Virginia Regulatory Town Hall

Final Text


Motor Vehicle Inspection Rules and Regulations - 2016 ...
Stage: Final

Part II
Inspection Requirements

19VAC30-70-10. Official inspection station requirements.

A. Official inspection stations, except private appointments, shall be open at least eight hours of each normal business day, and shall be able to perform inspections 12 months throughout the year, except during illness of limited duration or normal vacation.

1. Normal business hours, Monday through Friday, are defined as an eight-hour period of time between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m.

2. Stations are not prohibited from performing inspections at times other than during normal business hours.

3. A station that advertises inspections beyond normal business hours shall be able to perform such inspections.

4. If a station desires to maintain business hours that are different from those defined in this section, written permission must be obtained from the safety officer and a sign setting forth the inspection hours must be posted conspicuously at the station where it can be observed by a person desiring to have a vehicle inspected.

B. At least one full-time safety inspector to perform inspections and one inspection lane meeting the minimum requirements shall be available for inspection at all times during the normal business day. All inspections must be made only at the locations and in the inspection lane approved by the Department of State Police. All stations shall have other lanes, bays, or areas in which repairs can be made so the inspection lane can remain available.

The designated inspection areas, including any location where customers are permitted to enter when submitting vehicles for inspection, must be kept clean, and free from excessive dirt, grease, and loose materials. If requested, customers presenting vehicles for inspection shall be allowed to observe the inspection process from a safe location designated by the station.

C. Inspection station facilities must be properly maintained and must present a businesslike appearance to the general public. Property adjacent to the inspection station that is owned or controlled by the station must be free of debris, litter, used parts and junk vehicles. Vehicles properly contained within fenced storage areas shall be deemed to comply with this requirement.

D. Inspections shall be performed on a first-come, first-served basis. "First-come, first-served" means a procedure whereby customers seeking an inspection shall be attended to in the order that they arrive to the station. Motorists shall not be required to make an appointment to obtain an inspection, except that those appointments required by subdivision A 12 of § 46.2-1158.01 of the Code of Virginia shall be made. Businesses Stations that take in motorists' vehicles for inspection at the beginning of the work day shall not be required to stop the work already taken in inspecting those vehicles to provide an inspection for a drive-in motorist request, provided inspections are actually currently being performed at the time and will continue through throughout the day. Stations must maintain a procedure to validate when vehicles were brought to the station for inspection. Inspections shall begin concurrently with repair lanes during the station's normal business hours, without delay. Stations may suggest to motorists a timeframe of no greater than three hours during which it may be anticipated that an inspection may be provided. Stations shall cooperate fully with Department of State Police personnel regarding any issues detailed in this section, as with all other investigations.

Stations shall make every effort to keep the designated inspection lanes available. Stations with more than one repair bay shall not perform work in the designated inspection lanes when customers are waiting for an inspection. This will not apply to minor adjustments that require minimal time to perform. Stations shall not let vehicles occupy the designated inspection lanes while awaiting parts or customer authorization to complete the inspection pursuant to 19VAC30-70-60.

A station may inquire about accepting safety inspections by appointment. If the requirements are met, then the official inspection station may, in addition to having one lane for the first-come, first-served customers, also have a second inspection lane designated for customers who have made appointments for a designated time slot. An additional certified safety inspector shall be available to perform those inspections that are made by an appointment. If interested, stations should first contact their supervising trooper for specific requirements and guidelines.

E. Safety inspectors, managers who supervise inspection activities, and business owners, through participation in the Official Motor Vehicle Inspection Program, are representatives of the Department of State Police and should conduct themselves in a manner to avoid controversy in dealing with customers presenting vehicles for inspection. The use of profanity or verbal abuse directed at customers presenting their vehicles for inspection will be grounds for suspension from participation in the inspection program and will be considered a Class IV offense as set forth in 19VAC30-70-6.

Controversy that cannot be calmly resolved by the safety inspector, managers, and owners should be referred to the supervising trooper for handling.

F. The "Certificate of Appointment" must be framed under glass or clear plastic and posted in the customer waiting area where it can be observed and read by a person submitting a vehicle for inspection.

Inspection stations must have garage liability insurance in the amount of at least $500,000 with an approved surplus lines carrier or insurance company licensed to write such insurance in this Commonwealth. This requirement shall not apply to inspection stations that only inspect their company-owned, government-owned, or leased vehicles.

G. The required "Official Inspection Procedure" sheet and the "Direct Inquiries" sheet furnished to each station must both be framed under glass or clear plastic and posted conspicuously in the customer waiting area where they can be observed and read by a person submitting a vehicle for inspection.

H. The poster designating the station as an official inspection station shall be posted in a prominent location, outside or visible outside the station, to alert passersby that inspection services are available. Private inspection stations shall not display an outside poster.

I. Each official inspection station shall display a list with the name(s) names and license expiration date dates of all employees licensed to inspect at that station, adjacent to the certificate of appointment. The Official Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual will be kept at or near the point of inspection for ready reference. The manual may be kept in written or electronic form.

J. Important -- Any change in name, ownership or location of any official inspection station cancels the appointment of that station, and the Department of State Police must be notified immediately. The department shall be notified when an official inspection station discontinues operation.

K. All inspection supplies, inspection binders and manual, unused stickers, duplicates of certificates issued, bulletins and other forms are the property of the Department of State Police and must be safeguarded against loss.

L. Inspection supplies issued to an inspection station can be used only by that station and are not to be loaned or reissued to any other station with the exception of inserts.

1. Stations must maintain a sufficient supply of approval stickers, trailer and motorcycle approval stickers, rejection stickers and inserts. When reordering supplies, station owners/managers owners or managers shall request sufficient supplies to sustain their business for at least six months. However, it is realized that a few stations will not be able to comply with the six-month requirement since there is a maximum of 100 books per order limit. Also, when ordering supplies, the following information should be considered so that the station does not order an excessive amount of supplies: each book of approval stickers contains 25 stickers, the rejection book contains 50 stickers, the month inserts are packaged in strips of 50 each, and trailer and motorcycle decals are five per strip. In December of each year, a supply of year inserts will be shipped to each station based on their the station's previous year's usage. In November, each station shall check its stock of month inserts and order what is needed for the months of January through June. In May, the same should be done for the months of July through December.

2. Inspection stations that exhaust their supply of approval stickers, trailer and motorcycle approval stickers, rejection stickers, and inserts shall immediately stop performing new inspections and contact their supervising trooper or the nearest Safety Division Area Office.

M. All losses of stickers must be reported immediately to the supervising inspection trooper or the nearest Safety Division Area Office.

N. Every precaution against the loss of stickers must be taken. If the loss occurs through carelessness or neglect, a suspension of the station may result.

O. Manuals, bulletins, other regulations and lists of approved equipment must be available at all times for reference and may be kept in written or electronic form. Revisions to the Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Manual will be sent to each station electronically through the MVIP system. Revisions to the inspection manual must be inserted in the manual at the proper location promptly after being received by the inspection station. Bulletins of temporary interest and pages of bulletins containing the synopsis of manual revisions will be retained in the front of each station's inspection manual for 24 months. Each safety inspector shall review the material contained in each inspection bulletin and manual revision within 15 days of its receipt. The safety inspector shall certify that the revisions have been reviewed by signing his name and placing the date reviewed by the signature on the bottom or reverse side of the bulletin or manual revision cover sheet. Station management shall be responsible to see that each safety inspector is familiar with all bulletins and manual revisions and shall be required to furnish evidence to the department that all bulletins and manual revisions have been reviewed by each licensed inspector.

A copy of the diagram drawn by the investigating trooper, showing the approved inspection lane or lanes, will be inserted in a plastic page protector and inserted as the last page of the official inspection manual at each official inspection station. The name of the station and the date will be inserted in the top right corner maintained for review and kept available with the station's inspection supplies.

P. Private appointment may be made of company stations or government stations that own and operate a minimum of 20 vehicles and they may inspect only company-owned or government-owned vehicles respectively. When authorized by the department, they may inspect vehicles of a wholly-owned subsidiary or leased vehicles.

1. A private station may perform inspections during each month of the year or may elect to inspect only during certain designated months.

2. A private station not electing to inspect vehicles every month of the year that finds it necessary to inspect a vehicle during a month other than those selected for inspection may issue a sticker to the vehicle from the nearest past inspection month.

Q. All official inspection station owners, managers, and certified safety inspectors shall comply with the Virginia inspection laws and the inspection rules and regulations and will adhere to all instructions given by the supervising trooper or the Safety Division. Reports of violations will be investigated and, if found to be valid, may result in the suspension of the station, suspension of the inspector, possible court action, or other appropriate action, or any combination of these actions. Repeated violations or serious violations may result in a revocation of the station appointment by the superintendent.

R. The arrest of any person associated with the inspection program for a criminal offense of a nature that would tend to immediately reflect upon the integrity and reputation of the Department of State Police may be grounds for an immediate suspension and the conviction for such an offense may result in a revocation of the station's appointment.

S. When a station has been suspended or revoked, it must release to an employee of the Department of State Police all inspection supplies, posters, and papers including the certificate of appointment. Failure to do so is a violation of § 46.2-1172 of the Code of Virginia.

T. The authority of the superintendent to suspend the designation or appointment of an official inspection station as provided in § 46.2-1163 of the Code of Virginia, or to suspend the certification of an inspector designated to perform inspections at an official inspection station, and, in keeping with the provisions of § 46.2-1166 of the Code of Virginia, is hereby delegated to any of the following supervisory ranks of the Department of State Police: Lieutenant Colonel, Major, Captain, Lieutenant, First Sergeant and Sergeant.

U. Each station must purchase and keep in proper operating condition the following equipment: computer, printer, internet connection, paper hole punch, black ball point pen or pens or black marker or markers, sticker scraper with replacement razor blades, tire tread depth gauge, amp meter, headlight and auxiliary lamp adjustment tools, 12" ruler, 25' measuring tape, torque wrench or torque sticks, brake pads/shoes/disc/drum measuring device, dial indicator, micrometer, pry bars, roller jack (at least 4-ton), and an approved type optical headlight aiming device. Each station that requests an additional inspection lane that is not in close proximity to the originally approved inspection lane must purchase an additional approved headlight machine for each lane that meets the minimum requirements. Stations are required to have one of the following headlight aiming devices effective January 1, 2013: the Hopkins Vision1, Hopkins Vision 100, American Aimers Vision 100, American Aimers Vision 2 Pro, or the Symtech (former L.E.T.) HBA-5, PLA-11, and PLA-12. This shall not apply to "trailer-only" inspection stations.