Virginia Safety Inspection

You’ve probably heard the term ‘state safety inspection’ before, but you may not know what it is, or the history behind it. Here’s some important information on Virginia state safety inspections that you need to know.

What is a Virginia state safety inspection?

Essentially a safety inspection is an inspection performed on your vehicle to ensure that everything is working properly. Virginia’s state safety inspections are overseen by the Virginia State Police. They are the organization that sets the rules for the inspections and approves automotive shops that want to be inspection stations.

Some history on Virginia’s state safety inspections

Virginia’s current enforcement of safety inspections for vehicles began all the way back in 1906, when then-Governor Claude Swanson signed a bill that required all vehicles to register with the Secretary of the Commonwealth. While Virginia State Police now manages these inspections, it was the Secretary of the Commonwealth that was originally required to do so, along with other local law enforcement officials across the state.

Starting in 1933, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) took on the management of motor vehicle inspections and began overseeing official inspection stations. Now, with so many drivers in Virginia, the Virginia State Police and their designated inspection stations inspection more than 7 million vehicles each year!

What do inspectors check for during safety inspections?

According to the Official Annual Motor Vehicle Inspection Manual (LINK), inspectors will look at several things including brakes, headlights, signals, steering and suspension, tires, mirrors, the car horn, windshield, the exhaust system and license plates.