State Inspections

On any given day, there are millions of cars and light trucks on the road in the United States are due for their annual state inspections. You need to get your State of Virginia Vehicle Inspection completed by a licensed inspection location prior to your current inspection expiring. When you are ready to go in, we advise you to visually check the following items on your vehicle to save you time and getting things fixed prior to taking your car in whenever you can. This will save you the trouble of having to get things done then getting your vehicle re-inspected.

Our certified inspectors must adhere to the following procedure for all Virginia Safety Inspections. For more information, please refer to the Virginia State Police website.

Inspection Checklist

Step 1 - Remove Old Inspection Sticker

Step 2 - Begin Inspection Process

Inspect Brakes For:

  • Worn, damaged, or missing parts
  • Worn, contaminated, or defective brake linings or drums
  • Leakage in the system and proper fluid level
  • Worn, contaminated, or defective disc pads or disc rotors

Inspect Parking Brake For:

  • Broken or missing parts
  • Proper adjustment
  • Standard factory equipment or equivalent

Inspect Headlights For:

  • Approved type, aim, and output
  • Condition of lamps, lenses, wiring, and switch
  • High beam indicator

Inspect Other Lights For:

  • Approved type, proper bulbs, and condition of lenses, wiring, and switch
  • Aim of fog and driving lamps
  • Illumination of all lamps and proper color of lenses
    (Note: Every vehicle must have a rear lamp showing a red light to the rear, a white light illuminating the rear license plate; vehicles over 7 feet wide or extending 4 inches or more beyond the front fender extremes must be equipped with approved clearance lamps and reflex reflectors. Include load when measuring.)

Inspect Signal Device For:

  • Approved type, proper bulbs, and condition of lenses, wiring, and switch
  • Correct operation of device
  • Illumination of all lamps and proper lens color

Inspect Steering & Suspension For:

  • Wear in bushings, kingpins, ball joints, wheel bearings, and tie rod ends
  • Looseness of gear box on frame, condition of drag link and steering arm
  • Play in steering wheel; leakage of power steering fluid in the system
  • Wheel alignment and axle alignment
  • Broken coil springs, spring leaves, and worn shackles
  • Shock absorbers
  • Broken or weakened frame
  • Broken or missing engine mounts

Inspect Tires, Wheels & Rims For:

  • Condition of tires including tread depth
  • Wheels that are cracked or damaged that will affect safe operation

Inspect Mirrors For:

  • Rigidity of mounting
  • Condition of reflecting surface
  • Check for road visibility 200 feet to the rear (truck mirrors must extend at least halfway beyond the edge of the body.)

Inspect Horn For:

  • Electrical connections, mounting, and horn button
  • Emits sound audible for a minimum of 200 feet

Inspect Windshield & Other Glass For:

  • Approved type safety glass
  • Cloudiness, distortion, or other obstruction to vision
  • Cracked, scratched, or broken glass
  • Any unauthorized stickers must be removed
  • Sun shading material on windshield displaying words, lettering, numbers, or pictures that does not extend below the AS-1 line is permitted. In the absence of an AS-1 line, sun shading material on the windshield displaying words, lettering, numbers, or pictures cannot extend more than three inches downward from the top of the windshield, unless authorized by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles and indicated on the vehicle registration.
  • Operation of left front door glass

Inspect Windshield Wiper/Defroster For:

  • Operating condition
  • Condition of wiper blades

Inspect Exhaust System For:

  • Exhaust line: manifold, gaskets, pipes, mufflers, connections, etc.
  • Leakage of gases at any point from the engine to the point it is discharged from the system

Inspect Rear License Plate For:

  • Illumination of rear plate

Inspect Hood & Area Under the Hood For:

  • Operating condition of hood latch
  • Presence of emissions system; evidence that any essential parts have been removed, rendered inoperative, or disconnected.
  • Fluid levels that are below the proper level:
    • Brake fluid
    • Power steering fluid
  • Power steering belt; proper tension, wear, or absence of belt

Inspect Air Pollution Control System of 1973 & Subsequent Models For:

  • Installation
  • No parts removed, disconnected, or rendered inoperable
    (Note: This includes the catalytic converter and the fuel tank filler pipe.)

Inspect Driver’s Seat For:

  • Anchorage
  • Location
  • Condition

Inspect Seat Belts For:

  • Approved type
  • Installation
  • Condition

Inspect Air Bag & Air Bag Readiness Light For:

  • Any defects in the air bag system noted by the air bag readiness light, or otherwise indicated; or
  • The air bag has been deployed and has not been replaced (and is not deactivated because of a medical or other exemption and a notice is posted to indicate that it has been deactivated); or
  • Any part of the air bag system has been removed from the vehicle; or
  • If the air bag indicator fails to light or stays on continuously

Inspect Doors at the Right & Left Side of the Driver’s Seat For:

  • Handle or opening device which will permit the opening of the door from the outside and inside of the vehicle
  • Latching system which will hold door in its proper closed position

Inspect Fuel System For:

  • Any part that is not securely fastened
  • Liquid fuel leakage
  • Presence of fuel tank filler cap if equipped by manufacturer

Inspect Floor Pan For:

  • Holes that allow exhaust gases to enter occupant compartment
  • Conditions that create a hazard to the occupants

Issue New Sticker:

  • If approved, place completed approval sticker on the vehicle and give the receipt of certificate to the operator.
  • If not approved, place rejection sticker on the vehicle and review reasons for inspection failure with the operator.
  • All defects must be corrected and the vehicle re-inspected within 15 days. The driver may be subject to receiving a traffic summons for any defect still present when the vehicle is operated on the highway.
    (Note: The validity period of the rejection sticker shall include fifteen (15) days in addition to the day of the inspection.)

If all items are approved, an inspection sticker will be given. If any issues are observed, they must be corrected and re-inspected within 15 day.

Need a Virginia Vehicle Inspection?

We recommend getting your inspection performed in the middle of the month during the middle of the week for the shortest wait times. Give us a call to check availability and wait times.