Is It Time For Your Virginia State Inspection?



Here in Virginia, we’re no strangers to state safety inspections. In fact, VA is one of only 12 states in the country that mandate an annual state inspection. Are you new to VA or wondering what the difference is between the safety inspection and emissions testing? Look no further!

New to Virginia?

Welcome! We hope you’ll love our wonderful state as much as we do. Here are a couple of things you want to make sure you get taken care off as soon as possible. For more details, head over to Virginia DMV for details on how to make your move as smooth as possible.

  • Vehicle Registration
  • You must register your vehicle within 30 days of moving.

  • Safety Inspection
  • Regardless of how long you’ve been in the state, you must have a valid inspection sticker in your windshield.

  • Emissions Inspection
  • If you’re moving to Fairfax county or buying a car from outside of the state, you’ll need to have an emission inspection before you can register your vehicle. There may be an exception if the car has had a recent emissions inspection from a qualifying state.

  • Insurance
  • Make sure your vehicle insure meets the minimum requirements set by the state:

    • $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person;
    • $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people; and
    • $20,000 for property damage.

Safety Inspections

All vehicles in Virginia have to have a safety inspection every year. During this service, various areas of your vehicle are checked to ensure your safety on the roads. Areas checked include brakes, lights, steering, suspension, tires, windshield, exhaust system, seat belts and airbags. The only vehicles that are exempt from the annual safety check are:

  • Antique vehicles that are registered with the DMV and at least 25 years old
  • Any trailer under 3,000 lbs that does not have brakes.

Emissions Testing

There are some areas of Virginia that also require emissions testing every two years. The cities that require emissions testing are Alexandria, Fairfax, Falls Church, Manassas, and Manassas Park, and the counties that require emissions testing are Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun, Prince William, and Stafford. You can obtain the emissions testing by driving pasy a RAPIDPASS emissions testing site or by visiting a certified emissions inspection statoin. The only vehicles that are excepted from emissions testing are:

  • Vehicles registered for the first time that have been inspected in another qualifying state in the past year
  • Gas-powered vehicles older than 25 years and weigning more than 10,000lbs
  • Diesel-powered vehicles older than model year 1997 or weighing more than 8,500lbs
  • Motorcycles
  • All-electric vehicles (like the Nissan Leaf)
  • The following hybrids
    • Toyota Prius- 1997-2007; 2010
    • Honda Insight- 1999-2007

Are you new to town or just due for your annual state inspection or emissions testing? Stop by your local VA State Inspection center and get back on the road quickly!

Written by Cardinal Plaza Shell

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