2006 Code of Virginia § 46.2-100 - Definitions

46.2-100. Definitions.

The following words and phrases when used in this title shall, for thepurpose of this title, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them inthis section except in those instances where the context clearly indicates adifferent meaning:

"All-terrain vehicle" means a three-wheeled or four-wheeled motor vehiclepowered by a gasoline or diesel engine and generally characterized by large,low-pressure tires, a seat designed to be straddled by the operator, andhandlebars for steering that is intended for off-road use by an individualrider on various types of unpaved terrain. The term does not includefour-wheeled vehicles, commonly known as "go-carts," that have low centersof gravity and are typically used in racing on relatively level surfaces, nordoes the term include any "utility vehicle" as defined in this section orany "farm utility vehicle" as defined in this section.

"Antique motor vehicle" means every motor vehicle, as defined in thissection, which was actually manufactured or designated by the manufacturer asa model manufactured in a calendar year not less than 25 years prior toJanuary 1 of each calendar year and is owned solely as a collector's item.

"Antique trailer" means every trailer or semitrailer, as defined in thissection, that was actually manufactured or designated by the manufacturer asa model manufactured in a calendar year not less than 25 years prior toJanuary 1 of each calendar year and is owned solely as a collector's item.

"Automobile or watercraft transporters" means any tractor truck, lowboy,vehicle, or combination, including vehicles or combinations that transportmotor vehicles or watercraft on their power unit, designed and usedexclusively for the transportation of motor vehicles or watercraft.

"Bicycle" means a device propelled solely by human power, upon which aperson may ride either on or astride a regular seat attached thereto, havingtwo or more wheels in tandem, including children's bicycles, except a toyvehicle intended for use by young children. For purposes of Chapter 8 (46.2-800 et seq.) of this title, a bicycle shall be a vehicle while operatedon the highway.

"Bicycle lane" means that portion of a roadway designated by signs and/orpavement markings for the preferential use of bicycles, electricpower-assisted bicycles, and mopeds.

"Business district" means the territory contiguous to a highway where 75percent or more of the property contiguous to a highway, on either side ofthe highway, for a distance of 300 feet or more along the highway, isoccupied by land and buildings actually in use for business purposes.

"Camping trailer" means every vehicle that has collapsible sides andcontains sleeping quarters but may or may not contain bathing and cookingfacilities and is designed to be drawn by a motor vehicle.

"Cancel" or "cancellation" means that the document or privilege cancelledhas been annulled or terminated because of some error, defect, orineligibility, but the cancellation is without prejudice and reapplicationmay be made at any time after cancellation.

"Chauffeur" means every person employed for the principal purpose ofdriving a motor vehicle and every person who drives a motor vehicle while inuse as a public or common carrier of persons or property.

"Commission" means the State Corporation Commission.

"Commissioner" means the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehiclesof the Commonwealth.

"Crosswalk" means that part of a roadway at an intersection included withinthe connections of the lateral lines of the sidewalks on opposite sides ofthe highway measured from the curbs or, in the absence of curbs, from theedges of the traversable roadway; or any portion of a roadway at anintersection or elsewhere distinctly indicated for pedestrian crossing bylines or other markings on the surface.

"Decal" means a device to be attached to a license plate that validates thelicense plate for a predetermined registration period.

"Department" means the Department of Motor Vehicles of the Commonwealth.

"Disabled parking license plate" means a license plate that displays theinternational symbol of access in the same size as the numbers and letters onthe plate and in a color that contrasts with the background.

"Disabled veteran" means a veteran who (i) has either lost, or lost the useof, a leg, arm, or hand; (ii) is blind; or (iii) is permanently and totallydisabled as certified by the U.S. Veterans Administration. A veteran shall beconsidered blind if he has a permanent impairment of both eyes to thefollowing extent: (i) central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the bettereye, with corrective lenses, or central visual acuity of more than 20/200, ifthere is a field defect in which the peripheral field has contracted to suchan extent that the widest diameter of visual field subtends an angulardistance no greater than 20 degrees in the better eye.

"Driver's license" means any license, including a commercial driver'slicense as defined in the Virginia Commercial Driver's License Act (46.2-341.1 et seq.), issued under the laws of the Commonwealth authorizingthe operation of a motor vehicle.

"Electric personal assistive mobility device" means a self-balancingtwo-nontandem-wheeled device that is designed to transport only one personand powered by an electric propulsion system that limits the device's maximumspeed to 15 miles per hour or less. For purposes of Chapter 8 of this title,an electric personal assistive mobility device shall be a vehicle whenoperated on a highway.

"Electric power-assisted bicycle" means a vehicle that travels on not morethan three wheels in contact with the ground and is equipped with (i) pedalsthat allow propulsion by human power and (ii) an electric motor with an inputof no more than 1,000 watts that reduces the pedal effort required of therider. For the purposes of Chapter 8 of this title, an electricpower-assisted bicycle shall be a vehicle when operated on a highway.

"Essential parts" means all integral parts and body parts, the removal,alteration, or substitution of which will tend to conceal the identity of avehicle.

"Farm tractor" means every motor vehicle designed and used as a farm,agricultural, or horticultural implement for drawing plows, mowing machines,and other farm, agricultural, or horticultural machinery and implementsincluding self-propelled mowers designed and used for mowing lawns.

"Farm utility vehicle" means a vehicle that is designed for off-road useand is used as a farm, agricultural, or horticultural service vehicle,generally having a gasoline or diesel engine, four or more wheels, benchseating for the operator and a passenger, a steering wheel for control, and acargo bed. "Farm utility vehicle" does not include pickup or panel trucks,golf carts, low-speed vehicles, riding lawn mowers, or all-terrain vehicles.

"Federal safety requirements" means applicable provisions of 49 U.S.C. 30101 et seq. and all administrative regulations and policies adoptedpursuant thereto.

"Financial responsibility" means the ability to respond in damages forliability thereafter incurred arising out of the ownership, maintenance, use,or operation of a motor vehicle, in the amounts provided for in 46.2-472.

"Foreign market vehicle" means any motor vehicle originally manufacturedoutside the United States, which was not manufactured in accordance with 49U.S.C. 30101 et seq. and the policies and regulations adopted pursuant tothat Act, and for which a Virginia title or registration is sought.

"Foreign vehicle" means every motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer thatis brought into the Commonwealth otherwise than in the ordinary course ofbusiness by or through a manufacturer or dealer and that has not beenregistered in the Commonwealth.

"Golf cart" means a self-propelled vehicle that is designed to transportpersons playing golf and their equipment on a golf course.

"Governing body" means the board of supervisors of a county, council of acity, or council of a town, as context may require.

"Gross weight" means the aggregate weight of a vehicle or combination ofvehicles and the load thereon.

"Highway" means the entire width between the boundary lines of every way orplace open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel in theCommonwealth, including the streets and alleys, and, for law-enforcementpurposes, (i) the entire width between the boundary lines of all privateroads or private streets that have been specifically designated "highways"by an ordinance adopted by the governing body of the county, city, or town inwhich such private roads or streets are located and (ii) the entire widthbetween the boundary lines of every way or place used for purposes ofvehicular travel on any property owned, leased, or controlled by the UnitedStates government and located in the Commonwealth.

"Intersection" means (i) the area embraced within the prolongation orconnection of the lateral curblines or, if none, then the lateral boundarylines of the roadways of two highways that join one another at, orapproximately at, right angles, or the area within which vehicles travelingon different highways joining at any other angle may come in conflict; (ii)where a highway includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart, then everycrossing of each roadway of such divided highway by an intersecting highwayshall be regarded as a separate intersection, in the event such intersectinghighway also includes two roadways 30 feet or more apart, then every crossingof two roadways of such highways shall be regarded as a separateintersection; or (iii) for purposes only of authorizing installation oftraffic-control devices, every crossing of a highway or street at grade by apedestrian crosswalk.

"Law-enforcement officer" means any officer authorized to direct orregulate traffic or to make arrests for violations of this title or localordinances authorized by law. For the purposes of access to law-enforcementdatabases regarding motor vehicle registration and ownership only, this termshall also include city and county commissioners of the revenue andtreasurers, together with their duly designated deputies and employees, whensuch officials are actually engaged in the enforcement of 46.2-752,46.2-753 and 46.2-754 and local ordinances enacted thereunder.

"License plate" means a device containing letters, numerals, or acombination of both, attached to a motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer toindicate that the vehicle is properly registered with the Department.

"Light" means a device for producing illumination or the illuminationproduced by the device.

"Low-speed vehicle" means any four-wheeled electrically-powered vehicle,except a motor vehicle or low-speed vehicle that is used exclusively foragricultural or horticultural purposes or a golf cart, whose maximum speed isgreater than 20 miles per hour but not greater than 25 miles per hour and ismanufactured to comply with safety standards contained in Title 49 of theCode of Federal Regulations, 571.500.

"Manufactured home" means a structure subject to federal regulation,transportable in one or more sections, which in the traveling mode is eightbody feet or more in width or 40 body feet or more in length, or, whenerected on site, is 320 or more square feet, and which is built on apermanent chassis and designed to be used as a dwelling with or without apermanent foundation when connected to the required utilities, and includesthe plumbing, heating, air conditioning, and electrical systems containedtherein.

"Moped" means every vehicle that travels on not more than three wheels incontact with the ground that has (i) a seat that is no less than 24 inches inheight, measured from the middle of the seat perpendicular to the ground and(ii) a gasoline, electric, or hybrid motor that displaces less than 50 cubiccentimeters. For purposes of Chapter 8 ( 46.2-800 et seq.) of this title, amoped shall be a vehicle while operated on a highway.

"Motor-driven cycle" means every motorcycle that has a gasoline engine that(i) displaces less than 150 cubic centimeters; (ii) has a seat less than 24inches in height, measured from the middle of the seat perpendicular to theground; and (iii) has no manufacturer-issued vehicle identification number.

"Motor home" means every private motor vehicle with a normal seatingcapacity of not more than 10 persons, including the driver, designedprimarily for use as living quarters for human beings.

"Motor vehicle" means every vehicle as defined in this section that isself-propelled or designed for self-propulsion except as otherwise providedin this title. Any structure designed, used, or maintained primarily to beloaded on or affixed to a motor vehicle to provide a mobile dwelling,sleeping place, office, or commercial space shall be considered a part of amotor vehicle. For the purposes of this title, any device herein defined as abicycle, electric personal assistive mobility device, electric power-assistedbicycle, or moped shall be deemed not to be a motor vehicle.

"Motorcycle" means every motor vehicle designed to travel on not more thanthree wheels in contact with the ground and is capable of traveling at speedsin excess of 35 miles per hour. The term "motorcycle" does not include any"electric personal assistive mobility device," "electric power-assistedbicycle," "farm tractor," "golf cart," "moped," "motorized skateboardor scooter," "utility vehicle" or "wheelchair or wheelchair conveyance"as defined in this section.

"Motorized skateboard or scooter" means every vehicle, regardless of thenumber of its wheels in contact with the ground, that (i) has no seat, but isdesigned to be stood upon by the operator, (ii) has no manufacturer-issuedvehicle identification number, and (iii) is powered by an electric motorhaving an input of no more than 1,000 watts or a gasoline engine thatdisplaces less than 36 cubic centimeters. The term "motorized skateboard orscooter" includes vehicles with or without handlebars, but does not include"electric personal assistive mobility devices."

"Nonresident" means every person who is not domiciled in the Commonwealth,except: (i) any foreign corporation that is authorized to do business in theCommonwealth by the State Corporation Commission shall be a resident of theCommonwealth for the purpose of this title; in the case of corporationsincorporated in the Commonwealth but doing business outside the Commonwealth,only such principal place of business or branches located within theCommonwealth shall be dealt with as residents of the Commonwealth; (ii) aperson who becomes engaged in a gainful occupation in the Commonwealth for aperiod exceeding 60 days shall be a resident for the purposes of this titleexcept for the purposes of Chapter 3 ( 46.2-300 et seq.) of this title;(iii) a person, other than a nonresident student as defined in this section,who has actually resided in the Commonwealth for a period of six months,whether employed or not, or who has registered a motor vehicle, listing anaddress in the Commonwealth in the application for registration shall bedeemed a resident for the purposes of this title, except for the purposes ofthe Virginia Commercial Driver's License Act ( 46.2-341.1 et seq.).

"Nonresident student" means every nonresident person who is enrolled as afull-time student in an accredited institution of learning in theCommonwealth and who is not gainfully employed.

"Off-road motorcycle" means every motorcycle designed exclusively foroff-road use by an individual rider with not more than two wheels in contactwith the ground. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, for thepurposes of this chapter off-road motorcycles shall be deemed to be"motorcycles."

"Operation or use for rent or for hire, for the transportation ofpassengers, or as a property carrier for compensation," and "business oftransporting persons or property" mean any owner or operator of any motorvehicle, trailer, or semitrailer operating over the highways in theCommonwealth who accepts or receives compensation for the service, directlyor indirectly; but these terms do not mean a "truck lessor" as defined inthis section and do not include persons or businesses that receivecompensation for delivering a product that they themselves sell or produce,where a separate charge is made for delivery of the product or the cost ofdelivery is included in the sale price of the product, but where the personor business does not derive all or a substantial portion of its income fromthe transportation of persons or property except as part of a salestransaction.

"Operator" or "driver" means every person who either (i) drives or is inactual physical control of a motor vehicle on a highway or (ii) is exercisingcontrol over or steering a vehicle being towed by a motor vehicle.

"Owner" means a person who holds the legal title to a vehicle; however, ifa vehicle is the subject of an agreement for its conditional sale or leasewith the right of purchase on performance of the conditions stated in theagreement and with an immediate right of possession vested in the conditionalvendee or lessee or if a mortgagor of a vehicle is entitled to possession,then the conditional vendee or lessee or mortgagor shall be the owner for thepurpose of this title. In all such instances when the rent paid by the lesseeincludes charges for services of any nature or when the lease does notprovide that title shall pass to the lessee on payment of the rentstipulated, the lessor shall be regarded as the owner of the vehicle, and thevehicle shall be subject to such requirements of this title as are applicableto vehicles operated for compensation. A "truck lessor" as defined in thissection shall be regarded as the owner, and his vehicles shall be subject tosuch requirements of this title as are applicable to vehicles of privatecarriers.

"Passenger car" means every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle designedand used primarily for the transportation of no more than 10 personsincluding the driver.

"Payment device" means any credit card as defined in 15 U.S.C. 1602(k) orany "accepted card or other means of access" set forth in 15 U.S.C. 1693a(1). For the purposes of this title, this definition shall also includea card that enables a person to pay for transactions through the use of valuestored on the card itself.

"Pickup or panel truck" means every motor vehicle designed for thetransportation of property and having a registered gross weight of 7,500pounds or less.

"Private road or driveway" means every way in private ownership and usedfor vehicular travel by the owner and those having express or impliedpermission from the owner, but not by other persons.

"Reconstructed vehicle" means every vehicle of a type required to beregistered under this title materially altered from its original constructionby the removal, addition, or substitution of new or used essential parts.

"Residence district" means the territory contiguous to a highway, notcomprising a business district, where 75 percent or more of the propertyabutting such highway, on either side of the highway, for a distance of 300feet or more along the highway consists of land improved for dwellingpurposes, or is occupied by dwellings, or consists of land or buildings inuse for business purposes, or consists of territory zoned residential orterritory in residential subdivisions created under Chapter 22 ( 15.2-2200et seq.) of Title 15.2.

"Revoke" or "revocation" means that the document or privilege revoked isnot subject to renewal or restoration except through reapplication after theexpiration of the period of revocation.

"Roadway" means that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarilyused for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder. A highway may includetwo or more roadways if divided by a physical barrier or barriers or anunpaved area.

"Safety zone" means the area officially set apart within a roadway for theexclusive use of pedestrians and that is protected or is so marked orindicated by plainly visible signs.

"School bus" means any motor vehicle, other than a station wagon,automobile, truck, or commercial bus, which is: (i) designed and usedprimarily for the transportation of pupils to and from public, private orreligious schools, or used for the transportation of the mentally orphysically handicapped to and from a sheltered workshop; (ii) painted yellowand bears the words "School Bus" in black letters of a specified size onfront and rear; and (iii) is equipped with warning devices prescribed in 46.2-1090. A yellow school bus may have a white roof provided such vehicle ispainted in accordance with regulations promulgated by the Department ofEducation.

"Semitrailer" means every vehicle of the trailer type so designed and usedin conjunction with a motor vehicle that some part of its own weight and thatof its own load rests on or is carried by another vehicle.

"Shared-use path" means a bikeway that is physically separated frommotorized vehicular traffic by an open space or barrier and is located eitherwithin the highway right-of-way or within a separate right-of-way. Shared-usepaths may also be used by pedestrians, skaters, users of wheel chairs orwheel chair conveyances, joggers, and other nonmotorized users.

"Shoulder" means that part of a highway between the portion regularlytraveled by vehicular traffic and the lateral curbline or ditch.

"Sidewalk" means the portion of a street between the curb lines, or thelateral lines of a roadway, and the adjacent property lines, intended for useby pedestrians.

"Snowmobile" means a self-propelled vehicle designed to travel on snow orice, steered by skis or runners, and supported in whole or in part by one ormore skis, belts, or cleats.

"Specially constructed vehicle" means any vehicle that was not originallyconstructed under a distinctive name, make, model, or type by a generallyrecognized manufacturer of vehicles and not a reconstructed vehicle as hereindefined.

"Stinger-steered automobile or watercraft transporter" means an automobileor watercraft transporter configured as a semitrailer combination wherein thefifth wheel is located on a drop frame behind and below the rearmost axle ofthe power unit.

"Superintendent" means the Superintendent of the Department of State Policeof the Commonwealth.

"Suspend" or "suspension" means that the document or privilege suspendedhas been temporarily withdrawn, but may be reinstated following the period ofsuspension unless it has expired prior to the end of the period of suspension.

"Tow truck" means a motor vehicle for hire (i) designed to lift, pull, orcarry another vehicle by means of a hoist or other mechanical apparatus and(ii) having a manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating of at least 10,000pounds. "Tow truck" also includes vehicles designed with a ramp on wheelsand a hydraulic lift with a capacity to haul or tow another vehicle, commonlyreferred to as "rollbacks." "Tow truck" does not include any "automobileor watercraft transporter," "stinger-steered automobile or watercrafttransporter," or "tractor truck" as those terms are defined in thissection.

"Towing and recovery operator" means a person engaged in the business of(i) removing disabled vehicles, parts of vehicles, their cargoes, and otherobjects to facilities for repair or safekeeping and (ii) restoring to thehighway or other location where they either can be operated or removed toother locations for repair or safekeeping vehicles that have come to rest inplaces where they cannot be operated.

"Tractor truck" means every motor vehicle designed and used primarily fordrawing other vehicles and not so constructed as to carry a load other than apart of the load and weight of the vehicle attached thereto.

"Traffic infraction" means a violation of law punishable as provided in 46.2-113, which is neither a felony nor a misdemeanor.

"Traffic lane" or "lane" means that portion of a roadway designed ordesignated to accommodate the forward movement of a single line of vehicles.

"Trailer" means every vehicle without motive power designed for carryingproperty or passengers wholly on its own structure and for being drawn by amotor vehicle, including manufactured homes.

"Truck" means every motor vehicle designed to transport property on its ownstructure independent of any other vehicle and having a registered grossweight in excess of 7,500 pounds.

"Truck lessor" means a person who holds the legal title to any motorvehicle, trailer, or semitrailer that is the subject of a bona fide writtenlease for a term of one year or more to another person, provided that: (i)neither the lessor nor the lessee is a common carrier by motor vehicle orrestricted common carrier by motor vehicle or contract carrier by motorvehicle as defined in 46.2-2000; (ii) the leased motor vehicle, trailer, orsemitrailer is used exclusively for the transportation of property of thelessee; (iii) the lessor is not employed in any capacity by the lessee; (iv)the operator of the leased motor vehicle is a bona fide employee of thelessee and is not employed in any capacity by the lessor; and (v) a true copyof the lease, verified by affidavit of the lessor, is filed with theCommissioner.

"Utility vehicle" means a motor vehicle that is (i) designed for off-roaduse, (ii) powered by an engine of no more than 25 horsepower, and (iii) usedfor general maintenance, security, agricultural, or horticultural purposes."Utility vehicle" does not include all-terrain vehicles as defined in thissection, riding lawn mowers, or any other vehicle whose definition isincluded in this section.

"Vehicle" means every device in, on or by which any person or property isor may be transported or drawn on a highway, except devices moved by humanpower or used exclusively on stationary rails or tracks. For the purposes ofChapter 8 ( 46.2-800 et seq.) of this title, bicycles, electric personalassistive mobility devices, electric power-assisted bicycles, and mopedsshall be vehicles while operated on a highway.

"Wheel chair or wheel chair conveyance" means a chair or seat equipped withwheels, typically used to provide mobility for persons who, by reason ofphysical disability, are otherwise unable to move about as pedestrians. Theterm includes both three-wheeled and four-wheeled devices. So long as it isoperated only as provided in 46.2-677, a self-propelled wheel chair orself-propelled wheel chair conveyance shall not be considered a motor vehicle.

(Code 1950, 46-1, 46-169, 46-185, 46-186, 46-343; 1954, c. 59; 1958, cc.501, 541, 46.1-1, 46.1-161; 1964, c. 618; 1966, c. 643; 1968, cc. 285,641, 653, 685; 1972, cc. 433, 609; 1974, c. 347; 1975, cc. 382, 426; 1976, c.372; 1977, cc. 252, 585; 1978, cc. 36, 550, 605; 1979, c. 100; 1980, c. 51;1981, c. 585; 1983, c. 386; 1984, cc. 404, 780; 1985, c. 447; 1986, cc. 72,613; 1987, c. 151; 1988, cc. 107, 452, 865; 1989, cc. 645, 705, 727; 1990,cc. 45, 418; 1992, c. 98; 1993, c. 133; 1994, c. 866; 1996, cc. 943, 994;1997, cc. 9, 186, 486, 783, 904; 1998, c. 888; 1999, cc. 67, 77; 2001, c.834; 2002, cc. 214, 234, 254; 2003, cc. 29, 46; 2004, cc. 746, 796; 2005, cc.310, 928; 2006, cc. 529, 538, 540, 874, 891, 896.)


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