The Laws Of Vehicle Lights & Driving In Virginia

Knowing the rules on vehicle lights helps with road safety.

Virginia’s laws on vehicle lights regulate when lights are used and what types of lights are permissible. Vehicle lights can help keep roads safe, but some types of lights cause distractions and are unsafe. You should know vehicle light requirements when driving.

Necessary Vehicle Lights

Headlights and other lights, such as signal and brake lights, must use approved bulbs, be aimed properly and be in working order. Police may pull over and ticket vehicles being driven with improper lights or burnt-out bulbs.

Proper Use

Vehicle lights are also used for road safety. Headlights must be used at night, during inclement weather or where visibility is reduced to 500 feet. Drivers also must turn on headlights when wipers are in use. If using high beams, you should dim them when approaching oncoming vehicles. If the road is lit well enough to see up to 350 feet ahead of your vehicle, use your low beams.

Neon Lights

In most cases, having neon lights anywhere on your vehicle in Virginia is illegal. You may have neon lights on your car if they are not lit and remain covered while the car is being driven on any public highway. The actual body of the vehicle is not considered a cover if the lights are under the car.


Incorrect use of your vehicle lights can result in tickets and DMV violations. For example, the following violations carry three points and remain on your driving record for three years: driving without lights or with excessive lights, failure to dim headlights, parking without proper lights displayed [and] inadequate hazard lights.” Fines for improper use of lights will normally cost you about $92 ($30 fine and $62 in processing fees).

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