Virginia Motorcycle Safety Inspection
Rules and Regulations

This information is or was accurate as of 19 May 2006, however it is subject to change. This information was taken from: http://leg1.state.va.us/lis.htm


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If you have any questions regarding this information or problems with a motorcycle inspection in the Tidewater Area (Area 65) contact area65@vsp.virginia.gov (757) 925-2432 after viewing the Virginia State Police web site's --Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


Updated through 22:14 V.A.R. March 20, 2006

19VAC30-70-330. Motorcycle inspection.

All motorcycles shall be inspected according to the following sections. In cities, towns and counties having a motorcycle repair shop or shops appointed as an official inspection station, motorcycle inspections may be performed at these places. In localities where no motorcycle inspection station is located, such inspections shall be made by any official inspection station provided a certified inspector observes a satisfactory brake test and completes the remainder of the inspection according to regulations.

Statutory Authority

§46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 §33, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994.


Index to sections

  1. Motorcycle brakes.
  2. Motorcycle seat, steering and suspension.
  3. Motorcycle lights: headlamp, rear, signal, warning.
  4. Motorcycle mirror.
  5. Motorcycle horn.
  6. Motorcycle muffler and exhaust system.
  7. Motorcycle tires, wheels, rims.
  8. Motorcycle windscreen and glazing.
  9. Motorcycle fuel system.

19VAC30-70-340. Motorcycle brakes.

A. The inspector, if qualified to operate a motorcycle, must drive it into the inspection lane and test the service brakes. If not qualified to operate motorcycles, the inspector must observe the operator operate the brakes. The inspector is required to observe and inspect the braking system on both wheels if so equipped or required to be equipped.

B. INSPECT FOR AND REJECT IF:

1. Any motorcycle is not equipped with a brake, or which has a disconnected brake.

2. Any motorcycle which was originally equipped with a service brake system on both the front or rear wheel(s) if the service brake system has been altered by removing or disconnecting any of the brake system components from any of the wheels.

3. Any motorcycle manufactured after July 1, 1974, is not equipped with either a split service brake system or two independently actuated service brake systems which shall act on the front as well as the rear wheel or wheels.

4. Bonded linings or disc pads are worn to less than 2/32 of an inch in thickness or riveted linings or disc pads are worn to less than 2/32 of an inch over the rivet head(s).

5. Any lining is broken or cracked so that the lining or parts of the lining are not firmly attached to the shoe or disc pad.

6. Grease or any other contamination cannot be satisfactorily removed from the lining or disc pad.

7. Rivets in riveted linings or disc pads are loose or missing.

8. A brake drum or brake disc (rotor) is scored to the extent that it impairs the braking system.

9. A brake drum or brake disc is worn beyond the manufacturer's recommended limit. (A brake drum or brake disc shall under no circumstances be re-machined beyond the manufacturer's specifications.)

10. Rods are bent, cotter keys or lock nuts are missing, cables frayed or broken or parts misaligned.

11. When operated at 20 miles per hour on a dry, level, hard surface free from loose material, the brakes will not stop the motorcycle within 30 feet.

12. Levers (foot and hand) do not have at least 1/3 of their travel as reserve after brakes are fully applied.

13. Any leaks in master cylinder, wheel cylinders, or any brake hoses or lines.

14. Fluid level in master cylinder below full mark unless level recommended by manufacturer is clearly marked.

15. Any hydraulic lines or hoses are crimped, abraded, broken or restricted. Any line or hose not installed so as to prevent damage or abrasion by contact with the frame or other components.

Statutory Authority

§46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 §34, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994.

Amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 4, eff. September 22, 2004.

Effect of Amendment

The Sept. 22, 2004 amendment, in par. B 2, changed "wheel or wheels" to "wheel(s)".

Research and Practice References

3A Am. Jur. Pleading & Practice Forms, Rev, Automobiles and Highway Traffic, Forms 627-661, 992-994.

31 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 2d 639, Dealer's Liability for Defective Used Car.

Annotations

Automobiles: liability of owner or operator of motor vehicle for injury, death, or property damage resulting from defective brakes, 40 A.L.R. 3d 9.

Products liability: personal injury or death allegedly caused by defect in braking system in motor vehicle, 99 A.L.R. 3d 179.

Return to Index


19VAC30-70-350. Motorcycle seat, steering and suspension.

INSPECT FOR AND REJECT IF:

1. Frame is bent or damaged so as to constitute a hazard in proper operation.

2. Wheels are out of line to a degree steering and control is affected.

3. Steering-head bearing is loose, broken, defective or out of adjustment.

4. Handlebars are loose, bent, broken or damaged in such a manner as to affect proper steering.

5. Shock absorbers are broken, worn, missing, defective, disconnected or do not function properly.

6. Any spring in the suspension system is broken or sagging.

7. If motorcycle seat or seats are not securely fastened.

8. Any motorcycle designed to carry more than one person is not equipped with a footrest for each passenger.

Statutory Authority

§46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 §35, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994.

Amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 4, eff. September 22, 2004.

Effect of Amendment

The Sept. 22, 2004 amendment, in par. 2, inserted "are"; deleted par. 5, which had read:

"Handlebar grips extend to a height in excess of 15 inches above the saddle level."

Also, the Sept. 22, 2004 amendment redesignated former pars. 6 to 9 as pars. 5 to 8.

Research and Practice References

3A Am. Jur. Pleading & Practice Forms, Rev, Automobiles and Highway Traffic, Forms 627-661, 992-994.

31 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 2d 639, Dealer's Liability for Defective Used Car.

Annotations

Automobiles: liability of owner or operator of motor vehicle for injury, death, or property damage resulting from defective brakes, 40 A.L.R. 3d 9.

Products liability: personal injury or death allegedly caused by defect in braking system in motor vehicle, 99 A.L.R. 3d 179.

Part IV

Inspection Requirements for Motorcycles

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19VAC30-70-360. Motorcycle lights: headlamp, rear, signal, warning.

A. Inspect for and reject if:

1. Motorcycle is not equipped with at least one motorcycle headlamp.

2. Any motorcycle headlamp is not of an approved type (SAE-M). A motorcycle may have one or more headlamps. In addition to the headlamp(s), a motorcycle may be equipped with not more than two auxiliary headlamps of a type approved (SAE-C) by the superintendent and identified as "auxiliary front lamps."

3. Lens and reflector do not match except in sealed units, or if the lens is cracked, broken or rotated, or if the lens and reflector are not clean or bright.

4. Any motorcycle lights-headlamp, rear lamp, signal or warning lamp has any wire, unapproved lens or plastic covers, any other materials that are not original equipment or any colored material placed on or in front of lamp or lens.

5. Motorcycles 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, provided they are equipped with a switch or device that prevents flashing of headlights when headlights are required to be lighted.

6. Lamp is not focused or any filament or bulb fails to burn.

7. The center of the hot spot is set more than four inches up or down from the horizontal centerline or more than four inches to the left or right from the vertical centerline.

8. Lamp is not mounted securely or if switch does not operate properly.

NOTE: Inspection is to be performed with lamp on high beam.

B. Aiming the headlamp. All headlamps that do not comply with subdivision A 7 of this section shall be aimed straight ahead. (Zero inches up or down and zero inches to the right or left.)

C. Rear lamp.

Inspect for and reject if:

1. The high beam indicator does not burn when the high or "country" beam is on or does not go off when the low beam is on.

2. Motorcycle is not equipped with a rear lamp of approved type SAE-T-S-P-A).

3. Lamp is not mounted near rear of vehicle, or is not mounted securely, or if lamp does not make a good electrical connection.

4. Lenses are not red to the rear and clear or amber to the front or any lens has a piece broken from it. The lens may have one or more cracks provided an off-color light does not project through the crack(s).

NOTE: With the changing technology, there are a few rear lamps that do not have a red lens but rather white with red diode bulbs that have been approved.

5. Filaments in all lamps do not burn when headlamp switch is turned on to any position.

6. The rear license plate is not illuminated by an approved license plate lamp.

D. Signal device (intention to stop or turn).

1. Signal devices are not required on motorcycles; however, if installed, they must operate and be inspected.

2. Signal lamp lenses installed on the front of the motorcycle shall be amber and be located on each side of the vertical centerline of the motorcycle and as far apart as practicable and not closer than nine inches, measured from the optical centerline of the lamps, and to be located on the same level and not less than 20 inches above the ground plate. The optical centerline of the lamp shall not be less than four inches from the retaining ring of the headlamp unit.

3. Signal lamps installed on the rear of the motorcycle shall be red or amber and shall be located on each side of the vertical centerline of the motorcycle as far apart as practicable but not closer than nine inches, measured from the optical centerline of the lens, and shall be located on the same level and not less than 20 inches above the ground level.

4. Inspect for and reject if:

a. Motorcycle, except an antique vehicle not originally equipped with a stop lamp, is not equipped with at least one stop lamp of an approved type that automatically exhibits a red or amber light to the rear when the brake control foot pedal or hand grip brake control device is activated. (On motorcycles manufactured prior to January 1, 1972, the activation of the front wheel brake control device is not required to activate the stop lamp.)

b. The signal lamp is not of an approved type (SAE-D) or does not flash.

c. Lens in brake lamp or signal lamp has a piece broken from it. (Lens in brake lamp or signal lamp may have one or more cracks provided an off-color light does not project through the crack or cracks.)

d. Wiring or electrical connections are defective or any filaments do not burn.

e. Switch is not convenient to the driver and not of an approved type.

f. Signal devices are not installed as provided in subdivisions D 1 and 2 of this section.

E. Warning lights.

Inspect for and reject if:

1. Warning lamps are not of an approved type or have been altered.

2. Any lighted advertising sign is present.

Statutory Authority

§46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 §36, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994; Volume 12, Issue 21, eff. August 7, 1996.

Amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 4, eff. September 22, 2004.

Effect of Amendment

The Sept. 22, 2004 amendment made substantial changes to the text. See the Virginia Register for the former text.

Return to Index


19VAC30-70-370. Motorcycle mirror.

INSPECT FOR AND REJECT IF:

1. Motorcycle is not equipped with a mirror.

2. Reflecting surface of mirror is cracked, broken, peeled, tarnished, has sharp edges, or reflects more than one image.

3. Mirror is not mounted securely.

4. Operator does not have a view of the road 200 feet to the rear.

Statutory Authority

§§46.2-1067, 46.2-1069 and 46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 §37, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994.

Research and Practice References

3A Am. Jur. Pleading & Practice Forms, Rev, Automobiles and Highway Traffic, Forms 627-661, 992-994.

31 Am. Jur. Proof of Facts 2d 639, Dealer's Liability for Defective Used Car.

Annotations

Automobiles: liability of owner or operator of motor vehicle for injury, death, or property damage resulting from defective brakes, 40 A.L.R. 3d 9.

Products liability: personal injury or death allegedly caused by defect in braking system in motor vehicle, 99 A.L.R. 3d 179.

Return to Index


19VAC30-70-380. Motorcycle horn.

INSPECT FOR AND REJECT IF:

1. Motorcycle is not equipped with a horn in good working order capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions for a distance no less than 200 feet.

2. Horn is not mounted securely, wiring is defective, control button is not operating properly, or is not installed at a location readily accessible to the operator.

Statutory Authority

§§46.2-1067, 46.2-1069 and 46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 §38, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994.

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19VAC30-70-390. Motorcycle muffler and exhaust system.

INSPECT FOR AND REJECT IF:

1. Vehicle has no exhaust line or tailpipe if the system is designed for same.

2. A muffler has been repaired with a jacket, a patch or in any other manner.

3. Vehicle has installed a muffler cutout or bypass.

4. Any components of the exhaust system are not properly secured.

5. Leakage of gases is noted at manifold gaskets, muffler and muffler connections, or at any point in the exhaust line.

6. Tailpipe opening is pinched or mashed.

Statutory Authority

§§46.2-1067, 46.2-1069 and 46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 §39, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994.

Return to Index


19VAC30-70-400. Motorcycle tires, wheels, rims.

INSPECT FOR AND REJECT IF:

1. Any tire has a cut or is worn so that the fabric is visible.

2. Any tire has knots or bulges in any side wall or if there is evidence of a broken belt under the tread or of the tread separating from the fabric.

3. Any bolts, nuts, lugs or spokes are bent, loose or missing. Rims or wheels are bent, cracked or damaged so as to affect the safe operation of the motorcycle.

4. Wheel bearings are excessively worn or out of adjustment.

5. Any motorcycle is equipped with a tire that has a tread depth measuring less than 2/32 of an inch when measured in accordance with the instructions set forth in subdivisions 6, 7, and 8 of 19VAC30-70-130.

6. Any tire is marked specifically for use other than on the highway such as "For Farm Use Only," or "For Off-Highway Use Only."

7. Any motorcycle tire has been recut or regrooved.

Statutory Authority

§46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 §40, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994.

Amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 4, eff. September 22, 2004.

Effect of Amendment

The Sept. 22, 2004 amendment, in the catchline, changed the hyphens following "tires" and "wheels" to commas; in par. 2, changed "its sidewalls" to "any side wall"; in par. 3, in the second sentence, deleted the comma following "Rims"; in par. 5, changed "tire which" to "tire that", deleted "19VAC30-70-130," preceding "subdivisions" and added "of 19VAC30-70-130"; and, in par. 7, deleted "which" following "tire".

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19VAC30-70-410. Motorcycle windscreen and glazing.

INSPECT FOR AND REJECT IF:

1. Any windscreen is not of an approved type.

2. Any windscreen obstructs the driver's vision.

3. Any support or installation component interferes with the driver's vision.

Statutory Authority

§46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 §41, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994.

Amended, Virginia Register Volume 21, Issue 4, eff. September 22, 2004.

Effect of Amendment

The Sept. 22, 2004 amendment, in the catchline, inserted "windscreen and"; in par. 1, inserted "is"; in par. 2, deleted "that" following "windscreen"; and, in par. 3, deleted "that" following "component".

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19VAC30-70-420. Motorcycle fuel system.

INSPECT FOR AND REJECT IF:

1. Any part of the fuel system is not securely fastened.

2. There is fuel leakage at any point in the fuel system.

3. The fuel tank filler cap is missing.

Statutory Authority

§46.2-1165 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR545-01-07 §42, eff. May 1, 1990; amended, Virginia Register Volume 10, Issue 8, eff. February 9, 1994.

Return to Index


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