Lots of VA drivers!
Wow, lots of VA guys here!
I live in Fauquier County VA, about 15 miles South of the Manassas battlefield area.
VA state inspections can be done by any service station that has a "certified inspector" on their payroll. They are required to have a sign posted that tells you exactly what they will inspect. They also have a posting outside the station to tell you that they are an inspection station. The program is regulated by the VA State Police. Presently, its 15 bucks and lasts a year.
I, too, have run into a few issues over the 30 years I've lived here, but overall, I think they have a good program.
The earlier poster is correct, should you fail for some reason, you will get a "rejection" sticker put on your windshield. Aside from the embarrassment of driving your Mercedes around with a rejection sticker for all to see, you have 10 days to correct and reinspect. You can return to the original place for reinspection, or take it anywhere else.
State emissions testing only applies to the Northern VA area. We have no emission test down here.
One point worth mentioning; the inspector will remove any decals/stickers/etc stuck on the inside of your windshield, front side windows, or rear window. So, if you've got a parking pass or other sticker, it will be gone when you get it back. VA is a stickler on stuff on the windows. If you have aftermarket tint on your windows, it has to be "approved" so its not too dark.
Lastly, you probably already know because its posted on every highway into the state... if your have a radar detector, its a no no.
Hope this helps. KenP