X-ray Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions

1. I just bought a practice from another doctor. Am I required to notify the Office of Radiological Health?

Yes, both doctors must report these changes in writing within 30 days. Fill in the green certificate for each machine and sent it to the address on the certificate.  If this cannot be located, contact Danielle Farruggio  for help.

2. I am moving my practice, taking all my machines to a new location. Do I have to re-register? 

Yes, you need to complete a new Registration form for the new location to document the new address, phone number and update your machine inventory information.

3. A state inspector conducted an FDA (Food and Drug Administration) inspection. What is an FDA inspection, and what its purpose?

 The FDA inspection is an inspection of a recently installed x-ray machine (within a year from the installation date). The purpose of this inspection is to provide information to the FDA regarding whether machines and their components were manufactured and installed according to federal regulations. There is no fee for the FDA inspection, and it is an opportunity for the registrant to ask an inspector questions of how to meet necessary requirements.

4. Can you tell me if a certain doctor/facility is registered?

Yes.  We can tell you if they are registered, and we can provide information regarding current machine certification status. Contact Danielle Farruggio for information.

5. Where can I file a complaint regarding a doctor?

We handle complaints about x-ray machines or radiation issues; other complaints about treatment must be referred to the appropriate licensing board.

6. Do I have to use personnel radiation dosimetry? 

Personnel monitoring for radiation exposure is required for anyone that is likely to be exposed to greater than 10% of their allowable radiation exposure (See the Virginia Radiation Protection Regulations, 12VAC5-481, for further information). For most radiation workers, a potential exposure to 500 mrem per year will require monitoring. For a declared pregnant worker, the limit requiring monitoring is 50 mrem (10% of the allowable dose to the embryo/fetus).   In addition, certain dental and veterinary x-ray machines require the use of monitoring regardless of the dose received.

7.  Do viewing window dimensions have to be exactly 144 square inches?

No, but they should be at least 144 square inches.  The dimensions can be less than that depending on individual circumstances.  If they are less, the designer of the room may want to check with our office before installation for an opinion.

If you are not sure if you or your employees need to use personal dosimetry, you should have your office evaluated by a  Private Inspector.

Questions Regarding X-ray Technologists

1. Does Virginia require x-ray technologists to be registered with the state? 

Yes and No!  The Virginia Department of Health Professions requires that x-ray technologists be registered only if the facility they are working in is not a hospital.

2. What about technologists that perform mammography examinations?

All mammography machines used in the conduct of mammography exam shall be operated only by a person approved by the FDA as meeting the qualifications for mammographers.  Each facility is inspected yearly to ensure they use only approved personnel.

Questions about X-ray Certification Inspections

1. How often does my x-ray machine need to be inspected? 

Medical, osteopathic, chiropractic machines and  X-ray machines in hospitals must be inspected every year. Dental, podiatry, bone densitometry, and veterinary units must be inspected every three (3) years. Note: podiatry and dental machines in a hospital must be inspected every three years.

2. How soon do I have to have my machine inspected after it is installed? 

The inspection must be scheduled within 30 days and completed within 60 days.

3. What constitutes a change in my x-ray machine that would require reinspection? 

If you replace a machine you must have it reinspected within 60 days; If you replace a component which could potentially affect the radiation output, you must have it reinspected within 60 days.

4. Can the State perform an x-ray inspection?

Yes. VDH employees can perform an x-ray inspection and will charge a fee according to 12VAC5-490. State inspections are dependent on availability of personnel and requestors may be referred to a private inspector. See Private Inspectors for a list of qualified private x-ray inspectors.

5. Who is approved to inspect my x-ray unit? 

Radiation producing machines must be inspected by approved Private or State Inspectors.

6. I live in a remote/rural area of Virginia and am having a difficult time scheduling an inspection. 

We often work with remote/rural areas to allow many machines to be inspected by a Private Inspector during a single visit. Travel expenses can then be shared by a pool of registrants. This reduces inspection costs.  If time does not permit this arrangement, a state inspector may be able to complete the inspection.

7. Why does the inspection cost so much? 

The Virginia Administrative Code (12VAC5-490) sets the fees for state inspections conducted by VDH employees. Private inspectors establish their own fees independently. A facility may wish to compare prices before contracting with a private inspector.

8. What do I do if the inspector tells me that I have to get an operator’s manual for my x-ray machine?

The manufacturer is required to supply a manual with purchase of the machine. If the manual that came with machine has been lost or misplaced, a new one can usually be obtained from the manufacturer. If one can not be obtained from the manufacturer, you may develop your own, or ask your inspector or service company to develop one for you.

9. My machine was inspected, but the paperwork has not be filed with the State and the certificate has not been issued yet. What is the time limit for filing? 

Your x-ray equipment must be inspected in a timely manner and received by us not later that 60 days after the due date.  If you have not received your inspection report from the private inspector, we will intercede on your behalf.


Office of Radiological Health | 109 Governor Street,  7th Floor | Richmond, VA  23219

Telephone (804) 864-8150 | X-ray Fax: (804) 864-8175