Motorcycle inspections in VA - Motorcycle Law Group

Yes, there are some differences, but also quite a few similarities, and it really depends on the state. You can read our recent blog on brake inspections to get an idea of how those differences might look. In many cases the differences have to do with what’s checked. Motorcycles don’t have seat belts, so those aren’t checked on a bike, but they do have handlebars, and a state may have specific handlebar height requirements.

Virginia Motorcycle and Car Inspections

The cost of a motorcycle inspection is a little bit cheaper at $12 compared to the $20 for cars and $51 for commercial vehicles.

Virginia’s Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Checklist

  • Brakes and parking brake
  • Headlights, signals and other lights
  • Steering and suspension
  • Tires, wheels and rims
  • Mirrors
  • Horn
  • Windshield and other glass
  • Windshield wiper/defroster
  • Exhaust system
  • Rear license plate
  • Hood and area under the hood
  • Air pollution control system (vehicles manufactured after 1973)
  • Driver’s seat
  • Seat belts
  • Airbag and airbag readiness light
  • Front driver-side and passenger doors
  • Fuel system
  • Floor pan

For Motorcycles, the inspection list includes:

  • Brakes
  • Seat
  • Steering
  • Suspension
  • Lights: auxiliary, headlamp, rear, signal and warning
  • Mirror
  • Horn
  • Muffler and exhaust system
  • Tires, wheels and rims
  • Windscreen and glazing
  • Fuel system

For specifics on what does and doesn’t pass inspection, you can visit our page on Virginia motorcycle inspections or read through the state’s Chapter 70 Motor Vehicle Safety Inspection Regulations page and look through Sections 330 to 340. These sections will explicitly explain the potential reasons your bike could be rejected.

West Virginia Motorcycle and Car Inspections

West Virginia mandates inspections be provided for no more than $14.60.

West Virginia Motor Vehicle Inspection Checklist

  • Safety glass
  • Sheet metal, bumpers, fenders and frame
  • Horn
  • Rearview mirror
  • Windshield wipers
  • Plate mounting
  • Brake system (including emergency brake)
  • Front end and steering components
  • Exhaust system
  • Fuel system
  • Tires and wheels
  • Lights and safety devices
  • Seat belts

For Motorcycles, the inspection list includes:

  • Brakes
  • Headlamps
  • Rear lamp and turn signals
  • Check for prohibited lighting equipment
  • Handlebar height (no more than 15 inches higher than seat)
  • Mirrors
  • Odometer
  • Horn
  • Tag mounting
  • Muffler and exhaust
  • Wheels and tires

Riders should read through our West Virginia motorcycle inspection page for details on what could get your motorcycle rejected during inspection.

North Carolina Motorcycle and Car Inspections

The cost of a vehicle safety inspection in North Carolina is only $13.60 – or $30 for an emissions inspection and safety inspection. Both inspections cost an extra $10 for drivers with after-market window tinting.

North Carolina Motor Vehicle Inspection Checklist

  • Headlights
  • Accessory lights
  • Directional signals
  • Foot brake
  • Parking brake
  • Steering
  • Tires
  • Horn
  • Rearview mirror​
  • Windshield wipers
  • Exhaust system
  • Darkness of after-market tinted windows (if applicable)

North Carolina Motorcycle Safety Inspection Requirements

The good news for North Carolina riders is motorcycles (along with RVs and motor homes) don’t require emissions testing.

The North Carolina motorcycle inspection checks:

  • Brakes
  • Headlamps
  • Rear lamps
  • Stop lamps
  • License plate
  • Horn
  • Tires
  • Rearview mirrors
  • Exhaust system
  • Steering mechanism

North Carolina riders should read through our motorcycle inspection overview for the state if they’d like more details on what exactly may cause a bike to fail an inspection.

South Carolina Motorcycle and Car Inspections

The South Carolina inspection list is easier – there isn’t one. Attempts have been made by state legislators to get a safety inspection requirement enacted but the most recent proposed bill in 2017 failed.

There are, however, a handful of laws pertaining to motorcycle equipment that South Carolina riders should be aware of:

  • Turn signals are required (if on a highway)
  • Rear view mirrors
  • Headlights

You can learn more about the specific equipment laws on our South Carolina motorcycle inspection page.

Georgia Motorcycle and Car Inspections

Georgia doesn’t have a state-wide car inspection law either, but some counties do have emissions inspection requirements.

Counties in Georgia that require a emissions testing include:

  • Cherokee
  • Clayton
  • Cobb
  • Coweta
  • DeKalb
  • Douglas
  • Fayette
  • Forsyth
  • Fulton
  • Gwinnett
  • Henry
  • Paulding
  • Rockdale

Vehicles that are less than three years old or older than 25 years don’t require an emissions test in any of those counties. Motorcycles are also exempt from emissions testing.

Just because Georgia doesn’t require safety emissions inspections for Georgia riders, it doesn’t mean there are no equipment or safety laws pertaining to motorcycles in the state.

You can read through some of Georgia’s special provisions pertaining to motorcycles here. For example, Georgia has a handlebar height law (no more than 15 inches above the seat) as well as a statute requiring footrests if a motorcycle is carrying a passenger.

In general, though, Georgia is pretty light on motorcycle restrictions. You can visit our Georgia motorcycle laws page for more information.

Can My Motorcycle Accident Injury Lawsuit Get Thrown Out Because My Bike Didn’t Pass a Safety Inspection?

It depends, but in many cases no. If someone rear ends you during the day the insurance company lawyers can’t say you were the one being negligent because your bike was overdue for a safety inspection or you didn’t have a working headlight. If your motorcycle’s defect had nothing to do with the accident, chances are the other driver’s insurance company won’t be able to use that to transfer the blame onto you.

However, if you were unable to avoid an accident because you had faulty brakes, then the insurance company may be able to argue you share some of the blame because you didn’t brake in time.

It really depends on the specific details of your crash and whether the condition of your motorcycle had something to do with your injuries. If a crash was entirely due to another driver’s negligence and there was nothing you could do (no matter how safe your bike was) to prevent it, chances are a defect or illegal modification won’t impact a judgement on culpability.

If you were involved in a motorcycle accident or you have questions about motorcycle law, don’t hesitate to contact the experienced motorcycle lawyers at the Motorcycle Law Group by calling 800-321-8968.