Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety
3/4/2024

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.

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.

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; 2022, c. 490.

§ 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. Local ordinances; vehicle exhaust.

A. The governing body of any county, city, or town may, by ordinance, regulate noise from a vehicle operated on a highway that is not equipped with a muffler and exhaust system conforming to §§ 46.2-1047 and 46.2-1049.

B. The provisions of subsection E of § 46.2-1300 shall not apply to ordinances adopted pursuant to this section.

1983, c. 211, § 46.1-302.4; 1989, c. 727; 2004, cc. 947, 973; 2006, cc. 830, 896; 2022, c. 490.