Let’s start at the basics.  There are two sides to every single inspection code you need to be concerned with. One is obviously is it legal for inspection.  Two is even tho it passed safety inspection, can I get a ticket for it?  Answer: Yes… yes you can.

LED’s, Required Lights, and Auxiliary Lighting

One of the most common questions we get at the shop is in regards to legality of lights, placement, and aftermarket lighting .  As with all codes this can be a little difficult to interpret for safety inspection… and afterwards the legality is judged via command guidance and discretion of the troopers in the field.

Brake and License Plate Lights

Your vehicle came equipped from the factory with a certain amount of brake and marking lights.  No matter what you do, or how you modify them, you 100% need to have the same amount it shipped with, and with the same functions.  So if you move your 3rd brake light, cool!  If you REMOVE your 3rd brake light, problem!

LED Pods and Light Bars

  • Your vehicle is ONLY allowed 4 forward facing lights to be on at any time.  2 headlights and two auxiliary (driving or fog lights).
  • Headlights must be DOT stamped.
  • For on-road use Auxiliary lighting must be DOT stamped and mounted below the plane of the headlights.  They must turn off with the brights.
  • Any light above the plane of the headlights must have proper wiring, clear lens and clear reflector and UNLIT at all times on public roads.
    COVERS ARE NOT NEEDED if the previous conditions are met.
  • Regardless of position, any light has to have a clear lens, reflector and white light.  Any colored lighting must be covered.
  • To be considered for “decorative” use a light can have no bulb base or connected wiring.
  • Every pair of lights must be separately switched.  Headlights, Fogs, Driving, LED’s etc.
  • You must have a at least one reverse light. However you can add as many as you wish as long as they are not run while driving in a forward direction on public roads.
  • Rock lights are not legal to run on the street.

Applicable Codes of Note (Click code # for full information):
46.2-1030. When lights to be lighted; number of lights to be lighted at any time; use of warning lights.
46.2-1020. Other permissible lights.  (Lightbars & Pods Covered Here)


Other Codes for Common Mods


While there is a brief code mention about not running straight pipes, by state law there are decibel limits that your vehicle can produce.  So yes, you can drop an aftermarket muffler on your Jeep and pass emissions, but if you go tearing past a Trooper with an exhaust that is waking up all the babies, you are going to get a nice ticket.  (same for loud stereos)

The other item to note is that your exhaust must exit past the passenger cabin and have NO holes.  So those underbody dumps to delete the mufflers for clearance are for all intents and purposes, are illegal.

Fender Flares & Tires

When installing aftermarket fenders you must keep all markers and lighting your Jeep left the factory with, so while it’s ok to move those items, do not delete them.

Tire width.  Your tires can not extend past of the widest part of the fender flare by more than 4″.

Side View Mirrors

The law here is you must have two mirrors, one review and one side view.  When the doors come off, the side view must relocate.


The only things to note are that steering joints must be in a state of good repair.  So check them regularly after wheeling trips.

Heim joints (as opposed to tie rod ends) are NOT LEGAL for use on public streets.


By Virginia law, your wheels have to be DOT approved.  There are a couple DOT Beadlocks on the market, but not many.  Hutchinson Industries being one of the exceptions.


The rules here are pretty easy.  If it came with it, it needs to keep it.  Whatever you cut off needs to be re-enforced properly.  IE… if you do a 6″ lift with a cradle drop, the Inspectors may fail it, because it has changed the structural integrity of the frame.  If you do a long arm kit thats probably safe as long as the new crossmember is properly secured.

Applicable Codes of Note (Click code # for full information):
46.2-1063. Alteration of suspension system; bumper height limits; raising body above frame rail.
46.2-1049. Exhaust system in good working order.
46.2-1047. Straight Pipes and Gutted exhausts.


If you want to research yourself, all the codes can be found here!  Virginia Motor Vehicle Codes