inspections February 08, 2018

What You Need to Know Before a Virginia State Vehicle Inspection in Fairfax Station, VA

With answers compliments of the Virginia State Police, learn everything you need to know about the state vehicle inspection in Fairfax Station, VA.

What is the cost of a vehicle inspection?

The cost is $16.00 for motor vehicles and recreation vehicles, plus trailers (including semi-trailers).  The cost is $12.00 for a motorcycle and $51.00 for a tractor-trailer, a truck with a GVW of 26,000 pounds or more, or a vehicle used to transport passengers that has a seating capacity of more than 15 passengers including the driver.

What items are inspected? 

The required official inspection requirements approved by the Virginia State Police Superintendent for passenger vehicles and vehicles up to 10,000 pounds (GVWR-gross vehicle weight rating) includes the following—

  • Service brakes, emergency, parking or holding brakes, trailer brakes
  • Batteries
  • Steering and suspension
  • Frame, engine mounts, coupling devices and emergency chains
  • Tires, wheels, and rims
  • Headlamps, rear lamp, tail lamp, license plate lamp and rear lamp combinations
  • Auxiliary Lamps—Backup, cornering, driving, fog, spot, and warning
  • Parking lamps, clearance lamps, side marker lamps and reflectors
  • Signal device
  • Hazard lights, stop lamp and permissible light equipment
  • Glass and glazing
  • Mirrors
  • Windshield wiper, defroster
  • Horns and other warning devices
  • Doors
  • Hatch latch system
  • Floor pan
  • Seat, seat belts
  • Muffler, exhaust systems, and trailer venting
  • Air pollution control system
  • Fuel system

How long will it take?

The time it takes for a Virginia State Inspection to be completed depends on the inspector’s experience, how fast he works, and the type of vehicle being inspected. There is additional paperwork that has to be done for each inspection which normally takes about ten minutes. Allow at least 30 minutes for your vehicle inspection. Inspections are performed on a first-come, first-served basis. Other customers might have dropped off their vehicle earlier that day; inspections will be done in the order that each vehicle arrives for the day. Stations are not required to stop inspecting other vehicles that have been dropped off to inspect a drive-in request.

Once I have registered my vehicle in Virginia, how long before my vehicle has to be inspected?

There is no grace period.  Your vehicle inspection can be performed regardless of what state it is registered in. It is recommended you have your vehicle inspection performed in Fairfax Station, VA, before proceeding with the registration.

If you have questions about your vehicle safety inspection or the requirements, click through to the Official Annual Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual, available through the Virginia Legislative Information System. It is Chapter 70 of the Commonwealth of Virginia Administrative Code (MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY INSPECTION RULES AND REGULATIONS), Sections 1 through 680:1 and associated forms.

What to do if your car fails/is rejected?

If your car fails a Virginia State Inspection, a rejection sticker will be placed where the previous approval sticker was on your vehicle’s windshield. You have 15 days from the day of the rejection to properly fix the faulty equipment for which your vehicle failed to pass the inspection. The rejection sticker does not restrict you from driving your vehicle, but it does not prevent you from being issued a summons for operating your vehicle with defective equipment. This applies with a rejection sticker or an approval sticker.

If you take your vehicle to the original station that rejected it within the 15 day period of receiving the rejection sticker, the inspector is only required to check the items that were previously rejected. You may be charged a $1.00 fee. If you take it somewhere other than the original station that rejected your vehicle, the inspector will have to do another complete inspection and charge you accordingly.

When does an inspection sticker expire?

The inspection sticker expires on the last day of the month indicated on the sticker on your windshield. No exceptions, whether it is a weekday or weekend. You will not get a reminder when your inspection is due.

If you have a #2, February inspection sticker, which is due to expire at midnight on February 28, it will automatically be valid until midnight February 29 on a leap year.

How can I research Virginia Inspection laws?

Read the Code of Virginia regarding Safety Inspections, look here for The Required Official Inspection Procedure.

If I feel an improper inspection was performed on my vehicle what can I do?

If you have reasonable doubt to question the integrity of your vehicle safety inspection  process or outcome, contact the nearest State Police Safety Division Office right away.  An investigation will be conducted.

Locating an Inspection Station

The Safety Division receives requests to identify inspection stations. The Department of State Police is unable to make recommendations to the citizens of the Commonwealth. And unfortunately, there is no online list of Virginia inspection stations.

Virginia Inspection Stations change daily due to some stations not having an inspector or going out of business. Some have been suspended for disciplinary reasons. New stations are also being added or reinstated.

New car dealerships, automotive service centers and garages that repair vehicles are licensed to perform inspections. They display white signs with blue lettering designating them as an official Virginia inspection station.

Before your annual Virginia state inspection in Fairfax Station, VA, it’s  smart to use a pre-inspection checklist to review your vehicle, and check for savings on your vehicle inspection, and any maintenance, repairs, or tires you may need from the automotive specialists who are also certified Virginia safety inspectors, at Wiygul Automotive Clinic.

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