Rear Lamps: Tail Lamp; License Plate Lamps; and Rear Lamp Combinations

19VAC30-70-150. Rear lamps: tail lamp; license plate lamps; and rear lamp combinations.
Inspect for and reject if:

  • 1. Vehicle is not equipped with a rear (tail lamp) or rear lamp combination of an
    approved type or light assembly does not work as designed by the manufacturer. The
    approval designation letters that must appear are DOT or SAE-A-1-S-T-P for single


Revised August 1, 2012

19VAC30-70 – Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Rules And Regulations

  • lamps, DOT or SAE-A-1-S-T-P-R with a backup light, DOT or SAE-A-I-S-T-P-P2-R with a
    wrap around side-marker lamp and backup light.
  • 2. The vehicle is equipped with more than one rear lamp, if all are not in operating
  • 3. The vehicle is not equipped with a license plate lamp of an approved type (DOT or
    SAE-L) that emits a white light. The license plate lamp may be a separate lamp or part of
    a combination rear lamp.
  • 4. License plate is not illuminated by an approved license plate lamp that admits a white
  • 5. Lens on rear lamps, or lens area in combination rear lamps (tail lamps) are not red or
    contain a dot of another color. LED light-emitting diode) lights with a clear lens are
    acceptable if of an approved type. For those vehicles that are equipped with a multiple
    LED light (not filament-burning bulbs), they will pass inspection if more than 50% of the
    diode lights are burning.
    NOTE: Replacement tail lamps, commonly sold as “clear” tail lamps or “Euro-Tail” lamps
    will not pass inspection if the red lamps are replaced with clear ones.
  • 6. Lens has piece broken from it or does not fit properly. The lens may have one or more
    cracks provided an off-color light does not project through the crack or cracks.
    NOTE: Taping or gluing cracks or pieces is not permitted.
  • 7. Filament in all rear (tail) lamps does not burn when headlamp switch is turned on to
    any position, or if lamps do not provide a red light visible to the rear through an approved
    red lens as annotated in subdivision 1 of this section. If it is a rear lamp combination
    incorporated with a wrap around side-marker light, then the side-marker lens must be
    red and not a clear lens with a red bulb. If the bulb, socket and wiring are removed from
    the side-marker lamps, then they will not be considered during the inspection.
  • 8. Rear (tail) lamp is not mounted near extreme rear of vehicle. Dump trucks and other
    specially constructed vehicles may mount the rear lamp at a point other than on the
    extreme rear, provided such rear lamp is clearly visible from the rear, and further
    provided that a red reflector of an approved type is mounted on the extreme rear. In
    unusual cases, the rear lamp may be mounted on the cab. Reject if the lamp is hidden
    by a bolster or other part of the body or frame, is not mounted securely, or if the lamp
    does not make a good electrical contact.
  • 9. The vehicle has wire, unapproved lens or plastic covers, any other materials that are
    not original equipment or any colored material placed on or in front of rear lamps, license
    plate lamps and rear lamp combinations.
  • 10. Wiring or electrical connections are defective or filaments do not burn.
    NOTE: Every trailer shall carry at the rear two red tail lights of a type approved by the