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Vehicle Safety Checklist

How to Have a Citation-Free and Safe Driving Experience in Oregon

Welcome to Oregon State University, Corvallis, Benton County, Oregon!

As licensed drivers in Oregon, individuals must assume the responsibility of knowing the rules and regulations of the state and the localities in which they drive.

This brochure has been published to give you a brief overview of vehicle equipment requirements to help you comply with the law and to avoid citations.

Compliance with the information contained in this brochure, while not a guarantee, will reduce your risk of receiving a citation.

Traffic laws are designed to help protect you on the roadways. Be a good citizen and stay safe!!!!!

Have a citation-free and safe driving experience in Benton County by following the rules of the road and by using the vehicle safety checklist to ensure that your vehicle is safe for operation.

The Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles lists several items of mandatory equipment for all vehicles in its "DMV Drivers Manual." The information contained in this pamphlet is a summarized version that can be used as a starting point to determine if your vehicle meets the basic requirements.

  • Make sure that you have a registration card and an insurance verification card in your vehicle.
  • Wear your seat belts. Passengers, too! Do not wait until you see an officer, it may be too late.
  • Always use your turn signals and dim your headlights. Make complete stops at stop signs and lights. Be prepared to stop at yield signs. At an intersection with no signs, yield to the right. Oregon permits a right turn on a red light after a complete stop.
  • Try to stay with the flow of traffic, not faster and not much slower than necessary. Watch your speed. Do not rely on a radar /laser detector! With the advanced technology today, you may have already been clocked before your detector can pick up the signal.
  • Do not overload your vehicle with passengers, especially in the front seat.
  • Do not litter. Keep Oregon beautiful.
  • Slow down when approaching a vehicle that has been stopped by an officer.
  • Do not forget to turn your lights on at dusk or when it is raining.

For more information on vehicle standards, visit the Transportation Safety Division-ODOT website and click on Vehicle Standards.

Basic Equipment Checklist


Safety Belts All in good working order
Headlights 2 white headlights, both working
Taillights 2 red taillights, both working, visible for 500 feet to the rear. Red lenses are required.
License Plate Lights White rear license plate light visible for 50 feet to the rear.
Rear Reflectors 2 red reflectors on side rear fenders of vehicle, either part of taillights or separate.
Brake Lights 2 brake lights, both working, visible from 500 ft in normal daylight. Red lenses are required.
Turn Signals Right and left turn signal on the front and rear of vehicle. Front signals may be white or amber, rear signals may be red, yellow, or amber. Must be visible from 500 feet.
License Plates Front and rear plates are required except for motorcycles and trailers.
Brakes In good working order.
Tires No body ply or belt material exposed, no tread or sidewall separation, should have a min of 2/32 inch of tread. Check tire pressure.
Exhaust System Good working order and constant operation. Noise restrictions and smoke restrictions apply.
Windows & Windshield Clean, free from obstruction, cracks or decals.
Windshield Wipers Good working wipers required
Rearview Mirror Driver must be able to see at least 200 feet behind the vehicle at all times.
Horns Working horn required, must be heard from 200 feet away.
Fenders Must cover entire width of tire tread that touches the pavement.
Minimum Clearance No part of a passenger vehicle can have less clearance from the road than the lowest part of the rim of any wheel.

Additional Information


Fog Lights: A vehicle may be equipped with two fog lights. The lights may be white or amber. The beam must strike the road not more than 75 feet ahead of the vehicle on which it is mounted. These lights are illegal to have in operation at times when you are required to dim your headlights.

Oregon adopted the federal automotive lighting standards (Division 108 Lighting), therefore all bulbs, replacement or not, have to meet the federal standard.

Rear Tail Lights: No red bulbs are approved. All tail light bulbs must be clear and have a red lens over them.

Rear Brake Lights: No red bulbs are approved. All brake light bulbs must be clear and have a red lens over them.

Rear Turn Signals: All rear turn signal bulbs must be clear with a red lens or amber with a clear lens.

Front Turn Signals: All front turn signal bulbs must either be clear (white) or amber. No bulb with a coating other than amber meets the standard.

Bulbs: No bulb with a coating other than amber meets the standard. No other colored bulbs are approved. No red bulbs are approved. Only clear headlamp bulbs are approved. Any color coating makes them illegal.

For more information on vehicle standards, visit the Transportation Safety Division-ODOT website at www.odot.state.or.us/transafety and click on Vehicle Standards. Brought to you by: Oregon State Police/Corvallis Police Department/Benton County Sheriff's Office/OSU Department of Public Safety