What's inspected for brake tags
This department currently uses rules set forth by the Secretary of the Louisiana State Department of Public Safety and Corrections. See full text.
All items to be inspected are required and must operate correctly. This equipment may not present a safety hazard.
Starting August 1, 2017, any vehicle with a license plate cover or an electronic device or electrochromatic film that obscures the license plate from any angle will not pass inspection.
Items to be inspected by road test
Every vehicle (except motorcycles) must be driven to conduct a road test on the approved brake test area at the inspection station. The inspector is required to enter the vehicle and drive it to determine if brakes are operating correctly.
- Brakes - The inspector must take physical control of the vehicle to determine if the brakes are operating correctly. The vehicle must not pull to the right or the left causing the vehicle to excessively alter its direction of travel.
- Speedometer/Odometer - must be operational
- Seat Belts - Seat belts must operate and adjust as originally intended. Seat belt buckles must operate properly. Webbing must not be split, frayed or torn.
- Seat Adjustment Mechanism – seat must maintain set adjustment
- Steering Mechanism - Must be original type steering wheel with no excessive play, binding, or tightness
- Floor Pan - No holes or rusted areas are permitted in the occupant compartment or trunk. Inspectors may require that the trunk of a vehicle be opened on vehicles possessing serious body rust throughout.
- Parking Brake - Must operate as originally equipped.
Windshields, Glass & Tint
All vehicles with tinted windows will be checked with an approved tint meter to measure the percentage of light transmission. In addition, all glass will be checked to ensure proper safe operation. Cracks in excess of 8" anywhere on the windshield will not be allowed. For full details, please refer to windshield, window & tint regulations.
- Headlamps - May emit white light only. Max height: 54". Min height: 24", measured from the center of the lamp.
- Parking Lamps - May emit white or amber colored light only.
- Turn Indicator Lamps - Front - May emit white or amber colored light only.
- Turn Indicator Lamps - Rear - May emit red or amber colored light only. Lens cannot be broken and no white light may be allowed to show to the rear of the vehicle. Must have original type lens. No tape allowed.
- Tail Lamps - May emit red colored light only. Lens cannot be broken and no white light may be allowed to show to the rear of the vehicle. Must have original type lens. No tape allowed. Max height: 72" Min height: 15"
- Stop Lamps - Must emit red light only visible at least 300 feet to the rear of the vehicle. Lens cannot be broken and no white light may be allowed to show to the rear of the vehicle. Must have original type lens. No tape allowed.
- High Mount (Third) Brake Lamp - For passenger vehicles manufactuered after September 1, 1985 and trucks manufactured 1995 and after: Must have at least 4 1/2" of exposed red light. Cannot be obscured by any aftermarket item. Trucks with a camper top must have a similar high mount light installed.
- Back-up Lamps - Must emit white colored light only when the vehicle is placed in reverse gear.
- License Plate Lamp - The license plate lamp must illuminate the license plate making it visible for 50 feet to the rear. The lamp is to be lighted with white light only when headlamps or auxiliary driving lamps are lighted. The use of neon lights or the use of any other lights which obscure the license plate is prohibited.
- Overhead Lights - Aftermarket lights installed on the roof of a vehicle or on a roll bar intended for off-road use must be covered at all times on streets and highways.
Auxiliary lighting equipment must not be placed on, in or in front of any lamp nor will auxiliary lighting interfere with the necessary visibility width of any lamp.
Wheels and tires
- Tires - Must have at least 2/32" of tread measured in any 2 adjacent major grooves. No knots, bulges, sidewall cracks in excess of 1" or tread exposure allowed. Tires on the same axle shall be of the same type construction. All tires must be for highway use. Tires marked "Not for Highway Use", "Farm Use Only" or "For Racing Purposes Only" are not allowed.
- Wheels - Must not be bent, loose, cracked, or damaged as to affect safe operation. Only one missing or defective bolt, nut or lug is allowed except on a four-hole pattern wheel. On a four hole pattern wheel, no missing or defective lugs are allowed.
Other items to be inspected
- Suspension and Shock Absorbers - The vehicle must have at least 4 inches of ground clearance measured from the frame with the vehicle on a level surface. The vehicle must have operational shock absorbers and springs.
- Fenders - Tire cannot extend more than 1" beyond fenders.
- Bumpers - Bumpers must be securely attached and not broken or protruding.
- License plate - License plate must be clean, clearly visible and readable for a distance of 50 feet to the rear of the vehicle. Plates shall not be obscured or damaged so that the numbers cannot be identified. The use of a license plate cover or an electronic device or electrochromatic film that obscures the license plate from any angle is prohibited. (effective August 1, 2017)
- Doors - Doors must function as originally equipped by the factory. Doors must be secured in the closed position.
- Hood Latch - The hood must be securely held in a closed position by an original type latch.
- Horn - Must be audible for a distance of 200 feet.
- Mirrors - Should not be cracked, pitted or clouded to the extent that the driver's vision would be obscured. Mirrors must maintain set adjustment so that the rear vision is not impaired. Vehicles manufactured after December 31, 1972, must be equipped with a left-hand, outside rearview mirror. This includes motorcycles and motor-driven cycles. If two outside mirrors are utilized, no inside mirror is required.
- Body and Sheet Metal - Exterior components of the body and sheet metal parts must not be damaged and/or dislocated so that they project from the vehicle and present a safety hazard to occupants, pedestrians or other vehicles.
- Exhaust System - Muffler cannot emit excessive smoke, fumes, or noise. No loose or leaking joints in the exhaust system are allowed. The exhaust system includes the piping leading from the flange of the exhaust manifold to, and including, the mufflers, resonators, tail piping and emission control device. Also, no holes, leaking seams, loose interior baffles or patches on the muffler are allowed. Elements of the system must be fastened securely, including missing connections or missing or broken hangers.