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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety
1/18/2022

Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety.

Article 1. Vehicle and Equipment Safety, Generally.

§ 46.2-1000. Department to suspend registration of vehicles lacking certain equipment; officer to take possession of registration card, license plates and decals when observing defect in motor vehicle; when to be returned.

The Department shall suspend the registration of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer which the Department or the Department of State Police determines is not equipped with proper (i) brakes, (ii) lights, (iii) horn or warning device, (iv) turn signals, (v) safety glass when required by law, (vi) mirror, (vii) muffler, (viii) windshield wiper, (ix) steering gear adequate to ensure the safe movement of the vehicle as required by this title or when such vehicle is equipped with a smoke screen device or cutout or when such motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer is otherwise unsafe to be operated.

Any law-enforcement officer shall, when he observes any defect in a motor vehicle as described above, take possession of the registration card, license plates, and decals of any such vehicle and retain the same in his possession for a period of 15 days unless the owner of the vehicle corrects the defects or obtains a new safety inspection sticker from an authorized safety inspection station. When the defect or defects are corrected as indicated above the registration card, license plates, and decals shall be returned to the owner.

For any summons issued for a violation of this section, the court may, in its discretion, dismiss the summons, where proof of compliance with this section is provided to the court on or before the court date.

Code 1950, § 46-56; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-58; 1960, c. 119; 1964, c. 414; 1972, c. 609; 1989, c. 727; 2017, c. 670.

§ 46.2-1001. Removal of unsafe vehicles; penalty.

Any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer examined by a law-enforcement officer certified to perform vehicle safety inspections and found to be operating with defective brakes, tires, wheels, steering mechanism, or any other condition which is likely to cause an accident or a breakdown of the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer may be removed from the highway and not permitted to operate again on the highway until the defects have been corrected and the law-enforcement officer has found the corrections to be satisfactory. Such law-enforcement officer may allow any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer discovered to be in such an unsafe condition while being operated on the highway to continue in operation only to the nearest place where repairs can be safely effected and only if such operation is less hazardous to the public than to permit the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer to remain on the highway.

No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer which has been removed from service as provided in the foregoing provisions of this section prior to correction and proper authorization by a law-enforcement officer certified to perform vehicle safety inspection procedures.

For the purpose of this section, the term "law-enforcement officer certified to perform vehicle safety inspections" means those law-enforcement officers who have satisfactorily met the requirements for initial certification and maintenance of certification of driver/vehicle inspectors as prescribed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Those law-enforcement officers certified to place vehicles out of service must receive annual in-service training in current federal motor carrier safety regulations, safety inspection procedures, and out-of-service criteria. The Superintendent of State Police shall be responsible for coordinating the annual in-service training. The agency administrator of the law-enforcement agencies employing law-enforcement officers certified to perform vehicle safety inspections shall provide the Department of Criminal Justice Services with verification that law-enforcement officers certified to perform vehicle safety inspections have met the requirements for initial certification and maintenance of certification of driver/vehicle inspectors prescribed by the U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and satisfactorily completed the annual in-service training required by this section.

Every vehicle inspected by a local law-enforcement officer pursuant to this section and found to be free of defects which would constitute grounds for removal of the vehicle from service shall be issued a sticker as evidence of such inspection and freedom from defects. Such stickers shall be valid for 90 days. Any vehicle displaying a valid sticker shall be exempt from local or State Police inspections under this section. However, the fact that a vehicle displays a valid sticker shall not prevent any local or State Police officer from stopping and inspecting the vehicle if he observes an obvious safety defect. The Superintendent of State Police shall work cooperatively with local law-enforcement agencies of localities whose officers are authorized to perform inspections pursuant to this section to develop a standard sticker as provided for in this section and uniform policies and procedures for issuance and display of such stickers.

However, notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, before placing any vehicle out of service, the vehicle operator shall be allowed two hours to effect repairs to his vehicle. Such repairs may be performed at the site where the vehicle was inspected and found to be unsafe, provided the vehicle requiring repair is off the highway, where the repairs can be effected safely. If such repairs remedy the condition or conditions that would have caused it to be taken out of service, it shall not be taken out of service, but allowed to resume its operations. No such repairs, however, shall be allowed if the vehicle's load consists of hazardous material as defined in § 10.1-1400.

1982, c. 90, § 46.1-279.01; 1985, c. 561; 1988, c. 77; 1989, c. 727; 1990, cc. 20, 167; 1991, cc. 284, 416; 1993, c. 409; 1995, cc. 39, 458; 1996, cc. 24, 91, 144, 525; 1997, c. 35; 1999, cc. 68, 279; 2000, cc. 59, 112; 2002, cc. 142, 223, 263; 2003, cc. 82, 85.

§ 46.2-1001.1. Special equipment required for converted electric vehicles.

In addition to any other equipment required by this chapter, no converted electric vehicle may be registered in or operated on the highways of the Commonwealth without the following:

1. Orange-colored high voltage cables and high voltage markings on all conduit containing high voltage cables. No high voltage cables may be attached to the chassis of the vehicle in such a way as to cause the chassis to be used to ground the electric current;

2. A breaker or fuse in the high voltage circuit that contains the traction battery pack and the motor controller. Such breaker or fuse must be rated to interrupt the expected maximum current at or above the battery pack voltage;

3. An externally mounted switch to open the high voltage circuit in case of an emergency. Such switch must be located where the fuel tank filler cap was located prior to conversion. Any cover protecting the switch must be able to be opened from the outside of the vehicle;

4. Traction batteries mounted in secure nonconductive enclosures that provide for limited access. Multiple enclosures may be used but must be connected by high voltage cables encased in conduit made of metal, composite, or other materials of comparable strength, crush, and abrasion resistance to metal or composite;

5. If batteries other than lead acid batteries are used as traction batteries, a temperature monitoring system that monitors the temperature of at least one battery in each battery enclosure. Such system must warn the driver of the vehicle if the temperature of the battery is rising rapidly or is above safe levels;

6. Conduit made of metal, composite, or other materials of comparable strength, crush, and abrasion resistance to metal or composite, encasing any high voltage cables running under or outside of the vehicle. Such conduit must be secured to the vehicle chassis and must not violate the ground clearance provisions of § 46.2-1063;

7. A vacuum system and pump, or comparable equipment, to maintain proper brake function and capacity, as required by this chapter; and

8. Labeling on three sides of the vehicle identifying such vehicle as "CONVERTED ELECTRIC." Each label shall be at least six inches long and consist of lettering at least three inches tall.

At such time as the federal government establishes minimum equipment and safety standards, including any related to synthetic vehicle sounds, for converted electric vehicles, to the extent that such standards are different from the standards established by this section, the federal standards shall apply to converted electric vehicles in the Commonwealth. If any federal standard conflicts with a standard set forth by this section, the stricter standard shall prevail.

2012, c. 177.

§ 46.2-1002. Illegal possession or sale of certain unapproved equipment.

It shall be unlawful for any person to possess with intent to sell or offer for sale, either separately or as a part of the equipment of a motor vehicle, or to use or have as equipment on a motor vehicle operated on a highway any lighting device, warning device, signal device, safety glass, or other equipment for which approval is required by any provision of this chapter or any part or parts tending to change or alter the operation of such device, glass, or other equipment unless of a type that has been submitted to and approved by the Superintendent or meets or exceeds the standards and specifications of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American National Standards Institute, Incorporated or the federal Department of Transportation.

Code 1950, § 46-311; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-308; 1960, c. 125; 1968, c. 172; 1970, c. 26; 1984, c. 426; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1003. Illegal use of defective and unsafe equipment.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to use or have as equipment on a motor vehicle operated on a highway any device or equipment mentioned in § 46.2-1002 which is defective and in an unsafe condition.

B. For any summons issued for a violation of this section, the court may, in its discretion, dismiss the summons, where proof of compliance with this section is provided to the court on or before the court date.

C. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for a violation of this section. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

1960, c. 125, § 46.1-308.1; 1989, c. 727; 2017, c. 670; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-1004. Trademark or name and instructions required.

Each device or other equipment mentioned in § 46.2-1002 and offered for sale in the Commonwealth shall bear a trademark or name or be identified in keeping with the Superintendent's regulations and shall be accompanied by printed instructions as to the proper mounting, use, and candlepower or lumens of any bulbs to be used therewith and any particular methods of mounting or adjustments necessary to meet the requirements of this title and any regulation of the Superintendent.

Code 1950, § 46-312; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-309; 1989, c. 727; 2020, c. 393.

Article 2. Testing, Evaluation, and Approval of Equipment.

§ 46.2-1005. Procedure for approval of equipment.

The Superintendent may establish a procedure for the approval of equipment required to be approved by him. Such procedure shall include the submission of a sample of the device for test and record purposes, submission of evidence that the device complies with this title and with recognized testing standards which the Superintendent is hereby authorized to adopt, and payment of the fee as provided by § 46.2-1008. The Superintendent shall then, within a reasonable time, either disapprove the device or issue a certificate of approval therefor.

The Superintendent may waive such approval and the issuance of a certificate of approval when the device or equipment required to be approved by this title is identified as complying with the standards and specifications of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American National Standards Institute, Incorporated, or the regulations of the federal Department of Transportation.

Code 1950, § 46-313; 1954, c. 364; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-311; 1960, c. 125; 1968, c. 172; 1970, c. 27; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1005.1. Auxiliary lights on motorcycles.

The Superintendent of State Police shall establish guidelines setting forth a procedure pursuant to § 46.2-1005 to allow for the submission and approval of auxiliary lights on motorcycles that are not approved by the Society of Automotive Engineers and shall publish such procedure on the Department of State Police's website by January 1, 2017. The approval of any lights or equipment shall also be published on the Department's website and the Department shall notify official safety inspection stations of such approved equipment.

2016, c. 701.

§ 46.2-1006. Approval of brake and head light testing methods and equipment.

The Superintendent shall approve methods of brake testing and head light testing. Approval of the use of mechanical brake and light testing equipment may be given by the Superintendent. When necessary, the Superintendent may call upon the United States Bureau of Standards or some other recognized testing agency to assist him in determining whether such mechanical testing equipment shall be approved for the purpose set forth in this chapter.

Code 1950, § 46-314; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-312; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1007. Retesting of devices and revocation of approval certificates.

The Superintendent, when having reason to believe that an approved device or equipment for which a certificate of approval has been issued and which is being sold commercially does not, under ordinary conditions of use, comply with the requirements of this chapter, may, after notice to the manufacturer thereof, suspend or revoke the certificate of approval issued therefor, until or unless the device is resubmitted to and retested by an authorized testing agency and is found to meet the requirements of this chapter. If the certificate of approval for such device or equipment has been waived by the Superintendent as provided in § 46.2-1005, the notice to the manufacturer as provided in this section shall have the effect of making further sales of such device or equipment unlawful in the Commonwealth until such device or equipment has been submitted to the Superintendent and a certificate of approval has been issued in accordance with the procedure established pursuant to § 46.2-1005. The Superintendent may, at the time of retest, purchase in the open market and submit to the testing agency one or more sets of the approved device, and if the device fails to meet the requirements of this title, the Superintendent may permanently revoke the certificate of approval of the device. In the discretion of the Superintendent, an approval for the sale and use of any such device may be amended to permit the continued use of such devices already sold but to prohibit further sales of the device.

Code 1950, § 46-315; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-313; 1960, c. 125; 1962, c. 146; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1008. Fees for approval certificates.

Any person who applies to the Superintendent for a certificate of approval required by this article shall pay a fee not to exceed the following amounts:

1. For approval and recordation of headlights, warning devices, safety glass, signal devices, and other devices required by this title to be approved by the Superintendent and not provided for elsewhere in this section, $150.

2. For approval and recordation of taillights, spot lights or any other lighting devices, seventy-five dollars.

3. For approval and recordation of brake-testing and light-testing machines, $100 for each type approved.

4. For approval and recordation of safety lap belts and shoulder straps or harnesses or any combination lap belt and shoulder strap or harness, fifty dollars.

5. For approval and recordation of safety glasses, face shields, or goggles for motorcycle operators, fifty dollars.

Fees collected under this section shall be used by the Superintendent in examining and testing devices to be approved and for maintaining and publishing necessary records.

Code 1950, § 46-316; 1956, c. 36; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-314; 1962, c. 146; 1966, c. 37; 1968, c. 171; 1970, c. 25; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1009. Exemptions for certain electrically powered vehicles; standards and permits for such vehicles.

The provisions of §§ 46.2-1002 through 46.2-1008 shall not apply to vehicles which are powered solely by electricity, capable of speeds of no more than fifteen miles per hour. The Superintendent may establish standards for safety equipment to be used on such vehicles. Upon the establishment of such standards, permits to use such vehicles may be issued to persons owning vehicles meeting such standards by the officer in charge of the division of the Department of State Police having jurisdiction in the county, city, or town in which such person resides.

1973, c. 455, § 46.1-314.1; 1989, c. 727.

Article 3. Lights and Turn Signals.

§ 46.2-1010. Equipment required.

Every vehicle driven or moved on a highway within the Commonwealth shall at all times be equipped with such lights as are required in this chapter for different classes of vehicles. The lights shall at all times be capable of being lighted, except as otherwise provided. This section shall not apply, however, to any vehicle for transporting well-drilling machinery licensed under § 46.2-700 when operated only between the hours of sunrise and sunset.

Code 1950, § 46-264; 1950, p. 690; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-259; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1011. Headlights on motor vehicles.

Every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, autocycle, road roller, road machinery, or tractor used on a highway shall be equipped with at least two headlights as approved by the Superintendent, at the front of and on opposite sides of the motor vehicle.

Code 1950, § 46-265; 1956, c. 639; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-260; 1989, c. 727; 2014, cc. 53, 256.

§ 46.2-1012. Headlights, auxiliary headlights, tail lights, brake lights, auxiliary lights, and illumination of license plates on motorcycles or autocycles.

Every motorcycle or autocycle shall be equipped with at least one headlight which shall be of a type that has been approved by the Superintendent and shall be capable of projecting sufficient light to the front of such motorcycle or autocycle to render discernible a person or object at a distance of 200 feet. However, the lights shall not project a glaring or dazzling light to persons approaching such motorcycles or autocycles. In addition, each motorcycle or autocycle may be equipped with not more than two auxiliary headlights of a type approved by the Superintendent except as otherwise provided in this section.

Motorcycles or autocycles 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. Such headlights shall not be so modulated during periods when headlights would ordinarily be required to be lighted under § 46.2-1030.

Notwithstanding § 46.2-1002, motorcycles or autocycles may be equipped with standard bulb running lights or light-emitting diode (LED) pods or strips as auxiliary lighting. Such lighting shall be (i) either red or amber in color, (ii) directed toward the ground in such a manner that no part of the beam will strike the level of the surface on which the motorcycle or autocycle stands at a distance of more than 10 feet from the vehicle, and (iii) designed for vehicular use. Such lighting shall not (a) project a beam of light of an intensity greater than 25 candlepower or 314.25 lumens or its equivalent from a single lamp or bulb; (b) be blinking, flashing, oscillating, or rotating; or (c) be attached to the wheels of the motorcycle or autocycle.

Every motorcycle or autocycle registered in the Commonwealth and operated on the highways of the Commonwealth shall be equipped with at least one brake light of a type approved by the Superintendent. Motorcycles or autocycles may be equipped with one or more auxiliary brake lights of a type approved by the Superintendent. The Superintendent may by regulation prescribe or limit the size, number, location, and configuration of such auxiliary brake lights.

Every motorcycle or autocycle shall carry at the rear at least one or more red lights plainly visible in clear weather from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of such vehicle. Such tail lights shall be constructed and so mounted in their relation to the rear license plate as to illuminate the license plate with a white light so that the same may be read from a distance of 50 feet to the rear of such vehicle. Alternatively, a separate white light shall be so mounted as to illuminate the rear license plate from a distance of 50 feet to the rear of such vehicle. Any such tail lights or special white light shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent.

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

Code 1950, § 46-266; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-261; 1983, c. 132; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 165; 2003, c. 964; 2009, c. 79; 2014, cc. 53, 256; 2015, c. 405; 2018, c. 763; 2020, c. 393.

§ 46.2-1013. Tail lights.

A. Every motor vehicle and every trailer or semitrailer being drawn at the end of one or more other vehicles shall carry at the rear two red lights plainly visible in clear weather from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of such vehicle.

B. All tail lights required pursuant to subsection A shall be constructed and so mounted in their relation to the rear license plate as to illuminate the license plate with a white light so that the same may be read from a distance of 50 feet to the rear of such vehicle. Alternatively, a separate white light shall be so mounted as to illuminate the rear license plate from a distance of 50 feet to the rear of such vehicle. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for a violation of this subsection. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

C. Any tail lights or special white light required pursuant to this section shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent.

D. In any instance where the tail light is to be installed on a boat trailer and the boat extends beyond the end of the trailer or to the end of the trailer, an approved portable light assembly or assemblies may be attached to the exposed rear of the boat, provided such installation complies with the visibility requirements of this section. The provisions of this section shall not apply to motorcycles.

Code 1950, § 46-267; 1952, c. 652; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-262; 1964, c. 16; 1989, c. 727; 2003, c. 964; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-1014. Brake lights.

A. Every motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, except an antique vehicle not originally equipped with a brake light, registered in the Commonwealth and operated on the highways in the Commonwealth shall be equipped with at least two brake lights of a type approved by the Superintendent. Such brake lights shall automatically exhibit a red or amber light plainly visible in clear weather from a distance of 500 feet to the rear of such vehicle when the brake is applied.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to motorcycles or autocycles equipped with brake lights as required by § 46.2-1012.

B. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer for a violation of this section, except that a law-enforcement officer may stop a vehicle if it displays no brake lights that meet the requirements set forth in subsection A. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

1970, c. 17, § 46.1-262.1; 1972, c. 6; 1989, c. 727; 2000, cc. 54, 63; 2003, c. 964; 2014, cc. 53, 256; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-1014.1. Supplemental high mount stop light.

A. Whenever operated on the highways, every Virginia-registered passenger car manufactured for the 1986 or subsequent model year shall be equipped with a supplemental center high mount stop light of a type approved by the Superintendent or which meets the standards adopted by the United States Department of Transportation. The light shall be mounted as near the vertical center line of the vehicle as possible. The light shall be actuated only in conjunction with the vehicle's brake lights and hazard lights. Any supplemental high mount stop light installed on any other vehicle shall comply with those requirements.

B. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for a violation of this section. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

1990, c. 955; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-1015. Lights on bicycles, electric personal assistive mobility devices, personal delivery devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, and motorized skateboards or scooters.

A. Every bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, personal delivery device, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, and motorized skateboard or scooter with handlebars when in use between sunset and sunrise shall be equipped with a headlight on the front emitting a white light visible in clear weather from a distance of at least 500 feet to the front and a red reflector visible from a distance of at least 600 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful lower beams of headlights on a motor vehicle. Such lights and reflector shall be of types approved by the Superintendent.

In addition to the foregoing provisions of this section, a bicycle or its rider may be equipped with lights or reflectors. These lights may be steady burning or blinking.

B. Every bicycle, or its rider, shall be equipped with a taillight on the rear emitting a red light plainly visible in clear weather from a distance of at least 500 feet to the rear when in use between sunset and sunrise and operating on any highway with a speed limit of 35 mph or greater. Any such taillight shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent.

Code 1950, §§ 46-268, 46-270; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-263; 1981, c. 585; 1989, c. 727; 2001, c. 834; 2002, c. 254; 2004, cc. 947, 973; 2005, c. 381; 2017, cc. 251, 788; 2019, c. 780; 2020, c. 1269.

§ 46.2-1016. Lights on other vehicles; reflectors.

All vehicles or other mobile equipment not otherwise in this article required to be equipped with specified lights shall carry at least one or more white lights to the front and a red light to the rear visible in clear weather from a distance of not less than 500 feet to the front and rear of such vehicles.

In lieu of or in addition to the lights, a reflector of a type, size, and color approved by the Superintendent may be permanently affixed to the rear and front of such vehicle.

Code 1950, §§ 46-269, 46-270; 1952, c. 652; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-264; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1017. Dimension or marker lights and reflectors, generally.

All motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers exceeding seven feet in width or the widest portion of which extends four inches beyond the front fender extremes shall be equipped with amber lights mounted at the extreme right and left front top corners of such vehicle. Each such light shall be visible in clear weather for a distance of at least 500 feet to the front of such vehicle. Such vehicles shall also be equipped with red lights mounted at the extreme right and left rear top corners of such vehicle. Each such light shall be visible in clear weather for at least 500 feet to the rear of such vehicle. Any tractor truck, however, need not be equipped with rear red dimension or marker lights. If the front or the rear of such vehicle is not the widest portion of the vehicle, the dimension or marker lights required in this section shall be mounted on the widest portions of the vehicle with the amber lights herein required visible from the front as herein required and the red lights herein required visible from the rear as herein required. The lights herein required shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent.

In addition to the lights required in this section, each such vehicle shall be equipped with amber reflectors located on each side thereof, at or near the front. Red reflectors shall be used on the rear of each such vehicle. Such reflectors shall be securely fastened to the vehicle not less than fifteen inches and not more than sixty inches from the ground. For a vehicle that is less than fifteen inches tall, however, such reflectors shall be securely fastened thereto at the highest point the structure of a vehicle will permit. The reflectors shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent.

If any vehicle is so constructed as to make compliance with the requirements of this section impractical, the lights and reflectors shall be placed on the vehicle in accordance with the Superintendent's regulations.

If any vehicle required by this section to be equipped with dimension or marker lights has installed on its rear, as close as practicable to the top of the vehicle and as close as practicable to the vertical centerline of the vehicle, three red identification lights of a type approved by the Superintendent, with the light centers spaced not less than six inches or more than twelve inches apart, the rear dimension or marker lights may be mounted at any height but must indicate as nearly as practicable the extreme width of the vehicle.

Code 1950, § 46-271; 1952, c. 652; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-265; 1960, c. 156; 1974, c. 218; 1977, c. 383; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 23.

§ 46.2-1018. Marker lights on vehicles or loads exceeding thirty-five feet.

Whenever any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles whose actual length, including its load, exceeds thirty-five feet and is not subject to the provisions of § 46.2-1017, such vehicle shall be equipped with reflectors of a type approved by the Superintendent when operated between sunset and sunrise. Such reflectors shall be mounted on the widest part of the vehicle or its load so as to be visible from the front and sides of the vehicle.

1958, c. 541, § 46.1-265.1; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1019. Spotlights.

Any motor vehicle or motorcycle may be equipped with one or two spotlights which, when lighted, shall be aimed and used so that no portion of the beam will be directed to the left of the center of the highway at any time or more than 100 feet ahead of the vehicle. Any such lights shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent. No such spotlights shall be used in conjunction with or as a substitute for required head lights, except in case of emergency.

Code 1950, § 46-272; 1954, c. 58; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-266; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1020. Other permissible lights.

Any motor vehicle may be equipped with fog lights, not more than two of which can be illuminated at any time, one or two auxiliary driving lights if so equipped by the manufacturer, two daytime running lights, two side lights of not more than six candlepower or 75.42 lumens, an interior light or lights of not more than 15 candlepower or 188.55 lumens each, and signal lights.

The provision of this section limiting interior lights to no more than 15 candlepower or 188.55 lumens shall not apply to (i) alternating, blinking, or flashing colored emergency lights mounted inside law-enforcement motor vehicles which may otherwise legally be equipped with such colored emergency lights, or (ii) flashing shielded red or red and white lights, authorized under § 46.2-1024, mounted inside vehicles owned or used by (a) members of volunteer fire companies or volunteer emergency medical services agencies, (b) professional firefighters, or (c) police chaplains. A vehicle equipped with lighting devices as authorized in this section shall be operated by a police chaplain only if he has successfully completed a course of training in the safe operation of a motor vehicle under emergency conditions and a certificate attesting to such successful completion, signed by the course instructor, is carried at all times in the vehicle when operated by the police chaplain to whom the certificate applies.

Unless such lighting device (i) is both covered and unlit or (ii) has a clear lens, any reflector in such lighting device is clear, and such lighting device is unlit, no motor vehicle that is equipped with any lighting device other than lights required or permitted in this article, required or approved by the Superintendent, or required by the federal Department of Transportation shall be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth. Nothing in this section shall permit any vehicle, not otherwise authorized, to be equipped with colored emergency lights, whether blinking or steady-burning.

Code 1950, § 46-273; 1954, c. 310; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-267; 1960, cc. 156, 391; 1962, c. 512; 1966, cc. 655, 664; 1968, c. 89; 1972, c. 7; 1974, c. 537; 1976, c. 6; 1977, c. 72; 1978, cc. 311, 357; 1980, c. 337; 1981, c. 338; 1984, cc. 440, 539; 1985, cc. 248, 269, 287, 462; 1986, cc. 124, 127, 229; 1987, cc. 347, 370; 1988, cc. 339, 351; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 516; 1995, c. 122; 2003, c. 153; 2006, c. 122; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2018, c. 72; 2020, c. 393.

§ 46.2-1021. Additional lights permitted on certain commercial vehicles.

In addition to other lights permitted in this article, buses operated as public carriers, taxicabs as defined in § 46.2-2000, and commercial motor vehicles as defined in § 52-8.4 may be equipped with (i) illuminated vacant or destination signs and (ii) single steady-burning white lights, emitting a diffused light of such intensity as not to project a glaring or dazzling light, for the nighttime illumination of exterior advertising.

In addition to other lights authorized by this article, buses operated as public carriers may be equipped with flashing white warning lights of types authorized by the Superintendent of State Police. These warning lights shall be installed in a manner authorized by the Superintendent and shall be lighted while the bus is transporting passengers during periods of reduced visibility caused by atmospheric conditions other than darkness. These warning lights may also be lighted at other times while the bus is transporting passengers.

Code 1950, § 46-273; 1954, c. 310; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-267; 1960, cc. 156, 391; 1962, c. 512; 1966, cc. 655, 664; 1968, c. 89; 1972, c. 7; 1974, c. 537; 1976, c. 6; 1977, c. 72; 1978, cc. 311, 357; 1980, c. 337; 1981, c. 338; 1984, cc. 440, 539; 1985, cc. 248, 269, 287, 462; 1986, cc. 124, 127, 229; 1987, cc. 347, 370; 1988, cc. 339, 351; 1989, c. 727; 1998, c. 419.

§ 46.2-1021.1. Additional lights permitted on certain privately owned cars.

Privately owned passenger cars used for home delivery of commercially prepared food may be equipped with one steady-burning white light for the nighttime illumination of a sign identifying the business delivering the food. Such sign shall not utilize primarily green, red or blue colors. Such sign shall not exceed eighteen inches in height nor have more than four sides, no side of which shall exceed fifteen by twenty-four inches. Such light shall emit diffused illumination of such an intensity as not to project a glaring or dazzling light. Such light may only be illuminated during delivery.

1989, c. 262, § 46.1-267.

§ 46.2-1022. Flashing or steady-burning blue or red, flashing red and blue or blue and white, or red, white, and blue warning lights.

Certain Department of Military Affairs vehicles and certain Virginia National Guard vehicles designated by the Adjutant General, when used in state active duty to perform particular law-enforcement functions, Department of Corrections vehicles designated by the Director of the Department of Corrections, and law-enforcement vehicles may be equipped with flashing, blinking, or alternating blue, blue and red, blue and white, or red, white, and blue combination warning lights of types approved by the Superintendent. Such warning lights may be of types constructed within turn signal housings or motorcycle headlight housings, subject to approval by the Superintendent.

Law-enforcement vehicles may also be equipped with steady-burning blue or red warning lights of types approved by the Superintendent.

Code 1950, § 46-273; 1954, c. 310; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-267; 1960, cc. 156, 391; 1962, c. 512; 1966, cc. 655, 664; 1968, c. 89; 1972, c. 7; 1974, c. 537; 1976, c. 6; 1977, c. 72; 1978, cc. 311, 357; 1980, c. 337; 1981, c. 338; 1984, cc. 440, 539; 1985, cc. 248, 269, 287, 462; 1986, cc. 124, 127, 229; 1987, cc. 347, 370; 1988, cc. 339, 351; 1989, c. 727; 1992, c. 96; 1996, cc. 141, 347; 2004, c. 323; 2008, c. 181; 2018, c. 651.

§ 46.2-1023. Flashing red or red and white warning lights.

Fire apparatus, forest warden vehicles, emergency medical services vehicles, vehicles of the Department of Emergency Management, vehicles of the Department of Environmental Quality, vehicles of the Virginia National Guard Civil Support Team and the Virginia National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and High Yield Explosive (CBRNE) Enhanced Response Force Package (CERFP) when responding to an emergency, vehicles of county, city, or town Departments of Emergency Management, vehicles of the Office of Emergency Medical Services, animal warden vehicles, and vehicles used by security personnel of the Huntington Ingalls Industries, Bassett-Walker, Inc., the Winchester Medical Center, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Wallops Flight Facility, and, within those areas specified in their orders of appointment, by special conservators of the peace and policemen for certain places appointed pursuant to §§ 19.2-13 and 19.2-17 may be equipped with flashing, blinking, or alternating red or red and white combination warning lights of types approved by the Superintendent. Such warning lights may be of types constructed within turn signal housings or motorcycle headlight housings, subject to approval by the Superintendent.

Code 1950, § 46-273; 1954, c. 310; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-267; 1960, cc. 156, 391; 1962, c. 512; 1966, cc. 655, 664; 1968, c. 89; 1972, c. 7; 1974, c. 537; 1976, c. 6; 1977, c. 72; 1978, cc. 311, 357; 1980, c. 337; 1981, c. 338; 1984, cc. 440, 539; 1985, cc. 248, 269, 287, 462; 1986, cc. 124, 127, 229; 1987, cc. 347, 370; 1988, cc. 339, 351; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 105; 1992, c. 34; 1994, c. 178; 1995, c. 92; 2003, cc. 152, 217; 2005, c. 583; 2006, c. 86; 2008, c. 181; 2009, c. 595; 2014, cc. 171, 800; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2018, c. 64.

§ 46.2-1024. Flashing or steady-burning red or red and white warning light units.

Any member of a fire department, volunteer fire company, or volunteer emergency medical services agency and any police chaplain may equip one vehicle owned by him with no more than two flashing or steady-burning red or red and white combination warning light units of types approved by the Superintendent. Warning light units permitted by this section shall be lit only when answering emergency calls. A vehicle equipped with warning light units as authorized in this section shall be operated by a police chaplain only if he has successfully completed a course of training in the safe operation of a motor vehicle under emergency conditions and a certificate attesting to such successful completion, signed by the course instructor, is carried at all times in the vehicle when operated by the police chaplain to whom the certificate applies.

Code 1950, § 46-273; 1954, c. 310; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-267; 1960, cc. 156, 391; 1962, c. 512; 1966, cc. 655, 664; 1968, c. 89; 1972, c. 7; 1974, c. 537; 1976, c. 6; 1977, c. 72; 1978, cc. 311, 357; 1980, c. 337; 1981, c. 338; 1984, cc. 440, 539; 1985, cc. 248, 269, 287, 462; 1986, cc. 124, 127, 229; 1987, cc. 347, 370; 1988, cc. 339, 351; 1989, c. 727; 1992, c. 379; 2003, c. 153; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2017, c. 244.

§ 46.2-1025. Flashing amber, purple, or green warning lights.

A. The following vehicles may be equipped with flashing, blinking, or alternating amber warning lights of types approved by the Superintendent:

1. Vehicles used for the principal purpose of towing or servicing disabled vehicles;

2. Vehicles used in constructing, maintaining, and repairing highways or utilities on or along public highways, or in assisting with the management of roadside and traffic incidents, or performing traffic management services along public highways;

3. Vehicles used for the principal purpose of removing hazardous or polluting substances from state waters and drainage areas on or along public highways, or state vehicles used to perform other state-required environmental activities, provided that the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

4. Vehicles used for servicing automatic teller machines, provided the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

5. Vehicles used in refuse collection, provided the amber lights are lit only when the vehicles are engaged in refuse collection operations;

6. Vehicles used by individuals for emergency snow-removal purposes;

7. Hi-rail vehicles, provided the amber lights are lit only when the vehicles are operated on railroad rails;

8. Fire apparatus and emergency medical services vehicles, provided the amber lights are used in addition to lights permitted under § 46.2-1023 and are so mounted or installed as to be visible from behind the vehicle;

9. Vehicles owned and used by businesses providing security services, provided the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is being operated on a public highway;

10. Vehicles used to collect and deliver the United States mail, provided the amber lights are lit only when the vehicle is actually engaged in such collection or delivery;

11. Vehicles used to collect and deliver packages weighing less than 150 pounds by a national package delivery company that delivers such packages in all 50 states, provided that the amber lights are lit only when the vehicle is stopped and its operator is engaged in such collection and delivery;

12. Vehicles used to transport petroleum or propane products, provided the amber light is mounted on the rear of the vehicle and is lit when parked while making a delivery of petroleum or propane products, or when the vehicle's back-up lights are lit and its device producing an audible signal when the vehicle is operated in reverse gear, as provided for in § 46.2-1175.1, is in operation;

13. Vehicles used by law-enforcement agency personnel in the enforcement of laws governing motor vehicle parking;

14. Government-owned law-enforcement vehicles, provided the lights are used for the purpose of giving directional warning to vehicular traffic to move one direction or another and are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

15. Chase vehicles when used to unload a hot air balloon or used to load a hot air balloon after landing, provided the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

16. Vehicles used for farm, agricultural, or horticultural purposes, or any farm tractor;

17. Vehicles owned and used by construction companies operating under Virginia contractors licenses;

18. Vehicles used to lead or provide escorts for bicycle races authorized by the Department of Transportation or the locality in which the race is being conducted;

19. Vehicles used by radio or television stations for remote broadcasts, provided that the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

20. Vehicles used by municipal safety officers in the performance of their official duties. For the purpose of this subdivision, "municipal safety officers" means municipal employees responsible for managing municipal safety programs and ensuring municipal compliance with safety and environmental regulatory mandates;

21. Vehicles used as pace cars, security vehicles, or firefighting vehicles by any speedway or motor vehicle race track, provided that the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is being operated on a public highway;

22. Vehicles used in patrol work by members of neighborhood watch groups approved by the chief law-enforcement officer of the locality in their assigned neighborhood watch program area, provided that the vehicles are clearly identified as neighborhood watch vehicles, and the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is in motion;

23. Vehicles that are not tow trucks as defined in § 46.2-100, but are owned or controlled by a towing and recovery business, provided that the amber lights are lit only when the vehicle is being used at a towing and recovery site;

24. Vehicles used or operated by federally licensed amateur radio operators, provided that the amber lights are not lit while the vehicle is in motion, (i) while participating in emergency communications or drills on behalf of federal, state, or local authorities or (ii) while providing communications services to localities for public service events authorized by the Department of Transportation where the event is being conducted;

25. Publicly owned or operated transit buses; and

26. Vehicles used for hauling trees, logs, or any other forest products when hauling such products, provided that the amber lights are mounted or installed so as to be visible from behind the vehicle.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this section, such amber lights shall be lit only when performing the functions which qualify them to be equipped with such lights.

C. Vehicles used to lead or provide escorts for funeral processions may use either amber warning lights or purple warning lights, but amber warning lights and purple warning lights shall not simultaneously be used on the same vehicle. The Superintendent of State Police shall develop standards and specifications for purple lights authorized in this subsection.

D. Vehicles used by police, firefighting, or emergency medical services personnel as command centers at the scene of incidents may be equipped with and use green warning lights of a type approved by the Superintendent. Such lights shall not be activated while the vehicle is operating upon the highway.

Code 1950, § 46-273; 1954, c. 310; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-267; 1960, cc. 156, 391; 1962, c. 512; 1966, cc. 655, 664; 1968, c. 89; 1972, c. 7; 1974, c. 537; 1976, c. 6; 1977, c. 72; 1978, cc. 311, 357; 1980, c. 337; 1981, c. 338; 1984, cc. 440, 539; 1985, cc. 248, 269, 287, 462; 1986, cc. 124, 127, 229; 1987, cc. 347, 370; 1988, cc. 339, 351; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 465; 1992, cc. 93, 410, 805; 1995, c. 727; 1997, c. 149; 1998, cc. 134, 417; 1999, cc. 18, 72, 232; 2000, cc. 84, 121, 278; 2003, c. 93; 2005, c. 574; 2010, c. 127; 2011, c. 268; 2014, c. 54; 2015, cc. 41, 502, 503; 2016, cc. 198, 226; 2017, cc. 326, 333; 2019, cc. 112, 145.

§ 46.2-1026. Flashing high-intensity amber warning lights.

A. High-intensity flashing, blinking, or alternating amber warning lights visible for at least 500 feet, of types approved by the Superintendent, shall be used on any vehicle engaged in either escorting or towing over-dimensional materials, equipment, boats, or manufactured housing units by authority of a highway hauling permit issued pursuant to § 46.2-1139. Such lights shall be mounted on the top of the escort and tow vehicles and on the upper rear end of the over-dimensional vehicles or loads for maximum visibility, front and rear. However, any vehicles operating under a permit issued pursuant to § 46.2-1139 shall be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this subsection if accompanied by escort vehicles.

The provisions of this subsection shall apply only to vehicles or loads that are either (i) more than 12 feet wide or (ii) more than 75 feet long.

B. Such amber warning lights may be used on any vehicle used by any public utility company for the purpose of repairing, installing, or maintaining electric or natural gas utility equipment or service.

Code 1950, § 46-273; 1954, c. 310; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-267; 1960, cc. 156, 391; 1962, c. 512; 1966, cc. 655, 664; 1968, c. 89; 1972, c. 7; 1974, c. 537; 1976, c. 6; 1977, c. 72; 1978, cc. 311, 357; 1980, c. 337; 1981, c. 338; 1984, cc. 440, 539; 1985, cc. 248, 269, 287, 462; 1986, cc. 124, 127, 229; 1987, cc. 347, 370; 1988, cc. 339, 351; 1989, c. 727; 2018, c. 263.

§ 46.2-1027. Warning lights on certain demonstrator vehicles.

Dealers or businesses engaged in the sale of fire, emergency medical services, or law-enforcement vehicles may, for demonstration purposes, equip such vehicles with colored warning lights.

Code 1950, § 46-273; 1954, c. 310; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-267; 1960, cc. 156, 391; 1962, c. 512; 1966, cc. 655, 664; 1968, c. 89; 1972, c. 7; 1974, c. 537; 1976, c. 6; 1977, c. 72; 1978, cc. 311, 357; 1980, c. 337; 1981, c. 338; 1984, cc. 440, 539; 1985, cc. 248, 269, 287, 462; 1986, cc. 124, 127, 229; 1987, cc. 347, 370; 1988, cc. 339, 351; 1989, c. 727; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 46.2-1028. Auxiliary lights on firefighting, Virginia Department of Transportation, and other emergency vehicles.

Any firefighting vehicle, emergency medical services vehicle, Virginia Department of Transportation vehicle, or tow truck may be equipped with clear auxiliary lights, which shall be used exclusively for lighting emergency scenes. Such lights shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent and shall not be used in a manner that may blind or interfere with the vision of the drivers of approaching vehicles. In no event shall such lights be lighted while the vehicle is in motion.

1972, c. 385, § 46.1-267.1; 1989, c. 727; 1996, c. 403; 2006, cc. 874, 891; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 46.2-1028.1. Illuminated identification systems on certain emergency vehicles.

Any firefighting vehicle, ambulance, rescue or life-saving vehicle, or vehicle used by police, firefighting, or rescue personnel as a command center at the scene of incidents may be equipped with and use an illuminated identification system of a type approved by the Superintendent to enable aircraft more easily to read number decals and other identifying markings on the roofs of such vehicle. Any such illuminated identification system may be used when the vehicle is in motion or stationary.

2015, c. 333.

§ 46.2-1028.2. Auxiliary lights on public utility vehicles.

Any electrical service utility vehicle owned and operated by a public utility, as defined in § 56-265.1, and having a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 15,000 pounds may be equipped with clear auxiliary lights that shall be mounted on the lower portion of the vehicle and aimed downward for the exclusive use of ground lighting. Such lights shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent and shall not be used in a manner that may blind or interfere with the vision of the drivers of approaching vehicles. In no event shall such lights be lighted while the vehicle is in motion.

2015, c. 341.

§ 46.2-1029. Auxiliary lights on law-enforcement vehicles.

Notwithstanding any other provision of this article, any government-owned law-enforcement vehicle may be equipped with clear auxiliary lights of a type approved by the Superintendent. Such lights may be used to light emergency scenes and other areas for the purpose of detecting offenders, apprehending violators of law, and in performing other reasonably necessary law-enforcement functions. Such lights may be used when the vehicle on which they are mounted is standing or proceeding at a speed of no more than fifteen miles per hour. Such lights shall not be used in a manner which may blind or interfere with the vision of the operators of approaching vehicles.

Any law-enforcement officer may also use spotlights, as authorized in § 46.2-1019, for the purpose and in the manner described herein.

1975, c. 291, § 46.1-267.2; 1980, c. 14; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1029.1. Flashing of headlights on certain vehicles.

Emergency vehicles as defined in subsection C of § 46.2-920 may be equipped with the means to flash their headlights when their warning lights are activated if (i) the headlights are wired to allow either the high beam or low beam to flash, but not both, and (ii) the headlight system includes a switch or device which prevents flashing of headlights when headlights are required to be lighted under § 46.2-1030.

The provisions of clause (ii) above shall not apply in the City of Chesapeake, the City of Portsmouth, the City of Poquoson, or the County of York.

1989, c. 47; 1994, c. 69; 2003, c. 121; 2005, c. 209.

§ 46.2-1029.2. Certain vehicles may be equipped with secondary warning lights.

In addition to other lights authorized by this article, any (i) fire apparatus, (ii) government-owned vehicle operated on official business by a local fire chief or other local fire official, and (iii) emergency medical services vehicle may be equipped with alternating, blinking, or flashing red or red and white secondary warning lights mounted inside the vehicle's taillights or marker lights of a type approved by the Superintendent of State Police.

2003, c. 115; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 46.2-1030. When lights to be lighted; number of lights to be lighted at any time; use of warning lights.

A. Every vehicle in operation on a highway in the Commonwealth shall display lighted headlights and illuminating devices as required by this article (i) from sunset to sunrise; (ii) during any other time when, because of rain, smoke, fog, snow, sleet, insufficient light, or other unfavorable atmospheric conditions, visibility is reduced to a degree whereby persons or vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet; and (iii) whenever windshield wipers are in use as a result of fog, rain, sleet, or snow. The provisions of this subsection, however, shall not apply to instances when windshield wipers are used intermittently in misting rain, sleet, or snow.

B. Not more than four lights used to provide general illumination ahead of the vehicle, including at least two headlights and any other combination of fog lights or other auxiliary lights approved by the Superintendent, shall be lighted at any time. However, motorcycles may be equipped with and use not more than five approved lights in order to provide general illumination ahead of the motorcycle. These limitations shall not preclude the display of warning lights authorized in §§ 46.2-1020 through 46.2-1027, or other lights as may be authorized by the Superintendent.

C. Vehicles equipped with warning lights authorized in §§ 46.2-1020 through 46.2-1027 shall display lighted warning lights as authorized in such sections at all times when responding to emergency calls, towing disabled vehicles, or constructing, repairing, and maintaining public highways or utilities on or along public highways, except that amber lights on vehicles designed with a ramp on wheels and a hydraulic lift with a capacity to haul or tow another vehicle, commonly referred to as "rollbacks," need not be lit while the vehicle is in motion unless it is actually towing a vehicle.

D. The failure to display lighted headlights and illuminating devices under the conditions set forth in clause (iii) of subsection A shall not constitute negligence per se, nor shall violation of clause (iii) of subsection A constitute a defense to any claim for personal injury or recovery of medical expenses for injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident.

E. No demerit points shall be assessed for failure to display lighted headlights and illuminating devices during periods of fog, rain, sleet, or snow in violation of clause (iii) of subsection A.

F. No citation for a violation of clause (iii) of subsection A shall be issued unless the officer issuing such citation has cause to stop or arrest the driver of such motor vehicle for the violation of some other provision of this Code or local ordinance relating to the operation, ownership, or maintenance of a motor vehicle or any criminal statute. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for a violation of this section, except that a law-enforcement officer may stop a vehicle if it displays no lighted headlights during the time periods set forth in subsection A. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

Code 1950, § 46-275; 1956, c. 640; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-268; 1960, c. 156; 1970, c. 165; 1983, c. 132; 1987, c. 381; 1989, c. 727; 1992, c. 364; 1997, cc. 25, 589; 2016, cc. 195, 206; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-1031. Requirements as to single-beam head lights.

Approved single-beam head lights shall be aimed in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Superintendent so as not to project a glaring or dazzling light to persons approaching such head lights and shall be of sufficient intensity to reveal persons and objects at a distance of at least 200 feet.

Code 1950, § 46-276; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-269; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1032. Requirements as to multiple-beam headlights.

Approved multiple-beam headlights shall be aimed in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Superintendent, based on recommendations of the Society of Automotive Engineers. The high beam of any such lights shall be of sufficient intensity to reveal persons and objects at least 350 feet ahead. At least one nonglaring low beam shall be provided and shall be of such intensity as to reveal persons and objects at least 100 feet ahead.

Code 1950, § 46-277; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-270; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1033. Indicator light required.

Every motor vehicle operated on a highway shall be equipped with a working indicator light that indicates to the driver when the high beam of the headlights is being used.

Code 1950, § 46-278; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-271; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1034. When dimming headlights required.

Whenever a vehicle is being driven on a highway or a portion thereof which is sufficiently lighted to reveal any person or object upon such highway at a distance of 350 feet ahead, the operator of such vehicle shall use the low beam of his vehicle's headlights or shall dim the headlights if the vehicle has single-beam lights. Whenever a vehicle approaches an oncoming vehicle within 500 feet, the driver of such vehicle shall use the low beam of his vehicle's headlights so aimed that glaring rays are not projected into the eyes of the oncoming driver or dim the headlights, if the vehicle has single-beam lights. Whenever the driver of any motor vehicle approaches from the rear or follows within 200 feet of another vehicle proceeding in the same direction, the driver shall use the low beam of his vehicle's headlights or shall dim the headlights if the vehicle has single-beam lights.

Code 1950, § 46-279; 1954, c. 114; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-272; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1035. Dimming headlights on parked vehicles.

Whenever a vehicle is parked so that the beam from its headlights will glare into the eyes of the driver of a vehicle approaching on a highway, the operator of the parked vehicle shall dim or use the low beam of such lights so that glaring rays are not projected into the eyes of an approaching driver.

Code 1950, § 46-279.1; 1950, p. 54; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-273; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1036. Acetylene lights on antique motor vehicles.

Antique motor vehicles as defined in § 46.2-100 may be equipped with acetylene headlights, taillights, and lights to illuminate their rear license plates as provided in regulations promulgated by the Superintendent.

Code 1950, § 46-280; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-274; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1037. Lights on parked vehicles.

Any vehicle parked or stopped on a highway, whether attended or unattended, between sunset and sunrise shall display at least one light projecting a white or amber light visible in clear weather from a distance of 500 feet to the front of such vehicle and projecting a red light visible under like conditions from a distance of 500 feet to the rear. No lights, however, need be displayed upon any such vehicle when legally parked.

Code 1950, § 46-282; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-276; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 86; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1038. When turn signals required; exceptions.

A. Any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer which is so constructed or carries a load in such a manner as to prevent a hand and arm signal required in § 46.2-849 from being visible both to the front and rear of such motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer or any vehicle the driver of which is incapable of giving the required hand and arm signals, shall be equipped with electrical turn signals which meet the requirements of this title and are of a type that has been approved by the Superintendent. A tractor truck, however, need not be equipped with electrical turn signals on the rear if it is equipped with double faced signal lights mounted on the front fenders or on the sides near the front of the vehicle clearly visible to the rear.

B. It shall be unlawful for any person to drive on any highway a motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1955, unless such vehicle is equipped with such turn signals on both front and rear.

C. Any such turn signal may be used in lieu of the hand and arm signal required by § 46.2-849.

D. Subsections A and B of this section shall not apply to any motorcycle. The provisions of this section shall not apply to motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers used for agricultural or horticultural purposes and exempted from registration under Article 6 (§ 46.2-662 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of this title.

Code 1950, § 46-302; 1954, c. 44; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-298; 1962, c. 255; 1974, c. 217; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1039. Requirements of turn signals; regulations.

Every turn signal used to give a signal of intention to turn a vehicle shall be so constructed and so installed as to give a signal plainly visible in clear weather and under normal traffic conditions from a distance of at least 100 feet to the rear and 100 feet to the front of the vehicle. No front turn signal, however, shall be required on vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1943.

The Superintendent may promulgate regulations not inconsistent with this section and § 46.2-1038 governing the construction, location, and operation of turn signals and the color of lights which may be used in any such signal device. Nothing contained herein, however, shall prohibit the requiring of turn signals on any vehicle whose driver is prevented by any reason from giving the hand and arm signal required in § 46.2-849.

Code 1950, § 46-303; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-299; 1962, c. 89; 1968, c. 99; 1972, c. 445; 1974, c. 347; 1979, c. 44; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1040. Hazard lights.

Motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers, when temporarily stopped on the traveled or paved portion of the highway so as to create a traffic hazard, shall flash all four turn signals simultaneously to signal approaching motorists of the existing hazard whenever such vehicle is equipped with a device which will cause the four turn signals to flash simultaneously. All four turn signals may be flashed simultaneously on a vehicle slowed or stopped at the scene of a traffic hazard, when traveling as part of a funeral procession, or when traveling at a speed of thirty miles per hour or less. Except for vehicles traveling as part of a funeral procession, all four turn signals shall not be flashed simultaneously while the vehicle is traveling faster than thirty miles per hour.

School buses shall flash all four turn signals when approaching and stopping at railroad grade crossings.

Code 1950, § 46-303; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-299; 1962, c. 89; 1968, c. 99; 1972, c. 445; 1974, c. 347; 1979, c. 44; 1989, c. 727; 2001, c. 359.

Article 4. Tires.

§ 46.2-1041. Restrictions as to solid rubber tires.

Every tire, other than a pneumatic tire, made of rubber on a motor vehicle moved on any highway shall have rubber on its entire traction surface at least one inch thick above the edge of the flange of the entire periphery. No motor vehicle equipped with such tires shall be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth unless a permit therefor is first secured from the Department of Transportation.

Code 1950, § 46-299; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-295; 1989, c. 727; 2013, cc. 585, 646; 2019, c. 780.

§ 46.2-1042. Standard for vehicle tire; sale of certain tires prohibited; penalty.

No person shall sell or offer for sale, or have in his possession with intent to sell any motor vehicle tire unless that tire (i) meets or exceeds standards established by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American National Standards Institute, Inc., or the federal Department of Transportation and (ii) is marked in accordance with those standards.

No person shall knowingly operate on any highway in the Commonwealth a Virginia registered motor vehicle equipped with any regrooved or recut tire unless that tire (i) meets or exceeds standards established by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American National Standards Institute, Inc., or the federal Department of Transportation and (ii) is marked in accordance with those standards.

Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1966, c. 490, § 46.1-295.2; 1989, c. 727; 1996, c. 92.

§ 46.2-1043. Tire tread depth.

A. No person shall operate a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer on any highway in the Commonwealth if it is equipped with one or more tires which:

1. When measured in any two adjacent major tread grooves where the tread is thinnest, at three equally spaced intervals around the circumference of the tire and exclusive of "tiebars" by a tread depth gauge calibrated in thirty-seconds of an inch, are found to have tread depth of less than two thirty-seconds of an inch at such locations; or

2. When equipped with tread wear indicators, are found to have such indicators in contact with pavement at any two adjacent grooves at three equally spaced intervals around the circumference of the tire.

B. No motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer shall be issued a safety inspection approval sticker if equipped with any tire whose use is prohibited under the provisions of this section.

C. This section shall not apply to tires mounted on dual wheels installed on motor vehicles which have seats for more than seven passengers and are (i) operated wholly within a municipality, or (ii) operated by urban and suburban bus lines. For purposes of this section, "urban and suburban bus lines" are defined as bus lines operating over regular scheduled routes the majority of whose passengers use the buses for traveling one-way distances not exceeding forty miles on the same day between their residence and their place of work, shopping areas, or schools.

D. The foregoing exemptions shall not apply to buses owned or operated by any public school district, private school, or contract operator of school buses.

E. The provisions of this section shall not apply to any vehicle not required to be registered or licensed.

1968, c. 145, § 46.1-295.3; 1973, c. 162; 1983, c. 281; 1984, c. 125; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1043.1. Tire loading.

No person shall operate for a commercial purpose a truck, trailer, or semitrailer with tires on any highway in the Commonwealth if any officer authorized to enforce overweight vehicle laws determines upon weighing such truck, trailer, or semitrailer that any such tire carries a weight greater than 125 percent of that marked on the sidewall of the tire.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to:

1. Any vehicle that is being operated under the terms of a permit issued under Article 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) and is being operated at a reduced speed as required by the permit to compensate for the tire loading in excess of the manufacturer's rated capacity for the tire;

2. Any vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more;

3. Any manufactured home; or

4. Any vehicle not required to be registered.

2013, c. 430.

§ 46.2-1044. Cleats, etc., on tires; chains; tires with studs.

No tire on a vehicle moved on a highway shall have on its periphery any block, stud, flange, cleat, spike, or any other protuberance of any material other than rubber which projects beyond the tread of the traction surface of the tire. It shall be permissible, however, to use on the highways farm machinery having protuberances which will not injure the highway and to use tire chains of reasonable proportions when required for safety because of snow, ice, or other conditions tending to cause a vehicle to slide or skid. It shall also be permissible to use on any vehicle whose gross weight does not exceed 10,000 pounds tires with studs which project no more than one-sixteenth of an inch beyond the tread of the traction surface of the tire when compressed if the studs cover no more than three percent of the traction surface of the tire.

The use of studded tires shall be permissible only from October 15 to April 15.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to any (i) law-enforcement vehicle operated by or under the direction of a federal, state, or local law-enforcement officer; (ii) vehicle used to fight fire, including publicly owned state forest warden vehicles; (iii) emergency medical services vehicle; or (iv) vehicle owned or operated by the Virginia Department of Transportation or its contractors in maintenance and emergency response operations.

Code 1950, § 46-300; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-296; 1968, c. 1; 1970, c. 263; 1972, c. 39; 1974, c. 368; 1976, c. 315; 1978, c. 259; 1989, c. 727; 2009, c. 118; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 46.2-1045. Sale of tires having cleats, etc., prohibited; studded tires excepted.

No person shall sell to any resident of the Commonwealth a tire which shall have on its periphery any block, stud, flange, cleat, spike, or any other protuberance of any material other than rubber which projects beyond the tread of the traction surface of the tire. Farm machinery having protuberances which will not injure the highway and tire chains of reasonable proportions may, however, be sold. It shall also be permissible to sell studded tires whose use is permitted under the provisions of this article. Violation of this section shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.

1966, c. 592, § 46.1-296.1; 1968, c. 1; 1970, c. 263; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1046. Traction engines and tractors.

The Commissioner of Highways and local authorities in their respective jurisdictions may, in their discretion, issue special permits authorizing the operation on a highway of traction engines or tractors having movable tracks with transverse corrugations upon the periphery of such movable tracks.

Code 1950, § 46-301; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-297; 1989, c. 727; 2013, cc. 585, 646.

Article 5. Exhaust System.

§ 46.2-1047. Muffler cutout, etc., illegal.

It shall be unlawful to sell or offer for sale any (i) muffler without interior baffle plates or other effective muffling device or (ii) gutted muffler, muffler cutout, or straight exhaust. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate on the highways in the Commonwealth a motor vehicle, moped, or motorized skateboard or foot-scooter equipped with a gutted muffler, muffler cutout, or straight exhaust.

Code 1950, § 46-306; 1950, p. 54; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-302; 1964, c. 628; 1989, c. 727; 2006, cc. 529, 538; 2013, c. 783.

§ 46.2-1048. Pollution control systems or devices.

No motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured for the model year 1973 or for subsequent model years shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless it is equipped with an air pollution control system, device, or combination of such systems or devices installed in accordance with federal laws and regulations.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle, as herein described, on the highways in the Commonwealth with its pollution control system or device removed or otherwise rendered inoperable.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate on the highways in the Commonwealth a motor vehicle, as described in this section, equipped with any emission control system or device unless it is of a type installed as standard factory equipment, or comparable to that designed for use upon the particular vehicle as standard factory equipment.

No motor vehicle, as described in this section, shall be issued a safety inspection approval sticker unless it is equipped as provided under the foregoing provisions of this section or if it violates this section.

The provisions of this section shall not prohibit or prevent shop adjustments or replacements of equipment for maintenance or repair or the conversion of engines to low polluting fuels, such as, but not limited to, natural gas or propane, so long as such action does not degrade the antipollution capabilities of the vehicle power system.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to converted electric vehicles.

1972, c. 640, § 46.1-301.1; 1973, c. 5; 1989, c. 727; 2012, c. 177.

§ 46.2-1049. Exhaust system in good working order.

A. No person shall drive and no owner of a vehicle shall permit or allow the operation of any such vehicle on a highway unless it is equipped with an exhaust system in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual levels of noise, provided, however, that for motor vehicles, such exhaust system shall be of a type installed as standard factory equipment, or comparable to that designed for use on the particular vehicle as standard factory equipment or other equipment that has been submitted to and approved by the Superintendent or meets or exceeds the standards and specifications of the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American National Standards Institute, or the federal Department of Transportation.

As used in this section, "exhaust system" means all the parts of a vehicle through which the exhaust passes after leaving the engine block, including mufflers and other sound dissipative devices.

Chambered pipes are not an effective muffling device to prevent excessive or unusual noise, and any vehicle equipped with chambered pipes shall be deemed in violation of this section.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) any antique motor vehicle licensed pursuant to § 46.2-730, provided that the engine is comparable to that designed as standard factory equipment for use on that particular vehicle, and the exhaust system is in good working order, or (ii) converted electric vehicles.

B. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for a violation of this section. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

Code 1950, § 46-305; 1952, c. 455; 1956, c. 651; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-301; 1960, c. 120; 1970, c. 266; 1972, c. 66; 1989, c. 727; 2006, cc. 529, 538; 2012, c. 177; 2015, cc. 77, 165; 2018, c. 655; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-1050. Mufflers on motorcycles.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate or cause to be operated any motorcycle not equipped with a muffler or other sound dissipative device in good working order and in constant operation.

No person shall remove or render inoperative, or cause to be removed or rendered inoperative, other than for purposes of maintenance, repair or replacement, any muffler or sound dissipative device on a motorcycle.

1976, c. 65, § 46.1-302.3; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1051. Certain local governments may impose restrictions on operations of certain vehicles.

The governing body of any county, city, or town which is located within the Northern Virginia Planning District may provide by ordinance that no person shall operate and no owner shall permit the operation of, either on a highway or on public or private property within 500 feet of any residential district, any motorcycle, moped, all-terrain vehicle as defined in § 46.2-100, not being used for agriculture or silviculture production as defined in § 3.2-300, electric power-assisted bicycle, motorcycle-like device commonly known as a trail-bike or mini-bike, off-road motorcycle, or motorized cart commonly known as a go-cart unless it is equipped with an exhaust system of a type installed as standard equipment, or comparable to that designed for use on that particular vehicle or device as standard factory equipment, in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive noise.

1983, c. 211, § 46.1-302.4; 1989, c. 727; 2004, cc. 947, 973; 2006, cc. 830, 896.

Article 6. Windshields and Windows.

§ 46.2-1052. Tinting films, signs, decals, and stickers on windshields, etc.; penalties.

A. As used in this article, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Front side windows" means those windows located adjacent to and forward of the driver's seat.

"Holographic effect" means a picture or image that may remain constant or change as the viewing angle is changed.

"Multipurpose passenger vehicle" means any motor vehicle that is (i) designed to carry no more than 10 persons and (ii) constructed either on a truck chassis or with special features for occasional off-road use.

"Prism effect" means a visual, iridescent, or rainbow-like effect that separates light into various colored components that may change depending on viewing angle.

"Rear side windows" means those windows located to the rear of the driver's seat.

"Rear window" or "rear windows" means those windows that are located to the rear of the passenger compartment of a motor vehicle and that are approximately parallel to the windshield.

B. Except as otherwise provided in this article or permitted by federal law, it shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle on a highway with any sign, poster, colored or tinted film, sun-shading material, or other colored material on the windshield, front or rear side windows, or rear windows of such motor vehicle. This provision, however, shall not apply to any certificate or other paper required by law or permitted by the Superintendent to be placed on a motor vehicle's windshield or window.

The size of stickers or decals used by counties, cities, and towns in lieu of license plates shall be in compliance with regulations promulgated by the Superintendent. Such stickers shall be affixed on the windshield at a location designated by the Superintendent.

C. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, whenever a motor vehicle is equipped with a mirror on each side of such vehicle, so located as to reflect to the driver of such vehicle a view of the highway for at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle, any or all of the following shall be lawful:

1. To drive a motor vehicle equipped with one optically grooved clear plastic right-angle rear view lens attached to one rear window of such motor vehicle, not exceeding 18 inches in diameter in the case of a circular lens or not exceeding 11 inches by 14 inches in the case of a rectangular lens, which enables the driver of the motor vehicle to view below the line of sight as viewed through the rear window;

2. To have affixed to the rear side windows, rear window or windows of a motor vehicle any sticker or stickers, regardless of size; or

3. To drive a motor vehicle when the driver's clear view of the highway through the rear window or windows is otherwise obstructed.

D. Except as provided in § 46.2-1053, but notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, no sun-shading or tinting film may be applied or affixed to any window of a motor vehicle unless such motor vehicle is equipped with a mirror on each side of such motor vehicle, so located as to reflect to the driver of the vehicle a view of the highway for at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle, and the sun-shading or tinting film is applied or affixed in accordance with the following:

1. No sun-shading or tinting films may be applied or affixed to the rear side windows or rear window or windows of any motor vehicle operated on the highways of the Commonwealth that reduce the total light transmittance of such window to less than 35 percent;

2. No sun-shading or tinting films may be applied or affixed to the front side windows of any motor vehicle operated on the highways of the Commonwealth that reduce total light transmittance of such window to less than 50 percent;

3. No sun-shading or tinting films shall be applied or affixed to any window of a motor vehicle that (i) have a reflectance of light exceeding 20 percent or (ii) produce a holographic or prism effect.

Any person who operates a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth with sun-shading or tinting films that (i) have a total light transmittance less than that required by subdivisions 1 and 2, (ii) have a reflectance of light exceeding 20 percent, or (iii) produce holographic or prism effects is guilty of a traffic infraction but shall not be awarded any demerit points by the Commissioner for the violation.

Any person or firm who applies or affixes to the windows of any motor vehicle in Virginia sun-shading or tinting films that (i) reduce the light transmittance to levels less than that allowed in subdivisions 1 and 2, (ii) have a reflectance of light exceeding 20 percent, or (iii) produce holographic or prism effects is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor for the first offense and of a Class 2 misdemeanor for any subsequent offense.

E. The Division of Purchases and Supply, pursuant to § 2.2-1112, shall determine the proper standards for equipment or devices used to measure light transmittance through windows of motor vehicles. Law-enforcement officers shall use only such equipment or devices to measure light transmittance through windows that meet the standards established by the Division. Such measurements made by law-enforcement officers shall be given a tolerance of minus seven percentage points.

F. No film or darkening material may be applied on the windshield except to replace the sunshield in the uppermost area as installed by the manufacturer of the vehicle.

G. Nothing in this section shall prohibit the affixing to the rear window of a motor vehicle of a single sticker no larger than 20 square inches if such sticker is totally contained within the lower five inches of the glass of the rear window, nor shall subsection C apply to a motor vehicle to which but one such sticker is so affixed.

H. Nothing in this section shall prohibit applying to the rear side windows or rear window of any multipurpose passenger vehicle or pickup truck sun-shading or tinting films that reduce the total light transmittance of such window or windows below 35 percent.

I. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, sun-shading material which was applied or installed prior to July 1, 1987, in a manner and on which windows not then in violation of Virginia law, shall continue to be lawful, provided that it can be shown by appropriate receipts that such material was installed prior to July 1, 1987.

J. Where a person is convicted within one year of a second or subsequent violation of this section involving the operation of the same vehicle having a tinted or smoked windshield, the court, in addition to any other penalty, may order the person so convicted to remove such tinted or smoked windshield from the vehicle.

K. The provisions of this section shall not apply to law-enforcement vehicles.

L. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the rear windows or rear side windows of any emergency medical services vehicle used to transport patients.

M. The provisions of subdivisions D 1, 2, and 3 shall not apply to vehicles operated in the performance of private security duties by a security canine handler as defined in § 9.1-138 and licensed in accordance with § 9.1-139.

N. The provisions of subdivision D 1 shall not apply to sight-seeing carriers as defined in § 46.2-2000 and contract passenger carriers as defined in § 46.2-2000.

O. For any summons issued for a violation of this section, the court may, in its discretion, dismiss the summons, where proof of compliance with this section is provided to the court on or before the court date.

P. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for a violation of this section. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

Code 1950, § 46-295; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-291; 1970, c. 16; 1978, c. 233; 1981, cc. 17, 626; 1985, c. 160; 1987, cc. 298, 315; 1988, c. 751; 1989, c. 727; 1991, cc. 100, 328; 1993, c. 808; 1994, c. 118; 1997, cc. 744, 880; 1998, c. 133; 1999, c. 75; 2004, c. 613; 2008, c. 189; 2015, cc. 502, 503; 2017, c. 670; 2019, c. 623; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-1053. Equipping certain motor vehicles with sun-shading or tinting films or applications.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 46.2-1052, a motor vehicle operated by or regularly used to transport any person with a medical condition which renders him susceptible to harm or injury from exposure to sunlight or bright artificial light may be equipped, on its windshield and any or all of its windows, with sun-shading or tinting films or applications which reduce the transmission of light into the vehicle to levels not less than 35 percent. Such sun-shading or tinting film when applied to the windshield of a motor vehicle shall not cause the total light transmittance to be reduced to any level less than 70 percent except for the upper five inches of such windshield or the AS-1 line, whichever is closer to the top of the windshield. Vehicles equipped with such sun-shading or tinting films shall not be operated on any highway unless, while being so operated, the driver or an occupant of the vehicle has in his possession a written authorization issued by the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles authorizing such operation. The Commissioner shall issue such written authorization only upon receipt of a signed statement from a licensed physician or licensed optometrist (i) identifying with reasonable specificity the person seeking the written authorization and (ii) stating that, in the physician's or optometrist's professional opinion, the equipping of a vehicle with sun-shading or tinting films or applications is necessary to safeguard the health of the person seeking the written authorization. Written authorizations issued by the Commissioner under this section shall be valid so long as the condition requiring the use of sun-shading or tinting films or applications persists or until the vehicle is sold, whichever first occurs. Such written authorizations shall permit the approval of any such vehicle upon its safety inspection as required by this chapter if such vehicle otherwise qualifies for inspection approval. In the discretion of the Commissioner, one or more written authorizations may be issued to an individual or a family. The Division of Purchases and Supply, pursuant to § 2.2-1112, shall determine the proper standards for equipment or devices used to measure light transmittance through windows of motor vehicles. Law-enforcement officers shall use only such equipment or devices to measure light transmittance through windows that meet the standards established by the Division. Such measurements made by law-enforcement officers shall be given a tolerance of minus seven percentage points.

For any summons issued for a violation of this section, the court may, in its discretion, dismiss the summons, where proof of compliance with this section is provided to the court on or before the court date.

1986, c. 67, § 46.1-291.01; 1987, c. 391; 1989, cc. 65, 727; 1990, c. 161; 1993, cc. 800, 808; 1996, cc. 943, 994; 2017, c. 670.

§ 46.2-1054. Suspension of objects or alteration of vehicle so as to obstruct driver's view.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person (i) to drive a motor vehicle on a highway in the Commonwealth with any object or objects, other than a rear view mirror, sun visor, or other equipment of the motor vehicle approved by the Superintendent, suspended from any part of the motor vehicle in such a manner as to substantially obstruct the driver's clear view of the highway through the windshield, the front side windows, or the rear window or (ii) to alter a passenger-carrying vehicle in such a manner as to obstruct the driver's view through the windshield. However, this section shall not apply (a) when the driver's clear view of the highway through the rear window is obstructed if such motor vehicle is equipped with a mirror on each side, so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle, (b) to safety devices installed on the windshields of vehicles owned by private waste haulers or local governments and used to transport solid waste, or (c) to bicycle racks installed on the front of any bus operated by any city, county, transit authority, or transit or transportation district. The provisions of clause (ii) shall not apply to the lawful immobilization of vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-1216 or 46.2-1231.

B. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for a violation of this section. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

1960, c. 122, § 46.1-291.1; 1972, cc. 8, 844; 1987, c. 135; 1989, c. 727; 2003, c. 273; 2019, c. 510; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-1055. Windshield wipers.

Every permanent windshield on a motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device for cleaning snow, rain, moisture, or other matter from the windshield directly in front of the driver. The device shall be so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the driver of the vehicle. Every such device on a school bus or a vehicle designed or used to carry passengers for compensation or hire or as a public conveyance shall be of a mechanically or electrically operated type. The device or devices on any motor vehicle manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1943, shall clean both the right and left sides of the windshield and shall be of a mechanically or electrically operated type.

Code 1950, § 46-296; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-292; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1055.1. Windshield defroster or defogger.

Every Virginia-registered motor vehicle manufactured for the 1969 or subsequent model years and required to be equipped with a windshield shall be equipped with a windshield defroster or defogger. The defroster or defogger shall be in good working order at all times when the vehicle is operated on the highways.

1990, c. 955.

§ 46.2-1056. When safety glass required.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive on any highway a motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1935, and designed or used for the purpose of carrying persons for compensation or hire or as a public conveyance to transport school children and others, unless such vehicle is equipped with safety glass wherever glass is used in doors, windows, and windshields.

It shall be unlawful to drive on any highway any motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth, manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1936, unless the vehicle is equipped with safety glass approved by the Superintendent, or meets the standards and specifications of the American National Standards Institute, Incorporated, or the regulations of the federal Department of Transportation whenever glass is used in doors, windows, and windshields.

The term "safety glass" as used in this section shall mean any product composed of glass so manufactured, fabricated or treated as substantially to prevent shattering and flying of the glass when struck or broken. The Commissioner shall maintain a list of types of glass approved by the Superintendent as conforming to the specifications and requirements for safety glass as set forth in this section and shall not issue a license for or relicense any motor vehicle subject to the provisions herein stated unless such motor vehicle is equipped as herein provided with the approved type of glass.

No glazing material other than safety glass shall be used in any motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth, except that the Superintendent may permit safety glazing materials other than glass to be used in lieu of safety glass in portions of motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers designated by him, provided any such material bears a trade name or identifying mark, and has been submitted to and approved by the Superintendent.

If any person drives any vehicle in violation of this section while under a certificate issued by the State Corporation Commission, in addition to the penalty provided in § 46.2-113, the certificate of such person may, in the discretion of the State Corporation Commission, be suspended until this section is satisfactorily complied with.

Replacement safety glass installed in any part of a vehicle other than the windshield need not bear a trademark or name, provided (i) the glass consists of two or more sheets of glass separated by a glazing material, (ii) the glass is cut from a piece of approved safety glass, and (iii) the edge of the glass can be observed.

Code 1950, § 46-297; 1950, p. 698; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-293; 1960, c. 125; 1968, c. 172; 1970, c. 18; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1057. Windshields.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive on a highway in the Commonwealth any motor vehicle or reconstructed motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle or autocycle, registered in the Commonwealth that was manufactured, assembled, or reconstructed after July 1, 1970, unless the motor vehicle is equipped with a windshield.

1970, c. 22, § 46.1-293.1; 1989, c. 727; 2014, cc. 53, 256.

§ 46.2-1058. Replacement of glass in vehicle.

It shall be unlawful for any person to replace any glass in any vehicle with any material other than an approved type of safety glass. Safety glazing materials other than glass approved by the Superintendent as provided in § 46.2-1056 may, however, be used to replace safety glass in any portion of a motor vehicle which has been designated for such use by the Superintendent.

Code 1950, § 46-298; 1950, p. 699; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-294; 1989, c. 727.

Article 7. Horns, Sirens, and Whistles.

§ 46.2-1059. Horns.

Every motor vehicle driven on a highway shall be equipped with a working horn capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions for at least 200 feet.

Code 1950, § 46-289; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-283; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1060. Illegal sirens, whistles, etc.; unlawful use of warning devices; exceptions.

It shall be unlawful for any vehicle to be equipped with or for any person to use on any vehicle any siren or exhaust, compression or spark plug whistle, or horn except as may be authorized in this title. It shall be unlawful for any vehicle operated on a public highway to be equipped with any warning device that is not of a type that has been approved by the Superintendent. It shall further be unlawful for any person at any time to use a horn otherwise than as a reasonable warning or to make any unnecessary or unreasonably loud or harsh sound by means of a horn or other warning device. However, vehicles of common carriers or extraordinarily large and heavy vehicles may be equipped with such type of warning device as the Superintendent may require or permit.

Notwithstanding the provisions of this article, a siren, bell, or supplemental horn may be used on a vehicle as a noisemaker for an alarm system if the device is installed so as to prohibit actuation of the system by the driver while the vehicle is in motion.

Code 1950, § 46-290; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-284; 1962, c. 146; 1970, c. 283; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1061. Sirens or exhaust whistles on emergency vehicles.

Every law-enforcement vehicle, every vehicle authorized to be equipped with warning lights pursuant to §§ 46.2-1022 and 46.2-1023 shall be equipped with a siren, exhaust whistle, or air horn designed to give automatically intermittent signals. Such devices shall be of types not prohibited by the Superintendent.

Code 1950, § 46-291; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-285; 1960, c. 391; 1966, cc. 655, 664, 699; 1968, c. 89; 1980, c. 337; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 418.

§ 46.2-1062. Approval of warning devices.

The Superintendent may promulgate regulations relating to the construction, mounting, use, and number of warning devices for which there shall be an approval fee as prescribed in § 46.2-1008.

Code 1950, § 46-293; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-286; 1989, c. 727.

Article 8. Steering and Suspension Systems.

§ 46.2-1063. Alteration of suspension system; bumper height limits; raising body above frame rail.

No person shall drive on a public highway any motor vehicle registered as a passenger motor vehicle if it has been modified by alteration of its altitude from the ground to the extent that its bumpers, measured to any point on the lower edge of the main horizontal bumper bar, exclusive of any bumper guards, are not within the range of fourteen inches to twenty-two inches above the ground.

No vehicle shall be modified to cause the vehicle body or chassis to come in contact with the ground, expose the fuel tank to damage from collision, or cause the wheels to come in contact with the body under normal operation. No part of the original suspension system of a motor vehicle shall be disconnected to defeat the safe operation of its suspension system. However, nothing contained in this section shall prevent the installation of heavy duty equipment, including shock absorbers and overload springs. Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit the driving on a public highway of a motor vehicle with normal wear to the suspension system if such normal wear does not adversely affect the control of the vehicle.

No person shall drive on a public highway any motor vehicle registered as a truck if it has been modified by alteration of its altitude from the ground to the extent that its bumpers, measured to any point on the lower edge of the main horizontal bumper bar, exclusive of any bumper guards, do not fall within the limits specified herein for its gross vehicle weight rating category. The front bumper height of trucks whose gross vehicle weight ratings are 4,500 pounds or less shall be no less than 14 inches and no more than 28 inches, and their rear bumper height shall be no less than 14 inches and no more than 28 inches. The front bumper height of trucks whose gross vehicle weight ratings are 4,501 pounds to 7,500 pounds shall be no less than 14 inches and no more than 29 inches, and their rear bumper height shall be no less than 14 inches and no more than 30 inches. The front bumper height of trucks whose gross vehicle weight ratings are 7,501 pounds to 15,000 pounds shall be no less than 14 inches and no more than 30 inches, and their rear bumper height shall be no less than 14 inches and no more than 31 inches. Bumper height limitations contained in this section shall not apply to trucks with gross vehicle weight ratings in excess of 15,000 pounds. For the purpose of this section, "truck" includes pickup and panel trucks, and "gross vehicle weight ratings" means manufacturer's gross vehicle weight ratings established for that vehicle as indicated by a number, plate, sticker, decal, or other device affixed to the vehicle by its manufacturer.

In the absence of bumpers, and in cases where bumper heights have been lowered, height measurements under the foregoing provisions of this section shall be made to the bottom of the frame rail. However, if bumper heights have been raised, height measurements under the foregoing provisions of this section shall be made to the bottom of the main horizontal bumper bar.

No vehicle shall be operated on a public highway if it has been modified by any means so as to raise its body more than three inches, in addition to any manufacturer's spacers and bushings, above the vehicle's frame rail or manufacturer's attachment points on the frame rail.

This section shall not apply to specially designed or modified motor vehicles when driven off the public highways in races and similar events. Such motor vehicles may be lawfully towed on the highways of the Commonwealth.

1973, c. 498, § 46.1-282.1; 1978, c. 605; 1980, c. 342; 1986, c. 570; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 688; 1992, c. 864; 1993, c. 73; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 269.

§ 46.2-1064. Modification of front-end suspension by use of lift blocks.

No motor vehicle whose front-end suspension has been modified by the use of lift blocks shall be driven on any highway in the Commonwealth.

1985, c. 11, § 46.1-282.2; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1065. Steering gear; installation, sale, etc., of repair kit or preventive maintenance kit for use on part of steering gear prohibited.

Every motor vehicle driven on a highway shall be equipped with steering gear adequate to ensure the safe control of the vehicle. Such steering gear shall not show signs of weakness or breaking under ordinary conditions. The Superintendent may promulgate regulations establishing standards of adequacy of steering gear, which shall be the current standard specifications of steering gear adopted by the United States Bureau of Standards or the Society of Automotive Engineers, or the regulations of the federal Department of Transportation, for determining whether or not any motor vehicle operated on any highway conforms to the requirements of the Department of State Police.

No Virginia-registered motor vehicle shall be issued a safety inspection approval sticker or be operated on a highway in the Commonwealth if equipped with a repair kit or preventive maintenance kit installed on a tie rod end, idler arm, ball joint or any other part of the vehicle's steering gear.

It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale any repair kit or preventive maintenance kit for use on a tie rod end, idler arm, ball joint, or any other part of a vehicle's steering gear to prevent wear or to repair or remove play or looseness in the steering gear components.

Nothing contained in this section shall prohibit or prevent shop adjustments or the replacement of parts or complete components of a motor vehicle's steering gear that meet Society of Automotive Engineers standards of excellence, in order to correct deficiencies in the steering gear.

Code 1950, § 46-288; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-282; 1968, c. 172; 1970, c. 23; 1983, c. 226; 1989, c. 727.

Article 9. Brakes.

§ 46.2-1066. Brakes.

Every motor vehicle when driven on a highway shall be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movements of and to stop and hold such vehicle. The brakes shall be maintained in good working order and shall conform to the provisions of this article.

Every bicycle, electric power-assisted bicycle, and moped, when operated on a highway, shall be equipped with a brake that will enable the operator to make the braked wheels skid on dry, level, clean pavement. Every electric personal assistive mobility device, when operated on a highway, shall be equipped with a system that, when activated or engaged, will enable the operator to bring the device to a controlled stop.

Code 1950, § 46-283; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-277; 1974, c. 347; 1981, c. 585; 1989, c. 727; 2001, c. 834; 2002, c. 254.

§ 46.2-1067. Within what distances brakes should stop vehicle.

On a dry, hard, approximately level stretch of highway free from loose material, the service braking system shall be capable of stopping a motor vehicle or combination of vehicles at all times and under all conditions of loading at a speed of 20 miles per hour within the following distances:

1. Passenger motor vehicles, except buses and antique vehicles, 25 feet.

2. Buses, trucks, and tractor trucks, 40 feet.

3. Motor vehicles registered or qualified to be registered as antique vehicles, when equipped with two-wheel brakes, 45 feet; four-wheel brakes, 25 feet.

4. All combinations of vehicles, 40 feet.

5. Motorcycles or autocycles, 30 feet.

Code 1950, § 46-284; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-278; 1968, c. 164; 1970, c. 28; 1972, c. 3; 1989, c. 727; 2014, cc. 53, 256.

§ 46.2-1068. Emergency or parking brakes.

Every motor vehicle and combination of vehicles, except motorcycles or autocycles, shall be equipped with emergency or parking brakes adequate to hold the vehicle or vehicles on any grade on which it is operated, under all conditions of loading on a surface free from snow, ice, or loose material.

1968, c. 164, § 46.1-278.1; 1989, c. 727; 2014, cc. 53, 256.

§ 46.2-1069. Brakes on motorcycles.

Every motorcycle manufactured after July 1, 1974, and driven on a highway in the Commonwealth shall be equipped with either a split-service brake system or two independently actuated brake systems which shall act on the front as well as the rear wheel or wheels.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive on a highway in the Commonwealth a motorcycle which was originally equipped with a brake system on both the front or rear wheel or wheels if the brake system has been altered by removing or disconnecting any of the brake-system components from any of the wheels.

1974, c. 219, § 46.1-279.1; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1070. Brakes on trailers.

Every semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle attached by a drawbar, chain, or coupling to a towing vehicle other than a farm tractor or a vehicle not required to obtain a registration certificate and having an actual gross weight of 3,000 pounds or more, shall be equipped with brakes controlled or operated by the driver of the towing vehicle, which shall conform to the specifications set forth in § 46.2-1067 and shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent. Farm trailers used exclusively for hauling raw agricultural produce from farm to farm or farm to packing shed or processing plant within the normal growing area of the packing shed or processing plant and trailers or semitrailers drawn by a properly licensed motor vehicle but exempt from registration, shall be exempt from the requirements of this section.

"Gross weight" for the purpose of this section includes weight of the vehicle and the load upon such semitrailer, trailer, or separate vehicle.

This section shall not apply to any vehicle being towed for repairs, repossession, in an emergency, or being moved by a tow truck when two wheels of the towed vehicle are off the ground.

Code 1950, § 46-286; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-280; 1959, Ex. Sess., cc. 21, 90; 1962, c. 313; 1966, c. 654; 1968, c. 164; 1970, c. 169; 1989, c. 727; 2006, cc. 874, 891.

§ 46.2-1071. Requirements for parking.

No person having control of a motor vehicle shall allow such vehicle to stand on any highway unattended without first effectively setting the emergency or parking brake thereon, stopping the motor, and turning the front wheels into the curb or side of the roadway.

Code 1950, § 46-287; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-281; 1989, c. 727.

Article 10. Miscellaneous Equipment.

§ 46.2-1072. Operation of vehicle without serial or identification number; requirements for stamping, cutting, or embossing numbers; regulations.

It shall be unlawful to sell or to drive on any highway in the Commonwealth any motor vehicle which does not have stamped on or cut into its motor its motor number or which does not bear a permanent serial or other identification number assigned by the manufacturer or by the Commissioner, or any trailer or semitrailer which does not bear a permanent serial or other identification number assigned by its manufacturer or the Commissioner. The number shall be stamped, cut, embossed, or attached in such a manner that it cannot be changed, altered, or removed without plainly showing evidence which would be readily detectable or which would destroy the attached plate. The number shall be die stamped, cut, or embossed into or attached to a permanent part of the vehicle which is easily accessible for verification. However, nonresident owners who are permitted to operate motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers without registration, under the registration provision relating to nonresidents contained in §§ 46.2-655 through 46.2-661 shall not be required to comply with this section before operating a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer on the highways in the Commonwealth.

The Commissioner may adopt regulations to carry out the provisions of this section.

Code 1950, § 46-11; 1952, c. 545; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-84; 1978, c. 294; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 96.

§ 46.2-1072.1. Fees.

The Commissioner may charge a fee of $125 per vehicle, for the examination, verification, or identification of the serial or identification number of any vehicle, motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer. The Commissioner may also receive applications for the issuance of an identification number and investigate the circumstances of the application. When the Commissioner is satisfied that the applicant is entitled to the identification number, the fee for the issuance of such identification number shall be five dollars. If any inspection under this provision is done at the same time as an inspection under § 46.2-1605, then only one $125 fee shall be charged for both inspections. All fees collected under this section shall be paid by the Commissioner into the state treasury and set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the vehicle identification number and salvage vehicle inspection program.

1997, c. 96; 2006, c. 615.

§ 46.2-1073. Engine or serial number illegible, removed, or obliterated.

The owner of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer on which the engine, serial, or other identification number has become illegible or has been removed or obliterated shall immediately apply to the Department for a new identification number for such motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer. The Department, when satisfied that the applicant is the lawful owner or possessor of the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer may assign a new identification number and shall require that such number, together with the name of the Commonwealth or a symbol indicating the Commonwealth and the date of such assignment, be stamped, inscribed or affixed upon such portion of the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer as shall be designated by the Department. Whenever a new identification number has been assigned to and stamped, inscribed or affixed on a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer as provided in this section, the Department shall insert the number on the registration card and certificate of title or salvage/nonrepairable certificate issued the motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer.

Code 1950, § 46-6; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-4; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 591, 917.

§ 46.2-1074. Removing or altering serial or identification numbers, decals and devices without consent of Department.

Any person who, individually or in association with one or more others, knowingly removes, changes, alters, or conceals any motor number, serial, or other identification number, decal or device affixed to a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer or motor vehicle part as required by federal law without the consent of the Department, shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 46-9; 1958, cc. 391, 541, § 46.1-82; 1978, cc. 294, 605; 1979, c. 428; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 591, 917.

§ 46.2-1075. Possession of vehicles with serial numbers removed or altered.

Any person who shall knowingly have in his possession a motor vehicle, motor vehicle part, trailer, or semitrailer whose motor number, serial number, identification number, decal or device as required by federal law has been removed, changed, or altered without the consent of the Department shall be guilty of a Class 6 felony.

Code 1950, § 46-10; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-83; 1978, cc. 294, 605; 1979, c. 428; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 591, 917.

§ 46.2-1075.1. Tampering with gross vehicle weight ratings; penalty.

It shall be unlawful for any person willfully to remove, alter, deface, or tamper with any number, plate, bracket, sticker, decal, indication, or other device indicating the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of any vehicle which (i) has a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 15,000 pounds or less and (ii) has been modified by alteration of its height from the ground. Violation of this section shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor.

1991, c. 193.

§ 46.2-1076. Lettering on certain vehicles.

A. No person shall drive, cause to be driven, or permit the driving of a "for hire" motor vehicle on the highways in the Commonwealth unless the legal name or trade name of the motor carrier as defined in Chapter 20 (§ 46.2-2000 et seq.) or Chapter 21 (§ 46.2-2100 et seq.) operating the vehicle is plainly displayed on both sides of the vehicle. The letters and numerals in the display shall be of such size, shape, and color as to be readily legible during daylight hours from a distance of 50 feet while the vehicle is not in motion. The display shall be kept legible and may take the form of a removable device which meets the identification and legibility requirements of this section.

B. This section shall not apply to any motor vehicle:

1. Having a registered gross weight of less than 10,000 pounds;

2. Which is used exclusively for weddings or funeral services;

3. Which is rented without chauffeur and operated under a valid lease which gives the lessee exclusive control of the vehicle; or

4. Which is used exclusively as an emergency medical services vehicle.

C. Subsection A shall also apply to tow trucks used in providing service to the public for hire. For the purposes of this section, "tow truck" means any motor vehicle which is constructed and used primarily for towing, lifting, or otherwise moving disabled vehicles.

D. No person shall drive on the highways in the Commonwealth a pickup or panel truck, tractor truck, trailer, or semitrailer bearing any name other than that of the vehicle's owner or lessee. However, the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to advertising material for another, displayed pursuant to a valid contract.

Code 1950, § 46-63; 1950, p. 251; 1958, c. 541, §§ 46.1-64, 46.1-158.1; 1960, c. 79; 1972, cc. 77, 609; 1974, c. 400; 1975, c. 124; 1979, c. 620; 1989, c. 727; 2013, cc. 165, 582; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 46.2-1077. Motor vehicles not to be equipped with television within view of driver; viewing motion pictures or similar displays while driving.

A. No motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth shall be equipped with, nor shall there be used therein, a television receiver when the moving images are visible to the driver while the vehicle is in motion. The operator of a motor vehicle that is not required to be registered in the Commonwealth shall not operate a television receiver that violates the provisions of this section while driving in the Commonwealth.

The prohibitions contained in this subsection shall not, however, include:

1. Electronic displays used in conjunction with vehicle navigation and mapping systems, or as part of a digital dispatch system;

2. Closed circuit video monitors designed to operate only in conjunction with dedicated video cameras and used in rear-view systems on trucks, motor homes, and other motor vehicles;

3. Television receivers or monitors used in government-owned vehicles by law-enforcement officers and employees of the Department of Transportation in the course of their official duties;

4. Visual displays used to enhance or supplement the driver's view forward, behind, or to the sides of a motor vehicle for the purpose of maneuvering the vehicle;

5. A vehicle information display;

6. A visual display used to enhance or supplement a driver's view of vehicle occupants;

7. Television-type receiving equipment used exclusively for safety or traffic engineering information; or

8. A television receiver, video monitor, television or video screen, or any other similar means of visually displaying a moving image, if that equipment is factory-installed and has an interlock device that, when the motor vehicle operator is performing one or more of the driving tasks, disables the equipment so that such moving images are not visible to the motor vehicle operator except as a visual display described in subdivisions 1 through 7. For the purposes of this subdivision, "driving task" means all of the real-time functions required to operate a vehicle in on-road traffic, excluding the selection of destinations and waypoints, and including steering, turning, lane keeping and lane changing, accelerating, and decelerating.

B. Except for displays explicitly authorized in subsection A, no driver of any motor vehicle shall view any motion picture or similar video display while driving.

Code 1950, § 46-219.1; 1950, p. 882; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-202; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 117; 2005, cc. 210, 913; 2007, c. 110; 2011, c. 275; 2016, cc. 302, 707.

§ 46.2-1077.01. Display of certain visual material in motor vehicles prohibited; penalty.

It shall be unlawful for the operator of any motor vehicle on a public highway to display or permit the display within the vehicle of any image, motion picture, or video display that is obscene as defined in § 18.2-372 if such image, motion picture, or video display can be seen by persons outside the vehicle. Violation of this section shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.

2005, c. 669.

§ 46.2-1077.1. Mobile infrared transmitters; demerit points not to be awarded.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth when such vehicle is equipped with a mobile infrared transmitter or any other device or mechanism, passive or active, used to preempt or change the signal given by a traffic light so as to give the right-of-way to the vehicle equipped with such device. It shall be unlawful to use any such device or mechanism on any such motor vehicle on the highways. It shall be unlawful to sell any such device or mechanism in the Commonwealth, except for uses permitted under this section. In addition, the provisions of this section shall not apply to any law-enforcement, firefighting, or emergency medical services vehicle responding to an emergency call or operating in an emergency situation or any vehicle providing public transportation service in a corridor approved for public transportation priority by the Virginia Department of Transportation or the governing body of any county, city, or town having control of the highways within its boundaries.

This section shall not be construed to authorize the forfeiture to the Commonwealth of any such device or mechanism. Any such device or mechanism may be taken by the arresting officer if needed as evidence, and, when no longer needed, shall be returned to the person charged with a violation of this section, or at that person's request and his expense, mailed to an address specified by him. Any unclaimed devices may be destroyed on court order after six months have elapsed from the final date for filing an appeal.

Except as provided in subsection B, the presence of any such prohibited device or mechanism in or on a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth shall constitute prima facie evidence of the violation of this section. The Commonwealth need not prove that the device or mechanism in question was in an operative condition or being operated.

B. A person shall not be guilty of a violation of this section when the device or mechanism in question, at the time of the alleged offense, had no power source and was not readily accessible for use by the driver or any passenger in the vehicle.

C. No demerit points shall be awarded by the Commissioner for violations of this section.

2004, c. 268; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

§ 46.2-1078. Unlawful to operate motor vehicle, bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped while using earphones.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle, bicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assisted bicycle, or moped on the highways in the Commonwealth while using earphones on or in both ears.

For the purpose of this section, "earphones" shall mean any device worn on or in both ears that converts electrical energy to sound waves or which impairs or hinders the person's ability to hear, but shall not include (i) any prosthetic device that aids the hard of hearing, (ii) earphones installed in helmets worn by motorcycle operators and riders and used as part of a communications system, or (iii) nonprosthetic, closed-ear, open-back, electronic noise-cancellation devices designed and used to enhance the hearing ability of persons who operate vehicles in high-noise environments, provided any such device is being worn by the operator of a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or more. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the driver of any emergency vehicle as defined in § 46.2-920.

Code 1950, § 46-219.1; 1950, p. 882; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-202.1; 1989, c. 727; 1993, c. 126; 1997, c. 36; 2001, c. 834; 2002, c. 254.

§ 46.2-1078.1. Repealed.

Repealed by 2020, cc. 250 and 543, cl. 2, effective January 1, 2021.

§ 46.2-1079. Radar detectors; demerit points not to be awarded.

A. It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth when such vehicle is equipped with any device or mechanism, passive or active, to detect or purposefully interfere with or diminish the measurement capabilities of any radar, laser, or other device or mechanism employed by law-enforcement personnel to measure the speed of motor vehicles on the highways of the Commonwealth for law-enforcement purposes. It shall be unlawful to use any such device or mechanism on any such motor vehicle on the highways. It shall be unlawful to sell any such device or mechanism in the Commonwealth. However, provisions of this section shall not apply to any receiver of radio waves utilized for lawful purposes to receive any signal from a frequency lawfully licensed by any state or federal agency.

This section shall not be construed to authorize the forfeiture to the Commonwealth of any such device or mechanism. Any such device or mechanism may be taken by the arresting officer if needed as evidence, and, when no longer needed, shall be returned to the person charged with a violation of this section, or at that person's request, and his expense, mailed to an address specified by him. Any unclaimed devices may be destroyed on court order after six months have elapsed from the final date for filing an appeal.

Except as provided in subsection B of this section, the presence of any such prohibited device or mechanism in or on a motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth shall constitute prima facie evidence of the violation of this section. The Commonwealth need not prove that the device or mechanism in question was in an operative condition or being operated.

B. A person shall not be guilty of a violation of this section when the device or mechanism in question, at the time of the alleged offense, had no power source and was not readily accessible for use by the driver or any passenger in the vehicle.

C. This section shall not apply to motor vehicles owned by the Commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof and used by law-enforcement officers in their official duties, nor to the sale of any such device or mechanism to law-enforcement agencies for use in their official duties.

D. No demerit points shall be awarded by the Commissioner for violations of this section. Any demerit points awarded by the Commissioner prior to July 1, 1992, for any violation of this section shall be rescinded and the driving record of any person awarded demerit points for a violation of this section shall be amended to reflect such rescission.

1962, c. 125, § 46.1-198.1; 1975, c. 108; 1976, c. 90; 1978, cc. 87, 91; 1981, c. 303; 1989, c. 727; 1992, c. 825; 1998, c. 300.

§ 46.2-1080. Speedometer in good working order.

It shall be unlawful for any person to possess with intent to sell or offer for sale, either separately or as a part of the equipment of a motor vehicle, or to use or have as a part of the equipment of a motor vehicle, or to use or have as equipment on a motor vehicle operated on a highway any speedometer which is not in good working order.

Code 1950, § 46-311; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-308; 1960, c. 125; 1968, c. 172; 1970, c. 26; 1984, c. 426; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1081. Slow-moving vehicle emblems.

A. Every farm tractor, self-propelled unit of farm equipment or implement of husbandry, and any other vehicle designed for operation at speeds not in excess of 25 miles per hour or normally operated at speeds not in excess of 25 miles per hour, shall display a triangular slow-moving vehicle emblem on the rear of the vehicle when traveling on a public highway at any time of the day or night.

B. Should a slow-moving vehicle tow a unit on a public highway, then the towing vehicle or the towed unit shall be equipped with the slow-moving vehicle emblem as follows:

1. If the towed unit or any load thereon obscures the slow-moving vehicle emblem on the towing vehicle, the towed unit shall be equipped with a slow-moving vehicle emblem, in which case the towing vehicle need not display such emblem.

2. If the slow-moving vehicle emblem on the towing vehicle is not obscured by the towed unit or any load thereon, then either or both such vehicles may be equipped with such emblem.

C. The standards and specifications for the slow-moving vehicle emblem and the position of mounting of the emblem shall conform to standards and specifications adopted by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers, the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American National Standards Institute, Inc., or the federal Department of Transportation.

D. The use of the slow-moving vehicle emblem shall be restricted to the uses specified in this title.

E. The provisions of this section shall not apply to bicycles, electric power-assisted bicycles, mopeds, or motorized skateboards or scooters. Display of a slow-moving vehicle emblem on a bicycle, electric power-assisted bicycle, moped, or motorized skateboard or scooter shall not be deemed a violation of this section.

1970, c. 301, § 46.1-264.1; 1972, c. 146; 1978, c. 605; 1989, c. 727; 1996, c. 82; 2003, cc. 29, 46; 2019, c. 780.

§ 46.2-1082. Mirrors.

No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway in the Commonwealth if the vehicle is not equipped with a mirror which reflects to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of not less than 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle.

No motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth, designed and licensed primarily for passenger vehicular transportation on the public highways and manufactured after 1968 shall be driven on the highways in the Commonwealth unless equipped with at least one outside and at least one inside rear view mirror meeting the requirements of this section.

Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, no motor vehicle which either has no rear window, or which has a rear window so obstructed as to prevent rearward vision by means of an inside rear view mirror, shall be required to be equipped with an inside rear view mirror if such motor vehicle has horizontally and vertically adjustable outside rear view mirrors installed on both sides of such motor vehicle in such a manner as to provide the driver of such motor vehicle a rearward view along both sides of such motor vehicle for at least 200 feet.

Code 1950, § 46-294; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-289; 1968, c. 730; 1980, c. 13; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1083. Rear fenders, flaps, or guards required for certain motor vehicles.

No person shall operate on a highway any motor vehicle or combination of vehicles having a licensed gross weight in excess of 40,000 pounds unless the motor vehicle or combination of vehicles is equipped with rear fenders, flaps, or guards of sufficient size to substantially prevent the projection of rocks, dirt, water, or other substances to the rear. Vehicles used exclusively for hauling logs and tractor trucks shall be exempt from the provisions of this section.

Code 1950, § 46-294.1; 1954, c. 403; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-290; 1960, c. 120; 1981, c. 304; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1084. Vehicle to have securely affixed seat for driver; location of such seat.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive any motor vehicle on a highway in the Commonwealth unless it is equipped with a securely affixed seat for the driver. The seat shall be so located as to permit the driver to adequately control the steering and braking mechanisms and other instruments necessary for the safe operation of the motor vehicle.

1973, c. 56, § 46.1-302.1; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1085. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2003, c. 686.

§ 46.2-1086. Devices for emission of smoke screens, gas projectors or flame throwers; prohibited.

It shall be a Class 6 felony to install or to aid or abet in installing, in any manner, in or on any motor vehicle any device, appliance, equipment, or instrument of any kind, character, or description, or any part of such device, appliance, equipment, or instrument, designed for generating or emitting smoke, thereby creating what is commonly known as a "smoke screen," or of emitting any gas or flame which may be a hindrance or obstruction to traffic. It shall also be a Class 6 felony to knowingly possess or drive on the highways any motor vehicle so equipped.

Additionally, the driver's license of any person convicted of a violation of this section shall be suspended for six months from the date of conviction.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to vehicles used in applying herbicides, insecticides, or pesticides.

Code 1950, § 46-309; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-305; 1962, c. 302; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1087. Forfeiture of vehicles equipped with smoke projectors, etc.

Any motor vehicle found to be equipped with any device, appliance, equipment, or instrument, as mentioned in § 46.2-1086, or equipped for the installation or attachment of any "smoke screen" or gas or flame emitting device, appliance, equipment, or instrument, as so mentioned, shall be forfeited to the Commonwealth, and upon being condemned as forfeited in proceedings under Chapter 22.1 (§ 19.2-386.1 et seq.) of Title 19.2, the proceeds of sale shall be disposed of according to law. No such forfeiture, however, shall take place unless the owner or operator knows that such vehicle is so equipped.

Code 1950, § 46-310; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-306; 1989, c. 727; 2012, cc. 283, 756.

§ 46.2-1088. Air conditioning units.

No motor vehicle operated on any highway shall be equipped with any air conditioning unit unless such device is of a type approved as to safety by the Superintendent. The Superintendent is authorized to promulgate regulations setting specifications relating to the design, construction, installation, maintenance, and use of such air conditioning units. No refrigerant used in such unit shall be explosive, flammable, or toxic, unless the refrigerant is included in the list published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as a safe alternative motor vehicle air conditioning substitute for chloroflourocarbon-12, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 7671 k (c).

Code 1950, § 46-310.1; 1954, c. 217; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-307; 1989, c. 727; 2008, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1088.1. Hood scoops.

No motor vehicle shall be operated on a public highway in the Commonwealth if any hood scoop installed thereon exceeds any of the following dimensions:

1. For any hood scoop installed on any motor vehicle manufactured for the 1990 or earlier model year: thirty-eight inches wide at its widest point, two and one-quarter inches high at its highest point measured from the junction of the dashboard and the windshield, and fifty-two and one-quarter inches long at its longest point.

2. For any hood scoop installed on any motor vehicle manufactured for the 1991 or subsequent model year: thirty-eight inches wide at its widest point, one and one-eighth inches high at its highest point measured from the junction of the dashboard and the windshield, and fifty and one-half inches long at its longest point.

1991, c. 494.

§ 46.2-1088.2. Warning devices required on certain vehicles.

Any self-propelled vehicle used to sell ice cream, snacks and similar products at retail directly from the vehicle in residential neighborhoods shall be equipped with a device or devices, of a type approved by the Superintendent of State Police, in good working order, that, whenever the vehicle is operated in reverse gear, automatically display a light signal and emit an audible alarm signal. The provisions of this section shall not be construed to authorize such vehicles to be equipped with red, blue, or amber warning lights unless authorized under Article 3 (§ 46.2-1010 et seq.) of this chapter.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to vehicles commonly known as "concession trailers," "special events trailers" and similar equipment used to sell or dispense food, soft drinks, bottled water, fruit drinks, wine or malt beverages directly to consumers.

2001, c. 200.

§ 46.2-1088.3. Air bags; installation of other object in lieu of air bag prohibited; manufacture, sale, etc., of counterfeit or nonfunctional air bag prohibited; notice of installation of previously installed airbag required; penalties.

A. As used in this section:

"Counterfeit air bag" means a replacement air bag or a replacement air bag component displaying an unauthorized mark identical or substantially similar to the genuine mark of a motor vehicle manufacturer or a supplier of parts for a motor vehicle manufacturer.

"Nonfunctional air bag" means a replacement air bag that has been previously deployed, damaged, or is otherwise inoperable or that has a fault that is detected by the vehicle diagnostic system after the installation procedure is complete and includes any object, including a counterfeit air bag, intended to deceive the vehicle's owner into believing the object is a functional air bag.

B. Any person who, without the knowledge of the vehicle's owner or the person requesting the installation, reinstallation, or replacement of a motor vehicle air bag, installs or reinstalls any air bag or other component of the vehicle's inflatable restraint system knowing that the air bag installation is not in accordance with federal safety regulations applicable to that specific line-make, model, and model year vehicle is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

C. Any person who, without the knowledge of the vehicle's owner or the person requesting the installation, reinstallation, or replacement of a motor vehicle air bag, installs, reinstalls, or replaces a motor vehicle air bag or other component of the vehicle's inflatable restraint system with an air bag or other component of a vehicle's inflatable restraint system knowing that the air bag was previously installed in another motor vehicle is guilty of a Class 2 misdemeanor.

D. Any person who knowingly manufactures, imports, sells, installs, or reinstalls a counterfeit airbag or nonfunctional air bag, or any device that is intended to conceal a counterfeit air bag or nonfunctional air bag, in a motor vehicle is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

E. The provisions of this section shall not apply to the sale, installation, reinstallation, or replacement of any motor vehicle air bag on vehicles used solely for police work, as described in § 46.2-750.1.

F. Any sale, installation, reinstallation, or replacement of a motor vehicle air bag in violation of this section shall not be construed as a superseding cause that limits the liability of any party in any civil action.

2002, c. 402; 2019, c. 392.

§ 46.2-1088.4. Devices used to supply nitrous oxide to the engines of motor vehicles.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate any motor vehicle on the highways of the Commonwealth if such vehicle is equipped with any device that supplies the vehicle's engine with nitrous oxide, unless the device has been disabled such that the supply of nitrous oxide is disconnected and not readily accessible to the source of delivery.

Violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor.

2004, c. 282.

§ 46.2-1088.5. Reflectors or reflectorized material required on rear end of certain trailers.

There shall be affixed to the rear end of every utility trailer that does not require state inspection either two or more reflectors of a type approved by the Superintendent or at least 100 square inches of solid reflectorized material. The reflectors or reflective material shall be applied so as to outline the rear end of the trailer. For the purposes of this section, "utility trailer" means a trailer whose body and tailgate consist largely or exclusively of a metal mesh.

2004, c. 785; 2005, c. 563.

§ 46.2-1088.6. Motor vehicle recording devices.

A. As used in this section:

"Accessed" means downloaded, extracted, scanned, read, or otherwise retrieved.

"Owner" means a person having all the incidents of ownership, including the legal title of a vehicle whether or not such person lends, rents, or creates a security interest in the vehicle; a person entitled to the possession of a vehicle as the purchaser under a security agreement; or a person entitled to possession of the vehicle as the lessee pursuant to a written lease agreement, provided such agreement at inception is for a period in excess of three months.

"Recorded data" means the data stored or preserved electronically in a recording device identifying performance or operation information about the motor vehicle including, but not limited to:

1. Speed of the motor vehicle or the direction in which the vehicle is traveling, or both;

2. Vehicle location data;

3. Vehicle steering performance;

4. Vehicle brake performance including, but not limited to, whether brakes were applied before a crash;

5. The driver's seatbelt status; and

6. Information concerning a crash in which the motor vehicle has been involved, including the ability to transmit such information to a central communications system.

"Recording device" means an electronic system, and the physical device or mechanism containing the electronic system, that primarily, or incidental to its primary function, preserves or records, in electronic form, data collected by sensors or provided by other systems within the vehicle. "Recording device" includes event data recorders (EDRs), sensing and diagnostic modules (SDMs), electronic control modules (ECMs), automatic crash notification (ACN) systems, geographic information systems (GIS), and any other device that records and preserves data that can be accessed related to that vehicle.

B. Recorded data may only be accessed by the motor vehicle owner or with the consent of the motor vehicle owner or the owner's agent or legal representative; except under the following circumstances:

1. The owner of the motor vehicle or the owner's agent or legal representative has a contract with a third-party subscription service that requires access to a recording device or recorded data in order to perform the contract, so long as the recorded data is only accessed and used in accordance with the contract;

2. A licensed new motor vehicle dealer, or a technician or mechanic at a motor vehicle repair or servicing facility requires access to recorded data in order to carry out his normal and ordinary diagnosing, servicing, and repair duties and such recorded data is used only to perform such duties;

3. The recorded data is accessed by an emergency response provider and is used only for the purpose of determining the need for or facilitating an emergency response. Such persons are authorized to receive data transmitted or communicated by any electronic system of a motor vehicle that constitutes an automatic crash notification system and utilizes or reports data provided by or recorded by recording devices installed on or attached to a motor vehicle to assist them in performing their duties as emergency response providers;

4. Upon authority of a court of competent jurisdiction; or

5. The recorded data is accessed by law enforcement in the course of an investigation where constitutionally permissible and in accordance with any applicable law regarding searches and seizures upon probable cause to believe that the recording device contains evidence relating to a violation of the laws of the Commonwealth or the United States.

C. The consent of the motor vehicle owner or the owner's agent or legal representative for use of recorded data for purposes of investigating a motor vehicle accident or insurance claim shall not be requested or obtained until after the event giving rise to the claim has occurred, and shall not be made a condition of the defense, payment or settlement of an obligation or claim. For underwriting and rating purposes, the motor vehicle owner may provide his consent either directly to the insurer or through and as certified by a named insured.

D. If a person or entity accesses recorded data pursuant to subdivisions B 2 or B 3, such entity or person shall not transmit or otherwise convey the recorded data to a third party unless necessary to carry out their duties thereunder.

E. When the recording device and recorded data are not removed or separated from the motor vehicle, the ownership of the recording device and recorded data survives the sale of the motor vehicle to any nonbeneficial owner such as an insurer, salvage yard, or other person who does not possess and use the motor vehicle for normal transportation purposes.

F. The failure of an insurer to obtain access to the recorded data shall not create, nor shall it be construed to create, an independent or private cause of action in favor of any person.

2006, cc. 851, 889.

Article 11. Paint, Lettering, and Special Equipment for School Buses.

§ 46.2-1089. Paint and lettering on school bus.

School buses shall be painted yellow with the words "School Bus" on the front and rear in letters at least eight inches high. All school buses shall be equipped with warning devices prescribed in § 46.2-1090. Only school buses as defined in § 46.2-100 may be painted yellow, identified by lettering as provided in this section, and equipped with the specified warning devices. A vehicle which merely transports pupils or residents at a school from one point to another without intermittent stops for the purpose of picking up or discharging pupils need not comply with the requirements of this section.

1968, c. 653, § 46.1-286.1; 1974, c. 455; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1089.1. Signs and markings on school buses using alternative fuels.

The State Board of Education may provide by regulation for the display of appropriate signs or other markings on school buses using alternative fuels. Such signs or markings shall conspicuously identify the vehicle as an alternatively fueled vehicle and indicate the type of alternative fuel used. No such sign or marking shall be more than 4 3/4 inches long or more than 3 1/4 inches high.

For the purposes of this section: (i) "alternative fuel" means a motor fuel used as an alternative to gasoline or diesel fuel; (ii) alcohol/gasoline blended fuels which contain less than eighty-five percent ethanol or methanol shall not be considered alternative fuels; and (iii) dual-fuel and bi-fuel vehicles equipped to operate on both a conventional fuel and an alternative fuel shall be considered alternatively fueled vehicles.

Signs and markings provided for under this section shall be in addition to other markings permitted or required by this title.

1993, c. 172.

§ 46.2-1090. Warning devices on school buses; other buses; use thereof; penalties.

Every bus used for the principal purpose of transporting school children shall be equipped with a warning device of such type as may be prescribed by the State Board of Education after consultation with the Superintendent of State Police. Such a warning device shall indicate when such bus is either (i) stopped or about to stop to take on or discharge children, the elderly, or mentally or physically handicapped persons or (ii) stopped or about to stop for another such bus, when approaching from any direction, that is stopped or about to stop to take on or discharge any such persons. Such warning device shall be used and in operation for at least 100 feet before any proposed stop of such bus if the lawful speed limit is less than thirty-five miles per hour, and for at least 200 feet before any proposed stop of such bus if the lawful speed limit is thirty-five miles per hour or more.

For any new bus placed into service on or after July 1, 2007, such warning devices, at a minimum, shall include a nonsequential system of red traffic warning lights, a warning sign with flashing lights, and a crossing control arm such that when the bus door is opened, the red warning lights, warning sign with flashing lights, and crossing control arm are automatically activated.

Failure of a warning device to function on any school bus shall not relieve any person operating a motor vehicle from his duty to stop as provided in §§ 46.2-844 and 46.2-859.

Any person operating such bus who fails or refuses to equip such vehicle being driven by him with such equipment, or who fails to use such warning devices in the operation of such vehicle shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Transit buses used to transport school children in the City of Hampton may be equipped with an advisory sign that extends from the left side of the bus and displays the words: "CAUTION-STUDENTS." Such sign may be equipped with not more than two warning lights of a type approved for use by the Superintendent of State Police.

Code 1950, § 22-280; 1956, c. 213; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-287; 1960, c. 156; 1970, c. 521; 1975, c. 633; 1982, c. 681; 1989, c. 727; 1995, c. 106; 1996, c. 512; 2007, c. 421.

§ 46.2-1090.1. Warning lights on school buses.

In addition to other lights authorized by law, school buses may be equipped with flashing white or amber warning lights of types authorized by the Board of Education after consultation with the Superintendent of State Police. These warning lights shall be installed in a manner authorized by the Board after consultation with the Superintendent and shall be lighted while the bus is transporting school children during periods of reduced visibility caused by atmospheric conditions other than darkness. These warning lights may also be lighted at other times while the bus is transporting school children. Drivers of motor vehicles approaching school buses displaying lighted warning lights authorized in this section shall not be required to stop except as required in §§ 46.2-844 and 46.2-859.

1992, c. 159; 1997, c. 65.

Article 12. Safety Belts.

§ 46.2-1091. Safety belts to be worn by certain bus drivers.

Any person operating a school bus shall wear the appropriate safety belt system when the bus is in motion.

Violation of this section shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor.

1973, c. 66, § 46.1-287.2; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 104.

§ 46.2-1092. Safety lap belts or a combination of lap belts and shoulder harnesses to be installed in certain motor vehicles.

No passenger car or autocycle registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured for the year 1963 or for subsequent years shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless the front seats thereof are equipped with adult safety lap belts or a combination of lap belts and shoulder harnesses of types approved by the Superintendent.

Failure to use the safety lap belts or a combination of lap belts and shoulder harnesses after installation shall not be deemed to be negligence. Nor shall evidence of such nonuse of such devices be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature.

No motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured after January 1, 1968, shall be issued a safety inspection approval sticker if any lap belt, combination of lap belt and shoulder harness, or passive belt systems required to be installed at the time of manufacture by the federal Department of Transportation have been either removed from the motor vehicle or rendered inoperable.

No autocycle registered in the Commonwealth shall be issued a safety inspection sticker if any lap belt, combination of lap belt and shoulder harness, or passive belt systems required to be installed under this section have been either removed from the autocycle or rendered inoperable.

No passenger car, except convertibles, registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured on or after September 1, 1990, shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless the forward-facing rear outboard seats thereof are equipped with rear seat lap/shoulder belts of types required to be installed at the time of manufacture by the federal Department of Transportation.

No passenger car, including convertibles, registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured on or after September 1, 1991, shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless the forward-facing rear outboard seats thereof are equipped with rear seat lap/shoulder belts of types required to be installed at the time of manufacture by the federal Department of Transportation.

No truck, multi-purpose vehicle, or bus, except school buses and motor homes, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less, registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured on or after September 1, 1991, shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless the forward-facing rear outboard seats thereof are equipped with rear seat lap/shoulder belts of types required to be installed at the time of manufacture by the federal Department of Transportation.

Passenger cars, trucks, multipurpose vehicles, and buses, except school buses and motor homes, registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured on or after September 1, 1992, shall not be operated on the highways of the Commonwealth unless equipped with rear seat lap/shoulder belts of types required to be installed at the time of manufacture by the federal Department of Transportation for each forward-facing rear outboard seating position on a readily removable seat.

For the purposes of this section, forward-facing rear outboard seats are defined as those designated seating positions for passengers in outside front facing seats behind the driver and front passenger seats, except any designated seating position adjacent to a walkway that is located between the seat and the near side of the vehicle and is designed to allow access to a more rearward seating position.

The Superintendent of State Police shall include in the Official Motor Vehicle Inspection Regulations a section which identifies each classification of motor vehicle required to be equipped with any of the devices described in the foregoing provisions of this section.

Such regulations shall also include a listing of the exact devices which are required to be installed in each motor vehicle classification and the model year of each motor vehicle classification on which the standards of the federal Department of Transportation first became applicable.

1962, c. 357, § 46.1-309.1; 1964, c. 334; 1966, c. 37; 1968, c. 171; 1970, c. 19; 1980, c. 486; 1982, c. 434; 1989, c. 727; 1992, c. 553; 2014, cc. 53, 256.

§ 46.2-1093. Requirements for safety lap belts, shoulder harnesses and combinations thereof.

Any safety lap belt or shoulder harness or any combination of lap belt and shoulder harness installed in a vehicle shall be designed and installed in such manner as to prevent or materially reduce movement of any person using the same in the event of collision or upset of the vehicle.

The Superintendent shall establish specifications or requirements for approved type safety lap belts and shoulder harnesses or any combination of lap belt and shoulder harness, attachments, and installation, in accordance with the provisions of this section. Such specifications or requirements may be the same as those specifications or requirements for safety lap belts or shoulder harnesses or any combination of lap belt and shoulder harness established by the Civil Aeronautics Administration Technical Standard Orders or regulations established by the Society of Automotive Engineers or the standards of the federal Department of Transportation, for safety lap belts and shoulder harnesses or combination of lap belts and shoulder harnesses.

No person shall sell or offer for sale any safety lap belt, shoulder harness, or any combination of lap belt and shoulder harness or attachments thereto for use in a vehicle, unless of a type which has been approved by the Superintendent.

Code 1950, § 46-312.1; 1956, c. 36; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-310; 1966, c. 37; 1968, c. 171; 1970, c. 20; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1094. Occupants of front seats of motor vehicles required to use safety lap belts and shoulder harnesses; penalty.

A. Any driver, and any other person at least 18 years of age and occupying the front seat, of a motor vehicle equipped or required by the provisions of this title to be equipped with a safety belt system, consisting of lap belts, shoulder harnesses, combinations thereof or similar devices, shall wear the appropriate safety belt system at all times while the motor vehicle is in motion on any public highway. A passenger under the age of 18 years, however, shall be protected as required by the provisions of Article 13 (§ 46.2-1095 et seq.) of this chapter.

B. This section shall not apply to:

1. Any person for whom a licensed physician determines that the use of such safety belt system would be impractical by reason of such person's physical condition or other medical reason, provided the person so exempted carries on his person or in the vehicle a signed written statement of the physician identifying the exempted person and stating the grounds for the exemption; or

2. Any law-enforcement officer transporting persons in custody or traveling in circumstances which render the wearing of such safety belt system impractical; or

3. Any person while driving a motor vehicle and performing the duties of a rural mail carrier for the United States Postal Service; or

4. Any person driving a motor vehicle and performing the duties of a rural newspaper route carrier, newspaper bundle hauler or newspaper rack carrier; or

5. Drivers of and passengers in taxicabs; or

6. Personnel of commercial or municipal vehicles while actually engaged in the collection or delivery of goods or services, including but not limited to solid waste, where such collection or delivery requires the personnel to exit and enter the cab of the vehicle with such frequency and regularity so as to render the use of safety belt systems impractical and the safety benefits derived therefrom insignificant. Such personnel shall resume the use of safety belt systems when actual collection or delivery has ceased or when the vehicle is in transit to or from a point of final disposition or disposal, including but not limited to solid waste facilities, terminals, or other location where the vehicle may be principally garaged; or

7. Any person driving a motor vehicle and performing the duties of a utility meter reader; or

8. Law-enforcement agency personnel driving motor vehicles to enforce laws governing motor vehicle parking.

C. Any person who violates this section shall be subject to a civil penalty of twenty-five dollars to be paid into the state treasury and credited to the Literary Fund. No assignment of demerit points shall be made under Article 19 of Chapter 3 (§ 46.2-489 et seq.) of this title and no court costs shall be assessed for violations of this section.

D. A violation of this section shall not constitute negligence, be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence or be the subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damages arising out of the operation, ownership, or maintenance of a motor vehicle, nor shall anything in this section change any existing law, rule, or procedure pertaining to any such civil action.

E. A violation of this section may be charged on the uniform traffic summons form.

F. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle for a violation of this section. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

G. The governing body of the City of Lynchburg may adopt an ordinance not inconsistent with the provisions of this section, requiring the use of safety belt systems. The penalty for violating any such ordinance shall not exceed a fine or civil penalty of twenty-five dollars.

1987, c. 538, § 46.1-309.2; 1988, cc. 326, 344; 1989, c. 727; 1993, c. 591; 1997, c. 793; 2007, c. 813; 2010, c. 661; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

Article 13. Child Restraints.

§ 46.2-1095. Child restraint devices required when transporting certain children; safety belts for passengers less than 18 years old required.

A. Any person who drives on the highways of Virginia any motor vehicle manufactured after January 1, 1968, shall ensure that any child, up to age eight, whom he transports therein is provided with and properly secured in a child restraint device of a type which meets the standards adopted by the United States Department of Transportation. Such child restraint device shall not be forward-facing until at least (i) the child reaches two years of age or (ii) the child reaches the minimum weight limit for a forward-facing child restraint device as prescribed by the manufacturer of the device. Further, child restraint devices shall be placed in the back seat of a vehicle. In the event the vehicle does not have a back seat, the child restraint device may be placed in the front passenger seat only if the vehicle is either not equipped with a passenger side airbag or the passenger side airbag has been deactivated.

B. Any person transporting another person less than 18 years old, except for those required pursuant to subsection A to be secured in a child restraint device, shall ensure that such person is provided with and properly secured by an appropriate safety belt system when driving on the highways of Virginia in any motor vehicle manufactured after January 1, 1968, equipped or required by the provisions of this title to be equipped with a safety belt system, consisting of lap belts, shoulder harnesses, combinations thereof or similar devices.

C. A violation of this section shall not constitute negligence, be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence or be the subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damages in a civil action.

D. A violation of this section may be charged on the uniform traffic summons form.

E. Nothing in this section shall apply to any person operating taxicabs, school buses, executive sedans, or limousines. The provisions of (i) subsection B shall not apply to any person operating an emergency medical services agency vehicle, fire company vehicle, fire department vehicle, or law-enforcement agency vehicle while in the performance of his official duties and (ii) subsection A shall not apply to any person operating any such vehicle in the performance of his official duties, under exigent circumstances, provided that no child restraint device is readily available.

1982, c. 634, § 46.1-314.2; 1984, c. 280; 1986, c. 283; 1989, c. 727; 1992, cc. 119, 405; 1997, c. 793; 2000, c. 736; 2002, cc. 358, 616, 660; 2007, cc. 91, 935; 2010, c. 661; 2018, c. 402; 2019, cc. 196, 319.

§ 46.2-1096. Exceptions for certain children.

Whenever any physician licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth or any other state determines, through accepted medical procedures, that use of a child restraint system by a particular child would be impractical by reason of the child's weight or height, physical unfitness, or other medical reason, the child shall be exempt from the provisions of this article. Any person transporting a child so exempted shall carry on his or her person or in the vehicle a signed written statement of the physician identifying the child so exempted and stating the grounds therefor.

1982, c. 634, § 46.1-314.3; 1983, c. 296; 1989, c. 727; 2018, c. 402.

§ 46.2-1097. Child restraint devices; special fund created.

The Department of Health shall operate a program to promote, purchase, and distribute child restraint devices to applicants who need a child restraint device but are unable to acquire one because of financial inability. A special fund, known as the Child Restraint Device Special Fund, shall fund the program. The Department of Health shall determine the number of child restraint devices that can be purchased by the program, based upon the amount of funds in the Child Restraint Device Special Fund, provided, however, that the requirements of the Virginia Public Procurement Act (§ 2.2-4300 et seq.) shall not apply to child restraint device purchases by the Department of Health pursuant to this section. The Child Restraint Device Special Fund shall consist of all civil penalties that are collected pursuant to § 46.2-1098 and other funds that may be appropriated for that purpose.

1982, c. 634, § 46.1-314.4; 1984, c. 778; 1986, c. 283; 1989, c. 727; 1996, c. 145.

§ 46.2-1098. Penalties; violations not negligence per se.

Any person, including those subject to jurisdiction of a juvenile and domestic relations district court, found guilty of violating this article shall be subject to a civil penalty of $50, which shall not be suspended in whole or in part, for a violation of § 46.2-1095; however, any person found guilty of violating § 46.2-1095 a second or subsequent time when the violations occurred on different dates shall be subject to a civil penalty of up to $500. An additional civil penalty of $20 shall be imposed for failure to carry a statement as required by § 46.2-1096. Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of § 46.2-1095, the court may waive or suspend the imposition of the penalty for a violation of § 46.2-1095 if it finds that the failure of the defendant to comply with the section was due to his financial inability to acquire a child restraint system. All civil penalties collected pursuant to this section shall be paid into the Child Restraint Device Special Fund as provided for in § 46.2-1097.

No assignment of demerit points shall be made under Article 19 (§ 46.2-489 et seq.) of Chapter 3 of this title and no court costs shall be assessed for violation of § 46.2-1095.

Violations of this article shall not constitute negligence per se; nor shall violation of this article constitute a defense to any claim for personal injuries to a child or recovery of medical expenses for injuries sustained in any motor vehicle accident.

1982, c. 634, § 46.1-314.5; 1989, c. 727; 1992, cc. 119, 405; 2002, c. 358; 2008, c. 714.

§ 46.2-1099. Further exemptions.

This article shall not apply to:

The transporting of any child in a vehicle having an interior design which makes the use of such device impractical; or

The transporting of children by public transportation, bus, school bus, or farm vehicle.

For the purposes of this section, "farm vehicle" means a vehicle which is either (i) exempt from registration pursuant to §§ 46.2-664, 46.2-665, 46.2-666, 46.2-667, 46.2-670, or § 46.2-672, (ii) registered as a farm vehicle pursuant to § 46.2-698, or (iii) owned by a resident of another state under whose laws the vehicle is either registered as a farm vehicle or exempt from registration by virtue of its use as a farm vehicle.

1982, c. 634, § 46.1-314.6; 1989, c. 727; 1992, cc. 119, 405; 1993, c. 181.

§ 46.2-1100. Use of standard seat belts permitted for certain children.

The use of a seat belt of the type which is standard equipment shall not violate this article if (i) the affected child is at least four years old but less than eight years old and (ii) any physician licensed to practice medicine in the Commonwealth or any other state determines that use of a child restraint system by a particular child would be impractical by reason of the child's weight, physical fitness, or other medical reason, provided that any person transporting a child so exempted shall carry on his person or in the vehicle a signed written statement of the physician identifying the child so exempted and stating the grounds for the determination.

1982, c. 634, § 46.1-314.7; 1989, c. 727; 2002, cc. 616, 660; 2007, cc. 91, 935.

Article 14. Maximum Vehicle Size, Generally.

§ 46.2-1101. Limitations applicable throughout Commonwealth; alteration by local authorities.

The maximum size and weight of vehicles specified in Articles 14 through 17 (§ 46.2-1101 et seq.) of this chapter shall apply throughout the Commonwealth. Local authorities shall not alter such limitations except as expressly authorized in this title.

Code 1950, § 46-325; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-327; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1102. Size and weight limitations inapplicable to farm machinery, agricultural multipurpose drying units, and firefighting equipment; amber warning lights.

A. Except when restricted by bridge capacity in § 46.2-1104, the vehicle size and weight limitations contained in Articles 14 through 17 (§ 46.2-1101 et seq.) of this chapter shall not apply to (i) any farm machinery or agricultural multipurpose drying unit when such farm machinery or agricultural multipurpose drying unit is temporarily propelled, hauled, transported, or moved on the highway by a farm machinery distributor or dealer, fertilizer distributor, or farmer in the ordinary course of business or (ii) firefighting equipment of any county, city, town, or firefighting company or association. Any farm tractor or agricultural multipurpose drying unit wider than 108 inches, however, which is so propelled, hauled, transported, or moved on the highway shall be equipped with a safety light of a type approved by the Superintendent of State Police. The light shall be plainly visible from the rear of the tractor or agricultural multipurpose drying unit.

No firefighting equipment of any county, city, or town, or firefighting company or association may be operated on any Interstate Highway System component if it exceeds the weight limitations in § 46.2-1127.1. No overweight farm machinery or agricultural multipurpose drying unit under this section shall be operated on any Interstate Highway System component if the vehicle has:

1. A single axle weight in excess of 20,000 pounds;

2. A tandem axle weight in excess of 34,000 pounds;

3. A gross weight, based on axle spacing, greater than that permitted in § 46.2-1126; or

4. A gross weight, regardless of axle spacing, in excess of 80,000 pounds.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A, any farm tractor or other farm, agricultural, or horticultural vehicle wider than 108 inches may be equipped with an amber flashing, blinking, or alternating warning light as provided in § 46.2-1025. Any such light may be installed in lieu of or in addition to the safety light described in subsection A. The absence of amber flashing, blinking, or alternating warning lights on any farm tractor or other farm, agricultural, or horticultural vehicle, as authorized under this subsection, shall not constitute negligence, be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature, be admissible in evidence or be the subject of comment by counsel in any action for the recovery of damages arising out of the operation, ownership, or maintenance of any motor vehicle or farm tractor, nor shall anything in this section change any existing law, rule, or procedure pertaining to any such civil action.

Code 1950, § 46-326; 1950, p. 982; 1952, c. 403; 1956, c. 483; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-332; 1962, c. 197; 1973, c. 183; 1974, c. 361; 1989, c. 727; 1993, c. 151; 1997, c. 149; 2011, c. 331; 2020, c. 975.

§ 46.2-1103. Greater size, weight, and load limits permitted by interstate commerce regulations.

If a federal regulation of interstate commerce permits the use in interstate commerce over the highways of Virginia or any of them, of a greater size, weight, or load limit than prescribed in this title, the Board shall prescribe a similar size, weight, and load limit for vehicles in intrastate commerce operated over the same highways.

1958, c. 541, § 46.1-344; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1104. Reduction of limits by Commissioner of Highways and local authorities; penalties.

The Commissioner of Highways, acting through employees of the Department of Transportation, may prescribe the weight, width, height, length, or speed of any vehicle or combination of vehicles passing over any highway or section of highway or bridge constituting a part of the interstate, primary, or secondary system of highways. Any limitations thus prescribed may be less than those prescribed in this title whenever an engineering study discloses that it would promote the safety of travel or is necessary for the protection of any such highway.

If the reduction of limits as provided in this section is to be effective for more than 90 days, a written record of this reduction shall be kept on file at the central office of the Department of Transportation. In instances where the limits, including speed limits, are to be temporarily reduced, the representative of the Department of Transportation in the county wherein such highway is located shall immediately notify the Chief Engineer for the Department of Transportation of such reduction. The Chief Engineer shall either affirm or rescind the action of reducing such limits within five days from the date the limits have been posted as hereinafter provided. A list of all highways on which there has been a reduction of limits as herein provided shall be kept on file at the central office of the Department of Transportation. Anyone aggrieved by such reduction of limits may appeal directly to the Commissioner of Highways for redress, and if he affirms the action of reducing such limits, the Commonwealth Transportation Board shall afford any such aggrieved person the opportunity of being heard at its next regular meeting.

The local authorities of counties, cities, and towns, where the highways are under their jurisdiction, may adopt regulations or pass ordinances decreasing the weight limits prescribed in this title for a total period of no more than 90 days in any calendar year, when an engineering study discloses that operation over such highways or streets by reason of deterioration, rain, snow, or other climatic conditions will seriously damage such highways unless such weights are reduced.

In all instances where the limits for weight, size, or speed have been reduced by the Commissioner of Highways or the weights have been reduced by local authorities pursuant to this section, signs stating the weight, height, width, length, or speed permitted on such highway shall be erected at each end of the section of highway affected and no such reduced limits shall be effective until such signs have been posted.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, it shall be unlawful to operate a vehicle or combination of vehicles on any public highway or section thereof when the weight, size, or speed thereof exceeds the maximum posted by authority of the Commissioner of Highways or local authorities pursuant to this section.

Any violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a Class 2 misdemeanor. Furthermore, the vehicle or combination of vehicles involved in such violation may be held upon an order of the court until all fines and costs have been satisfied.

Code 1950, §§ 46-340, 46-341; 1952, cc. 137, 237; 1958, c. 600, § 46.1-345; 1966, c. 85; 1968, c. 218; 1989, c. 727; 2005, c. 645; 2013, c. 118.

Article 15. Maximum Vehicle Widths and Heights.

§ 46.2-1105. Width of vehicles generally; exceptions.

A. No vehicle, including any load thereon, but excluding the mirror required by § 46.2-1082 and any warning device installed on a school bus pursuant to § 46.2-1090, shall exceed a total outside width as follows:

1. Passenger bus operated in an incorporated city or town when authorized under § 46.2-1300 -- 102 inches;

2. School buses -- 100 inches;

3. Vehicles hauling boats or other watercraft -- 102 inches;

4. Other vehicles -- 102 inches.

B. Notwithstanding subsection A, a travel trailer as defined in § 46.2-1500 or a motor home may exceed 102 inches if such excess width is attributable to an appurtenance that extends no more than six inches beyond the body of the vehicle. For the purposes of this subsection, "appurtenance" includes (i) an awning and its support hardware and (ii) any appendage that is installed by the manufacturer or dealer intended to be an integral part of a motor home or travel trailer, but does not include any item that is temporarily attached to the exterior of the vehicle by the vehicle's owner for the purposes of transporting the item from one location to another.

Code 1950, § 46-326; 1950, p. 982; 1952, c. 403; 1956, c. 483; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-328; 1960, c. 591; 1968, c. 333; 1973, c. 183; 1979, c. 70; 1983, c. 515; 1985, c. 426; 1986, c. 72; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 819; 1996, cc. 446, 506; 2001, c. 151; 2015, c. 615.

§ 46.2-1106. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2020, c. 707, cl. 1.

§ 46.2-1108. Bus widths to comply with federal law.

If federal law permits the operation of passenger buses wider than 96 inches on the interstate highway system, the Commissioner of Highways may permit the operation of passenger buses of a total outside width, excluding the mirror required by § 46.2-1082, of more than 96 inches, but not exceeding more than 102 inches, on interstate and defense highways or any other four lane divided highways under the jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The use of any other state highways between the aforesaid highways and the passenger bus terminals may be permitted upon application to the Commissioner of Highways by the governing body of any county, city, or town in which such other highways are located. Any such increase in width of passenger buses or designation of highways to be used by them shall not exceed the federal law which may hereafter be adopted, or jeopardize the Commonwealth's allotment of or qualification for federal aid highway funds.

Code 1950, § 46-326; 1950, p. 982; 1952, c. 403; 1956, c. 483; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-328; 1960, c. 591; 1968, c. 333; 1973, c. 183; 1979, c. 70; 1983, c. 515; 1985, c. 426; 1986, c. 72; 1989, c. 727; 2013, cc. 585, 646.

§ 46.2-1109. Widths of commercial vehicles.

No commercial vehicle shall exceed 102 inches in width when operating on any interstate highway or on any highway designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The width limitation in this section shall not include rear view mirrors, turn signal lights, handholds for cab entry and egress, splash suppressant devices, and load-induced tire bulge. Safety devices, with the exception of rear view mirrors, shall not extend more than three inches on each side of a vehicle. The Commissioner of Highways shall designate reasonable access to terminals, facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest. Household goods carriers and any tractor truck semitrailer combination in which the semitrailer has a length of no more than twenty-eight and one-half feet shall not be denied reasonable access to points of loading and unloading, except as designated, based on safety considerations, by the Commissioner of Highways. No reasonable access designation shall be made, however, until notice of any proposed designation has been provided by the Commissioner of Highways to the governing body of every locality wherein any highway affected by the proposed designation is located.

For the purposes of this section, a commercial vehicle is defined as a loaded or empty motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer designed or regularly used for carrying freight, merchandise, or more than ten passengers, including buses, but not including vehicles used for vanpools.

1986, c. 72, § 46.1-328.1; 1989, cc. 645, 727; 1994, c. 456; 1997, c. 773; 2013, cc. 585, 646.

§ 46.2-1110. Height of vehicles; damage to overhead obstruction; penalty.

No loaded or unloaded vehicle shall exceed a height of 13 feet, six inches.

Nothing contained in this section shall require either the public authorities or railroad companies to provide vertical clearances of overhead bridges or structures in excess of 12 feet, six inches, or to make any changes in the vertical clearances of existing overhead bridges or structures crossing highways. The driver or owner of vehicles on highways shall be held financially responsible for any damage to overhead bridges or structures that results from collisions therewith.

The driver or owner of any vehicle colliding with an overhead bridge or structure shall immediately notify, either in person or by telephone, a law-enforcement officer or the public authority or railroad company, owning or maintaining such overhead bridge or structure of the fact of such collision, and his name, address, driver's license number, and the registration number of his vehicle. Failure to give such notice immediately, either in person or by telephone, shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor.

On any highway maintained by the Department of Transportation over which there is a bridge or structure having a vertical clearance of less than 14 feet, the Commissioner of Highways shall have at least two signs erected setting forth the height of the bridge or structure. Such signs shall be located at least 1,500 feet ahead of the bridge or structure.

On any highway maintained by a county, city, or town over which a bridge or structure has a vertical clearance of less than 14 feet, the local governing body shall have at least two signs erected setting forth the height of the bridge or structure. Such signs shall be located at least 1,500 feet ahead of the bridge or structure.

The Department of Transportation may install and use overheight vehicle optical detection systems to identify vehicles that exceed the overhead clearance of the westbound tunnel of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel on Interstate 64. When the optical system sensor located closest to the westbound tunnel entrance is used in identifying such vehicles, the system shall be installed at the specified height as determined by measurement standards that have been certified by the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, and are traceable to national standards of measurement. Such identification by such system shall, for all purposes of law, be equivalent to having measured the height of the vehicle with a tape measure or other measuring device. When an employee of the Department of Transportation or the Department of State Police identifies a vehicle whose height exceeds 13 feet, six inches and whose driver is driving or attempting to drive through the westbound tunnel of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel on Interstate 64, the driver of such vehicle may elect to wait until the end of peak traffic periods, as determined by the Department of Transportation, so that the Department of Transportation or Department of State Police may safely stop traffic and allow such vehicle to proceed in the opposite direction. If the driver does not elect to wait, he shall be subject to the penalties under this section.

Any person who drives or attempts to drive any vehicle or combination of vehicles into or through any tunnel when the height of such vehicle, any vehicle in a combination of vehicles, or any load on any such vehicle exceeds that permitted for such tunnel, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, in addition, shall be assessed three driver demerit points. In addition, the driver of any such vehicle shall be fined $1,000, of which $1,000 shall be a mandatory minimum. For subsequent offenses, the owner of any such vehicle shall be fined $2,500, of which $2,500 shall be a mandatory minimum.

A violation of this section shall be deemed for all purposes a moving violation.

Code 1950, § 46-327; 1950, p. 480; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-329; 1962, c. 85; 1984, c. 780; 1989, c. 727; 2001, c. 94; 2005, cc. 542, 543; 2006, Sp. Sess. I, c. 6; 2011, c. 620; 2015, c. 181.

§ 46.2-1111. Extension of loads beyond line of fender or body.

No vehicle shall carry any load extending more than six inches beyond the line of the fender or body. Nor shall such load exceed a total outside width as prescribed by §§ 46.2-1105 through 46.2-1109.

Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this section, watercraft carried on vehicles may extend more than six inches beyond the line of the fender or body of such vehicle if the total width of watercraft and the carrier upon which it is carried does not exceed seventy-six inches.

Code 1950, § 46-330; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-334; 1960, c. 280; 1979, c. 526; 1989, c. 727.

Article 16. Maximum Vehicle Lengths.

§ 46.2-1112. Length of vehicles, generally; special permits; vehicle combinations, etc., operating on certain highways; penalty.

No motor vehicle longer than 40 feet shall be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth except for buses and motor homes. The actual length of any combination of vehicles, including motor homes and buses, coupled together including any load thereon shall not exceed a total of 65 feet. However, the length of a tractor truck semitrailer combination may exceed 65 feet in length, provided the semitrailer does not exceed 53 feet in length and the distance between the kingpin of the semitrailer and the rearmost axle or a point midway between the rear tandem axles does not exceed 41 feet. The Commissioner of Highways may impose restrictions on the operation of vehicles exceeding 65 feet in length on certain roads, based on a safety and engineering analysis. No bus or motor home longer than 45 feet shall be operated on any highway in the Commonwealth. No tolerance shall be allowed that exceeds 12 inches.

The Commissioner, however, when good cause is shown, may issue a special permit for combinations either in excess of 65 feet, including any load thereon, or where the object or objects to be carried cannot be moved otherwise. Such permits may also be issued by the Department when the total number of otherwise overdimensional loads of modular housing of no more than two units may be reduced by permitting the use of an overlength trailer not exceeding 54 feet. No permit shall be issued by the Commissioner until an engineering analysis of a proposed routing has been conducted by the Commissioner of Highways to assess the ability of the roadway to be traversed to sustain the vehicle's size.

No overall length restrictions, however, shall be imposed on any tractor truck semitrailer combinations drawing one trailer or any tractor truck semitrailer combinations when operated on any interstate highway or on any highway as designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. No such designation shall be made, however, until notice of any proposed designation has been provided by the Commissioner of Highways to the governing body of every locality wherein any highway affected by the proposed designation is located.

No individual semitrailer or trailer being drawn in a tractor truck semitrailer trailer combination, however, shall exceed 28 1/2 feet in length, and no semitrailer being operated in a tractor truck semitrailer combination shall exceed 48 feet in length, except when semitrailers have a distance of not more than 41 feet between the kingpin of the semitrailer and the rearmost axle or a point midway between the rear tandem axles, such semitrailer shall be allowed not more than 53 feet in length.

The length limitations on semitrailers and trailers in the foregoing provisions of this section shall be exclusive of safety and energy conservation devices, steps and handholds for entry and egress, rubber dock guards, flexible fender extensions, mudflaps, refrigeration units, and air compressors. The Commissioner of Highways shall designate reasonable access to terminals, facilities for food, fuel, repairs and rest. Household goods carriers and any tractor truck semitrailer combination in which the semitrailer has a length of no more than 28 1/2 feet shall not be denied reasonable access to points of loading and unloading, except as designated, based on safety considerations, by the Commissioner of Highways.

Any person operating a vehicle whose length is not in conformity with the provisions of this chapter on a two-lane highway where passing is permitted shall be guilty of a traffic infraction and fined $250.

Code 1950, § 46-328; 1950, p. 665; 1952, c. 342; 1956, cc. 476, 483; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-330; 1962, c. 113; 1966, c. 59; 1972, c. 446; 1974, c. 664; 1975, c. 104; 1978, c. 254; 1983, c. 515; 1985, c. 426; 1986, c. 417; 1989, cc. 644, 645, 727; 1993, c. 984; 1994, c. 456; 1995, c. 71; 1997, c. 773; 2001, c. 151; 2003, c. 314; 2005, c. 262; 2006, cc. 210, 232; 2013, cc. 585, 646; 2016, c. 122.

§ 46.2-1113. Length exceptions for certain passenger buses and motor homes.

Passenger buses and motor homes longer than thirty-five feet, but not longer than forty-five feet, may be operated on the streets of cities and towns when authorized pursuant to § 46.2-1300. Passenger buses and motor homes may exceed the forty-five-foot limitation when such excess length is caused by the projection of a front or rear safety bumper or both. Such safety bumper shall not cause the length of the bus to exceed the maximum legal limit by more than one foot in the front and one foot in the rear. "Safety bumper" means any device which may be fitted on an existing bumper or which replaces the bumper and is so constructed, treated, or manufactured to absorb energy upon impact.

Code 1950, § 46-328; 1950, p. 665; 1952, c. 342; 1956, cc. 476, 483; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-330; 1962, c. 113; 1966, c. 59; 1972, c. 446; 1974, c. 664; 1975, c. 104; 1978, c. 254; 1983, c. 515; 1985, c. 426; 1986, c. 417; 1989, c. 727; 1993, c. 984; 2001, c. 151.

§ 46.2-1114. Length of watercraft transporters; operation on certain highways.

Watercraft transporters shall not exceed a length of 65 feet when operated on any interstate highway or on any highway as designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Stinger-steered watercraft transporters shall not exceed a length of 75 feet when operated on any interstate highway or on any highway designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. In addition, watercraft may be transported on a truck/trailer combination no more than 65 feet long when operated on any interstate highway or on any highway designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. Any such vehicle shall display a sign of a size and type approved by the Commissioner of Highways warning that the vehicle is an over-length vehicle. However, an additional three-foot overhang shall be allowed beyond the front and a four-foot overhang shall be allowed beyond the rear of the vehicle. Such combinations shall have reasonable access to terminals, facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest as designated by the Commissioner of Highways.

1986, c. 72, § 46.1-330.1; 1989, cc. 645, 727; 1994, c. 456; 2013, cc. 585, 646; 2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1114.1. Length of automobile transporters; operation on certain highways.

Automobile transporters shall not exceed a length of 65 feet when operated on any interstate highway or on any highway designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board and stinger-steered automobile transporters shall not exceed a length of 80 feet when operated on the national network of interstate and primary highways as defined in 23 CFR 658.5, as amended. Any such vehicle shall display a sign of a size and type approved by the Commissioner of Highways warning that the vehicle is an over-length vehicle. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 46.2-1120, a four-foot overhang shall be allowed beyond the front and a six-foot overhang shall be allowed beyond the rear of the vehicle. Such combinations shall have reasonable access to terminals, facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest as designated by the Commissioner of Highways.

2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1115. Lengths of manufactured homes or house trailers.

The actual length of any combination of a towing vehicle and any manufactured home or house trailer, coupled together, shall not exceed a total length of sixty-five feet, including coupling.

Code 1950, § 46-328.1; 1956, c. 86; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-331; 1985, c. 426; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 39, 146; 1999, c. 77.

§ 46.2-1116. Vehicles having more than one trailer, etc., attached thereto; exceptions.

Except as provided in this section and § 46.2-1117, no motor vehicle shall be driven on a highway while drawing or having attached thereto more than one motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer unless such vehicle is being operated under a special permit from the Commissioner of Highways. This limitation, however, shall not apply between sunrise and sunset to farm trailers or semitrailers being moved from one farm to another farm owned or operated by the same person within a radius of 10 miles. This limitation also shall not apply to a combination of vehicles coupled together by a saddle mount device used to transport motor vehicles in a drive-away service when not more than two saddle mounts are used. Vehicles coupled together by not more than three saddle mounts shall not exceed 75 feet when operated on any primary highway as designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board and shall not exceed 97 feet when operated on the National Network of interstate and primary highways as designated under 23 CFR 658.5, as amended. Use of saddle mounts as provided in this section shall be in conformity with safety regulations adopted by the federal Department of Transportation.

The Commissioner of Highways shall designate reasonable access to terminals and facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest.

The governing body of any city may by ordinance permit motor vehicles to be driven on the highways of their respective cities while drawing or having attached thereto more than one other vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer.

Code 1950, § 46-331; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-335; 1962, c. 575; 1964, c. 286; 1966, c. 373; 1974, c. 580; 1978, c. 254; 1983, c. 515; 1985, c. 426; 1986, c. 72; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 456; 1996, c. 340; 2010, c. 24; 2013, cc. 585, 646.

§ 46.2-1117. Tractor truck semitrailer combinations operating on certain highways; access to certain facilities.

A tractor truck semitrailer combination may draw one trailer when operating on any interstate highway and any highway as designated by the Commonwealth Transportation Board. The Commissioner of Highways shall designate reasonable access to terminals, facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest, and points of loading and unloading for carriers of household goods.

1983, c. 515, § 46.1-335.1; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 456; 2013, cc. 585, 646.

§ 46.2-1117.1. Commercial delivery of towaway trailers.

A. For the purposes of this section:

"Towaway trailer transporter combination" means a combination of vehicles consisting of a trailer transporting towing unit and two trailers or semitrailers that carry no property and constitute inventory property of a manufacturer, distributor, or dealer of such trailers or semitrailers.

"Trailer transporting towing unit" means a power unit that is not used to carry property when operating in a towaway trailer transporter combination.

B. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-1116 and 46.2-1117, a towaway trailer transporter combination may operate with a length of not more than 82 feet and a gross weight of not more than 26,000 pounds. When operating on a highway other than an interstate highway, the operator shall comply with flashing high-intensity amber warning light requirements of § 46.2-1026 if such combination exceeds 75 feet long.

2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1118. Connection between vehicles; tow trucks towing vehicles by means of a wheel lift apparatus.

The connection between any two vehicles, one of which is towing or drawing the other on a highway, shall consist of a fifth wheel, drawbar, trailer hitch, or other similar device not to exceed 15 feet in length from one vehicle to the other. Any such two vehicles shall, in addition to such drawbar or other similar device, be equipped at all times when so operated on the highway with an emergency chain or cable that is structurally adequate to securely stop and hold the trailer being towed.

The fifth wheel, drawbar, trailer hitch, or similar device must (i) be structurally adequate for the weight being drawn, (ii) be properly and securely mounted, (iii) provide for adequate articulation at the connection without excessive slack at that location, and (iv) be provided with a locking device that prevents accidental separation of the towed and towing vehicles. The mounting of the fifth wheel, drawbar, trailer hitch, or similar device on the towing vehicle must include reinforcement or bracing of the frame sufficient to produce strength and rigidity of the frame to prevent its undue distortion.

The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to (i) any farm tractor, as defined in § 46.2-100, when such farm tractor is towing any farm implement or farm machinery by means of a drawbar coupled with a safety hitch pin or manufacturer's coupling device or (ii) any tow truck towing a vehicle by means of a wheel lift apparatus that employs a safety strap to hold two of the towed vehicle's wheels within a wheel lift cradle in a manner consistent with instructions of the manufacturer of such wheel lift apparatus.

For the purposes of this section, "tow truck" means any motor vehicle that is constructed and used primarily for towing, lifting, or otherwise moving illegally parked or disabled vehicles.

Code 1950, § 46-332; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-336; 1982, c. 189; 1985, c. 426; 1989, c. 727; 2003, c. 414; 2010, c. 614.

§ 46.2-1119. Tow dolly and converter gear.

No axle-like device, commonly called a "tow dolly," used to support the front or rear wheels of a passenger vehicle or pick-up or panel truck for towing purposes, and no axle-like device, commonly called "converter gear," on which is mounted a fifth wheel used to convert a semitrailer to a full trailer, shall be considered vehicles. Either such device, when used on the public highways, shall be equipped with a safety chain or chains of a strength to restrain the device and vehicle being towed, should the connection fail. In addition, either device, when moved on the public highway, shall be equipped with rear marker lights or reflectors when towed without a load. When a tow dolly or converter gear is used to tow a vehicle, the towed vehicle must comply with all requirements of law pertaining to towed vehicles.

1984, c. 182, § 46.1-336.1; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1120. Extension of loads beyond front of vehicles.

A. As used in this section, "self-propelled pole carrier" means a motor vehicle that is (i) operated by a public utility company as defined in § 56-265.1, or its agents, (ii) designed to carry a pole at a height of at least five feet when measured from the bottom of the brace used to carry the pole, and (iii) carrying no more than two utility poles.

B. Except as provided in subsection C, no vehicle shall carry any load extending more than three feet beyond the front of such vehicle.

C. Any utility pole carried by a self-propelled pole carrier may extend beyond the front overhang limit set by this section if the pole is no more than 55 feet in length, the pole cannot be dismembered and does not extend more than 10 feet beyond the front bumper of the vehicle, and either:

1. Between sunrise and sunset, the front of the pole is marked by a flag of the type required under § 46.2-1121 on the rear of certain loads; or

2. Between sunset and sunrise, operation of the vehicle is required to make emergency repairs to utility service, and the front of the pole is marked by a light of the type required under § 46.2-1121 on the rear of certain loads.

Code 1950, § 46-329; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-333; 1989, c. 727; 2013, cc. 242, 385.

§ 46.2-1121. Flag or light at end of load.

Whenever the load on any vehicle extends more than four feet beyond the rear of the bed or body thereof, there shall be displayed at the end of the load, in such a position as to be clearly visible at all times from the rear of the load, a red flag, not less than twelve inches, both in length and width. Between sunset and sunrise, however, there shall be displayed at the end of the load a red light plainly visible in clear weather at least 500 feet to the sides and rear of the vehicle.

Code 1950, § 46-304; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-300; 1989, c. 727.

Article 17. Maximum Vehicle Weights.

§ 46.2-1122. Definitions.

For the purposes of this article the following terms shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Single axle" means an assembly of two or more wheels whose centers are in one transverse vertical plane or may be included between two parallel transverse vertical planes forty inches apart, extending across the full width of the vehicle.

"Tandem axle" means any two or more consecutive axles whose centers are more than forty inches but not more than ninety-six inches apart, and are individually attached to and/or articulated from a common attachment to the vehicle including a connecting mechanism designed to equalize the load between axles.

"Single axle weight" means the total weight transmitted to the highway by all wheels whose centers may be included between two parallel transverse vertical planes forty inches apart, extending across the full width of the vehicle.

"Tandem axle weight" means the total weight transmitted to the highway by two or more consecutive axles whose centers may be included between parallel transverse vertical planes spaced more than forty inches and not more than ninety-six inches apart, extending across the full width of the vehicle.

"Group of axles" means any two or more consecutive axles located under a vehicle or combination.

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1123. Weight of vehicles and loads.

The maximum gross weight and axle weight to be permitted on the road surface of any highway shall be in accordance with the provisions of this article. Any notice by the Department of Transportation to truckers as to the provisions of this article shall include all limits as provided in this article.

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1124. Maximum single axle weight, generally; maximum weight per inch of tire width.

The single axle weight of any vehicle or combination shall not exceed 20,000 pounds, nor shall it exceed 650 pounds per inch, width of tire, measured in contact with the surface of the highway.

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1125. Maximum tandem axle weight, generally.

The tandem axle weight of any vehicle or combination shall not exceed 34,000 pounds, and no one axle of such tandem unit shall exceed the weight permitted for a single axle. Furthermore, the weight imposed on the highway by two or more consecutive axles, individually attached to the vehicle and spaced not less than forty inches nor more than ninety-six inches apart, shall not exceed 34,000 pounds and no one axle of such unit shall exceed the weight permitted for a single axle.

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1126. Maximum gross weight, generally.

Except as provided in § 46.2-1128, the gross weight imposed on the highway by a vehicle or combination shall not exceed the maximum weight given for the respective distance between the first and last axle of the vehicle or combination, nor shall any two or more consecutive axles exceed the maximum weight given, when measured longitudinally with any fraction of a foot rounded to the next highest as set forth in the following table:

aDistance in feet between the extremes of any group of two or more consecutive axlesor Maximum weight in pounds on any group of axles
b

 

2 axles3 axles4 axles5 axles6 axles7 axles
c434,000

 

 

 

 

 

d534,000

 

 

 

 

 

e634,000

 

 

 

 

 

f734,000

 

 

 

 

 

g834,00034,000

 

 

 

 

h939,00042,500

 

 

 

 

i1040,00043,500

 

 

 

 

j11

 

44,000

 

 

 

 

k12

 

45,00050,000

 

 

 

l13

 

45,00050,500

 

 

 

m14

 

46,50051,500

 

 

 

n15

 

47,00052,000

 

 

 

o16

 

48,00052,50058,000

 

 

p17

 

48,50053,50058,500

 

 

q18

 

49,50054,00059,000

 

 

r19

 

50,00054,50060,000

 

 

s20

 

51,00055,50060,50066,000

 

t21

 

51,50056,00061,00066,500

 

u22

 

52,50056,50061,50067,000

 

v23

 

53,00057,50062,50068,000

 

w24

 

54,00058,00063,00068,50074,000
x25

 

54,50058,50063,50069,00074,500
y26

 

55,50059,50064,00069,50075,000
z27

 

56,00060,00065,00070,00075,500
aa28

 

57,00060,50065,50071,00076,500
ab29

 

57,50061,50066,00071,50077,000
ac30

 

58,50062,00066,50072,00077,500
ad31

 

59,00062,50067,50072,50078,000
ae32

 

60,00063,50068,00073,00078,500
af33

 

 

64,00068,50074,00079,000
ag34

 

 

64,50069,00074,50080,000
ah35

 

 

65,50070,00075,000

 

ai36

 

 

66,00070,50075,500

 

aj37

 

 

66,50071,00076,000

 

ak38

 

 

67,50072,00077,000

 

al39

 

 

68,00072,50077,500

 

am40

 

 

68,50073,00078,000

 

an41

 

 

69,50073,50078,500

 

ao42

 

 

70,00074,00079,000

 

ap43

 

 

70,50075,00080,000

 

aq44

 

 

71,50075,500

 

 

ar45

 

 

72,00076,000

 

 

as46

 

 

72,50076,500

 

 

at47

 

 

73,50077,500

 

 

au48

 

 

74,00078,000

 

 

av49

 

 

74,50078,500

 

 

aw50

 

 

75,50079,000

 

 

ax51

 

 

76,00080,000

 

 

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 456.

§ 46.2-1127. Weight limits for vehicles using interstate highways.

No motor vehicle or combination of vehicles shall travel on an interstate highway in the Commonwealth with (i) a single axle weight in excess of 20,000 pounds, or (ii) a tandem axle weight in excess of 34,000 pounds, or (iii) a gross weight, based on axle spacing, greater than that permitted in § 46.2-1126, or (iv) a gross weight, regardless of axle spacing, in excess of 80,000 pounds, unless otherwise permitted by the proper authority. If such weights on interstate highways are increased, the Governor, upon recommendation of the Department of Transportation, may authorize the axle and gross weights set forth in this section to be used on interstate highways in the Commonwealth.

Code 1950, § 46-334; 1952, c. 454; 1956, cc. 141, 476; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339; 1962, c. 84; 1964, c. 354; 1974, c. 145; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 671; 1983, c. 515; 1987, c. 695; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1127.1. Weight limit exception for certain emergency vehicles using the interstate highways.

A. For purposes of this section, "emergency vehicle" means a vehicle designed to be used under emergency conditions to (i) transport personnel and equipment and (ii) support the suppression of fires and mitigation of other hazardous situations.

B. An emergency vehicle shall not exceed the following weight limitations when operated on any interstate highway: (i) 24,000 pounds on a single steering axle; (ii) 33,500 pounds on a single drive axle; (iii) 52,000 pounds on a tandem rear drive steer axle; and (iv) 62,000 pounds on a tandem axle that is not a tandem rear drive steer axle. However, the maximum gross weight of such emergency vehicle shall not exceed 86,000 pounds.

2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1128. Extensions of weight limits; fees.

The owner of any motor vehicle may obtain an extension of single axle, tandem axle, and gross weight set forth in this article by purchasing an overload permit for such vehicle. The permit shall extend the single axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, tandem axle weight limit of 34,000 pounds, and gross weight limit based on axle spacing and number of axles on such vehicle by a maximum of five percent. However, no such permit shall authorize the operation of a motor vehicle whose gross weight exceeds 84,000 pounds, nor shall any such permit authorize any extension of the limitations provided in § 46.2-1127 for interstate highways.

Permits under this section shall be valid for one year and the fee shall be $250.

Such fee shall be allocated as follows: (i) $245 deposited into the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1530 to be used to assist in funding needed highway pavement and bridge maintenance and rehabilitation and (ii) a $5 administrative fee paid into the state treasury and set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department.

The Commissioner shall make the permit available to vehicles registered outside the Commonwealth under the same conditions and restrictions which are applicable to vehicles registered within the Commonwealth. The Commissioner may promulgate regulations governing such permits. Except as provided in this section and § 46.2-1129, no weights in excess of those authorized by law shall be tolerated.

Vehicles that are registered as farm use vehicles as provided in § 46.2-698 may operate as authorized under this section without a permit or the payment of any fee; provided, however, that should such vehicle violate the weight limits permitted by this section and § 46.2-1129, such vehicle shall be required to apply for and receive a permit and pay the permit fee to operate as authorized in this section.

1987, c. 695, § 46.1-339.01; 1988, c. 669; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 283; 2002, c. 265; 2006, c. 534; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1129. Further extensions of weight limits for certain vehicles hauling Virginia-grown farm or forest products.

The owner of any motor vehicle used for hauling Virginia-grown forest or farm products, as defined in § 3.2-4709, from the place where they are first produced, cut, harvested, or felled to the location where they are first processed may obtain from the Commissioner an extension for such vehicle of the single axle, tandem axle, and gross weight limits set forth in this title. The permit shall extend the single axle, tandem axle, and gross weight limits set forth in this title. The permit shall extend the single axle, tandem axle, and gross weight limits based on axle spacing and number of axles on such vehicle by five percent, respectively. However, no such permit shall authorize the operation of a motor vehicle whose gross weight exceeds 84,000 pounds.

No permit issued under this section shall permit the operation on an interstate highway of any vehicle with (i) a single axle weight in excess of 20,000 pounds, or (ii) a tandem axle weight in excess of 34,000 pounds, or (iii) a gross weight, based on axle spacing, greater than that permitted in § 46.2-1126, or (iv) a gross weight, regardless of axle spacing, in excess of 80,000 pounds. The Commissioner may promulgate regulations governing such permits.

Weight extensions provided in this section shall be in addition to those provided in § 46.2-1128, but no weights beyond those permitted by the combination of the extensions provided in this section and § 46.2-1128 shall be tolerated.

Vehicles that are registered as farm use vehicles as provided in § 46.2-698 may operate as authorized under this section; provided, however, that should such vehicle violate the weight limits permitted by this section and § 46.2-1128, such vehicle shall no longer be permitted to operate as authorized in this section.

1988, c. 669, § 46.1-339.02; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 283; 2006, c. 534; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1129.1. Further extension of weight limits for certain vehicles utilizing an auxiliary power unit or other idle reduction technology.

Any motor vehicle that utilizes an auxiliary power unit or other idle reduction technology in order to promote reduction of fuel use and emissions due to engine idling shall be allowed up to an additional 550 pounds total in gross, single axle, tandem axle, or bridge formula weight limits.

To be eligible for this exception, the operator of the vehicle must be able to prove (i) by written certification, the weight of the auxiliary power unit or other idle reduction technology unit and (ii) by demonstration or written certification, that such idle reduction technology is fully functional at all times.

Certification of the weight of the auxiliary power unit must be available to law-enforcement officials if the vehicle is found in violation of applicable weight laws. The additional weight allowed cannot exceed 550 pounds or the weight certified, whichever is less.

For purposes of this section, "auxiliary power unit" means a mechanical or electrical device affixed to a motor vehicle that is designed to be used to generate an alternative source of power for any of the motor vehicle's systems other than the primary propulsion engine, and "idle reduction technology" refers to a technology that allows engine operators to refrain from long-duration idling of the main propulsion engine by using an alternative technology.

2009, c. 92; 2013, c. 118.

§ 46.2-1129.2. Further extension of weight limits for vehicles fueled by natural gas or powered by means of electric battery power.

A. On any highway other than an interstate highway, any motor vehicle that is fueled, wholly or partially, by natural gas or powered primarily by means of electric battery power shall be allowed up to an additional 2,000 pounds total in gross, single axle, tandem axle, or bridge formula weight limits, provided that such weight is on the power unit.

To be eligible for this exception, the operator of the vehicle must be able to demonstrate that the vehicle is a natural gas vehicle, a bi-fuel vehicle using natural gas, a vehicle that has been converted to a natural gas vehicle, or a vehicle that is powered primarily by means of electric battery power.

B. On an interstate highway, any motor vehicle that is fueled primarily by natural gas or powered primarily by means of electric battery power may exceed the weight limits provided in § 46.2-1127 by up to an additional 2,000 pounds, provided that such weight is on the power unit. However, the gross weight of such vehicle shall not exceed 82,000 pounds.

2014, c. 64; 2017, c. 554; 2021, Sp. Sess. I, c. 133.

§ 46.2-1130. Crossing bridge or culvert by vehicle heavier than allowed; where weight signs to be erected.

No vehicle shall cross any bridge or culvert in the Commonwealth if the gross weight of such vehicle is greater than the amount posted for the bridge or culvert as its carrying capacity.

Signs stating the carrying capacity shall be erected and maintained near each end of the bridge or culvert on the approaches to such bridge or culvert. Whenever the weight capacity of any structure on the interstate or primary system is reduced below the weight limit permitted on the road of which it is a part, a sign indicating that there is a restricted structure shall be placed in advance of the last alternate route on the road upon which there is a restricted structure. Whenever the weight capacity of any structure is reduced below the weight limit permitted on the road of which it is a part, a sign indicating that there is a restricted structure, shall be placed in advance of the last alternate route on the road upon which there is a restricted structure.

Code 1950, § 46-335; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-340; 1974, c. 347; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1130.1. Overweight permits granted to cross bridges and culverts by certain emergency response vehicles responding to an emergency call.

Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-1104 and 46.2-1130, emergency response vehicles, including fire and emergency medical apparatus responding to and returning from an emergency call, may be permitted to exceed the gross weight limit posted on a bridge or culvert, except those maintained by a railroad, provided that a determination has been made by a licensed professional engineer, qualified in the appropriate discipline, that the emergency response vehicle can safely cross that bridge or culvert and that determination has been documented by the issuance of a written permit or letter of authorization by the agency or entity responsible for the maintenance of that bridge or culvert.

The permitting agency or entity shall not be held liable for any damage or injury caused as a result of an emergency response vehicle crossing a bridge or culvert while responding to or returning from an emergency call under the conditions specified in the overweight permit pursuant to this section.

2007, cc. 177, 540.

§ 46.2-1131. Penalty for violation of weight limits.

Any person violating any weight limit as provided in this chapter or any permit issued by the Department or its designee or by local authorities pursuant to this article shall be subject to a civil penalty of $25 and a processing fee of $20 in addition to any liquidated damages and weighing fees imposed by this article. Upon collection by the Department, except as provided in § 46.2-1138, civil penalties shall be paid to the Literary Fund, but processing fees shall be paid to the state treasury and, beginning July 1, 1990, shall be set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department of Motor Vehicles. In addition, liquidated damages and weighing fees shall be distributed as provided in §§ 46.2-1135 and 46.2-1137, respectively, except as provided in § 46.2-1138.

The penalties, damages, and fees specified in this section shall be in addition to any other liability which may be legally fixed against the owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation for damage to a highway or bridge attributable to such weight violation.

Code 1950, § 46-335.1; 1956, c. 215; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-341; 1972, c. 439; 1978, cc. 294, 605; 1986, c. 588; 1987, c. 372; 1988, c. 11; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 418; 2003, c. 314.

§ 46.2-1132. Service of process in weight violation cases.

Any person, whether resident or nonresident, who permits the operation of a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth by his agent or employee shall be deemed to have appointed the operator of such motor vehicle his statutory agent for the purpose of service of process in any proceeding against such person growing out of any weight violation involving such motor vehicle. Acceptance by a nonresident of the rights and privileges conferred by §§ 46.2-655 through 46.2-661 shall have the same effect under this section as operation of such motor vehicle by such nonresident, his agent, or his employee.

1986, c. 588, § 46.1-341.01; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1133. Special processing provisions for overweight violations.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, all violations of any weight limit as provided in this article or any permit issued by either the Department or its designee or by local authorities pursuant to this chapter shall be processed in the following manner:

1. The officer or size and weight compliance agent charging the violation shall serve a citation on the operator of the overweight vehicle. The citation shall be directed to the owner, operator, or other person responsible for the overweight violation as determined by the officer or size and weight compliance agent. Service of the citation on the vehicle operator shall constitute service of process upon the owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation as provided in § 46.2-1136.

2. The officer or size and weight compliance agent charging the violation shall cause the citation to be delivered or mailed by first-class mail to the Department within 24 hours after it is served.

3. The owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation shall, within 21 days after the citation is served upon the vehicle operator, either make full payment to the Department of the civil penalty, liquidated damages, weighing fee, and processing fee as stated on the citation, or deliver to the Department a written notice of his election to contest the overweight charge in court.

4. Failure of the owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation to timely deliver to the Department either payment in full of the uncontested civil penalty, liquidated damages, weighing fee, and processing fee or a notice of contest of the weight violation shall cause the Department to issue an administrative order of assessment against such person. A copy of the order shall be sent by first-class mail to the person charged with the weight violation. Any such administrative order shall have the same effect as a judgment for liquidated damages entered by a general district court.

5. Upon timely receipt of a notice of contest of an overweight charge, the Department shall:

a. Forward the citation to the general district court named in the citation, and

b. Send by first-class mail to the person charged with the weight violation, and to the officer or size and weight compliance agent who issued the citation, confirmation that the citation has been forwarded to the court for trial.

6. Notices and pleadings may be served by first-class mail sent to the address shown on the citation as the address of the person charged with the weight violation or, if none is shown, to the address of record for the person to whom the vehicle is registered.

7. An alleged weight violation which is contested shall be tried as a civil case. The attorney for the Commonwealth shall represent the interests of the Commonwealth. The disposition of the case shall be recorded in an appropriate order, a copy of which shall be sent to the Department in lieu of any record which may be otherwise required by § 46.2-383. If judgment is for the Commonwealth, payment shall be made to the Department.

8. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, any and all citations and notices required by this section to be provided to the person charged with a violation or received from the person charged with a violation, with the exclusion of the citation as set out in subdivision 1, may be served or provided in an electronic manner if the Department and the person charged with the violation have agreed to utilize electronic notification.

1986, c. 588, § 46.1-341.02; 1987, c. 372; 1989, c. 727; 2003, c. 314; 2011, cc. 62, 73.

§ 46.2-1134. Special overweight seizure provisions; penalty.

Any officer or size and weight compliance agent authorized to serve process or weigh vehicles under the provisions of this chapter may hold an overweight vehicle without an attachment summons or court order, but only for such time as is reasonably necessary to promptly petition for an attachment summons to attach the vehicle.

After finding reasonable cause for the issuance of an attachment summons, the judicial officer conducting the hearing shall inform the operator of the vehicle of his option to either pay the liquidated damages, civil penalty, weighing fee, and processing fee, or contest the charge through the attachment proceeding. If the operator chooses to make payment, he shall do so to the judicial officer who shall transmit the citation, liquidated damages, civil penalty, weighing fee, and processing fee to the Department for distribution in accordance with § 46.2-1131.

The Commonwealth shall not be required to post bond in order to attach a vehicle pursuant to this section. The officer or size and weight compliance agent authorized to hold the overweight vehicle pending a hearing on the attachment petition shall also be empowered to execute the attachment summons if issued. Any bond for the retention of the vehicle or for release of the attachment shall be given in accordance with § 8.01-553 except that the bond shall be taken by a judicial officer. The judicial officer shall return the bond to the clerk of the appropriate court in place of the officer serving the attachment as otherwise provided in § 8.01-554.

In the event the civil penalty, liquidated damages, weighing fee, and processing fee are not paid in full, or no bond is given by or for the person charged with the weight violation, the vehicle involved in the weight violation shall be stored in a secure place, as may be designated by the owner or operator of the vehicle. If no place is designated, the officer or size and weight compliance agent executing the attachment summons shall designate the place of storage. The owner or operator shall be afforded the right of unloading and removing the cargo from the vehicle. The risk and cost of the storage shall be borne by the owner or operator of the vehicle.

Whenever an attachment summons is issued for a weight violation, the court shall forward to the Department both a copy of the order disposing of the case and the weight violation citation prepared by the officer or size and weight compliance agent but not served.

Upon notification of the judgment or administrative order entered for such weight violation and notification of the failure of such person to satisfy the judgment or order, the Department or the Department of State Police or any law-enforcement officer or size and weight compliance agent shall thereafter deny the offending person the right to operate a motor vehicle or vehicles upon the highways of the Commonwealth until the judgment or order has been satisfied and a reinstatement fee of $50 has been paid to the Department. Reinstatement fees collected under the provisions of this section shall be paid by the Commissioner into the state treasury and shall be set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department.

When informed that the right to operate the motor vehicle has been denied, the driver shall drive the motor vehicle to a nearby location off the public highways and not move it or permit it to be moved until such judgment or order has been satisfied. Failure by the driver to comply with this provision shall constitute a Class 4 misdemeanor.

All costs incurred by the Commonwealth and all judgments, if any, against the Commonwealth due to action taken pursuant to this section shall be paid from the fund into which liquidated damages are paid.

Police officers of the Department of State Police and all other law-enforcement officers are vested with the same powers with respect to the enforcement of this chapter as they have with respect to the enforcement of the criminal laws of the Commonwealth.

1986, c. 588, § 46.1-341.03; 1987, c. 372; 1989, c. 727; 2011, cc. 62, 73.

§ 46.2-1135. (Contingent expiration date -- see note*) Liquidated damages for violation of weight limits.

A. Any person violating any weight limit as provided in this chapter or in any permit issued pursuant to Article 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) of this chapter by the Department or its designee or by local authorities pursuant to this chapter shall be assessed liquidated damages. The amount of those damages shall be:

aExcess weight over the prescribed or permitted axle weight limitsAssessed amount per poundExcess weight over the prescribed gross weight limitAssessed amount per pound
b2,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound2,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound
c2,001 to 4,000 pounds3¢ per pound2,001 to 4,000 pounds3¢ per pound
d4,001 to 8,000 pounds12¢ per pound4,001 to 8,000 pounds7¢ per pound
e8,001 to 12,000 pounds22¢ per pound8,001 to 12,000 pounds12¢ per pound
f12,001 pounds or more35¢ per pound12,001 pounds or more20¢ per pound

All gross permit violations shall be assessed $.20 per pound over the permitted weight limit.

In addition to all damages assessed herein, for every violation of any weight limit as provided in this chapter or in any permit issued pursuant to Article 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) of this chapter, there shall be assessed additional liquidated damages of $20.

If a person has no prior violations under the motor vehicle weight laws, and the excess weight does not exceed 1,500 pounds, the general district court may waive the liquidated damages against such person. Except as provided by § 46.2-1138, such assessment shall be entered by the court or by the Department as a judgment for the Commonwealth, the entry of which shall constitute a lien upon the overweight vehicle. Except as provided by § 46.2-1138, such sums shall be paid to the Department or collected by the attorney for the Commonwealth and forwarded to the State Treasurer and allocated to the fund appropriated for the construction and maintenance of state highways.

B. If the gross weight of the vehicle exceeds lawful limits by at least 25 percent but no more than 50 percent, the amount of the liquidated damages shall be two times the amount provided for in the foregoing provisions of this section; if the gross weight of the vehicle exceeds lawful limits by more than 50 percent, the amount of the liquidated damages shall be three times the amount provided for in the foregoing provisions of this section. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to pickup or panel trucks.

C. The increases in the liquidated damages under subsection A pursuant to enactments of the 2007 Session of the General Assembly shall not be applicable to any motor vehicle hauling forest or farm products from the place where such products are first produced, cut, harvested, or felled to the location where they are first processed. The amount of liquidated damages assessed against such motor vehicles shall be:

aExcess weight over the prescribed or permitted axle weight limitsAssessed amount per poundExcess weight over the prescribed gross weight limitAssessed amount per pound
b4,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound4,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound
c4,001 to 8,000 pounds10¢ per pound4,001 to 8,000 pounds5¢ per pound
d8,001 to 12,000 pounds20¢ per pound8,001 to 12,000 pounds10¢ per pound
e12,001 pounds or more30¢ per pound12,001 pounds or more15¢ per pound

Code 1950, § 46-338.2; 1956, c. 215; 1958, cc. 541, 612, § 46.1-342; 1968, c. 184; 1974, c. 331; 1977, c. 644; 1981, c. 187; 1986, c. 588; 1987, c. 372; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 922; 1997, c. 479; 2001, cc. 411, 433; 2003, c. 314; 2007, c. 896.

§ 46.2-1135. (Contingent effective date -- see note*) Liquidated damages for violation of weight limits.

A. Any person violating any weight limit as provided in this chapter or in any permit issued pursuant to Article 18 (§ 46.2-1139 et seq.) of this chapter by the Department or its designee or by local authorities pursuant to this chapter shall be assessed liquidated damages. The amount of those damages shall be:

aExcess weight over the prescribed or permitted axle weight limitsAssessed amount per poundExcess weight over the prescribed gross weight limitAssessed amount per pound
b4,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound4,000 pounds or less1¢ per pound
c4,001 to 8,000 pounds10¢ per pound4,001 to 8,000 pounds5¢ per pound
d8,001 to 12,000 pounds20¢ per pound8,001 to 12,000 pounds10¢ per pound
e12,001 pounds or more30¢ per pound12,001 pounds or more15¢ per pound

All gross permit violations shall be assessed $.20 per pound over the permitted weight limit.

If a person has no prior violations under the motor vehicle weight laws, and the excess weight does not exceed 2,500 pounds, the general district court may waive the liquidated damages against such person. Except as provided by § 46.2-1138, such assessment shall be entered by the court or by the Department as a judgment for the Commonwealth, the entry of which shall constitute a lien upon the overweight vehicle. Except as provided by § 46.2-1138, such sums shall be paid to the Department or collected by the attorney for the Commonwealth and forwarded to the State Treasurer and allocated to the fund appropriated for the construction and maintenance of state highways.

B. If the gross weight of the vehicle exceeds lawful limits by at least 25 percent but no more than 50 percent, the amount of the liquidated damages shall be two times the amount provided for in the foregoing provisions of this section; if the gross weight of the vehicle exceeds lawful limits by more than 50 percent, the amount of the liquidated damages shall be three times the amount provided for in the foregoing provisions of this section. The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to pickup or panel trucks.

Code 1950, § 46-338.2; 1956, c. 215; 1958, cc. 541, 612, § 46.1-342; 1968, c. 184; 1974, c. 331; 1977, c. 644; 1981, c. 187; 1986, c. 588; 1987, c. 372; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 922; 1997, c. 479; 2001, cc. 411, 433; 2003, c. 314; 2007, c. 896.

*This section is set out twice because the 22nd enactment of Chapter 896 of the Acts of Assembly of 2007 states: "That the provisions of this act which generate additional revenue for the Transportation Trust Fund, established under § 33.1-23.03:1 of the Code of Virginia, or the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund shall expire on December 31 of any year in which the General Assembly appropriates any of the revenues designated under general law to the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund or the Transportation Trust Fund for any non-transportation related purpose."
§ 46.2-1136. Procedures for issuing and serving process in overweight vehicle cases.

Any officer or size and weight compliance agent authorized to enforce overweight vehicle laws may issue a citation for a violation of such laws. Such officer may also serve an attachment summons issued by a judge or magistrate in connection with a weight violation.

Service of any such citation shall be made upon the driver of the motor vehicle involved in the violation. Such service on the driver shall have the same legal force and validity as if served within the Commonwealth personally upon the owner, operator, or other person charged with the weight violation, whether such owner, operator, or other person charged is a resident or nonresident.

1986, c. 588, § 46.1-179.02; 1989, c. 727; 2011, cc. 62, 73.

§ 46.2-1137. Weighing vehicles; procedure; shifting loads; unloading excess load; weighing fee; certificate as to accuracy of scales admissible in evidence; penalties.

A. For the purposes of this section, a permanent weighing station includes any location equipped with fixed, permanent scales for weighing motor vehicles.

B. Any officer or size and weight compliance agent authorized to enforce the law under this title, having reason to believe that the weight of a vehicle and load is unlawful, is authorized to weigh the load and the vehicle. If the place where the vehicle is stopped is 10 road miles or less from a permanent weighing station, the officer may, and upon demand of the driver shall, require the vehicle to proceed to such station. If the distance to the nearest permanent weighing station is more than 10 road miles such vehicle may be weighed by wheel load weighers. Any driver who fails or unreasonably refuses to drive his vehicle to such permanent weighing station or such scales or wheel load weighers upon the request and direction of the officer to do so is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor. The penalty for such violation shall be in addition to any other penalties prescribed for exceeding the maximum weight permitted or for any other violation.

C. Any person operating a vehicle with a gross vehicle weight or registered gross weight of more than 10,000 pounds shall drive into a permanent weighing station for inspection when directed to do so by highway signs. Any person who fails or refuses to comply with this subsection is guilty of a Class 4 misdemeanor, which shall be in addition to any other penalties prescribed for exceeding the maximum weight permitted or for any other violation.

D. Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection C, a person instructed by a bypass system to bypass a permanent weighing station may do so unless directed to drive onto the scales for weight inspection by an officer or size and weight compliance agent pursuant to the provisions of subsection B. For purposes of this subsection, a "bypass system" means any system approved by the Commissioner that (i) communicates information about a vehicle to a permanent weighing station, (ii) is capable of receiving return communications from the permanent weighing station indicating whether the driver may bypass the weighing station or must drive onto the scales, and (iii) is capable of instructing the driver in accordance with the communication received.

E. In the event the operator of a vehicle fails or unreasonably refuses to submit a vehicle required to be inspected for an inspection, where the officer has reason to believe the vehicle is overweight, the officer may use whatever reasonable means are available to have the vehicle weighed, including the employment of a tow truck to move the vehicle to the weighing area. He may also use whatever means are necessary to reload the vehicle if the load is intentionally dumped. In such a case, any expenses incurred in having the vehicle weighed may be taxed as costs to be imposed upon the operator who failed or unreasonably refused to submit his vehicle for inspection, when he has been convicted of such failure or refusal and an overweight violation. In all cases where such failure or refusal or overweight charges are dismissed or the defendant acquitted, payment shall be made from highway funds.

F. Should the officer or size and weight compliance agent find that the weight of any vehicle and its load is greater than that permitted by this title or that the weight of the load carried in or on such vehicle is greater than that which the vehicle is licensed to carry under the provisions of this title, he may require the driver to unload, at the nearest place where the property unloaded may be stored or transferred to another vehicle, such portion of the load as may be necessary to decrease the gross weight of the vehicle to the maximum therefor permitted by this title. Any property so unloaded shall be stored or cared for by the owner or operator of the overweight vehicle at the risk of such owner or operator.

G. Notwithstanding the provisions of §§ 46.2-1122 through 46.2-1127, should the officer or size and weight compliance agent find that the gross weight of the vehicle and its load is within limits permitted under this title and does not exceed the limit for which the vehicle is registered, but that the axle weight of any axle or axles of the vehicle exceeds that permitted under this title, the driver shall be allowed one hour to shift his load within or on that same vehicle in order to bring the axle weight or axle weights within proper limits. However, liquidated damages shall be assessed under § 46.2-1135 based on the weight prior to shifting the load, unless the load can be successfully shifted to bring the vehicle's axle weight within limits permitted under this title by (i) sliding the axle or axles of the semitrailer or the fifth wheel of the tractor truck, (ii) repositioning the load if the motor vehicle is transporting off-the-road mobile construction equipment, or (iii) adjusting the load if the vehicle is operating on non-interstate highways and qualifies for weight extensions pursuant to § 46.2-1129. Such load shifting shall be performed at the site where the vehicle was weighed and found to exceed allowable axle weight limits. No such load shifting shall be allowed if such load is required to be placarded as defined in § 10.1-1450 and consists of hazardous material as defined in § 10.1-1400.

H. If the driver of an overloaded vehicle is convicted, forfeits bail, or purchases an increased license as a result of such weighing, the court in addition to all other penalties shall assess and collect a weighing fee of two dollars from the owner or operator of the vehicle and shall forward such fee to the State Treasurer. Upon receipt of the fee, the State Treasurer shall allocate the same to the fund appropriated for the administration and maintenance of the Department of State Police.

I. In any court or legal proceedings in which any question arises as to the calibration or accuracy of any such scales at permanent weighing stations or wheel load weighers, a certificate, executed and signed under oath by the inspector calibrating or testing such device as to its accuracy as well as to the accuracy of the test weights used in such test, and stating the date of such test, type of test and results of testing, shall be admissible when attested by one such inspector who executed and signed it as evidence of the facts therein stated and the results of such testing.

Code 1950, § 46-342; 1954, c. 312; 1956, c. 698; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-347; 1972, c. 292; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 681; 1983, c. 577; 1986, c. 589; 1989, c. 727; 1996, c. 422; 2001, cc. 411, 433; 2002, cc. 99, 431; 2011, cc. 62, 73; 2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1138. County ordinances fixing weight limits on roads that have been withdrawn from secondary system.

A. The governing bodies of Arlington and Henrico Counties may adopt ordinances providing weight limits in accordance with the weight limits established by §§ 46.2-1123 through 46.2-1127 for any vehicle or combination of vehicles passing over any such highway under the county's jurisdiction. Any such ordinance shall provide for the assessment of liquidated damages as to overweight vehicles at rates and amounts not exceeding those applicable to the liquidated damages under § 46.2-1135.

B. Such ordinances may also provide that:

1. Upon a finding of a violation of any weight limit prescribed therein, the court shall assess the owner, operator, or other person causing the operation of such overweight vehicle at such rate and amount as is provided in the ordinance;

2. The assessment shall be entered by the court as a judgment for such county;

3. The entry of such judgment shall constitute a lien upon the overweight vehicles;

4. Such sums shall be paid into the treasury of such county, and allocated to the fund appropriated by such county for the construction and maintenance of such roads under its jurisdiction.

C. Such ordinances may include additional provisions relating to payment of such assessment and enforcement powers applicable to such county and corresponding to the provisions of §§ 46.2-1131, 46.2-1133, 46.2-1134, and 46.2-1135, except that civil penalties, liquidated damages, and the weighing fees collected pursuant to such ordinances shall be paid to the county, and the county attorney or his designee shall represent the county in any court proceeding.

1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1138.1. City ordinances fixing weight limits on certain roads.

The governing body of any city may adopt ordinances providing weight limits in accordance with the weight limits established by §§ 46.2-1123 through 46.2-1127 for any vehicle or combination of vehicles passing over any such roads under the jurisdiction of such city, and providing further for the assessment of liquidated damages as to overweight vehicles at rates and amounts not exceeding those applicable to the liquidated damages under § 46.2-1135. Such ordinances may provide:

Upon a finding of a violation of any weight limit prescribed therein, the court shall assess the owner, operator or other person causing the operation of such overweight vehicle at such rate and amount as may be provided in such ordinance;

The assessment shall be entered by the court as a judgment for such city;

The entry of such judgment shall constitute a lien upon the overweight vehicles;

Such sums shall be paid into the treasury of such city, and allocated to the fund appropriated by such city for the construction and maintenance of such roads under its jurisdiction.

Such ordinances may include additional provisions relating to payment of such assessment and enforcement powers applicable to such city and corresponding to the provisions of §§ 46.2-1131, 46.2-1133, 46.2-1134 and 46.2-1135, except that civil penalties, liquidated damages and weighing fees collected pursuant to such ordinances shall be paid to the city, and the city attorney or his designee shall represent the city in any court proceeding.

1960, c. 218, § 46.1-342.1; 1986, c. 588; 1987, c. 372; 1989, cc. 685, 727.

§ 46.2-1138.2. Town ordinances concerning weight limits on certain roads.

A. The governing body of any town that provided, on January 1, 1993, town-owned and -maintained weight scales for the purpose of enforcing the weight limits established by §§ 46.2-1123 through 46.2-1127 for any vehicle or combination of vehicles passing over any roads in the town may adopt ordinances for the assessment of liquidated damages as to overweight vehicles in accordance with the liquidated damages under § 46.2-1135. Such ordinances may provide that:

1. Upon a finding of a violation of any weight limit prescribed therein, the court shall assess the owner, operator or other person causing the operation of such overweight vehicle at such rate and amount as may be provided in such ordinance;

2. The assessment shall be entered by the court as a judgment for such town;

3. The entry of such judgment shall constitute a lien upon the overweight vehicle; and

4. Such sum shall be paid into the treasury of the town and allocated to the fund appropriated by the town for the construction and maintenance of roads under its jurisdiction.

B. Such ordinances may include additional provisions relating to the payment of such assessment and the enforcement powers applicable to such town and corresponding to the provisions of §§ 46.2-1131, 46.2-1133, 46.2-1134 and 46.2-1135, except that civil penalties, liquidated damages and weighing fees collected pursuant to such ordinances shall be paid to the town, and the town attorney or his designee shall represent the town in any court proceeding.

1993, c. 511.

Article 18. Permits for Excessive Size and Weight.

§ 46.2-1139. Permits for excessive size and weight generally; penalty.

A. The Commissioner and, unless otherwise indicated in this article, local authorities of cities and towns, in their respective jurisdictions, may, upon written application and good cause being shown, and pursuant to the requirements of subsection A1, issue a permit authorizing the applicant to operate on a highway a vehicle of a size or weight exceeding the maximum specified in this title. Any such permit may designate the route to be traversed and contain any other restrictions or conditions deemed necessary by the body granting the permit.

A1. Any city or town, as authorized under subsection A, or any county that has withdrawn its roads from the secondary system of state highways that opts to issue permits under this article shall enter into a memorandum of understanding with the Commissioner that:

1. Allows the Commissioner to issue permits on behalf of that locality; and

2. Provides that the locality shall satisfy the following requirements prior to issuing such permits:

a. The locality shall have applications for each permit type available online.

b. The locality shall have designated telephone and fax lines to address permit requests and inquiries.

c. The locality shall have at least one staff member whose primary function is to issue permits.

d. The locality shall have one or more engineers on staff or contracted to perform bridge inspections and provide analysis for overweight vehicles.

e. The locality shall maintain maps indicating up-to-date vertical and horizontal clearance locations and limitations.

f. The locality shall provide to the Department an emergency contact phone number and assign a staff person who is authorized to issue the permit or authorized to make a decision regarding the permit request at all times (24 hours a day, seven days a week).

g. The locality shall process a "standard permit" for a "standard vehicle" by the next business day after receiving the completed permit application. Each locality shall define "standard vehicle" and "standard permit" and provide the Department with those definitions. All other requests for permits shall be processed within 10 business days.

h. The locality shall retain for at least 36 months all permit data it collects.

i. The locality shall maintain an updated list of all maintenance and construction projects within that locality. The list shall provide starting and ending locations and dates for each project, and shall be updated as those dates change.

j. The locality shall maintain a list of restricted streets. This list shall indicate all times of travel restrictions, oversize restrictions, and weight restrictions for streets within the locality's jurisdiction.

If the locality satisfies the requirements in the memorandum of understanding, the locality may issue permits under this article.

B. Except for permits issued under § 46.2-1141 and permits issued for overweight vehicles transporting irreducible loads, no overweight permit issued by the Commissioner or any local authority under any provision of this article shall be valid for the operation of any vehicle on an interstate highway if the vehicle has:

1. A single axle weight in excess of 20,000 pounds; or

2. A tandem axle weight in excess of 34,000 pounds; or

3. A gross weight, based on axle spacing, greater than that permitted in § 46.2-1127; or

4. A gross weight, regardless of axle spacing, in excess of 80,000 pounds.

C. The Commissioner may issue permits to operate or tow one or more travel trailers as defined in § 46.2-1500 or motor homes when any of such vehicles exceed the maximum width specified by law, provided the movement of the vehicle is prior to its retail sale and it complies with the provisions of § 46.2-1105. A copy of each such permit shall be carried in the vehicle for which it is issued.

D. 1. Every permit issued under this article for the operation of oversize or overweight vehicles shall be carried in the vehicle to which it refers and may be inspected by any officer or size and weight compliance agent. Violation of any term of any permit issued under this article shall constitute a Class 1 misdemeanor. Violation of terms and conditions of any permit issued under this article shall not invalidate the weight allowed on such permit unless (i) the permit vehicle is operating off the route listed on the permit, (ii) the vehicle has fewer axles than required by the permit, (iii) the vehicle has less axle spacing than required by the permit when measured longitudinally from the center of the axle to center axle with any fraction of a foot rounded to the next highest foot, or (iv) the vehicle is transporting multiple items not allowed by the permit.

2. Any multi-trip permit authorizing the applicant to operate on a highway a vehicle of a size or weight exceeding the maximum specified in this title may be transferred to another vehicle no more than two times in a 12-month period, provided that the vehicle to which the permit is transferred is subject to all the limitations set forth in the permit as originally issued. The applicant shall pay the Department an administrative fee of $10 for each transfer.

E. Any permit issued by the Commissioner or local authorities pursuant to state law may be restricted so as to prevent travel on any federal-aid highway if the continuation of travel on such highway would result in a loss of federal-aid funds. Before any such permit is restricted by the Commissioner, or local authority, written notice shall be given to the permittee.

F. When application is made for permits issued by the Commissioner as well as local authorities, any fees imposed therefor by the Commissioner as well as all affected local authorities may be paid by the applicant, at the applicant's option, to the Commissioner, who shall promptly transmit the local portion of the total fee to the appropriate locality or localities.

G. Engineering analysis, performed by the Department of Transportation or local authority, shall be conducted of a proposed routing before the Commissioner or local authority issues any permit under this section when such analysis is required to promote safety and preserve the capacity and structural integrity of highways and bridges. The Commissioner or local authority shall not issue a permit when the Department of Transportation or local authority determines that the roadway and bridges to be traversed cannot sustain a vehicle's size and weight.

Code 1950, § 46-339; 1956, c. 476; 1958, c. 541, §§ 46.1-343, 46.1-343.2; 1959, Ex. Sess., c. 91; 1960, c. 223; 1962, cc. 35, 162; 1966, c. 502; 1968, c. 203; 1972, c. 521; 1974, cc. 145, 252, 556; 1975, c. 599; 1976, c. 744; 1977, c. 632; 1979, c. 263; 1980, c. 328; 1981, c. 187; 1982, c. 256; 1983, cc. 170, 515; 1985, c. 7; 1987, cc. 321, 406, 420, 721; 1988, c. 82; 1989, c. 727; 1993, c. 68; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 1997, c. 70; 2001, c. 151; 2003, c. 314; 2009, c. 456; 2011, cc. 62, 73; 2012, c. 443; 2013, c. 118; 2015, c. 615; 2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1139.1. Delegation of permitting authority.

The Commissioner may authorize an agent, including a state agency, to issue designated permits pursuant to this article.

2002, c. 265; 2003, c. 314.

§ 46.2-1140. Authority to use certain streets and highways in cities and towns.

When the Commissioner issues a permit to a person to move a vehicle of excessive size and weight along specified highways in Virginia, the Commissioner may also include within such permit, after coordinating with or notifying the authorities of a city or town, the authority to use specified highways at specified times within any such city or town which highways constitute extensions of any part of the primary highway system. No city or town otherwise having jurisdiction over its highways, shall have authority to prohibit the use of its highways to a person holding a permit issued by the Commissioner so long as such person travels upon the highways specified in the permit.

1973, c. 62, § 46.1-343.3; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 2003, c. 314; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1140.1. Annual overweight permits; fees.

A. Except as otherwise provided, the annual fee for overweight permits issued under §§ 46.2-1141 through 46.2-1149.5 shall be $130, to be allocated as follows: (i) $120 to the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1530, with a portion equal to the percentage of the Commonwealth's total lane miles represented by the lane miles eligible for maintenance payments pursuant to §§ 33.2-319 and 33.2-366 being redistributed on the basis of lane miles to the applicable localities pursuant to §§ 33.2-319 and 33.2-366, to be used to assist in funding needed highway pavement and bridge maintenance and rehabilitation and (ii) a $10 administrative fee to the Department.

Unless otherwise prohibited, overweight permits issued under §§ 46.2-1141 through 46.2-1149.5 shall be valid on all unrestricted state and local highways.

B. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the owner or operator of any emergency vehicle as defined in § 46.2- 1127.1, including firefighting equipment, that requires a permit to be operated on the Interstate Highway System because such emergency vehicle exceeds the weight limits set forth in § 46.2-1127.1 shall be exempt from the payment of any fees otherwise charged by the Department for the issuance of such permit if such emergency vehicle is registered to a federal, state, or local agency or a fire company as defined in § 27-6.01.

2012, c. 443; 2020, c. 975.

§ 46.2-1141. Overweight permits for containerized freight and fluid milk.

Permits to operate on the highways a vehicle exceeding the maximum weight specified in this title shall be granted for a vehicle hauling containerized cargo in a sealed, seagoing container bound to or from a seaport and has been or will be transported by marine shipment and for a tank vehicle hauling fluid milk. In order for a vehicle hauling containerized cargo in a sealed, seagoing container bound to or from a seaport to qualify for such a permit, the contents of such seagoing container shall not be changed from the time it is loaded by the consignor or his agents to the time it is delivered to the consignee or his agents. Cargo moving in vehicles conforming to specifications shown in this section shall be considered irreducible and eligible for permits under regulations of the Commissioner.

The fee for a permit issued under this section shall be as provided in § 46.2-1140.1. Only the Commissioner may issue a permit under this section.

For purposes of this section "tank vehicle" has the same meaning ascribed to it in § 46.2-341.4.

1973, c. 62, § 46.1-343.3; 1989, c. 727; 1991, 1st Sp. Sess., c. 17; 1995, c. 146; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 2003, c. 314; 2012, c. 443; 2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1142. Overweight permits for concrete haulers.

The Commissioner, upon written application made by the owner or operator, shall issue overweight permits for operation of certain vehicles used to haul concrete. Permits under this section shall be issued only for vehicles that are used exclusively for the mixing of concrete in transit or at a project site or for transporting necessary components in a compartmentalized vehicle to produce concrete immediately upon arrival at a project site and either have (i) four axles with more than 22 feet between the first and last axle of the vehicle or (ii) three axles. Any vehicle operating under a permit issued pursuant to this section shall have a gross weight of no more than 60,000 pounds for three-axle vehicles and 70,000 pounds for four-axle vehicles, a single axle weight of no more than 20,000 pounds, tandem axle weight of no more than 40,000 pounds, and a tri-axle grouping weight of no more than 50,000 pounds, with no single axle of such tri-axle grouping exceeding the weight permitted for a single axle. The fee for such permits shall be as provided in § 46.2-1140.1. Such permit shall not designate the route to be traversed nor contain restrictions or conditions not applicable to other vehicles in their general use of the highways.

Each vehicle, when loaded according to the provisions of a permit issued under this section, shall be operated at a reduced speed. The reduced speed limit is to be 10 miles per hour slower than the legal speed limit in 55, 45, and 35 miles per hour speed limit zones.

1973, c. 62, § 46.1-343.3; 1989, c. 727; 1994, c. 154; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 2000, c. 265; 2003, c. 314; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1142.1. Extensions of overweight limits authorized under § 46.2-1142 for vehicles used to haul concrete; fees.

Owners or operators of vehicles used exclusively to haul concrete may apply for permits to extend the single axle weight limit of 20,000 pounds, the tandem axle weight limit of 40,000 pounds, the four axle weight of 70,000 pounds, the tri-axle grouping weight of 50,000 pounds, and the three-axle weight of 60,000 pounds provided for in § 46.2-1142, by a maximum of five percent. The fee for such permits shall be $250, to be allocated as follows: (i) $245 deposited into the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1530 to be used to assist in funding needed highway pavement and bridge maintenance and rehabilitation and (ii) a $5 administrative fee to the Department.

Permits issued under this section shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance. No permit issued under this section shall authorize violation of any weight limitation, promulgated and posted in accordance with § 46.2-1130, applicable to bridges or culverts. Permits issued under this section shall authorize extensions of the limitation provided for in § 46.2-1128 for vehicles operating on interstate highways only to the extent that any such extension (i) is not inconsistent with federal law and (ii) will not jeopardize or require the withholding or reduction of federal transportation funding otherwise available to the Commonwealth or any of its political subdivisions.

The Commissioner shall make the permit available to vehicles registered outside the Commonwealth under the same conditions and restrictions which are applicable to vehicles registered within the Commonwealth. The Commissioner may promulgate regulations governing such permits. Except as provided in this section and § 46.2-1142, no weights in excess of those authorized by law shall be tolerated.

1990, c. 195; 1997, c. 283; 2000, c. 265; 2001, cc. 822, 857; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1143. Overweight permits for coal haulers; trucks hauling gravel, sand, asphalt, crushed stone, or liquids produced from gas or oil wells in certain counties; penalties.

A. The Commissioner upon written application by the owner or operator of vehicles used exclusively for hauling coal or coal byproducts from a mine or other place of production to a preparation plant, electricity-generation facility, loading dock, or railroad shall issue, without a fee, a permit authorizing those vehicles to operate with gross weights in excess of those established in § 46.2-1126 on the conditions set forth in this section.

B. Vehicles with three axles may have a maximum gross weight, when loaded, of no more than 60,000 pounds, a single axle weight of not more than 24,000 pounds and a tandem axle weight of no more than 45,000 pounds. Vehicles with four axles may have a maximum gross weight, when loaded, of no more than 70,000 pounds, a single axle weight of no more than 24,000 pounds, and a tri-axle weight of no more than 50,000 pounds. Vehicles with five axles having no less than 35 feet of axle space between extreme axles may have a maximum gross weight, when loaded, of no more than 90,000 pounds, a single axle weight of no more than 20,000 pounds, and a tandem axle weight of no more than 40,000 pounds. Vehicles with six axles may have a maximum gross weight, when loaded, of no more than 110,000 pounds, a single axle weight of no more than 24,000 pounds, a tandem axle weight of no more than 44,000 pounds, and a tri-axle weight of no more than 54,500 pounds.

C. No load of any vehicle operating under a permit issued according to this section shall rise above the top of the bed of such vehicle, not including extensions of the bed. Three-axle vehicles shall not carry loads in excess of the maximum bed size in cubic feet for such vehicle which shall be computed by a formula of 60,000 pounds minus the weight of the empty truck divided by the average weight of coal. For the purposes of this section, the average weight of coal shall be 52 pounds per cubic foot. Four-axle vehicles shall not carry loads in excess of the maximum bed size for such vehicle which shall be computed by a formula of 70,000 pounds minus the weight of the truck empty divided by the average weight of coal. Five-axle vehicles shall not carry loads in excess of the maximum bed size for such vehicle, which shall be computed by a formula of 90,000 pounds minus the weight of the truck empty divided by the average weight of coal. Six-axle vehicles shall not carry loads in excess of the maximum bed size for such vehicle, which shall be computed by a formula of 110,000 pounds minus the weight of the truck empty divided by the average weight of coal.

D. For the purposes of this section, "bed" means that part of the vehicle used to haul coal. Bed size shall be based on its interior dimensions, which may be determined by measuring the exterior of the bed, with volume expressed in cubic feet. In order to ensure compliance with this section by visual inspection, if the actual bed size of the vehicle exceeds the maximum as provided above, the owner or operator shall be required to paint a horizontal line two inches wide on the sides of the outside of the bed of the vehicle, clearly visible to indicate the uppermost limit of the maximum bed size applicable to the vehicle as provided in this section. In addition, one hole two inches high and six inches long on each side of the bed shall be cut in the center of the bed and at the top of the painted line. Any vehicle in violation of this section shall subject the vehicle's owner or operator or both to a penalty of $250 for a first offense, $500 for a second offense within a 12-month period, and $1,000 and revocation of the permit for a third offense within a 12-month period from the first offense.

E. If the bed of any vehicle is enlarged beyond the maximum bed size for which its permit was granted, or if the line or holes required are altered so that the vehicle exceeds the bed size for which its permit was granted, the owner, operator, or both shall be subject to a penalty of $1,000 for each offense and revocation of the permit. Upon revocation, a permit shall not be reissued for six months. The penalties provided in this section shall be in lieu of those imposed under § 46.2-1135.

F. For any vehicle with a valid permit issued pursuant to the conditions required by this section, when carrying loads which do not rise above the top of the bed or the line indicating the bed's maximum size, if applicable, it shall be, in the absence of proof to the contrary, prima facie evidence that the load is within the applicable weight limits. If any vehicle is stopped by enforcement officials for carrying a load rising above the top of the bed or the line indicating the bed's maximum size, the operator of the vehicle shall be permitted to shift his load within the bed to determine whether the load can be contained in the bed without rising above its top or above the line.

G. No such permit shall be valid for the operation of any such vehicle for a distance of more than 85 miles within the Commonwealth of Virginia from the preparation plant, loading dock, or railroad.

H. In counties that impose a severance tax on gases as authorized by § 58.1-3712 or a severance license tax on coal producers as authorized by § 58.1-3741, the Commissioner, upon written application by the owner or operator of vehicles used exclusively for hauling gravel, sand, asphalt, or crushed stone no more than 50 miles from origin to destination, shall issue a permit authorizing those vehicles to operate with the weight limits prescribed in subsection B. Nothing contained in this subsection shall authorize any extension of weight limits provided in § 46.2-1127 for operation on interstate highways. Any weight violation hauling sand, gravel, asphalt, or crushed stone under this subsection shall be subject to the penalties authorized by § 46.2-1135.

The fee for a permit issued under this subsection shall be $70, to be allocated as follows: (i) $65 to the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1530, with a portion equal to the percentage of the Commonwealth's total lane miles represented by the lane miles eligible for maintenance payments pursuant to §§ 33.2-319 and 33.2-366 being redistributed on the basis of lane miles to the applicable localities pursuant to §§ 33.2-319 and 33.2-366, to be used to assist in funding needed highway pavement and bridge maintenance and rehabilitation and (ii) a $5 administrative fee to the Department.

I. In counties that impose a severance tax on gases as authorized by § 58.1-3712 or a severance license tax on coal producers as authorized by § 58.1-3741, the weight limits prescribed in subsection B shall also apply to motor vehicles hauling liquids produced from a gas or oil well and water used for drilling and completion of a gas or oil well no more than 50 miles from origin to destination. Nothing contained in this subsection shall authorize any extension of weight limits provided in § 46.2-1127 for operation on interstate highways. Any weight violation involving hauling liquids produced from a gas or oil well and water used for drilling and completion of a gas or oil well under this subsection shall be subject to the penalties authorized by § 46.2-1135.

1973, c. 62, § 46.1-343.3; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 1999, c. 915; 2001, c. 417; 2002, c. 264; 2003, cc. 314, 315; 2005, c. 556; 2007, c. 523; 2008, c. 716; 2009, c. 188; 2010, c. 361; 2011, c. 131; 2012, cc. 443, 569; 2013, cc. 305, 618; 2017, c. 550.

§ 46.2-1143.1. Overweight permits for haulers of excavated material.

The Commissioner, upon written application made by the owner or operator, shall issue overweight permits for operation of certain vehicles hauling excavated material from construction-related land-clearing operations. Permits shall be issued under this section only for vehicles that have either (i) four axles with more than 22 feet between the first and last axle of the vehicle or (ii) three axles. Any vehicle operating under a permit issued pursuant to this section shall have a gross weight of no more than 60,000 pounds for three-axle vehicles and 70,000 pounds for four-axle vehicles, a single axle weight of no more than 20,000 pounds, tandem axle weight of no more than 40,000 pounds, and a tri-axle grouping weight of no more than 50,000 pounds, with no single axle of such tri-axle grouping exceeding the weight permitted for a single axle. The fee for such permits shall be as provided in § 46.2-1140.1.

No permit issued under this section shall authorize the operation of any vehicle hauling excavated material for a distance of more than 25 miles from the land-clearing operation. However, such permit shall not designate the route to be traversed nor contain restrictions or conditions not applicable to other vehicles in their general use of the highways. Each vehicle, when loaded according to the provisions of a permit issued under this section, shall be operated at a reduced speed of 10 miles per hour slower than the legal speed limit in 55, 45, and 35 miles per hour speed limit zones.

For purposes of this section, the term "excavated material" shall mean natural earth materials, which includes stumps, brush, leaves, soil, and rocks, removed by any mechanized means.

2002, c. 265; 2003, c. 314; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1144. Overweight permits for solid waste haulers.

The Commissioner, upon written application by the owner or operator of vehicles used exclusively for hauling solid waste other than hazardous waste, shall issue a permit authorizing the operation on the highway of such vehicles at gross weights in excess of those set forth in § 46.2-1126.

No permit issued under this section shall authorize a single axle weight of more than 20,000 pounds or a tandem axle weight of more than 40,000 pounds. No such permit shall be issued for a total gross weight in excess of 40,000 pounds for a two-axle vehicle, or of more than 60,000 pounds for a three-axle vehicle. Such permit shall be obtained annually at the time the vehicle is registered. The Commissioner may promulgate regulations governing such permits.

No such permit shall authorize the operation of any vehicle enumerated in this section beyond the boundary of the county or city where it is principally garaged or for a distance of more than 25 miles from the place where it is principally garaged, whichever is greater. However, the permit shall not designate the route to be traversed nor contain restrictions or conditions not applicable to other vehicles in their general use of the highways. Each vehicle, when loaded according to the provisions of a permit issued under this section, shall be operated at a reduced speed of 10 miles per hour slower than the legal speed limit in 55, 45, and 35 miles per hour speed limit zones.

The fee for a permit issued under this section shall be as provided in § 46.2-1140.1.

For the purposes of this section, the terms "solid waste" and "hazardous waste" shall have the meanings provided in § 10.1-1400.

1973, c. 62, § 46.1-343.3; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 2003, c. 314; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1144.1. Overweight permits for tank wagons.

The Commissioner, upon written application and payment of a fee by the owner of tank wagon vehicles as defined in § 58.1-2201, shall issue overweight permits for operation of said vehicles.

The fee for such permit shall be as provided in § 46.2-1140.1.

No permit issued under this section shall authorize a single axle weight of more than 24,000 pounds and a total gross weight in excess of 40,000 pounds. Permits issued under this section shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance. No permit issued under this section shall authorize violation of any weight limitation, promulgated and posted in accordance with § 46.2-1130, applicable to bridges or culverts. This permit shall not be combined with any other overweight permit or extension of weight limits.

2007, c. 738; 2008, c. 33; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1144.2. Overweight permits for haulers of farm animal feed.

The Commissioner, upon written application by the owner or operator of certain vehicles used exclusively for hauling farm animal feed, shall issue overweight permits for operation of such vehicle. Permits shall be issued under this section only for specially designed five-axle semi-trailer combinations with bulk feed compartments and at least 51 feet of axle spacing between the first and last axle. Such permits shall not be combined with any other overweight permits or extension of weight limits.

No permits issued under this section shall authorize a tandem axle weight of more than 37,400 pounds or a total gross weight in excess of 84,000 pounds. Permits issued under this section shall be valid for one year from the date of issuance. No permit issued under this section shall designate the route to be traversed or contain restrictions or conditions not applicable to other vehicles in their general use of the highways. However, no such permit shall authorize violation of any weight limitation applicable to bridges or culverts, as promulgated and posted in accordance with § 46.2-1130. Nothing contained in this section shall authorize any extension of weight limits provided in § 46.2-1127 for operation on interstate highways.

The fee for a permit issued under this section shall be as provided in § 46.2-1140.1.

2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1145. Overweight permits for certain trucks operated by Arlington County.

The Commissioner, upon written application by Arlington County, shall issue without a fee to such county a permit authorizing the county's operation of vehicles used for hauling household waste and vehicles used for highway or utility construction, operation, or maintenance upon the highways of such county at gross weights exceeding those set forth in § 46.2-1126. Permits issued hereunder shall specify that vehicles with two axles may have a maximum gross weight of no more than 48,000 pounds and a single axle weight of not more than 24,000 pounds and that vehicles with three axles may have a maximum gross weight of not more than 60,000 pounds and a single axle weight of not more than 24,000 pounds and a tandem axle weight of not more than 40,000 pounds.

The permit shall not designate the route to be traversed nor contain restrictions or conditions not applicable to other vehicles in their general use of the highways. Each vehicle, when loaded according to the provisions of a permit issued under this section shall be operated at a reduced speed of 10 miles per hour slower than the legal speed limit in 55, 45, and 35 miles per hour speed limit zones.

1973, c. 62, § 46.1-343.3; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1146. Excess height and length permits for haulers of certain imported goods.

The Commissioner and local authorities of cities and towns in their respective jurisdictions, upon written application by the owners or operators of motor vehicles used to transport items arriving at a Virginia port by ship from overseas points of origin and consigned to an assembly plant in this Commonwealth, shall issue without cost permits for the operation of such motor vehicles on the highways if those vehicles do not exceed the height limitation set forth in § 46.2-1110 by more than one and one-half feet and not exceeding the length limitation as set forth in §§ 46.2-1112 and 46.2-1113 by more than three feet. The Commissioner and local authorities may designate the routes such permittees shall use from the port to the assembly plant.

1973, c. 62, § 46.1-343.3; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 2003, c. 314.

§ 46.2-1147. Permits for excessive size and weight for articulated buses.

The Commissioner, upon written application by the owner or operator of passenger buses having three or more axles consisting of two sections joined together by an articulated joint with the trailer being equipped with a mechanically steered rear axle, and having a gross weight of no more than 60,000 pounds, a single axle weight of no more than 25,000 pounds, and a width of no more than 102 inches, shall issue to such owner or operator a written permit authorizing the operation of such vehicles on the highways. The fee for such permit shall be as provided in § 46.2-1140.1.

1973, c. 62, § 46.1-343.3; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 2003, c. 314; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1148. Overweight permit for hauling Virginia-grown farm produce.

In addition to other permits provided for in this article, the Commissioner, upon written application by the owner or operator of any vehicle hauling farm produce grown in Virginia from the point of origin to the first place of delivery, shall issue permits for overweight operation of such vehicles as provided in this section. Such permits shall allow the vehicles to have a single axle weight of no more than 24,000 pounds, a tandem axle weight of no more than 40,000 pounds, and a tri-axle grouping weight of no more than 50,000 pounds. Additionally, any five-axle combination having no less than 42 feet of axle space between extreme axles may have a gross weight of no more than 90,000 pounds, any four-axle combination, may have a gross weight of not more than 70,000 pounds, any three-axle combination may have a gross weight of no more than 60,000 pounds, and any two-axle combination may have a gross weight of no more than 40,000 pounds.

Except as otherwise provided in this section, no such permit shall designate the route to be traversed nor contain restrictions or conditions not applicable to other vehicles in their general use of the highways.

No permit issued under this section shall authorize any vehicle to violate any weight limitation applicable to bridges or culverts, as promulgated and posted in accordance with § 46.2-1130. Nothing contained in this section shall authorize any extension of weight limits provided in § 46.2-1127 for operation on interstate highways.

The fee for a permit issued under this section shall be $45, to be allocated as follows: (i) $40 to the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1530, with a portion equal to the percentage of the Commonwealth's total lane miles represented by the lane miles eligible for maintenance payments pursuant to §§ 33.2-319 and 33.2-366 being redistributed on the basis of lane miles to the applicable localities pursuant to §§ 33.2-319 and 33.2-366, to be used to assist in funding needed highway pavement and bridge maintenance and rehabilitation and (ii) a $5 administrative fee to the Department.

1962, c. 192, § 46.1-343.1; 1974, c. 145; 1983, c. 169; 1987, c. 372; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 2003, c. 314; 2012, c. 443; 2013, c. 118; 2017, c. 693; 2018, cc. 501, 612.

§ 46.2-1148.1. Overweight permit for hauling forest products.

A. For purposes of this section, "forest products" means raw logs to market, rough-sawn green lumber, and wood residuals, including wood chips, wood pellets, sawdust, mulch, and tree bark.

B. In addition to other permits provided for in this article, the Commissioner, upon written application by the owner or operator of any vehicle hauling forest products transported from the place where they are first produced, cut, harvested, or felled to the location where they are first processed, shall issue permits for overweight operation of such vehicles as provided in this section. Such permits shall allow the vehicles to have a single-axle weight of no more than 24,000 pounds, a tandem-axle weight of no more than 40,000 pounds, and a tri-axle grouping weight of no more than 50,000 pounds. Additionally, any five-axle combination having a minimum of 48 feet between the first and last axle may have a gross weight of no more than 90,000 pounds, any four-axle combination may have a gross weight of no more than 70,000 pounds, any three-axle combination may have a gross weight of no more than 60,000 pounds, and any two-axle combination may have a gross weight of no more than 40,000 pounds.

C. No permit issued under this section shall designate the route to be traversed or contain restrictions or conditions not applicable to other vehicles in their general use of the highways. However, no such permit shall authorize violation of the length limitations in § 46.2-1149.2 or any weight limitation applicable to bridges or culverts, as promulgated and posted in accordance with § 46.2-1130. Nothing contained in this section shall authorize any extension of weight limits provided in § 46.2-1127 for operation on interstate highways.

D. The fee for a permit issued under this section shall be as provided in § 46.2-1140.1. Only the Commissioner may issue a permit under this section.

E. Each vehicle when loaded according to the provisions of a permit issued under this section shall be operated at a reduced speed as provided in § 46.2-872.

2015, cc. 40, 72; 2018, c. 12; 2020, cc. 268, 409.

§ 46.2-1149. Unladen, oversize and overweight, rubber-tired, self-propelled haulers and loaders; permits; engineering analysis; costs.

The Commissioner and local authorities of cities and towns in their respective jurisdictions, upon written application by the owner or operator of any empty, oversize and overweight, rubber-tired, self-propelled hauler or loader used in the construction and coal mining industries, may issue to such owner or operator a permit authorizing operation upon the highways of such equipment with gross empty weights in excess of those established in §§ 46.2-1122 through 46.2-1127 and sizes in excess of those established in §§ 46.2-1105 through 46.2-1108. The permits shall be issued only after an engineering analysis of a proposed routing has been conducted by the Virginia Department of Transportation or local authorities of counties, cities, and towns in their respective jurisdictions to assess the ability of the roadway and bridges to be traversed to sustain the vehicles' size and weight. The fee for a permit issued under this section shall be based on the costs assessed against the applicant to cover engineering analysis, not to exceed three hours.

No permit issued under this section shall be valid for the operation of the equipment for a distance of more than 75 miles.

1983, c. 311, § 46.1-343.4; 1989, c. 727; 1996, cc. 36, 87; 2000, c. 129; 2003, c. 314; 2012, c. 443; 2013, c. 354.

§ 46.2-1149.1. Excess tandem axle weight permits for cotton module haulers.

The Commissioner, upon application made by the owner or operator of vehicles used exclusively to transport seed cotton modules, shall issue a permit authorizing the operation on the highway of such vehicles, from September 1 through December 31 of each year, at tandem axle weights in excess of that authorized in § 46.2-1125. The Commissioner may promulgate regulations governing such permits. Such permits shall allow the vehicles to have tandem axle weights of no more than 44,000 pounds. No permit issued under this section shall authorize a single axle weight in excess of that authorized in § 46.2-1124 or a gross weight in excess of 56,000 pounds.

The fee for a permit issued under this section shall be $45, to be allocated as follows: (i) $40 to the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1530, with a portion equal to the percentage of the Commonwealth's total lane miles represented by the lane miles eligible for maintenance payments pursuant to §§ 33.2-319 and 33.2-366 being redistributed on the basis of lane miles to the applicable localities pursuant to §§ 33.2-319 and 33.2-366, to be used to assist in funding needed highway pavement and bridge maintenance and rehabilitation and (ii) a $5 administrative fee to the Department.

1995, c. 419; 1996, cc. 29, 36, 87; 2003, c. 314; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1149.2. Permit authorizing transportation of tree-length logs.

The Commissioner, upon application made by the owner or operator of vehicles used to transport tree-length logs, shall issue a permit authorizing the operation on the highways of such vehicles in excess of lengths authorized in Article 16 (§ 46.2-1112 et seq.) of this chapter. Such permit shall be issued in accordance with regulations promulgated as provided in Chapter 40 (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) of Title 2.2, and §§ 33.2-210 and 33.2-300.

1997, c. 283; 2003, c. 314.

§ 46.2-1149.3. Payment of fees into special fund.

Except as otherwise provided, all fees collected by the Commissioner under this article shall be paid into the state treasury and set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department.

2003, c. 314; 2007, c. 738; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1149.4. Overweight permits for specialized mobile equipment.

The Commissioner, upon written application made by the owner or operator, shall issue an overweight permit for the operation of specialized mobile equipment. Any vehicle operating under a permit issued pursuant to this section shall have a gross weight of no more than 64,000 pounds, a single axle weight of no more than 20,000 pounds, and a tandem axle weight of no more than 44,000 pounds. Such permit shall not designate the route to be traversed nor contain restrictions or conditions not applicable to other vehicles in their general use of the highways. The fee for such permit shall be as provided in § 46.2-1140.1.

For purposes of this section, "specialized mobile equipment" means a self-propelled motor vehicle manufactured for the specific purpose of supporting well-drilling machinery on the job site and whose movement on any highway is incidental to the purpose for which it was designed and manufactured.

2003, c. 1002; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1149.5. Overweight permits for underground pipe cleaning, hydroexcavating, and water blasting equipment.

The Commissioner, upon written application made by the owner or operator, shall issue an overweight permit for the operation of underground pipe cleaning, hydroexcavating, and water blasting equipment. Any vehicle operating under a permit issued pursuant to this section shall have a gross weight of no more than 64,000 pounds, a single axle weight of no more than 20,000 pounds, and a tandem axle weight of no more than 44,000 pounds. Such permit shall not designate the route to be traversed nor contain restrictions or conditions not applicable to other vehicles in their general use of the highways. The fee for such permit shall be as provided in § 46.2-1140.1.

For purposes of this section, "underground pipe cleaning equipment" means a self-propelled motor vehicle manufactured for the specific purpose of vacuuming and cleaning underground sanitary and storm pipe. "Hydroexcavating equipment" means a self-propelled motor vehicle manufactured for the specific purpose of digging with water and vacuuming of debris. "Water blasting equipment" means a self-propelled motor vehicle manufactured for the specific purpose of waterblasting flat concrete surfaces and vacuuming spent water for reuse.

2007, c. 429; 2012, c. 443.

§ 46.2-1149.6. Permits for truck cranes.

The Commissioner and local authorities of cities and towns, in their respective jurisdictions, may, upon written application made by an owner or operator and subject to the requirements of § 46.2-1139, issue permits authorizing the operation over the highways of truck cranes that exceed the maximum weight specified in this title. Truck cranes that have been mounted with counterweights and other manufactured equipment that enable a single person to assemble and operate the truck crane shall be considered irreducible, and no application for a permit under this section shall be denied because of the applicant's refusal to remove such counterweights or other manufactured equipment.

2014, cc. 68, 258.

§ 46.2-1149.7. Specialized construction equipment; permits; engineering analysis; costs.

A. For the purpose of this section, "specialized construction equipment" means (i) rubber-tracked, or tracked when protective matting is used, self-propelled equipment being used in highway maintenance and construction projects and (ii) tracked, self-propelled equipment being used in emergency operations, including snow removal.

B. The Commissioner of Highways, upon written application made by the owner or operator of specialized construction equipment, may issue a single trip or multi-trip permit allowing such equipment to be driven across structures maintained by the Department of Transportation within, or to gain access to, a highway construction or maintenance work zone of the Department of Transportation, as defined in the most recent version of the Department of Transportation's Virginia Work Area Protection Manual, or to access any road or structure maintained by the Department of Transportation when needed by the Department for snow removal or other emergency operations. The permits shall be issued only after an engineering analysis of a proposed routing has been conducted by the Department of Transportation to assess the ability of the roads and structures to be traversed to sustain the equipment's size and weight. Such permit shall designate the route to be traversed and contain restrictions or conditions regarding the specialized construction equipment's operation across structures. The fee for a permit issued under this section shall be based on the costs assessed against the applicant to cover engineering analysis, not to exceed three hours.

2014, c. 70.

§ 46.2-1149.8. Excess width permits for vehicles transporting watercraft.

The Commissioner shall issue a permit authorizing the operation of vehicles hauling boats or other watercraft that exceed a total outside width of 102 inches but do not exceed a total outside width of 108 inches upon application by the owner of such vehicle. Such permit shall authorize the operation of such vehicle on all unrestricted state and local highways. The annual fee for a permit issued pursuant to this section and the allocation of such fee shall be the same as provided for overweight permits in § 46.2-1140.1.

2016, cc. 115, 533.

Article 19. Towing and Towed Vehicles.

§ 46.2-1150. Towing certain unlicensed or uninspected vehicles.

Nothing in this title shall prohibit towing an unlicensed motor vehicle or motor vehicle which has not been inspected pursuant to Article 21 (§ 46.2-1157 et seq.) or 22 (§ 46.2-1176 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title.

Nothing in this title shall prohibit the towing of an unlicensed trailer or semitrailer used on a construction site as an office or for storage or a trailer or semitrailer which has been used on a construction site as an office or for storage, but which has not been inspected pursuant to Article 21 of Chapter 10 of this title, provided that any such unlicensed or uninspected trailer or semitrailer (i) is towed by a tow truck or other vehicle designed and equipped for the towing of inoperable or disabled vehicles; (ii) is operated only in intrastate commerce; (iii) has an actual gross weight, including contents, of no more than 15,000 pounds; (iv) is secured to the towing vehicle by means of safety chains; and (v) is equipped with rear-mounted bar lights which function as tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals as provided in Article 3 (§ 46.2-1010 et seq.) of Chapter 10 of this title. However, nothing in this section shall authorize the towing or drawing of an unlicensed or uninspected trailer or semitrailer by means of a tractor truck except for the purpose of having such trailer or semitrailer inspected as provided in § 46.2-1157.

Code 1950, § 46-333.1; 1956, c. 47; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-338; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 106; 2006, cc. 874, 891.

§ 46.2-1151. Weight limit exception as to vehicles designed for towing disabled vehicles.

The provisions of §§ 46.2-1122 through 46.2-1127 shall not apply to a vehicle designed for towing disabled vehicles, when towing such vehicle in an emergency in such manner that a part of the combined weight of the two vehicles rests upon an axle or axles of the towing vehicle, provided the towed and towing vehicles each are within the weight limits prescribed in §§ 46.2-1122 through 46.2-1127. This section shall not permit the violation of any lawfully established load limit on any bridge. For the purpose of this section, "emergency" includes towing disabled inoperative vehicles to places designated by owners.

1958, c. 541, § 46.1-339.1; 1977, c. 472; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1151.1. Weight limit exception for covered heavy duty tow and recovery vehicles.

The provisions of §§ 46.2-1126 and 46.2-1127 shall not apply to a covered heavy duty tow and recovery vehicle when operating on an interstate highway.

This section shall not permit the violation of any lawfully established load limit on any bridge. Covered heavy duty tow and recovery vehicles shall have reasonable access to terminals and facilities for food, fuel, repairs, and rest as designated by the Commissioner of Highways.

For purposes of this section, "covered heavy duty tow and recovery vehicle" means a vehicle that is transporting a disabled vehicle from the place where the vehicle became disabled to the nearest appropriate repair facility and has a gross vehicle weight that is equal to or exceeds the gross vehicle weight of the disabled vehicle being transported.

2017, c. 554.

§ 46.2-1152. Certain tow trucks need not be weighed.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, no truck designed and equipped for the towing of inoperative or disabled motor vehicles shall be required to be weighed at state-operated permanent weighing stations when not actually engaged in towing another vehicle.

1984, c. 98, § 46.1-339.2; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1153. Permissible lengths of combination vehicles being towed in emergencies.

In an emergency as provided in § 46.2-1149, the towing of disabled vehicles which cannot be separated for safety, physical, or mechanical reasons and which exceed length limits established in Article 16 (§ 46.2-1112 et seq.) of this chapter, shall be permissible for the purpose of towing any such vehicle to the nearest facility which can make the necessary repairs but not more than fifty miles from the point such vehicle was disabled.

Code 1950, §§ 46-328, 46-331; 1950, p. 665; 1952, c. 342; 1956, cc. 476, 483; 1958, c. 541, §§ 46.1-330, 46.1-335; 1962, cc. 113, 575; 1964, c. 286; 1966, cc. 59, 373; 1972, c. 446; 1974, cc. 580, 664; 1975, c. 104; 1978, c. 254; 1983, c. 515; 1985, c. 426; 1986, cc. 72, 417; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1154. Length of vehicles; exceptions in case of breakdown.

The provisions of § 46.2-1118 shall not apply to vehicles which, because of a mechanical breakdown or an accident, are towed to the nearest repair facility which can furnish the required service. In any such case such connection may consist solely of a chain, rope, or cable of no more than fifteen feet long. A licensed driver shall be at the controls of the towed vehicle to brake, steer and control its lights.

Code 1950, § 46-333; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-337; 1989, c. 727.

Article 20. Loads and Cargoes.

§ 46.2-1155. Fastening load of logs, barrels, etc.

No vehicle which is designed or used for the purpose of hauling logs, poles, lumber, barrels, hogsheads, or other materials or containers which by their nature may shift or roll, shall be operated or moved on any highway unless its load is securely fastened by adequate log chains, metal cables, nylon webbing, steel straps or other restraining devices so as to prevent the load from shifting or falling from the vehicle. Tobacco hogsheads may, however, be secured by manila or hemp rope, at least five-eighths inch in diameter, of sufficient strength securely to fasten the hogshead against shifting, falling, or rolling.

Nothing in this section shall release the owner or operator from liability for failure to use reasonable care to prevent the load from shifting or falling.

Code 1950, § 46-308; 1954, c. 34; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-304; 1972, c. 64; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1156. Construction, maintenance and loading must prevent escape of contents; load covers; exemptions.

A. No vehicle shall be operated or moved on any highway unless it is so constructed, maintained, and loaded as to prevent its contents from dropping, sifting, leaking, or otherwise escaping. No provision of this section, however, shall apply to any (i) motor vehicle that is used exclusively for agricultural purposes as provided in § 46.2-698 and is not licensed in any other state; (ii) agricultural vehicle, tractor, or other vehicle exempted from registration and licensing requirements pursuant to Article 6 (§ 46.2-662 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of this title; or (iii) motor vehicle transporting forest products, poultry, or livestock.

B. The loads of all trucks, trailers and semitrailers carrying gravel, sand, coal or other nonagricultural and nonforestry products on interstate, primary, or secondary highways or roads maintained by cities, counties or incorporated towns shall be either (i) secured to the vehicle in which they are being transported or (ii) covered. Covers used to prevent the escape of material from commercial vehicles used to transport solid waste shall be of such design, installation, and construction as to contain the vehicle's cargo within the vehicle, regardless of the vehicle's speed or weather conditions. Public service company vehicles, pickup trucks, and emergency snow removal equipment while engaged in snow removal operations shall be excluded from the provisions of this subsection.

Code 1950, § 46-307; 1958, c. 541, §§ 46.1-303, 46.1-401; 1975, c. 553; 1979, c. 213; 1980, c. 21; 1986, c. 639; 1988, cc. 662, 897; 1989, cc. 526, 727; 1992, c. 149; 1997, c. 283; 2001, c. 180.

§ 46.2-1156.1. Transportation of persons less than sixteen years old in pickup truck beds prohibited; exception.

No person under sixteen years of age shall be transported in the rear cargo area of any pickup truck on the highways of Virginia. The provisions of this section shall not apply to transportation of persons in the bed of any pickup truck being operated (i) as part of an organized parade authorized by the Department of Transportation or the locality in which the parade is being conducted or (ii) on or across a highway from one field or parcel of land to another field or parcel of land in connection with farming operations.

2000, c. 736.

Article 21. Safety Inspections.

§ 46.2-1157. Inspection of motor vehicles required.

A. The owner or operator of any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer registered in Virginia and operated or parked on a highway within the Commonwealth shall submit his vehicle to an inspection of its mechanism and equipment by an official inspection station, designated for that purpose, in accordance with § 46.2-1158. No owner or operator shall fail to submit a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer operated or parked on the highways in the Commonwealth to such inspection or fail or refuse to correct or have corrected in accordance with the requirements of this title any mechanical defects found by such inspection to exist.

B. The provisions of this section requiring safety inspections of motor vehicles shall also apply to vehicles used for firefighting; inspections of firefighting vehicles shall be conducted pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Superintendent of State Police, taking into consideration the special purpose of such vehicles and the conditions under which they operate.

C. Each day during which such motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer is operated or parked on any highway in the Commonwealth after failure to comply with this law shall constitute a separate offense.

D. Except as otherwise provided, autocycles shall be inspected as motorcycles under this article.

E. No law-enforcement officer shall stop a motor vehicle due to an expired vehicle inspection sticker until the first day of the fourth month after the original expiration date. No evidence discovered or obtained as the result of a stop in violation of this subsection, including evidence discovered or obtained with the operator's consent, shall be admissible in any trial, hearing, or other proceeding.

Code 1950, § 46-317; 1950, p. 691; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-315; 1962, c. 246; 1978, cc. 275, 605; 1982, c. 646; 1989, c. 727; 1991, cc. 107, 717; 1993, c. 134; 1995, c. 670; 1997, c. 283; 2004, cc. 267, 796; 2007, cc. 75, 137; 2009, cc. 115, 514, 756; 2011, c. 283; 2014, cc. 53, 256; 2020, Sp. Sess. I, cc. 45, 51.

§ 46.2-1158. Frequency of inspection; scope of inspection.

Motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers required to be inspected pursuant to the provisions of § 46.2-1157 shall be reinspected within 12 months of the month of the first inspection and at least once every 12 months thereafter.

Each inspection shall be a complete inspection. A reinspection of a rejected vehicle by the same station during the period of validity of the rejection sticker on such vehicle, however, need only include an inspection of the item or items previously found defective unless there is found an obvious defect that would warrant further rejection of the vehicle.

A rejection sticker shall be valid for 15 calendar days beyond the day of issuance, during which time the operator of the vehicle shall not be charged for a violation of vehicle equipment requirements set forth in Article 3 (§ 46.2-1010 et seq.) through Article 9 (§ 46.2-1066 et seq.) for such vehicle. A complete inspection shall be performed on any vehicle bearing an expired rejection sticker.

The completion of the conversion process for a converted electric vehicle shall invalidate any inspection of such vehicle conducted in accordance with this section prior to the conversion. Following the initial inspection of a converted electric vehicle, as required under § 46.2-602.3 and the provisions of this chapter, such vehicle shall be reinspected in accordance with this section.

1977, c. 655, § 46.1-315.2; 1978, cc. 302, 748; 1982, c. 646; 1989, c. 727; 2012, c. 177; 2020, cc. 1230, 1275.

§ 46.2-1158.01. Exceptions to motor vehicle inspection requirement.

A. The following shall be exempt from inspection as required by § 46.2-1157:

1. Four-wheel vehicles weighing less than 500 pounds and having less than 6 horsepower;

2. Boat, utility, or travel trailers that are not equipped with brakes;

3. Antique motor vehicles or antique trailers as defined in § 46.2-100 and licensed pursuant to § 46.2-730;

4. Any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that is outside the Commonwealth at the time its inspection expires when operated by the most direct route to the owner's or operator's place of residence or the owner's legal place of business in the Commonwealth;

5. A truck, tractor truck, trailer, or semitrailer for which the period fixed for inspection has expired while the vehicle was outside the Commonwealth (i) from a point outside the Commonwealth to the place where such vehicle is kept or garaged within the Commonwealth or (ii) to a destination within the Commonwealth where such vehicle will be (a) unloaded within 24 hours of entering the Commonwealth, (b) inspected within such 24-hour period, and (c) operated, after being unloaded, only to an inspection station or to the place where it is kept or garaged within the Commonwealth;

6. New motor vehicles, new trailers, or new semitrailers operated upon the highways of the Commonwealth for the purpose of delivery from the place of manufacture to the dealer's or distributor's designated place of business or between places of business if such manufacturer, dealer, or distributor has more than one place of business; dealers or distributors may take delivery and operate upon the highways of the Commonwealth new motor vehicles, new trailers, or new semitrailers from another dealer or distributor provided a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer shall not be considered new if driven upon the highways for any purpose other than the delivery of the vehicle;

7. New motor vehicles, new trailers, or new semitrailers bearing a manufacturer's license operated for test purposes by the manufacturer;

8. Motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers operated for test purposes by a certified inspector during the performance of an official inspection;

9. New motor vehicles, new trailers, or new semitrailers operated upon the highways of the Commonwealth over the most direct route to a location for installation of a permanent body;

10. Motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers purchased outside the Commonwealth driven to the purchaser's place of residence or the dealer's or distributor's designated place of business;

11. Prior to purchase from auto auctions, motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers operated upon the highways not to exceed a 10-mile radius of such auction by prospective purchasers only for the purpose of road testing and motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers purchased from auto auctions operated upon the highways from such auction to (i) an official safety inspection station provided that (a) the inspection station is located between the auto auction and the purchaser's residence or place of business or within a 10-mile radius of such residence or business and (b) the vehicle is taken to the inspection station on the same day the purchaser removes the vehicle from the auto auction or (ii) the purchaser's place of residence or business;

12. Motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers, after the expiration of a period fixed for the inspection thereof, (i) operated over the most direct route between the place where such vehicle is kept or garaged and an official inspection station or (ii) parked on a highway and that have been submitted for a motor vehicle safety inspection to an official inspection station, for the purpose of having the same inspected pursuant to a prior appointment with such station;

13. Any vehicle for transporting well-drilling machinery and mobile equipment as defined in § 46.2-700;

14. Motor vehicles being towed in a legal manner as exempted under § 46.2-1150;

15. Logtrailers as exempted under § 46.2-1159;

16. Motor vehicles designed or altered and used exclusively for racing or other exhibition purposes as exempted under § 46.2-1160;

17. Any tow dolly or converter gear as defined in § 46.2-1119;

18. A new motor vehicle, as defined in § 46.2-1500, that has been inspected in accordance with an inspection requirement of the manufacturer or distributor of the new motor vehicle by an employee who customarily performs such inspection on behalf of a motor vehicle dealer licensed pursuant to § 46.2-1508. Such inspection shall be deemed to be the first inspection for the purpose of § 46.2-1158, and an inspection approval sticker furnished by the Department of State Police at the uniform price paid by all official inspection stations to the Department of State Police for an inspection approval sticker may be affixed to the vehicle as required by § 46.2-1163;

19. Mopeds;

20. Low-speed vehicles;

21. Vehicles exempt from registration pursuant to Article 6 (§ 46.2-662 et seq.) of Chapter 6; and

22. Military surplus motor vehicles as defined in § 46.2-100 and licensed pursuant to § 46.2-730.1.

B. The following shall be exempt from inspection as required by § 46.2-1157 provided that (i) the commercial motor vehicle operates in interstate commerce; (ii) the commercial motor vehicle is found to meet the federal requirements for annual inspection through a self-inspection, a third-party inspection, a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance inspection, or a periodic inspection performed by any state with a program; (iii) the inspection has been determined by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to be comparable to or as effective as the requirements of 49 C.F.R. § 396.3(a); and (iv) documentation of such determination as provided for in 49 C.F.R. § 396.3(b) is available for review by law-enforcement officials to verify that the inspection is current:

1. Any commercial motor vehicle operating in interstate commerce that is subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations;

2. Any trailer or semitrailer being operated in interstate commerce that is subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.

2011, c. 283; 2016, cc. 128, 702; 2018, c. 555; 2019, c. 69.

§ 46.2-1158.02. Penalty for failure to have motor vehicle inspection.

A. Notwithstanding the penalty provisions of § 46.2-1171, a violation of § 46.2-1158 constitutes a traffic infraction. The court may, in its discretion, dismiss a summons issued under § 46.2-1158 where correction of vehicle or safety equipment defects or proof of compliance with § 46.2-1158 is provided to the court subsequent to the issuance of the summons.

B. The operator of a motor vehicle who is cited for a violation of § 46.2-1158 shall not be cited during the same occurrence for a violation of vehicle equipment requirements set forth in Article 3 (§ 46.2-1010 et seq.) through Article 9 (§ 46.2-1066 et seq.) for such vehicle, nor shall the operator of the motor vehicle that is subject to the citation be cited for a violation of such vehicle equipment requirements for such vehicle for a period of 15 calendar days.

2011, c. 283; 2020, cc. 1230, 1275.

§ 46.2-1158.1. Extension of validity of vehicle safety inspection approval stickers issued for vehicles whose registered owners are persons in the armed services of the United States.

Notwithstanding any contrary provision of law, any vehicle safety inspection approval sticker issued for any vehicle that is principally garaged outside the Commonwealth while its registered owner is a person in the armed services of the United States shall be held not to have expired during the period of the owner's official absence from the Commonwealth in the armed services of the United States, regardless of whether such vehicle is operated in or through the Commonwealth during the owner's official absence from the Commonwealth in the armed services of the United States. Should the armed services member be domiciled in another state of the United States, nothing in this section shall be construed to absolve such person from obtaining a current inspection sticker from his state of domicile, if required by such state. In cases where a vehicle's owner has been officially absent from the Commonwealth because of service in the armed services of the United States but returns to Virginia following such official absence and the vehicle becomes operational in the Commonwealth, the vehicle's owner will have 14 calendar days following such return, Sundays and holidays excepted, to have the vehicle inspected. Furthermore, no penalty shall be imposed on any such owner or operator for operation of a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer after the expiration of a period fixed for the inspection thereof, over the most direct route between the place where such vehicle is kept or garaged and an official inspection station for the purpose of having it inspected pursuant to an appointment with such station.

Motor vehicles owned and operated by persons on active duty with the United States armed forces who are Virginia residents stationed outside the Commonwealth at the time the inspection expires may be operated on the highways of the Commonwealth while persons on active duty are on leave, provided such vehicle displays a valid inspection sticker issued by another state.

For the purposes of this section, "service in the armed services of the United States" includes active duty service with the regular armed forces of the United States or the National Guard or other reserve component.

2005, c. 582; 2008, c. 722; 2009, c. 523; 2011, c. 283; 2014, cc. 67, 250.

§ 46.2-1159. Logtrailers defined; exempt from inspection under certain conditions.

For the purpose of this section, a "logtrailer" shall be any vehicle designed and used solely as an implement for hauling logs, lumber, or other forest products from the forest to the mill or loading platform. Log trailers shall be exempt from the requirements of § 46.2-1157 if operation on the highways in the Commonwealth does not exceed two miles and is made during daylight hours.

Code 1950, § 46-317.1; 1954, c. 436; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-316; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1160. Towed vehicle defined; exempt from inspection requirement.

For the purpose of this section a towed vehicle shall be any motor vehicle designed or altered and used exclusively for racing or other exhibition purposes at places other than the highways in the Commonwealth where such vehicle does not operate under its own power on the highways in the Commonwealth in going to or from such places. A towed vehicle as defined in this section shall be exempt from the requirements of § 46.2-1157.

Code 1950, § 46-317.2; 1956, c. 128; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-317; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1161. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2011, c. 283, cl. 2.

§ 46.2-1161.1. Inspections of trailers and semitrailers equipped with heating or cooking appliances.

If any trailer or semitrailer subject to the periodic safety inspections required by this article is equipped with a heating or cooking appliance, the safety inspection of such trailer or semitrailer shall include a visual inspection of the venting of such cooking or heating appliance to the outside of the trailer or semitrailer. No safety inspection approval sticker shall be issued to any such trailer or semitrailer unless any such heating or cooking appliance is adequately vented to prevent the asphyxiation of occupants of any such trailer or semitrailer by the operation of the heating or cooking appliance.

1991, c. 169.

§ 46.2-1162. Inspection of certain trailers.

Any trailer required to be inspected under the provisions of this article may, only if the size or configuration of the trailer and the size and configuration of the facilities of the inspection station prevent the trailer from being inspected inside the inspection station, be inspected outside the inspection station. The provisions of this section shall apply only to trailers as defined in § 46.2-100 and shall not apply to recreational vehicles commonly known as "motor homes" or to any vehicle required to be equipped with head lights.

1982, c. 159, § 46.1-317.2; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1163. Official inspection stations; safety inspection approval stickers; actions of Superintendent subject to the Administrative Process Act.

The Superintendent may designate, furnish instructions to, and supervise official inspection stations for the inspection of motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers and for adjusting and correcting equipment enumerated in this chapter in such a manner as to conform to specifications hereinbefore set forth. The Superintendent shall adopt and furnish to such official inspection stations regulations governing the making of inspections required by this chapter. The Superintendent may at any time, after five days' written notice, revoke the designation of any official inspection station designated by him.

If no defects are discovered or when the equipment has been corrected in accordance with this title, the official inspection station shall issue to the operator or owner of the vehicle, on forms furnished by the Department of State Police, a duplicate of which is retained by such station, a certificate showing the date of correction, registration number of the vehicle, and the official designation of such station. On or before December 1, 2010, any information an official inspection station is required to provide to the Department of State Police shall be accepted by the Department in electronic form. There also shall be placed on the windshield of the vehicle at a place to be designated by the Superintendent an approval sticker furnished by the Department of State Police. If any vehicle is not equipped with a windshield, the approval sticker shall be placed on the vehicle in a location designated by the Superintendent. If the vehicle is a motorcycle, the approval sticker may, at the discretion of the motorcycle owner, be placed on a plate securely fastened to the motorcycle for the purpose of displaying the sticker or affixed to the motorcycle. The Superintendent shall designate the location on which such plate shall be fastened or such sticker shall be affixed to the motorcycle. This sticker shall be displayed on the windshield of such vehicle or at such other designated place upon the vehicle at all times when it is operated or parked on the highways in the Commonwealth and until such time as a new inspection period shall be designated and a new inspection sticker issued. Common carriers, operating under certificate from the State Corporation Commission or the Department of Motor Vehicles, who desire to do so may use with the approval of the Superintendent private inspection stations for the inspection and correction of their equipment.

The Superintendent shall provide motor vehicle safety inspection information upon the written request of an individual or corporate entity or such entity's agent. Any information provided shall not include personal information. The Superintendent may make a reasonable charge for furnishing information under this section but no fee shall be charged to any official of the Commonwealth, including court and police officials; officials of counties, cities, or towns; local government self-insurance pools; or the court, police, or licensing officials of other states or of the federal government, provided that the information requested is for official use and such officials do not charge the Commonwealth a fee for the provision of the same or substantially similar information. Vehicle information, including all descriptive vehicle data, submitted to or received from the Department of State Police related to such a request shall not be considered a public record for the purposes of the Virginia Freedom of Information Act (§ 2.2-3700 et seq.). The fees received by the Superintendent pursuant to this section shall be paid into the state treasury and shall be set aside as a special fund to be used to meet the expenses of the Department of State Police's motor vehicle safety inspection program.

Actions of the Superintendent relating to official inspection stations shall be governed by the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

Code 1950, § 46-318; 1954, c. 57; 1956, c. 381; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-318; 1989, c. 727; 1996, c. 573; 2003, c. 138; 2006, c. 620; 2007, cc. 75, 137; 2009, c. 241; 2017, cc. 322, 332; 2018, c. 333.

§ 46.2-1164. Reinspection not required when windshield replaced; transfer of inspection sticker to new windshield; replacement of lost or damaged stickers.

When any vehicle requires the replacement of a windshield pursuant to § 46.2-1058, it shall not be necessary to inspect such vehicle at the time of replacement if a valid state inspection sticker is displayed on the windshield being replaced.

The sticker found on the broken windshield may be removed and placed on the new windshield.

The Superintendent may designate certain State Police officers to issue safety inspection approval stickers to vehicles from which the original valid safety inspection approval sticker has been lost, stolen or damaged without causing the vehicle to be reinspected, provided the vehicle owner or operator produces the original safety inspection approval sticker receipt issued to the vehicle within the past eleven months. Such replacement safety inspection approval stickers shall be issued in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Superintendent.

1978, c. 266, § 46.1-294.1; 1989, c. 727; 1993, c. 94; 1994, c. 396.

§ 46.2-1165. Regulations for inspection of vehicles; posting.

The Superintendent shall promulgate regulations for the inspection of motor vehicles under this title and shall furnish each official inspection station with a printed set of such regulations suitable for posting. Such station shall post the regulations in a conspicuous place in the portion of its premises where inspections are made and shall cause its employees making official inspections to be conversant with such regulations.

Code 1950, § 46-323; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-319; 1960, c. 391; 1970, c. 21; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1166. Minimum standards required for inspection stations; appointments.

A. The Superintendent shall not designate any person, firm, or corporation as an official inspection station unless and until such person, firm or corporation satisfies the Superintendent, under such regulations as the Superintendent shall prescribe, that such person, firm, or corporation has met and will continue to meet the following standards:

1. The station has sufficient mechanical equipment and skilled and competent mechanics to make a complete inspection in accordance with the provisions of this article;

2. Adequate means are provided by the station to test the brakes, headlights, and steering mechanism of motor vehicles and to ascertain that motor vehicles inspected by the station meet the safety standards prescribed by the Superintendent under the terms of this title;

3. The person making the actual inspection or under whose immediate supervision such inspection is made shall have at least one year's practical experience as an automotive mechanic, or has satisfactorily completed a training program in automotive mechanics approved by the Superintendent of State Police;

4. No person shall be designated by such station to make such inspections unless the person has been approved for that purpose by the Department of State Police;

5. The Superintendent of State Police may, at his discretion, waive the experience and training requirements of this section for inspections of motorcycles and trailers when, in the Superintendent's opinion, the person performing such inspections is otherwise qualified to perform such inspections; and

6. The station has 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, provided this requirement shall not apply to inspection stations that inspect only their company-owned or leased or government-owned or leased vehicles.

B. Any official inspection station may, at the discretion of the inspection station, 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.

Code 1950, § 46-319; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-320; 1962, c. 246; 1980, cc. 31, 168; 1989, c. 727; 2004, c. 383; 2005, c. 179; 2017, c. 525; 2018, c. 400.

§ 46.2-1167. Charges for inspection and reinspection; exemption.

A. Each official safety inspection station may charge no more than:

1. Fifty-one dollars for each inspection of any (i) tractor truck, (ii) truck that has a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,000 pounds or more, or (iii) motor vehicle that is used to transport passengers and has a seating capacity of more than 15 passengers, including the driver, $0.50 of which shall be transmitted to the Department of State Police to support the Department's costs in administering the motor vehicle safety inspection program;

2. Twelve dollars for each inspection of any motorcycle, $10 of which shall be retained by the inspection station and $2 of which shall be transmitted to the Department of State Police who shall retain $0.50 to support the Department's costs in administering the motor vehicle safety inspection program and deposit the remaining $1.50 into the Motorcycle Rider Safety Training Program Fund created pursuant to § 46.2-1191;

3. Twelve dollars for each inspection of any autocycle, $10 of which shall be retained by the inspection station and $2 of which shall be transmitted to the Department of State Police to be used to support the Department's costs in administering the motor vehicle safety inspection program; and

4. Twenty dollars for each inspection of any other vehicle, $0.70 of which shall be transmitted to the Department of State Police to support the Department's costs in administering the motor vehicle safety inspection program.

No such charge shall be mandatory, however, and no such charge shall be made unless the station has previously contracted therefor.

B. Each official safety inspection station may charge $1 for each reinspection of a vehicle rejected by the station, as provided in § 46.2-1158, if the vehicle is submitted for reinspection within the validity period of the rejection sticker. If a rejected vehicle is not submitted to the same station within the validity period of the rejection sticker or is submitted to another official safety inspection station, an amount no greater than that permitted under subsection A may be charged for the inspection.

Code 1950, § 46-320; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-321; 1968, c. 163; 1973, c. 386; 1976, c. 501; 1982, c. 646; 1985, c. 450; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 39; 2001, c. 791; 2002, cc. 322, 337; 2005, c. 628; 2006, c. 620; 2014, cc. 53, 256; 2019, c. 307.

§ 46.2-1167.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2009, cc. 864 and 871, cl. 5.

§ 46.2-1168. Additional registration fee.

In addition to any other fees imposed, at the time of registration the owner of every motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer required to be registered in this Commonwealth shall pay to the Department of Motor Vehicles one dollar and fifty cents per year of registration or, in the case of trailers and semitrailers, such other fee as is provided in § 46.2-694.1, to be paid into the state treasury and set aside for the payment of the administrative costs of the official motor vehicle safety inspection program as appropriated by the General Assembly.

1985, c. 450, § 46.1-321.2; 1988, c. 704; 1989, c. 727; 1990, cc. 418, 496; 1992, c. 597; 1997, c. 283.

§ 46.2-1169. Inspection defined; making of repairs or adjustments.

The term "inspection" as herein used shall not include repairs or adjustments. Repairs or adjustments necessary to bring the vehicle into conformity with this title may be made by agreement between the owner and such station or whatever repair station the owner may select. If such adjustments or repairs are made by anyone other than an official inspection station, such vehicle shall again be inspected by an official inspection station.

Code 1950, § 46-321; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-322; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1170. Advertising, etc., of official inspection station when not authorized.

No person, firm, or corporation, unless designated as such in accordance with the provisions of this article, shall, either directly or indirectly, display, advertise, or represent that such person, firm or corporation is an official inspection station.

Code 1950, § 46-321; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-323; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1171. Penalties for violation of article.

Any person violating this article shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor for the first offense and guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor for each subsequent offense except as otherwise provided in this article. If the violation of this article or regulations of the Superintendent made pursuant thereto is by an official inspection station in addition to or in lieu of such fine imposed by a court the Superintendent may, whether or not the violation is a first offense against this article or regulation of the Superintendent, suspend the appointment of the inspection station or, if in his opinion after a hearing, the facts warrant such action, the Superintendent may revoke the designation of such inspection station.

Code 1950, § 46-322; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-324; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1172. Unauthorized taking, possession, or use of inspection stickers, etc.; penalty.

No person shall remove any inspection sticker or any paper issued by the Superintendent in connection with vehicle safety inspections from the custody of any person to whom the same has been issued by or under the authority of the Superintendent of State Police. Nor shall any person have any such sticker or paper in his possession or use otherwise than as authorized by the Superintendent. In any case where the Superintendent has suspended or revoked the designation of any official inspection station designated by him, such station shall surrender possession to the Superintendent or his duly authorized representative all inspection stickers and other forms and papers used in connection with safety inspection of vehicles on or before the effective date of such suspension or revocation. Any person violating the provisions of this section shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Code 1950, § 46-322.1; 1956, c. 35; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-325; 1989, c. 727; 1998, c. 299.

§ 46.2-1173. Imitation or counterfeit inspection stickers.

No person shall make, issue, or knowingly use any imitation or counterfeit of an official safety inspection sticker.

No person shall display or cause or permit to be displayed upon any vehicle any safety inspection sticker knowing it to be fictitious or issued for another vehicle.

Code 1950, § 46-322.2; 1952, c. 466; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-326; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1174. Superintendent authorized to enter into Uniform Vehicle Inspection Reciprocity Agreement.

The Superintendent is authorized to enter into the Uniform Vehicle Inspection Reciprocity Agreement, adopted by the American Association of Motor Vehicles Administrators on January 1, 1967.

1968, c. 148, § 46.1-326.1; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1175. Operators of certain commuter buses to maintain certain records; inspection of records and buses by employees of Department of State Police; penalty.

Persons, firms, corporations, and other business entities operating commuter buses for compensation in intrastate commerce shall maintain records of all maintenance performed on such buses. Such records shall include the dates of service, the odometer reading of the bus on that date, the maintenance performed, and the name of the person or persons performing the maintenance. Such records shall be open to inspection during the operator's normal business hours by employees of the Department of State Police specifically designated by the Superintendent. Employees of the Department of State Police designated for that purpose by the Superintendent shall also be authorized with the consent of the owner, operator, or agent in charge or with an appropriate warrant obtained under the procedure prescribed in Chapter 24 (§ 19.2-393 et seq.) of Title 19.2 to go onto the property of business entities operating commuter buses for compensation in intrastate commerce to inspect buses directly on such property or on the property where such buses are principally garaged at any time during normal business hours. Such inspections may be either for the purpose of determining the safe condition of the buses or to verify the accuracy of the maintenance logs or for both purposes.

A violation of any provision of this section shall constitute a Class 3 misdemeanor.

The provisions of this section shall not apply to local or regional governments, to authorities created to provide local or regional mass transit service, or to buses which those governments or authorities own or operate.

For the purpose of this section, "commuter bus" means a motor vehicle which has a seating capacity of more than seventeen passengers, is used primarily to transport workers directly to and from factories, plants, offices, or other places where they work, and is registered with the Department for such operation.

1983, c. 203, § 46.1-326.1:1; 1989, c. 727; 1997, c. 283.

§ 46.2-1175.1. Inspection of certain refuse collection and highway maintenance vehicles.

No safety inspection approval sticker shall be issued under this article to any publicly or privately owned vehicle (i) used for garbage and refuse collection and disposal or (ii) having a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of 10,001 pounds or more and used primarily for highway repair or maintenance unless any such vehicle is equipped with a device, in good working order, which automatically emits an audible alarm signal when the vehicle is operated in reverse gear. Any such device shall be of a type approved by the Superintendent of State Police.

1989, cc. 297, 317, § 46.1-326.1:2.

Article 22. Emissions Inspections.

§ 46.2-1176. Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this article shall have the following meanings except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:

"Basic, test and repair program" means a motor vehicle emissions inspection system established by regulations of the Board which shall designate the use of an OBD-II (on-board diagnostic system) with wireless capability, and a two-speed idle analyzer as the only authorized testing equipment. Only those computer software programs and emissions testing procedures necessary to comply with the applicable provisions of Title I of the federal Clean Air Act shall be included. Such testing equipment shall be approvable for motor vehicle manufacturers' warranty repairs.

"Board" means the State Air Pollution Control Board.

"Certificate of emissions inspection" means a document, device, or symbol, prescribed by the Director and issued pursuant to this article, which indicates that (i) a motor vehicle has satisfactorily complied with the emissions standards and passed the emissions inspection provided for in this article; (ii) the requirement of compliance with such emissions standards has been waived; or (iii) the motor vehicle has failed such emissions inspection.

"Director" means the Director of the Department of Environmental Quality.

"Emissions inspection station" means any facility or portion of a facility that has obtained an emissions inspection station permit from the Director authorizing the facility to perform emissions inspections in accordance with this article.

"Enhanced emissions inspection program" means a motor vehicle emissions inspection system established by regulations of the Board that shall designate, as the only authorized testing equipment for emissions inspection stations, (i) the use of the ASM 50-15 (acceleration simulation mode or method) together with an OBD-II (on-board diagnostic system) with wireless capability, (ii) the use of the ASM 50-15 together with the use of a dynamometer, and (iii) two-speed tailpipe testing equipment. Possession and availability of a dynamometer shall be required for enhanced emissions inspection stations. Only those computer software programs and emissions testing procedures necessary to comply with applicable provisions of Title I of the federal Clean Air Act shall be included. Such testing equipment shall be approvable for motor vehicle manufacturers' warranty repairs. An enhanced emissions inspection program shall include remote sensing and an on-road clean screen program as provided in this article.

"Fleet emissions inspection station" means any inspection facility operated under a permit issued to a qualified fleet owner or lessee as determined by the Director.

"Motor vehicle" means any vehicle that:

1. Is designed for the transportation of persons or property; and

2. Is powered by an internal combustion engine.

"On-road clean screen program" means a program that allows a motor vehicle owner to voluntarily certify compliance with emissions standards by means of on-road remote sensing.

"On-road emissions inspector" means the entity or entities authorized by the Department of Environmental Quality to perform on-road testing, including on-road testing in accordance with the on-road clean screen program.

"On-road testing" means tests of motor vehicle emissions or emissions control devices by means of roadside pullovers or remote sensing devices.

"Program coordinator" means any person or corporation that has entered into a contract with the Director to provide services in accordance with this article.

"Qualified hybrid motor vehicle" means a motor vehicle that (i) meets or exceeds all applicable regulatory requirements, (ii) meets or exceeds the applicable federal motor vehicle emissions standards for gasoline-powered passenger cars, and (iii) can draw propulsion energy both from gasoline or diesel fuel and a rechargeable energy storage system.

"Referee station" means an inspection facility operated or used by the Department of Environmental Quality (i) to determine program effectiveness, (ii) to resolve emissions inspection conflicts between motor vehicle owners and emissions inspection stations, and (iii) to provide such other technical support and information, as appropriate, to emissions inspection stations and vehicle owners.

"Remote sensing" means the measurement of motor vehicle emissions through electronic or light-sensing equipment from a remote location such as the roadside. Remote sensing equipment may include devices to detect and record the vehicle's registration or other identification numbers.

"Test and repair" means motor vehicle emissions inspection facilities that perform official motor vehicle emissions inspections and may also perform vehicle repairs. No regulation of the Board pertaining to test and repair shall bar inspection facilities from also performing vehicle repairs. Emissions inspections and vehicle safety inspections may be performed in the same service bay, provided that the facility is both an emissions inspection station and an official safety inspection station pursuant to §§ 46.2-1163 and 46.2-1166. Emissions inspections may be performed in any service bay of the emissions inspection station or, if by wireless means, in any other area on the premises of the emissions inspection station.

"Validation program" or "program validation" means a program approved by the Director by which vehicles are randomly identified and provided a free emissions inspection for the purpose of monitoring the effectiveness of the emissions inspection program. A "validation program" may be conducted at an emissions inspection station, as defined by § 46.2-1176, in conjunction with a state safety inspection or using on-road testing.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.2; 1982, c. 92; 1984, c. 256; 1988, cc. 81, 806; 1989, c. 727; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 1994, c. 838; 1995, cc. 836, 851; 2000, c. 311; 2002, c. 710; 2004, c. 915; 2012, cc. 216, 824.

§ 46.2-1177. Emissions inspection program.

The Director shall administer an emissions inspection program. Such program shall require biennial inspections of motor vehicles at official emissions inspection stations in accordance with this article and may require additional inspections of motor vehicles that have been shown by on-road testing to exceed emissions standards established by the Board.

The emissions inspections required in § 46.2-1178 shall not apply to any:

1. Vehicle powered by a clean special fuel as defined in § 46.2-749.3, provided provisions of the federal Clean Air Act permit such exemption for vehicles powered by a clean special fuel;

2. Motorcycle or autocycle, unless such autocycle has been emissions certified with an on-board diagnostic system by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency;

3. Vehicle which, at the time of its manufacture was not designed to meet emissions standards set or approved by the federal government;

4. Antique motor vehicle as defined in § 46.2-100 and licensed pursuant to § 46.2-730;

5. Vehicle for which no testing standards have been adopted by the Board; or

6. Vehicle manufactured for the current model year or any of the three immediately preceding model years unless identified by the remote sensing program as violating the emissions standards established for that program.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.3; 1981, c. 624; 1988, c. 806; 1989, c. 727; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 1995, cc. 836, 851; 2006, c. 729; 2015, cc. 95, 161.

§ 46.2-1177.1. Inspection program coordinator; agreement for services.

The Director may enter into an agreement to designate a program coordinator for all inspection programs pursuant to this article, except that no on-road clean screen program or any program or inspection process that utilizes remote sensing shall be included in the agreement. The Director shall determine the services to be provided by the program coordinator and the amount to be paid to the program coordinator for such services by the Department. Such agreement shall include a provision that the program coordinator shall provide and maintain inspection stations as defined in § 46.2-1176 with equipment, as set forth in this article, as required for a station to provide inspections. In addition to the amount the Director agrees for the Department to pay the program coordinator, the agreement shall permit the program coordinator to be paid up to $3,500 per year from each inspection station for each set of required equipment for the provision and maintenance of such equipment by the program coordinator.

2012, cc. 216, 824.

§ 46.2-1178. Administration and scope of emissions inspection program.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the emissions inspection program provided for in this article shall apply to motor vehicles having actual gross weights of 8,500 pounds or less that are registered in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, and Prince William, and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park. The provisions of this subsection shall expire when the provisions of subsection C of this section become effective.

B. An emissions inspection program as required by regulations adopted by the Board under this article shall apply to motor vehicles that have actual gross weights of 8,500 pounds or less and are registered or operated primarily, as defined by the Board in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.), in the Counties of Chesterfield, Hanover, and Henrico and the Cities of Colonial Heights, Hopewell, and Richmond. Such emissions inspection program shall be a basic, test and repair program with the greatest number of inspection facilities consistent with the consumer protection and fee provisions herein as consistent with the federal Clean Air Act.

The provisions of this subsection shall apply but not necessarily be limited to (i) motor vehicles owned by governmental entities, (ii) motor vehicles owned by military personnel residing in those localities, (iii) motor vehicles owned by leasing or rental companies, and (iv) motor vehicles owned or leased by employees of the federal government and operated on a federal installation. The provisions of this subsection shall become effective July 1, 1995. The Board may promulgate regulations to implement the provisions of this article, but such regulations shall not require inspections in the localities mentioned in this subsection prior to the later of: (i) July 1, 1996; or (ii) the date on which the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act, formally and in writing approves this program for such localities or on such later date as may be provided by regulations of the Board.

B1. The emissions inspection program provided for in this article shall not apply to any qualified hybrid motor vehicle if such vehicle obtains a rating from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency of at least (i) 50 miles per gallon during city fuel economy tests or (ii) 48 miles per gallon during city fuel economy tests for hybrid vehicles with a model year of 2008 or 2009, unless remote sensing devices indicate the hybrid vehicle may not meet current emissions standards. The Board shall adopt such regulations as may be required to implement this exemption.

C. The emissions inspection program provided for in this subsection shall be a test and repair enhanced emissions inspection program with the greatest number of inspection facilities consistent with the consumer protection and fee provisions herein and shall include on-road testing, remote sensing devices, and an on-road clean screen program. Any enhanced emissions inspection program provided for in this article shall apply to motor vehicles that have actual gross weights of 10,000 pounds or less that were actually manufactured or designated by the manufacturer as a model manufactured in a calendar year less than 25 calendar years prior to January 1 of the present calendar year and are registered or operated primarily, as defined by the Board in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.) in the Counties of Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford and the Cities of Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park. On and after July 1, 2012, and before July 1, 2013, an on-road clean screen program shall be limited to no more than 10 percent of the motor vehicles described in this subsection which are eligible for emissions inspection during the applicable 12-month period. On and after July 1, 2013, and before July 1, 2014, an on-road clean screen program shall be limited to no more than 20 percent of the motor vehicles described in this subsection which are eligible for emissions inspection during the applicable 12-month period. On and after July 1, 2014, an on-road clean screen program shall be limited to no more than 30 percent of the motor vehicles described in this subsection which are eligible for emissions inspection during the applicable 12-month period. An on-road clean screen program or a validation program utilizing remote sensing equipment shall not be considered emissions inspection stations. The Board may reduce the percentage of vehicles eligible to participate in the on-road clean screen program as is necessary to meet applicable air quality requirements under the federal Clean Air Act, 42 U.S.C. § 7401 et seq., as amended. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 46.2-1176, the Board shall designate remote sensing equipment as authorized testing equipment pursuant to this section.

The provisions of this subsection shall apply but not necessarily be limited to (i) motor vehicles owned by governmental entities, (ii) motor vehicles owned by military personnel residing in those localities, (iii) vehicles owned by leasing or rental companies, and (iv) motor vehicles owned or leased by employees of the federal government and operated on a federal installation.

The provisions of this subsection shall be effective January 1, 1996, or on such later date as may be provided by regulations of the Board. However, the provisions of this subsection may become effective immediately provided that (a) the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act, formally and in writing approves the program for such localities; (b) the Governor determines in writing that expedited promulgation of such regulations is in the best interest of the Commonwealth, determining that such shall constitute an "emergency situation" pursuant to § 2.2-4011; and (c) the Governor authorizes the Board to promulgate the regulations as emergency regulations in accordance with this section.

D. Any emissions inspection program regulations in effect at the time amendments to this section become effective shall remain in effect until the Board promulgates new regulations or amends or repeals existing regulations in accordance with this section.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.4; 1988, c. 806; 1989, c. 727; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 1994, c. 838; 1995, cc. 836, 851; 1997, c. 507; 2002, c. 710; 2004, c. 915; 2012, cc. 216, 824; 2013, c. 634.

§ 46.2-1178.1. On-road testing of motor vehicle emissions; authority to adopt regulations; civil charges.

A. The emissions inspection program authorized by § 46.2-1177 and provided for in § 46.2-1178 shall include on-road testing of motor vehicle emissions and an on-road clean screen program. The Board shall promulgate regulations establishing on-road testing and on-road clean screen program requirements including, but not limited to, collecting data and information necessary to comply with or determine compliance with applicable laws and regulations, random testing of motor vehicle emissions, procedures to notify owners of test results, assessment of civil charges for noncompliance with emissions standards adopted by the Board, and standards for operating the on-road clean screen program, including provisions for the suspension or revocation of any on-road emissions inspection program for failure to act in accordance with the provisions of this article and regulations adopted by the Board.

B. If an emissions test performed pursuant to this section indicates that a motor vehicle does not meet emissions standards established by the Board, the Board may collect from the owner of the vehicle a civil charge based on actual emissions. The Board shall establish a schedule of civil charges to be collected pursuant to this section. Such civil penalties shall not exceed $450 using 1990 as the base year and adjusted annually by the Consumer Price Index. The schedule of charges and their assessment shall be established by regulations promulgated to be in accordance with the provisions of the Administrative Process Act (§ 2.2-4000 et seq.).

C. Civil charges assessed pursuant to this section shall be waived by the Board if, within 30 calendar days of notice of the violation, the vehicle's owner provides proof that the vehicle (i) since the date of the violation, has passed a vehicle emissions test as provided in § 46.2-1178, (ii) qualifies for an emissions inspection waiver as provided in § 46.2-1181, or (iii) has qualified for an emissions inspection waiver as provided in § 46.2-1181 within the 12 months prior to the violation.

D. Civil charges collected pursuant to this section shall be paid into the state treasury and deposited by the State Treasurer into the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program Fund pursuant to § 46.2-1182.2.

E. If the on-road clean screen program indicates that a motor vehicle does not exceed emissions standards adopted by the Board for on-road testing pursuant to § 46.2-1179, then such testing may be considered proof of compliance for the purposes of § 46.2-1183 and may be considered to satisfy the requirements of § 46.2-1177 for a biennial inspection. The Board shall establish criteria under which such testing shall satisfy the requirements of § 46.2-1183.

1995, cc. 836, 851; 1996, cc. 35, 100; 2002, c. 710; 2012, cc. 216, 824.

§ 46.2-1178.2. Repair of certain vehicles not in compliance with standards established by the Board; payment of repairs from Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program Fund.

The Department of Environmental Quality shall operate a program to subsidize repairs of vehicles identified by on-road testing pursuant to § 46.2-1178.1 that fail to meet emissions standards established by the Board when the owner of the vehicle is financially unable to have the vehicle repaired. The costs of implementing and operating such program shall be borne by the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program Fund. The Board shall, in connection with such program, establish by regulation such standards, criteria, and procedures as the Board shall deem necessary or convenient.

2002, c. 710.

§ 46.2-1179. Board to adopt emissions standards.

A. The Board shall adopt emissions standards necessary to implement the emissions inspection program provided for in this article. Such standards shall include specifications and criteria that will enable the identification of vehicles whose emissions so far exceed those permissible under this article as to qualify them as "gross violators," and enable the expedited identification of such vehicles through on-road testing pursuant to § 46.2-1178.1.

B. The Board shall establish separate and distinct emissions standards applicable to on-road testing of motor vehicles pursuant to § 46.2-1178.1. Notwithstanding any contrary provision of this article, except for any motor vehicle registered as an antique motor vehicle or a military surplus motor vehicle, such criteria shall be applicable to all motor vehicles manufactured for the 1968 model year or any more recent model year, with criteria for each model year being appropriate to that model year.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.5; 1989, c. 727; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 1995, cc. 836, 851; 2002, c. 710; 2018, c. 555.

§ 46.2-1179.1. Board to adopt clean alternative fuel fleet standards for motor vehicles; penalty.

A. For purposes of this section:

"Clean alternative fuel" means any fuel, including methanol, ethanol, other alcohols, reformulated gasoline, diesel, natural gases, liquefied petroleum gas, hydrogen, and electricity or other power source used in a clean fuel vehicle that complies with the standards applicable to such vehicle under the federal Clean Air Act when using such fuel or other power source. In the case of a flexible fuel vehicle or dual fuel vehicle, "clean alternative fuel" means only a fuel for which the vehicle was certified when operating on clean alternative fuel.

"Fleet" means any centrally fueled fleet of ten or more motor vehicles owned or operated by a single entity. "Fleet" does not include motor vehicles held for lease or rental to the general public, motor vehicles held for sale by motor vehicle dealers, motor vehicles used for manufacturer product tests, law-enforcement and other emergency vehicles, or nonroad vehicles, including farm and construction vehicles.

B. The Board may adopt by regulation motor vehicle clean alternative fuel fleet standards consistent with the provisions of Part C of Title II of the federal Clean Air Act for model years beginning with the model year 1998 or the first succeeding model year for which adoption of such standards is practicable. If adoption and implementation by the Board of an equivalent air pollution reduction program is approved by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the regulation and program authorized by this section shall not become effective. Such regulations shall contain the minimum phase-in schedule contained in § 246 (b) of Part C of Title II of the Clean Air Act. However, nothing in this section shall preclude affected fleet owners from exceeding the minimum requirements of the federal Clean Air Act. Beginning in 1995 and upon adoption of the standards by the Board, the Board shall require the fleet owned by the federal government to meet the clean alternative fuel fleet standard and phase-in schedule established by the Board. If necessary to meet the Board's standards and phase-in schedule, the Board shall require fleets owned by the federal government to convert a portion of existing fleet vehicles to the use of clean alternative fuels as defined by the federal Clean Air Act. The standards specified in this subsection shall apply only to (i) motor vehicles registered in localities designated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency, pursuant to the federal Clean Air Act, as serious, severe, or extreme air quality nonattainment areas, or as maintenance areas formerly designated serious, severe, or extreme and (ii) motor vehicles not registered in the above-mentioned localities, but having either (a) a base of operations or (b) a majority of their annual travel in one or more of those localities.

C. An owner of a covered fleet shall not use any motor vehicle or motor vehicle engine which is manufactured during or after the first model year to which the standards specified in subsection A of this section are applicable, if such vehicle or engine is registered or has its base of operations in the localities specified in subsection B of this section and has not been certified in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Board. The Board may promulgate regulations providing for reasonable exemptions consistent with the provisions of Part C of Title II of the federal Clean Air Act. Motor vehicles exempted from the provisions of this section shall forever be exempt.

D. Any person that violates the requirements of this section or any regulation adopted hereunder shall be subject to the penalties in §§ 46.2-1187 and 46.2-1187.2. Each day of violation shall be a separate offense, and each motor vehicle shall be treated separately in assessing violations.

E. In order to limit adverse economic and administrative impacts on covered fleets operating both in Virginia and in neighboring states, the Department of Environmental Quality shall, to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate the provisions of its regulations promulgated under this section with neighboring states' statutes and regulations relating to use of clean alternative fuels by motor vehicle fleets.

F. The State Corporation Commission, as to matters within its jurisdiction, and the Department of Environmental Quality, as to other matters, may, should they deem such action necessary, promulgate regulations necessary or convenient to ensure the availability of clean alternative fuels to operators of fleets covered by the provisions of this section. The State Air Pollution Control Board may delegate to the Commissioner of Agriculture its authority under the Air Pollution Control Law of Virginia, Chapter 13 (§ 10.1-1300 et seq.) of Title 10.1, to implement and enforce any provisions of its regulations covering the availability of clean alternative fuels. Upon receiving such delegation, the authority to implement and enforce the regulations under the Air Pollution Control Law of Virginia shall be vested solely in the Commissioner, notwithstanding any provision of law contained in Title 10.1, except as provided in this section. The State Air Pollution Control Board, in delegating its authority under this section, may make the delegation subject to any conditions it deems appropriate to ensure effective implementation of the regulations according to the policies of the State Air Pollution Control Board.

1993, cc. 234, 571; 1995, c. 141; 1998, cc. 401, 421.

§ 46.2-1180. Board to adopt regulations; exemption of certain motor vehicles.

A. The Board is authorized to adopt such regulations for purposes of implementation, administration, and regulation as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this article. Such regulations shall include but not necessarily be limited to requirements for the following:

1. The collection of data and maintenance of records of emissions inspection test results and vehicle repairs under this article and the inspection results of the air pollution control systems or devices in accordance with § 46.2-1048 and regulations of the Board.

2. The calibration of emissions testing equipment by emissions inspection stations to ensure conformance with the standards adopted by the Board.

3. The establishment of appropriate referee stations.

4. The permitting of emissions inspection stations and fleet emissions inspection stations and the licensing of emissions inspectors, including the suspension or revocation of such permit or license.

5. The protection of consumer interests in accordance with regulations of the Board concerning, but not limited to: (i) the number of inspection facilities and inspection lanes relative to population density, (ii) the proximity of inspection facilities to motor vehicle owners, (iii) the time spent waiting for inspections, and (iv) the days and hours of operation of inspection facilities.

6. The prohibition of any manufacturer or distributor of emissions testing equipment from directly or indirectly owning or operating any emissions testing facility or having any direct or indirect financial interest in any such facility other than the leasing of or providing financing for equipment related to emissions testing.

7. The certification of motor vehicle emissions repair technicians and emissions repair facilities, including the suspension or revocation of such certification. The regulations shall apply to emissions repair technicians and emissions repair facilities that conduct emissions-related repairs for vehicles that have failed a motor vehicle emissions test according to regulations adopted by the Board.

The Director shall administer these regulations and seek compliance with conditions of any contractual arrangements which the Commonwealth may make for inspection services related to air pollution control and may include entering into an agreement with a program coordinator to implement provisions of this subsection.

B. Motor vehicles being titled for the first time may be registered for up to four years without being subject to an emissions inspection, and the four immediately preceding model years being held in a motor vehicle dealer's inventory for resale may be registered in the localities mentioned in subsection C of § 46.2-1178 for up to one year without being subject to an emissions inspection, provided that the dealer states in writing that the emissions equipment on the motor vehicle was operating in accordance with the manufacturer's or distributor's warranty at the time of resale.

C. No motor vehicle for which the Board has not adopted emissions inspection standards shall be subject to an emissions inspection.

D. The Director may enter into bilateral agreements with other states providing for assistance in enforcing each state's statutes and regulations relating to motor vehicle emissions and motor vehicle emissions programs as to vehicles registered in one state and operated in another. Subject to such bilateral agreement, owners of motor vehicles registered in other states and operated in Virginia shall be subject to the on-road testing provisions of § 46.2-1178.1, and shall be notified of test results and assessment of civil charges for noncompliance with emissions standards adopted by the Board. Such notification shall also be provided to the appropriate motor vehicle agency in the state of registration.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.6; 1982, c. 92; 1988, c. 806; 1989, c. 727; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 1994, c. 838; 1995, cc. 836, 851; 1997, c. 559; 2006, c. 729; 2012, cc. 216, 824.

§ 46.2-1181. Emissions inspection; cost of repairs; waivers.

A. A motor vehicle shall qualify for an emissions inspection waiver in the event that such vehicle has failed an initial inspection and subsequently failed a reinspection if the owner provides written proof that (i) at least the amount specified in this section has been spent by the owner on the maintenance and repair of the vehicle's engine and emission control system and related equipment and (ii) any emission control system or part thereof which has been removed, damaged, or rendered inoperable by any act enumerated in § 46.2-1048 has been replaced and restored to operating condition.

B. The Director shall establish and revise, as necessary, specifications and procedures for motor vehicle maintenance and repair of pollution control devices and systems.

C. For the purposes of subsection A:

For motor vehicles subject to basic emissions inspections under subsection A of § 46.2-1178, cost limitations on repairs under the emissions inspection program, including parts and labor, but excluding costs of repairs covered by warranties, shall be $175 for pre-1980 model vehicles and $200 for 1980 and newer vehicles, using 2012, or a later date if allowed by federal regulations and approved by the Board, as the base year and annually adjusted by the Consumer Price Index. The Board may phase in waiver amounts.

For motor vehicles subject to emissions inspections under subsection C of § 46.2-1178, the cost limitations on repairs shall be a base amount of $450 per vehicle using 1990, or a later date if allowed by federal regulations and approved by the Board, as the base year and annually adjusted by the Consumer Price Index. The Board may phase in waiver amounts.

Repairs credited toward this waiver must be done by a repair technician certified in accordance with § 46.2-1180. Repairs shall include parts and labor.

D. For the purposes of subsection A of this section, for motor vehicles subject to emissions inspections under subsection B of § 46.2-1178, the cost limitations on repairs under the emissions inspection program, including parts and labor but excluding costs of repairs covered by warranties, shall be:

1. $75 for pre-1981 vehicles; and

2. $200 for 1981 and newer vehicles.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.7; 1988, c. 806; 1989, cc. 722, 727; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 1995, cc. 836, 851; 2012, cc. 216, 824.

§ 46.2-1182. Emissions inspection fees; exemption.

Emissions inspection stations performing emissions inspections under subsection A of § 46.2-1178 may charge $11.40 for each emissions inspection, but such charge shall not be mandatory. Any such fee shall be paid to the emissions inspection station.

Each emissions inspection station performing emissions inspections under subsection B of § 46.2-1178 may charge for each emissions inspection an amount not to exceed $17. Any such fee shall be paid to and retained by the emissions inspection station.

Beginning at such date upon which the program becomes an enhanced emissions program, each emissions inspection station performing emissions inspections under subsection C of § 46.2-1178 may charge an amount not to exceed $28 for each emissions inspection. Any such fee shall be paid to and retained by the emissions inspection station.

Within 14 days of an initial failure of an emissions inspection performed at an emissions inspection station, the vehicle's owner shall be entitled to one free reinspection at the station or facility that conducted the original inspection.

The on-road emissions inspector performing emissions inspections under subsection C of § 46.2-1178 may charge each motor vehicle owner who elects to participate in the on-road clean screen program an amount not to exceed $28 for each emissions inspection. Any such fee shall be paid to the on-road emissions inspector. From each emissions inspection fee received by the on-road emissions inspector, a minimum of $4.50 shall be appropriated to the Highway Maintenance and Operating Fund established pursuant to § 33.2-1530.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.8; 1982, c. 646; 1983, c. 85; 1984, c. 263; 1988, c. 806; 1989, c. 727; 1990, c. 522; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 1995, cc. 836, 851; 2002, c. 322; 2012, cc. 216, 824.

§ 46.2-1182.1. Additional registration fee; exemption.

Beginning July 1, 1994, in addition to any other fees imposed, at the time of registration by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the owner of any motor vehicle subject to registration in Virginia and subject to the program provided for in this article by virtue of the locality in which it is registered shall pay two dollars per year.

Beginning July 1, 1995, or later if required by regulation of the Board, owners of motor vehicles which are subject to the program by virtue of the location of their base of operation or the location where they are primarily operated shall remit a fee of two dollars per vehicle per year to the Department of Environmental Quality. Payment shall be made according to procedures and on a schedule prescribed by the Department of Environmental Quality. State and local governmental units and agencies shall be exempt from the payment of fees under this subsection.

1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 1995, cc. 836, 851.

§ 46.2-1182.2. Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program Fund established; use of moneys.

A special nonreverting fund known as the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program Fund is hereby established in the state treasury.

Notwithstanding the provisions of § 2.2-1802, all moneys collected pursuant to § 46.2-1182.1 shall be paid into the treasury and credited to the Vehicle Emissions Inspection Program Fund.

No moneys remaining in the Fund at the end of each fiscal year shall revert to the general fund, but shall remain in the Fund. Interest earned on such moneys shall remain in the Fund and be credited to it.

The Department of Environmental Quality may release moneys from the Fund, on warrants issued by the State Comptroller, for covering the costs of the emissions inspection program, including payment to the program coordinator for contracted services. The moneys in this Fund may also be released for the purpose of long-term maintenance of air quality and the correction and prevention of nonattainment status for National Ambient Air Quality Standards through air quality programs under the direction of the Director. Any remaining funds shall be remitted for use in transportation maintenance projects so that such funds generated from localities required to have emissions inspections pursuant to subsection B of § 46.2-1178 shall have such remaining funds generated pursuant to § 46.2-1182.1 transferred on an annual basis to the Northern Virginia Transportation District. Such funds shall be used for transportation maintenance in the respective locality.

1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 2012, cc. 216, 824.

§ 46.2-1183. Emissions inspection required prior to registration of certain vehicles; records.

No vehicle subject to the provisions of this article shall be registered or reregistered until it has passed an emissions inspection or has been issued an emissions inspection waiver. Any (i) proof of compliance with emissions standards and emissions inspection requirements and (ii) emissions inspection waiver issued for any motor vehicle shall be valid for two years from the end of the month in which it is issued, regardless of any sale or trade of the motor vehicle for which either document was issued during that time, unless such motor vehicle has failed on-road testing pursuant to § 46.2-1178.1 and has not subsequently passed an emissions inspection or received a waiver. Motor vehicles being titled for the first time shall be considered to have valid emissions inspection certificates for a period of four years from the month of first titling. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may enter into an agreement with the Director whereby the Department of Motor Vehicles may refuse to register or reregister those motor vehicles subject to emissions inspection programs set forth in this article if the registration period for such vehicles exceeds the valid emissions inspection period by a period of time to be determined by the Director in consultation with the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Commissioner.

Owners of motor vehicles that are not registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles shall maintain such records pertaining to all vehicles located or operated in the areas specified in § 46.2-1178 as the Board may by regulation require. Such records shall contain proof of compliance with this article and be made available to the Department of Environmental Quality upon the Department's request.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.9; 1981, c. 624; 1988, c. 806; 1989, c. 727; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2; 1995, cc. 836, 851; 1996, cc. 35, 100; 2006, c. 729.

§ 46.2-1183.1. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2018, cc. 286 and 288, cl. 2.

§ 46.2-1184. Fleet emissions inspection stations.

Any registered owner or lessee of a fleet of at least twenty vehicles may apply to the Director for a permit to establish a fleet emissions inspection station consistent with federal requirements. The Director shall not issue any fleet emissions inspection station permit until he has found that the applicant:

1. Maintains an established place of business for the applicant's fleet of vehicles;

2. Has obtained approved machinery, tools, and equipment to adequately conduct the required emissions inspection in the manner prescribed by regulations of the Board;

3. Employs properly trained and licensed personnel to perform the necessary labor; and

4. Agrees to provide test records and data as may be prescribed by the Director.

Upon issuance of a permit by the Director, the owner or lessee of the motor vehicle fleet may conduct emissions inspections of the vehicles in his fleet. No emissions inspection approval shall be issued to any fleet vehicle until it has been inspected and found to comply with applicable regulations.

No holder of a fleet emissions inspection station permit shall inspect any vehicle for which such permittee is not the registered owner or lessee.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.10; 1988, c. 806; 1989, c. 727; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2.

§ 46.2-1185. Investigation of inspection stations; revocation or suspension of permits for emissions inspection stations.

The Director shall investigate the operation of each emissions inspection station and fleet emissions inspection station as the conditions and circumstances of such operation indicate. He may require the holder of any permit to submit such documentation required concerning the operation of such inspection station. The Director may suspend or revoke and require the forfeiture of any emissions inspection station permit if he finds that such station is not operated in accordance with the provisions of this article and the regulations adopted by the Board or the holder of such permit has failed or refused to submit records or documentation required.

If the Director finds that any permit holder has violated any provision of this article or any order or regulation of the Board, after notice or a reasonable attempt to give notice to the permit holder, the Director may, without a hearing, suspend the permit of the emissions inspection station and require the permit holder immediately to cease performing emissions inspections. Within ten days of such action, the Director shall, after reasonable notice to the permit holder as to the time and place thereof, hold a hearing to affirm, modify, amend, or cancel the suspension and the requirement to cease performing emissions inspections. With the consent of the permit holder, the Director may forego such hearing and allow the suspension and requirement to cease performing emissions inspections to stand. If the Director finds that a permit holder is not complying with any such suspension or requirement to cease performing emissions inspections, the Director may proceed in accordance with § 46.2-1187 or § 46.2-1187.2.

Nothing in this section shall limit the Director's authority to proceed against the permit holder directly under § 46.2-1187 or § 46.2-1187.2.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.11; 1988, c. 806; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 531; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2.

§ 46.2-1186. False certificate.

No person shall make, issue, or knowingly use any imitation or otherwise counterfeit official certificate of emissions inspection.

No person shall issue or cause or permit to be issued any certificate of inspection knowing it to be fictitious or knowing it to have been issued for a vehicle other than the vehicle identified on the certificate.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.12; 1989, c. 727; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2.

§ 46.2-1187. Penalties.

Any person violating this article shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor for the first offense and fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 for each subsequent offense except as otherwise provided in this article. If any official emissions inspection station violates this article or regulations of the Director made pursuant hereto, the Director, in addition to or in lieu of such fine imposed by a court, may suspend the permit of the emissions inspection station or if, in the opinion of the Director, the facts warrant such action, the Director may revoke the authority and cancel the permit of such inspection station, whether or not the violation is a first offense against this article.

1980, c. 469, § 46.1-326.13; 1988, c. 806; 1989, c. 727; 1991, c. 531; 1993, cc. 995, 998; 1993, Sp. Sess., c. 2.

§ 46.2-1187.1. Right of entry.

Whenever it is necessary for the purposes of this article, the Executive Director or his duly authorized agent or employee at reasonable times may enter any establishment or upon any public or private property to obtain information or conduct surveys, audits, or investigations.

1991, c. 531.

§ 46.2-1187.2. Compelling compliance with regulations and order of Board; penalty.

Any emissions inspection station owner violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any regulation or order of the Board may be compelled to comply by injunction, mandamus, or other appropriate remedy.

Without limiting the remedies which may be obtained under the foregoing provisions of this section, any emissions inspection station owner violating or failing, neglecting, or refusing to obey any regulation or order of the Board or any provision of this article, shall, in the discretion of the court, be subject to a civil penalty of no more than $25,000 for each violation. Each day of violation shall constitute a separate offense. In determining the amount of any civil penalty to be assessed, the court shall consider, in addition to such other factors as it may deem appropriate, the size of the emissions inspection station owner's business, the severity of the economic impact of the penalty on that business, and the seriousness of the violation. Such civil penalties may, in the discretion of the court, be directed to be paid into the treasury of the county, city, or town in which the violation occurred to be used to abate environmental pollution in whatever manner the court, by order, may direct. However, where the emissions inspection station owner is the county, city, or town or an agent thereof, the court shall direct the penalty to be paid into the state treasury.

With the consent of the emissions inspection station owner who has violated or failed, neglected, or refused to obey any regulation or order of the Board or any provision of this article, the Board may, in any order issued by the Board against such owner, provide for the payment of civil charges in specific sums, not to exceed the limit in the foregoing provisions of this section. Such civil charges shall be in lieu of any civil penalty which could be imposed under the foregoing provisions of this section.

Any penalty provided for in this section to which an emissions inspection station owner is subject shall apply to any emissions inspector or certified emissions repair mechanic employed by or at that station.

As to emissions inspection station owners, emissions inspectors, and certified emissions repair mechanics, minor violations as set forth in Board regulations may be punishable by letters of reprimand from the Department. Major violations as set forth in Board regulations may be punishable by probation, suspension and/or license or certificate revocation, depending on the nature and type of violation. Civil penalties may be imposed only for major types of violations.

The Board shall provide by regulation a process whereby emissions inspection station owners, emissions inspectors and certified emissions repair mechanics may appeal penalties for violations. Such regulations regarding the process to appeal penalties for violations shall provide that the appeal process shall be handled by a person other than the Program Manager for the applicable emissions program or one of his regional employees.

1991, c. 531; 1995, cc. 836, 851.

§ 46.2-1187.3. Vehicles used for investigations.

Motor vehicles owned by the Commonwealth and used solely for investigations pursuant to this article may be issued the same license plates as those issued for vehicles owned by private citizens. The Executive Director shall certify under oath to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles the vehicles to be used solely for such investigations.

1991, c. 531.

Article 23. Motorcycle Rider Safety.

§ 46.2-1188. Motorcycle rider safety training courses.

"Motorcycle rider safety training courses" means courses of instruction in the operation of motorcycles, including instruction in the safe on-road operation of motorcycles, the rules of the road, and the laws of the Commonwealth relating to motor vehicles, for the purposes of obtaining a waiver pursuant to § 46.2-337 for (i) both two-wheeled and three-wheeled motorcycles, (ii) two-wheeled motorcycles, or (iii) three-wheeled motorcycles. Courses shall meet the requirements of this article and be approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Qualifying providers of such courses shall either be reimbursed for eligible costs or not be reimbursed as provided in § 46.2-1192.

1984, c. 476, § 46.1-566; 1989, c. 727; 2001, cc. 21, 27; 2004, c. 734; 2016, c. 380.

§ 46.2-1189. Authority of the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The Department of Motor Vehicles may do all things necessary to carry out the purposes of this article, including entering into contracts for administrative and other operational support for motorcycle rider safety training centers.

1984, c. 476, § 46.1-567; 1989, c. 727; 2004, c. 734.

§ 46.2-1190. Regional motorcycle rider safety training centers; requirements.

A. Any public or private agency, organization, school, institution of higher education, partnership, corporation, or individual that meets the program requirements set forth in this article shall be eligible for participation in the program and may organize a regional motorcycle rider safety training center and offer motorcycle rider safety training courses.

B. No such agency, organization, business or individual shall operate a motorcycle rider safety training center without a license. Such agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals shall apply to the Department for a license pursuant to § 46.2-1192. The applications for training center licenses shall include, but not be limited to:

1. The address and detailed description of the facility or facilities where the course shall be conducted;

2. The name, address, federal identification number, and telephone number of the agency, organization, school, institution of higher education, partnership, or corporation organized as a training center;

3. The name, address, social security number, and telephone number of the individual who is authorized to obligate the training center;

4. The names, addresses, social security numbers, and telephone numbers of the administrator and the instructors;

5. For those agencies, organizations, businesses, and individuals that apply to receive reimbursement, the names, addresses, social security numbers, and telephone numbers of all individuals who are to receive reimbursement;

6. A planned course schedule including course type, dates, and hours of course conduct;

7. The projected number of students to be trained in the program during the calendar year;

8. Detailed specifications of the curricula intended for use;

9. For those agencies, organizations, businesses, and individuals that apply to receive reimbursement, a planned course budget to include all estimated costs for course operation, administration, instructors' salaries, insurance, advertising, purchase of test books, equipment and materials, and other course-related expenses;

10. For those agencies, organizations, businesses, and individuals that apply to receive reimbursement, estimated course fees to be charged to participants;

11. Verification of adequate insurance coverage to protect both the Commonwealth and the training center and all instructors, aides, and participants in any course conducted under the program, including the following:

a. Minimum employers liability -- $100,000;

b. Minimum commercial general liability -- $500,000 combined single limit;

c. Minimum automobile liability -- $500,000 combined single limit; and

d. Workers' compensation insurance in accordance with § 2.2-4332 and Chapter 8 (§ 65.2-800 et seq.) of Title 65;

12. Verification of proper safety equipment and a sufficient number of training motorcycles for novice rider courses;

13. Verification that the designated classrooms, ranges, and motorcycle and equipment storage areas are available for all training courses offered by the training center at that site and that they comply with all necessary zoning, health, and safety codes;

14. Criminal background checks on all corporate officers, owners, administrators, and all individuals authorized to obligate the training center; and

15. A statement as to the ability and willingness to meet all requirements set forth in this article.

The Department shall issue licenses to applicants whose curricula, facilities, equipment, corporate officers, administrators, instructors, and all individuals authorized to obligate the training center meet the requirements set forth in this article, subject to the provisions of § 46.2-1192.

C. The Commissioner shall act on any application for a license under this article within 30 days after receipt by either granting or denying the application. The Commissioner may, as may be necessary during the initial review and evaluation of an application, request additional information from an applicant, thereby extending the period for granting or denying a license by not more than 30 days from the receipt of such additional information. Any applicant denied a license shall, on his written request made within 30 days of the Commissioner's action, be given a hearing at a time and place determined by the Commissioner or his designee. All hearings under this section shall be public and shall be held as soon as practicable, but in no case later than 30 days from receipt of the hearing request. The applicant may be represented by counsel. Any applicant denied a license may not apply again for the same type of license for 180 calendar days from the date of denial of the application.

D. The facilities, equipment, curriculum, accreditation, and geographic areas in which each training center may offer courses shall be approved by the Department. The location of the training centers shall be in accordance with the Department's administrative districts. No training center shall change its location without the approval of the Department. Training centers shall provide courses for either novice, experienced or sidecar and three-wheeled motorcyclists or any of the three, depending upon the curricula used. Training centers shall maintain such records and provide such reports as determined by the Department. Training centers shall submit all reports required by the Department for evaluation. The Department shall monitor and evaluate the performance of the training centers and the effectiveness of the program in training motorcyclists.

E. Training centers shall ensure that instructors maintain the minimum qualifications and meet any other instructor requirements established in this article. The Department may, pursuant to subsection C of § 46.2-1190.5, terminate a training course if it finds an instructor in violation of any provision of this article.

Instructors shall meet the requirements of this article, the Department and the public or private agency, organization, school, institution of higher education, partnership, corporation or individual offering the program.

1984, c. 476, § 46.1-568; 1989, c. 727; 2001, cc. 21, 27; 2004, c. 734; 2013, c. 226.

§ 46.2-1190.1. Curricula requirements.

A. The curriculum used in a novice rider-training course to train novice riders shall be approved by the Department. Each participant enrolled in a novice rider-training course shall receive no less than the minimum number of hours of classroom and on-cycle instruction as specified in the current approved curriculum.

All novice rider courses shall include a module on the effects of alcohol and other drugs on motorcycle operation, and a thorough review of Virginia laws and rules of the road applicable to motorcycles. All novice rider course participants shall be provided one copy of the course textbook and one copy of the Virginia Motorcycle Operator Manual. During the on-cycle instruction no more than six students may be under the supervision of any one instructor at any one time. No more than 12 students may operate motorcycles on the same range at the same time.

B. The curriculum used to train experienced riders shall be approved by the Department. Each participant enrolled in an experienced rider course shall receive no less than the minimum number of hours of classroom and on-cycle instruction as specified in the current approved curriculum.

All experienced rider courses shall include a module on the effects of alcohol and other drugs on motorcycle operation, and a review of Virginia laws and rules of the road applicable to motorcycles. During on-cycle instruction no more than six students may be under the supervision of any one instructor at any one time, and no more than 12 students may operate motorcycles on the same range at the same time.

C. The curriculum used to train sidecar and three-wheeled motorcycle riders shall be approved by the Department. Each participant enrolled in a sidecar and three-wheeled motorcycle course shall receive no less than the minimum number of hours of classroom and on-cycle instruction as specified in the current curriculum.

All sidecar and three-wheeled motorcycle course participants shall include a module on the effects of alcohol and other drugs on motorcycle operation, and a thorough review of Virginia laws and rules of the road applicable to motorcycles. During on-cycle instruction no more than six students may be under the supervision of any one instructor at any one time, and no more than six students may operate sidecars or three-wheeled motorcycles on the same range at the same time.

D. All course participants shall be required to wear the following protective gear during on-cycle instruction:

1. A minimum three-quarter shell motorcycle helmet that meets U.S. Department of Transportation Safety standards;

2. Eye protection;

3. A pair of boots or shoes that cover and protect the ankles and feet;

4. A long sleeved jacket or long sleeved shirt and long pants of denim or other material of equivalent durability; and

5. A pair of full-fingered gloves of leather or other material with resistance to abrasion.

2004, c. 734.

§ 46.2-1190.2. Facilities and equipment; requirements and approval.

A. A training center shall possess or have access to the use of all classroom, range, storage facilities, and equipment. A training center's facilities and equipment shall be approved by the Department and include, but not be limited to:

1. A classroom for the presentation of the off-cycle instructional portion of the novice, experienced, and sidecar and three-wheeled motorcycle rider courses;

2. A paved range area for the on-cycle portion of the novice, experienced rider, and sidecar and three-wheeled motorcycle courses consistent with the minimum range requirements established by the Department-approved curriculum used in the course;

3. For those agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals that apply to receive reimbursement, adequate storage to protect motorcycles and equipment from vandalism, theft, and environmental damage;

4. Audio-visual equipment; and

5. Fire extinguisher and first aid kit.

B. The training center shall be responsible for procuring and providing a minimum of one motorcycle per student. Each such motorcycle shall be of a type that may lawfully be operated on the highways of the Commonwealth and, subject to the provisions of subsection D, meets two of the following three criteria: (i) an engine displacement of no more than 500 cubic centimeters, (ii) a weight of less than 400 pounds, and (iii) a seat height of 30 inches or less. Each participant in the experienced rider course shall provide a motorcycle for use in the course. One sidecar rig or three-wheeled motorcycle, provided by either a participant or the training center, shall be required for use by every two students in the sidecar and three-wheeled motorcycle course.

C. The training center shall be responsible for the normal maintenance and repair of all motorcycles it provides for each novice rider and sidecar and three-wheeled motorcycle course participant. All motorcycles used in course instruction shall pass a safety inspection performed by the instructors prior to use in any motorcycle rider-training course.

D. The Department, or its authorized agent, shall inspect and approve each training center's facilities and equipment prior to issuance or renewal of a license. Even if a motorcycle meets the criteria under subsection B, the Department or its authorized agent may deny its use by motorcycle rider safety training centers if it is deemed unsafe by the Department. A motorcycle may be deemed unsafe because of modification, damage, lack of maintenance, nonstandard configuration, or any other substantial safety reason.

2004, c. 734; 2007, c. 190; 2013, c. 111.

§ 46.2-1190.3. Instructor qualifications.

A. Training centers shall employ only motorcycle safety instructors who meet the following minimum qualifications:

1. Have a current, valid driver's license, endorsed for motorcycle operation, that is neither suspended, revoked, cancelled, nor under probation, with less than six demerit points in a 12-month period and no conviction for any of the offenses enumerated in subsection E of § 18.2-270;

2. Be a valid training course instructor, as approved by the Department, which includes:

a. Having instructor certification to teach the current curriculum approved by the Department;

b. Attending all required program clinics offered by the Department that provide continuously updated course instructor and motorcycle safety education; and

c. Avoiding putting course participants or others associated with course instruction in physical danger during periods of instruction through the use of appropriate instruction techniques and methods;

3. Conduct themselves in a professional manner, including, but not limited to, using appropriate language and having interactions with participants and others involved in the course that are free from threat and intimidation; and

4. Comply with other requirements specified in this article.

B. The requirements of subsection A of this section shall not apply to those persons who are valid training course instructors prior to being stationed outside the United States, during the period of such person's service, if any, in the armed services of the United States, and 60 days thereafter. However, no such temporary exemption granted under this section shall exceed five years. Any person who receives a temporary exemption under this section shall provide documentary or other proof that he is entitled to the benefits of this section, and shall be required to meet the requirements of subsection A of this section prior to being eligible to provide course instruction.

2004, c. 734; 2013, c. 226.

§ 46.2-1190.4. Administrative and reporting requirements.

A. Training centers shall be responsible for verifying that all participants are eligible for enrollment in a course under the program, based on the following:

1. Persons enrolling in a novice rider course shall (i) possess a valid learner's permit or valid driver's license; (ii) have written parental or guardian permission if under the age of 18 years of age; and (iii) be physically able to balance and operate a motorcycle.

2. Persons enrolling in an experienced rider course shall (i) possess a valid driver's license endorsed for motorcycle operation; (ii) have written parental or guardian permission if under the age of 18; (iii) use a motorcycle that may lawfully be operated on the highways of the Commonwealth during course training; and (iv) have valid proof of ownership of such motorcycle, or have its owner's written permission to use it and valid proof of insurance.

3. Persons enrolling in a sidecar and three-wheeled motorcycle course shall (i) possess a valid learner's permit or a valid driver's license; (ii) have written parental or guardian permission if under the age of 18; (iii) use a sidecar rig or three-wheeled motorcycle that may lawfully be operated on the highways of the Commonwealth during course training; and (iv) if providing their own sidecar rig or three-wheeled motorcycle, have valid proof of ownership of such sidecar rig or three-wheeled motorcycle, or have its owner's written permission to use it and valid proof of insurance.

B. Training centers shall provide the following information to the Department on each course within 20 business days of course completion, on forms provided by the Department:

1. The type of course and date of completion;

2. The name, address, social security number, and certification number of each instructor;

3. The name, address, driver's license number, and date of birth of all participants enrolled in each course; and

4. The course completion status of each participant.

C. The training center shall issue a Department-approved certificate of completion to each participant who successfully completes a course in the program.

D. Training centers shall (i) retain a copy of each participant's waiver form and original course evaluation form and (ii) establish and maintain records of course administration, including the information outlined in subsection B of this section, for a three-year period following the course completion. The Department may audit course records, and monitor and evaluate any and all aspects of a training center's operation.

2004, c. 734.

§ 46.2-1190.5. Penalties and remedies for violations of article.

A. The Department shall impose the following penalties on any training center for violations of the requirements of this article:

1. Limit the type of instruction provided by the training center;

2. Suspend or revoke the license of the training center;

3. Impose a civil penalty as set forth in § 46.2-1190.7; or

4. Impose any combination of the penalties set forth in this subsection.

B. When violations occur that are not found by the Department to pose a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public or the course participants, instructors or others associated with the course, the Department shall (i) notify the training center of the violations that have occurred, (ii) direct corrective action to be completed by the training center within 30 calendar days, and (iii) require a formal written response documenting that corrections have been made as directed. Such violations shall typically be associated with, but not limited to, training center administration and operations. If corrections are not completed as directed, the Department shall notify the training center and may impose any or all of the sanctions set forth in subsection A of this section. Such penalties shall continue until all required corrections are made and the Department receives formal documentation confirming compliance.

The Department shall suspend the license of any training center that receives three or more notices under this subsection within any 12-month period. Such suspensions shall be for an initial 90-day period and shall continue until all required corrections are made and the Department receives formal documentation confirming compliance.

C. When violations occur that are found by the Department to pose a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public or the course participants, instructors or others associated with the course, the Department shall (i) notify the training center of the violations that have occurred and immediately limit all types of instruction provided by the training center, (ii) direct corrective action to be completed by the training center within 30 calendar days of receipt of notice of such violations and (iii) shall require a formal written response documenting that corrections have been made as directed. If corrections are not completed as directed, the Department shall suspend the license of the training center and impose a civil penalty as set forth in § 46.2-1190.7. The period of such license suspension shall continue until all required corrections are made and the Department receives formal documentation confirming compliance. If the required corrections are not made within 30 calendar days of the suspension, the Department shall revoke the license.

D. Once a training center license is revoked, the Department shall not renew or reissue the license until (i) it receives formal documentation confirming compliance with the required corrective actions, and (ii) the training center applies for renewal or reissuance. Such training centers shall not be eligible to apply for a license again until 180 calendar days after the Department receives formal documentation confirming compliance with the required corrective actions.

E. Notice of an order suspending or revoking a license, imposing a limitation on training center operations or imposing a civil penalty, and advising the licensee of the opportunity for a hearing as a result of such order, shall be in writing and mailed to the licensee by registered mail to the training center address as shown on the most recent licensee's application for license and shall be considered served when mailed.

Upon receipt of a request for a hearing appealing the order, the licensee shall be afforded the opportunity for a hearing as soon as practicable, but in no case later than 30 days from receipt of the hearing request. The order shall remain in effect pending the outcome of the hearing.

2004, c. 734; 2013, c. 226.

§ 46.2-1190.6. Other grounds for denying, suspending, or revoking licenses.

A license issued pursuant to this article may be denied, suspended, or revoked on any one or more of the following grounds, where applicable:

1. Material misstatement or omission in application for license;

2. Failure to comply subsequent to receipt of a written notice from the Department or any willful failure to comply with a lawful order, any provision of this article, or any term, condition, or restriction of a license;

3. Failure to comply with zoning or other land use regulations, ordinances, or statutes;

4. Use of deceptive business acts or practices;

5. Knowingly advertising by any means any assertion, representation, or statement of fact that is untrue, misleading, or deceptive relating to the conduct of the business for which a license is held or sought;

6. Having been found, through a judicial or administrative hearing, to have committed fraudulent or deceptive acts in connection with the training center for which a license is held or sought, or any consumer-related fraud;

7. Having been convicted of any criminal act involving the training center for which a license is held or sought;

8. Improper assignment, lending, or otherwise allowing the improper use of a license;

9. Any corporate officer, owner, administrator and any individual authorized to obligate the training center having been convicted of a felony;

10. Any corporate officer, owner, administrator and any individual authorized to obligate the training center having been convicted of any misdemeanor involving lying, cheating, stealing, or moral turpitude;

11. Failure to furnish the Department information, documentation, or records required or requested pursuant to this article;

12. Knowingly and willfully filing any false report, account, record, or memorandum;

13. Willfully altering or changing the appearance or wording of a training center license or a course completion certificate;

14. Failure to provide services in accordance with the terms, limitations, conditions, or requirements of the license; or

15. Failure to comply with other state and federal requirements relating to training center operations.

2004, c. 734.

§ 46.2-1190.7. Civil penalties.

In addition to any other penalties or remedies available to the Commissioner under this article, the Commissioner may assess a civil penalty for any violation of any provision of this article not to exceed (i) $5,000 for training centers that are not reimbursed or (ii) the amount of funds disbursed to a training center for eligible costs, as set forth in § 46.2-1192. The penalty may be sued for and recovered in the name of the Commonwealth.

Any business, individual or entity operating a training center without a valid license issued by the Department after its license was suspended or revoked shall be subject to a civil penalty of $10,000.

2004, c. 734.

§ 46.2-1191. Motorcycle Rider Safety Training Program Fund.

To finance the cost of the Motorcycle Rider Safety Training Program, the Department of Motor Vehicles shall deposit the fee collected for the issuance of each motorcycle learner's permit and $3 of the fee collected for the issuance of each motorcycle registration and all motorcycle driver's license endorsement fees into a special fund to be known as the Motorcycle Rider Safety Training Program Fund. The Department shall use the Fund as necessary for: (i) the costs of the Department of Motor Vehicles incurred in the administration of this article, (ii) the funding of licensed, approved regional cycle rider safety training centers for the conducting of courses, as set forth in § 46.2-1192 and (iii) any other purposes related to the administration of this article, including contractual costs related to administrative and other operational support for the reimbursed training centers.

1984, c. 476, § 46.1-569; 1989, c. 727; 1997, cc. 104, 493; 1998, c. 322; 2004, c. 734.

§ 46.2-1192. Issuance and renewal of licenses by Department; payments to regional training centers.

The Department of Motor Vehicles is authorized to issue or renew licenses for regional motorcycle rider safety training centers for the conducting of motorcycle rider safety training courses, and to make payments in fulfillment of those licenses requiring reimbursement from funds appropriated from the Motorcycle Rider Safety Training Program Fund. The Department shall determine the number of such reimbursed licenses issued or renewed based on (i) the training centers meeting the requirements set forth in this article, (ii) regional demand for such training, and (iii) availability of funding. Costs eligible for reimbursement, method of payment, and required documentation associated with such payment shall be specified by the Department at the time the license is issued or renewed. Such licenses shall be valid for the period specified, but shall not exceed three years.

Those licenses issued or renewed for providers of such training courses that do not require reimbursement shall be awarded based on the training centers meeting the requirements set forth in this article. Such licenses shall be valid for the period specified, but shall not exceed three years.

No license shall be transferred or assigned as a result of any change in (i) the individual who is authorized to obligate the training center, (ii) ownership or (iii) officers in a corporation or other business entity without the approval of the Department. Such approval shall be based on the licensing requirements set forth in this article.

1984, c. 476, § 46.1-570; 1989, c. 727; 2004, c. 734; 2013, c. 226.