, except for display of markings or placards required by law.

3. Lenses or lamps on the front are not amber and lenses on lamps on the rear are not red or if a lens has a piece broken from it. A lens may have one or more cracks provided an off-color light does not project through the crack or cracks.

4. Wiring or electrical connections are defective or all filaments do not burn.

NOTE: Vehicles equipped with a multiple LED (light-emitting diode) light (not filament-burning bulbs) will pass inspection if more than 50% of the diode lights are burning.

5. Two amber lamps are not mounted on the front and two red lamps on the rear, so as to indicate the extreme width of the body, and as high on the permanent body as practical, except that approved 180 degree lamps with yellow or amber lens may be mounted on the side of the vehicle at or as near the front as possible, or if the front is not the widest portion, the lamps may be installed on the side and as near that point as possible.

And with the further exception that 180 degree lamps with red lens may be mounted on the side of the vehicle at or as near the rear as possible or if the rear is not the widest portion of the vehicle, the lamps may be installed on the side as near that point as possible.

NOTE: Any vehicle equipped with three red identification lamps with the lamp centers spaced not less than six inches or more than 12 inches apart and installed as close as practicable to the top of the vehicle and as close as practicable to the vertical centerline of the vehicle may have the rear dimension or marker lamps required by subdivision 5 of this section mounted at any height but indicate as nearly as practicable the extreme width of the vehicle.

NOTE: Dump trucks with a high lift body, concrete mixer trucks and other specially constructed vehicles may be equipped with the required clearance lamps not mounted on the extreme rear, provided such red lamps are clearly visible from the rear and provided further that two red reflectors of an approved type are mounted on the extreme rear. In unusual cases the rear lamp may be mounted on the cab and another red reflex reflector placed on the extreme rear.

NOTE: In addition to the required clearance lamps showing to the front and to the rear, a vehicle may be equipped with side marker lamps on the side of the vehicle. When such an installation is used, all of the side marker lamps on the side except the one at or near the rear must have an amber lens. The side marker lamps on the side at or near the rear must have a red lens.

6. Any vehicle covered by subdivision 1 of this section, except school buses, is not equipped with amber reflectors on the sides as near the front as practical, and red reflectors on the rear. The reflectors must be at least 15 inches and not more than 60 inches from the ground. No reflector can have a piece broken from its reflective surface, but may have one or more cracks.

7. Any combination of vehicles whose actual length exceeds 35 feet if the vehicle is not equipped with reflex reflectors of a type approved by the superintendent and mounted on the widest part of the towed vehicle so as to be visible from the front and sides of the vehicle. No reflector can have a piece broken from its reflective surface, but may have one or more cracks.

8. Any passenger vehicle is equipped with clearance lamps, unless such lamps are used to mark the extreme width of the vehicle or used as taxicab identification, or used as supplemental turn signals. (See 19VAC30-70-190 B.)

NOTE: Vehicles so constructed as to make compliance with the requirements of subdivisions 1, 5, 7, and 9 of this section impractical, will be equipped with clearance lamps and reflectors at the most practical location to provide maximum visibility.

9. Any vehicle is not equipped with: two front side marker lights (amber), two rear side marker lights (red), and two rear reflectors (red).

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If equipped with three red identification lamps, the required clearance lamps may be mounted at any height so long as they indicate, as nearly as practicable, the extreme width of the vehicle.

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Amber Reflector -- At least 15 inches but not more than 60 inches from the ground

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Red Reflectors -- At least 15 inches and not more than 60 inches from the ground

Description: https://law.lis.virginia.gov/RISImages/403592177056LEGJDC_files/image001.jpg

Statutory Authority

§ 46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 § 55, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994; Volume 15, Issue 2, eff. November 11, 1998; 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; Errata, 32:26 VA.R. 3588 August 22, 2016; amended, Virginia Register Volume 35, Issue 25, eff. September 1, 2019.

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