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Antique Vehicle Safety References

Antique vehicle plate

Antique vehicle plate

During the 2007 session of the Virginia General Assembly, legislation was passed to amend Section 46.2-730 of the Code of Virginia.  This particular code section addresses the requirements and operational parameters of antique vehicles.  In subsection E, the owner of an antique vehicle must complete a VSA 10 B (Antique License Plate Applicant Certification Form) have it notarized and submit it to the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.   The VSA 10 B form may be downloaded in PDF format at http://www.dmvnow.com/webdoc/pdf/vsa10b.pdf for your convenience.  The owner must certify that the antique vehicle meets the safety equipment requirements for its model year and is in safe operating condition.  The certification process involves a self inspection by the registered owner.  Antique vehicles meeting the requirements to be exempt from state inspection; need not be examined by an official state inspector.

In completing the self inspection process, owners of antique vehicles may review sections of the Code of Virginia concerning benchmark years for required vehicle safety equipment.  The owner must assure, to the best of their knowledge, that the equipment on the antique vehicle is in safe operating condition.

You may review code sections below for equipment that may apply to your particular vehicle:

§ 46.2-1014.1. Supplemental high mount stop light.

Whenever operated on the highways, every Virginia-registered passenger car manufactured for the 1986 or subsequent model year shall be equipped with a supplemental center high mount stop light of a type approved by the Superintendent or which meets the standards adopted by the United States Department of Transportation. The light shall be mounted as near the vertical center line of the vehicle as possible. The light shall be actuated only in conjunction with the vehicle's brake lights and hazard lights. Any supplemental high mount stop light installed on any other vehicle shall comply with those requirements.

§ 46.2-1038. When turn signals required; exceptions.

    1. Any motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer which is so constructed or carries a load in such a manner as to prevent a hand and arm signal required in § 46.2-849 from being visible both to the front and rear of such motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer or any vehicle the driver of which is incapable of giving the required hand and arm signals, shall be equipped with electrical turn signals which meet the requirements of this title and are of a type that has been approved by the Superintendent. A tractor truck, however, need not be equipped with electrical turn signals on the rear if it is equipped with double faced signal lights mounted on the front fenders or on the sides near the front of the vehicle clearly visible to the rear.
    2. It shall be unlawful for any person to drive on any highway a motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1955, unless such vehicle is equipped with such turn signals on both front and rear.
    3. Any such turn signal may be used in lieu of the hand and arm signal required by § 46.2-849.
    4. Subsections A and B of this section shall not apply to any motorcycle. The provisions of this section shall not apply to motor vehicles, trailers, or semitrailers used for agricultural or horticultural purposes and exempted from registration under Article 6 (§ 46.2-662 et seq.) of Chapter 6 of this title.

§ 46.2-1039. Requirements of turn signals; regulations.

Every turn signal used to give a signal of intention to turn a vehicle shall be so constructed and so installed as to give a signal plainly visible in clear weather and under normal traffic conditions from a distance of at least 100 feet to the rear and 100 feet to the front of the vehicle. No front turn signal, however, shall be required on vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1943.

The Superintendent may promulgate regulations not inconsistent with this section and § 46.2-1038 governing the construction, location, and operation of turn signals and the color of lights which may be used in any such signal device. Nothing contained herein, however, shall prohibit the requiring of turn signals on any vehicle whose driver is prevented by any reason from giving the hand and arm signal required in § 46.2-849.

§ 46.2-1048. Pollution control systems or devices.

No motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured for the model year 1973 or for subsequent model years shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless it is equipped with an air pollution control system, device, or combination of such systems or devices installed in accordance with federal laws and regulations.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate a motor vehicle, as herein described, on the highways in the Commonwealth with its pollution control system or device removed or otherwise rendered inoperable.

It shall be unlawful for any person to operate on the highways in the Commonwealth a motor vehicle, as described in this section, equipped with any emission control system or device unless it is of a type installed as standard factory equipment, or comparable to that designed for use upon the particular vehicle as standard factory equipment.

No motor vehicle, as described in this section, shall be issued a safety inspection approval sticker unless it is equipped as provided under the foregoing provisions of this section or if it violates this section.

The provisions of this section shall not prohibit or prevent shop adjustments or replacements of equipment for maintenance or repair or the conversion of engines to low polluting fuels, such as, but not limited to, natural gas or propane, so long as such action does not degrade the antipollution capabilities of the vehicle power system.

§ 46.2-1055.1. Windshield defroster or defogger.

Every Virginia-registered motor vehicle manufactured for the 1969 or subsequent model years and required to be equipped with a windshield shall be equipped with a windshield defroster or defogger. The defroster or defogger shall be in good working order at all times when the vehicle is operated on the highways.

§ 46.2-1055. Windshield wipers.

Every permanent windshield on a motor vehicle shall be equipped with a device for cleaning snow, rain, moisture, or other matter from the windshield directly in front of the driver. The device shall be so constructed as to be controlled or operated by the driver of the vehicle. Every such device on a school bus or a vehicle designed or used to carry passengers for compensation or hire or as a public conveyance shall be of a mechanically or electrically operated type. The device or devices on any motor vehicle manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1943, shall clean both the right and left sides of the windshield and shall be of a mechanically or electrically operated type.

§ 46.2-1056. When safety glass required.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive on any highway a motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1935, and designed or used for the purpose of carrying persons for compensation or hire or as a public conveyance to transport school children and others, unless such vehicle is equipped with safety glass wherever glass is used in doors, windows, and windshields.

It shall be unlawful to drive on any highway any motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth, manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1936, unless the vehicle is equipped with safety glass approved by the Superintendent, or meets the standards and specifications of the American National Standards Institute, Incorporated, or the regulations of the federal Department of Transportation whenever glass is used in doors, windows, and windshields.

The term "safety glass" as used in this section shall mean any product composed of glass so manufactured, fabricated or treated as substantially to prevent shattering and flying of the glass when struck or broken. The Commissioner shall maintain a list of types of glass approved by the Superintendent as conforming to the specifications and requirements for safety glass as set forth in this section and shall not issue a license for or relicense any motor vehicle subject to the provisions herein stated unless such motor vehicle is equipped as herein provided with the approved type of glass.

No glazing material other than safety glass shall be used in any motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth, except that the Superintendent may permit safety glazing materials other than glass to be used in lieu of safety glass in portions of motor vehicles, trailers, and semitrailers designated by him, provided any such material bears a trade name or identifying mark, and has been submitted to and approved by the Superintendent.

If any person drives any vehicle in violation of this section while under a certificate issued by the State Corporation Commission, in addition to the penalty provided in § 46.2-113, the certificate of such person may, in the discretion of the State Corporation Commission, be suspended until this section is satisfactorily complied with.

Replacement safety glass installed in any part of a vehicle other than the windshield need not bear a trademark or name, provided (i) the glass consists of two or more sheets of glass separated by a glazing material, (ii) the glass is cut from a piece of approved safety glass, and (iii) the edge of the glass can be observed.

§ 46.2-1057. Windshields.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive on a highway in the Commonwealth any motor vehicle or reconstructed motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, registered in the Commonwealth, which was manufactured, assembled or reconstructed after July 1, 1970, unless the motor vehicle is equipped with a windshield.

§ 46.2-1069. Brakes on motorcycles.

Every motorcycle manufactured after July 1, 1974, and driven on a highway in the Commonwealth shall be equipped with either a split-service brake system or two independently actuated brake systems which shall act on the front as well as the rear wheel or wheels.

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive on a highway in the Commonwealth a motorcycle which was originally equipped with a brake system on both the front or rear wheel or wheels if the brake system has been altered by removing or disconnecting any of the brake-system components from any of the wheels.

§ 46.2-1082. Mirrors.

No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a highway in the Commonwealth if the vehicle is not equipped with a mirror which reflects to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of not less than 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle.

No motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth, designed and licensed primarily for passenger vehicular transportation on the public highways and manufactured after 1968 shall be driven on the highways in the Commonwealth unless equipped with at least one outside and at least one inside rear view mirror meeting the requirements of this section.

Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, no motor vehicle which either has no rear window, or which has a rear window so obstructed as to prevent rearward vision by means of an inside rear view mirror, shall be required to be equipped with an inside rear view mirror if such motor vehicle has horizontally and vertically adjustable outside rear view mirrors installed on both sides of such motor vehicle in such a manner as to provide the driver of such motor vehicle a rearward view along both sides of such motor vehicle for at least 200 feet.

§ 46.2-1088.1. Hood scoops.

No motor vehicle shall be operated on a public highway in the Commonwealth if any hood scoop installed thereon exceeds any of the following dimensions:

1. For any hood scoop installed on any motor vehicle manufactured for the 1990 or earlier model year: thirty-eight inches wide at its widest point, two and one-quarter inches high at its highest point measured from the junction of the dashboard and the windshield, and fifty-two and one-quarter inches long at its longest point.

2. For any hood scoop installed on any motor vehicle manufactured for the 1991 or subsequent model year: thirty-eight inches wide at its widest point, one and one-eighth inches high at its highest point measured from the junction of the dashboard and the windshield, and fifty and one-half inches long at its longest point.

§ 46.2-1092. Safety lap belts or a combination of lap belts and shoulder harnesses to be installed in certain motor vehicles.

No passenger car registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured for the year 1963 or for subsequent years shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless the front seats thereof are equipped with adult safety lap belts or a combination of lap belts and shoulder harnesses of types approved by the Superintendent.

Failure to use the safety lap belts or a combination of lap belts and shoulder harnesses after installation shall not be deemed to be negligence. Nor shall evidence of such nonuse of such devices be considered in mitigation of damages of whatever nature.

No motor vehicle registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured after January 1, 1968, shall be issued a safety inspection approval sticker if any lap belt, combination of lap belt and shoulder harness, or passive belt systems required to be installed at the time of manufacture by the federal Department of Transportation have been either removed from the motor vehicle or rendered inoperable.

No passenger car, except convertibles, registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured on or after September 1, 1990, shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless the forward-facing rear outboard seats thereof are equipped with rear seat lap/shoulder belts of types required to be installed at the time of manufacture by the federal Department of Transportation.

No passenger car, including convertibles, registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured on or after September 1, 1991, shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless the forward-facing rear outboard seats thereof are

equipped with rear seat lap/shoulder belts of types required to be installed at the time of manufacture by the federal Department of Transportation.

No truck, multi-purpose vehicle, or bus, except school buses and motor homes, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or less, registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured on or after September 1, 1991, shall be operated on the highways in the Commonwealth unless the forward-facing rear outboard seats thereof are equipped with rear seat lap/shoulder belts of types required to be installed at the time of manufacture by the federal Department of Transportation.

Passenger cars, trucks, multipurpose vehicles, and buses, except school buses and motor homes, registered in the Commonwealth and manufactured on or after September 1, 1992, shall not be operated on the highways of the Commonwealth unless equipped with rear seat lap/shoulder belts of types required to be installed at the time of manufacture by the federal Department of Transportation for each forward-facing rear outboard seating position on a readily removable seat.

For the purposes of this section, forward-facing rear outboard seats are defined as those designated seating positions for passengers in outside front facing seats behind the driver and front passenger seats, except any designated seating position adjacent to a walkway that is located between the seat and the near side of the vehicle and is designed to allow access to a more rearward seating position.

The Superintendent of State Police shall include in the Official Motor Vehicle Inspection Regulations a section which identifies each classification of motor vehicle required to be equipped with any of the devices described in the foregoing provisions of this section.

Such regulations shall also include a listing of the exact devices which are required to be installed in each motor vehicle classification and the model year of each motor vehicle classification on which the standards of the federal Department of Transportation first became applicable.