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

19VAC30-70-9.1. Inspector certification.

A. Upon request, the Safety Inspector Application (Form SP-170B) and Criminal History Record Request (Form SP-167) are provided online via the Virginia State Police website to individuals desiring appointment as certified safety inspectors.

1. The application package includes instructions to help guide the applicant through the process.

2. Applicants may be certified in any of the following classes after completing the necessary requirements and the appropriate examinations:

a. Class A: May inspect any motor vehicle, motorcycle, or trailer.

b. Class B: May inspect trailers only.

c. Class C: May inspect motorcycles only.

B. Applicants should immediately prepare for the written examination by studying the Official Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual in its entirety.

1. The applicant must present the applicant's completed application in accordance with the provisions established in 19VAC30-70-9.2.

2. If the applicant's driver's license is expired, suspended, or revoked, the applicant will be advised, and the application destroyed. The applicant may reapply after the applicant's driver's license is reinstated.

C. The Class A inspector examination consists of five sections containing 20 questions each. A minimum score of 75% must be attained for each section. The Classes B and C inspector examinations will consist of 50 questions each. A minimum score of 74% must be attained. If the applicant fails the test, failure is noted at the end of Section I on the Form SP-170B with the word "failed" and the date. The application is returned to the applicant. Applicants failing to attain the minimum score are not allowed to test again for 30 days. Applicants failing a second or subsequent examination are not allowed to test again for six months.

D. The Safety Inspector Application (Form SP-170B) and Criminal History Record Request (Form SP-167) for applicants who achieve a minimum score or greater is forwarded to Safety Division Headquarters.

1. The applicant's record is checked against safety inspector and Central Criminal Records Exchange (CCRE) files.

2. Inspection and criminal record information along with the applicant's driver transcript is forwarded with the application to the appropriate Safety Division Area Office for investigation.

3. A credit check is performed to determine that the applicant associated with the inspection program is in compliance with any judgment order or is meeting all financial obligations, or both.

E. A background investigation is conducted consisting of the following:

1. Verification that the applicant is at least 18 years of age.

2. Verification that the applicant has not less than one year's practical experience employed as an automotive technician repairing vehicles for the public (six months of practical experience as an automotive mechanic combined with an additional and separate six months of mirroring a certified state inspector shall suffice as practical experience) or has satisfactorily completed a training program in the field of automotive mechanics approved by the Department of State Police. The following training programs in the field of automotive mechanics have been approved as a substitute for the one year's practical experience requirement:

a. The two-year associate degree or diploma programs in automotive technology offered by the Virginia Community College System consisting of the following minimum curriculum:

(1) Automotive Electrical Systems - three semester hours.

(2) Braking Systems - three semester hours.

(3) Emissions Control Systems - three semester hours.

(4) Suspension and Steering Systems - three semester hours.

(5) Vehicle Safety Inspection - two semester hours.

b. The 1,080-hour Career Technical Automotive Services Technology Program, offered by the Office of Career Technical Education, State Department of Education, in the various technical schools located throughout Virginia or be certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), or both.

(1) Upon the successful completion of this course, including a practical test as defined in this section, the student must complete a Safety Inspector Application (Form SP-170B) and a Criminal History Record Request (Form SP-167), pass a written test as defined in subsection C of this section, and submit to a background investigation as defined in this subsection. Upon successful completion of these requirements, the student, if 18 years of age, is certified as a safety inspector and issued a safety inspector license.

(2) If the student scores less than 75% on any part of the examination, the application will be returned to the certifying trooper. Students scoring less than 75% on any part of the examination may retest at the certifying trooper's next recertification testing date, but not sooner than 30 days from the date of the last examination. If the student passes the test at this time and is at least 18 years of age, the student is issued a safety inspector license. Upon the student's 18th birthday, providing the student still meets all of the requirements, the student will be issued a safety inspector license.

(3) Students failing the second written examination are not allowed to test again for six months. In order to retest the student must be at least 18 years of age and must complete the application process set forth for original certification.

c. The 1,500-hour Course #1 entitled "Auto-Diesel Technician Course" offered by the Nashville Auto Diesel College, Inc., 1524 Gallatin Road, Nashville, Tennessee 37206.

3. A determination of the applicant's mechanical ability through interviews with employers and customers.

4. A review of the applicant's current driving record on file with the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is utilized in determining applicant's suitability for certification.

5. Determination of the character and reputation of the applicant through previous associates, employers, and records.

6. Determination of the applicant's attitude toward the inspection program and receptiveness to State Police supervision through personal interview.

7. The investigating trooper shall administer a practical examination to determine the applicant's ability to conduct a safety inspection. The applicant will conduct a complete inspection, including the use of the optical headlight aimer. This shall be conducted at the applicant's station of employment. If the applicant is not employed at a certified inspection station, the applicant may make arrangement with one to conduct practical testing.

F. Any applicant whose application is voluntarily withdrawn may not reapply sooner than six months from the date of the withdrawal. Any applicant whose application is denied may not reapply sooner than 12 months from the date of the letter notifying the denial.

G. When a safety inspector is certified, the bottom of the Form SP-170B is completed by the certifying trooper. The classification for which the safety inspector is being certified and the date of certification must be entered by the trooper on the bottom of the Form SP-170B. The Form SP-170B shall then be forwarded to the Safety Division Area Office.

H. Upon certification, the supervising trooper shall issue the inspector's license.

I. All safety inspector licenses shall be valid for a period of three years.

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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