Vehicle Safety Inspection

Replacement of Stolen / Lost / Damaged Safety Inspection
Approval Stickers 

Under certain conditions, the Safety Division issues replacements for lost, stolen, and/or damaged safety inspection approval stickers without reinspection. This process allows the Safety Division to serve Virginia residents affected by unfortunate circumstances without compromising the purpose of the Inspection Program. To replace your inspection sticker, contact the closest Safety Office.

Required Official Inspection Procedure

Each inspection consists of the following items, as approved by the Virginia State Police Superintendent, for further details consult the Official Annual Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual:

1. Remove Old Inspection Sticker.

When a vehicle is presented for inspection, the previous approval sticker, if any, on
the vehicle shall be removed and destroyed before any inspection is conducted (except
a rejection sticker).

2. Drive Vehicle into Inspection Lane.

The inspector will drive the vehicle into the Inspection lane.

3. Inspect Brakes for:
  • Worn, damaged, or missing parts.
  • Worn, contaminated, or defective linings or drums.
  • Leakage in system and proper fluid level.
  • Worn, contaminated, or defective disc pads or disc rotors.
4. Inspect Parking Brake for:
  • Broken or missing parts.
  • Proper adjustment.
  • Standard factory equipment or equivalent.
5. Inspect Headlights for:
  • Approved type, aim, and output.
  • Condition of lamps, lenses, wiring and switch.
  • High beam indicator.
6. 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.)
7. 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.
8. Inspect Steering & Suspension for:
  • (Jack up front end as shown in “Official Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual”.)
  • 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.
  • Lift blocks.
9. Inspect Tires, Wheels, & Rims for:
  • Condition of tires including tread depth.
  • Mixing radials and bias ply tires.
  • Wheels that are cracked or damaged so as to affect safe operation.
10. 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 edge of body.)
11. Inspect Horn for:
  • Electrical connections, mounting, and horn button.
  • Emits sound audible for a minimum of 200 feet.
12. Inspect Windshield & Other Glass for:
  • Approved type safety glass.
  • Cloudiness, distortion, or other obstruction to vision.
  • Cracked, scratched or broken glass.
  • 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.
13. Inspect Windshield Wiper/Defroster for:
  • Operating condition.
  • Condition of wiper blades.
14. Inspect Exhaust System for:
  • Exhaust line:  manifold, gaskets, pipes, mufflers, connections, etc.
  • Leakage of gases at any point from engine to point discharged from system.
15. 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:
    • (a)  Brake fluid. 
    • (b)  Power steering fluid.
  • Power steering belt; proper tension, wear, or absence of belt.
17. 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.)
18. Inspect Driver’s Seat for:
  • Anchorage.
  • Location.
  • Condition.
19. Inspect Seat Belts for:
  • Approved type.
  • Installation.
  • Condition.
20. Inspect Air Bag & Airbag 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.    
21. 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.
22. Inspect Fuel System for:
  • Any part that is not securely fastened.
  • Liquid fuel leakage.
  • Fuel tank filler cap for presence.
23. Inspect Floor Pan for:
  • Holes which allow exhaust gases to enter occupant compartment.
  • Conditions which create a hazard to the occupants.
24. Issue Sticker:
  • If approved, place completed approval sticker on the vehicle and give the receipt of certificate to the operator.

(NOTE: The validity period of the rejection sticker shall include fifteen (15) days in addition to the day of the inspection.) 


The maximum inspection fees are as follows:

$51 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.

$12 for each inspection of any motorcycle and autocycle.

$20 for each inspection of any other vehicle, including trailers and motor homes.

Have additional questions?

Visit our Vehicle Inspection Frequently Asked Questions page >>

NOTE:  If you have a specific question with regard to motor vehicle safety inspection or inspection requirements, please refer to the Official Annual Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual, which is available through Virginia’s Legislative Information System.  It is comprised of Commonwealth of Virginia Administrative Code, Chapter 70 (Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Rules And Regulations), Sections 1 through 680:1 and Forms.

Inspector Information

Inspector forms and applications can be found on our Safety Division page >>