Non-Medical X-ray Machines

The X-ray Registration, Inspection and Certification Program exists to assure quality radiographs are performed in a safe manner for those who receive X-rays as well as the equipment operators.  The Non-medical X-ray Program registers approximately 1,700 radiation-producing machines and sets forth associated performance criteria for these devices.  It authorizes non-department qualified Private Inspectors to perform the evaluations and non-department service companies to install and repair the machines.

Non-medical machines can be listed as: baggage x-ray units, analytical x-ray units, cabinet x-ray units, body scanners or industrial x-ray units.  These x-ray units must be inspected within the frequency specified by the Commonwealth’s X-ray device regulations.  Any x-ray machine that is determined to be unsafe is restricted from use until the x-ray machine is repaired by a service company and re-inspected by a Virginia X-ray Compliance Officer, or permanently removed from service.  These regional Radiological Health Specialists audit and monitor private sector inspections and perform compliance inspections of x-ray facilities.

Non Medical X-ray Machines:


  • Installation
  • Registration of facilities;
  • Notification of out-of-state machines or for temporary use
  • Operational Procedures, Forms and Notices
  • Inspection requirements
  • Certification of X-ray machines
  • Enforcement
  • Machine disposal/inactivation
  • Listing of qualified private inspectors.


Any person who sells, leases, transfers, lends, disposes, assembles, or installs a X-ray machine is required to submit a written notification to the agency within 15 days:

  1. The name, address, and telephone number of the facility.
  2. The manufacturer, model, and serial number of each radiation machine, along with maximum kVp and mA.
  3. The date of the sale or transfer of each radiation machine.

Note: Installers or Assemblers of X-ray equipment are not required to be registered with the State; however, they are required to install the equipment so that it meets Virginia’s regulatory requirements.


All X-ray machines owned or possessed in Virginia are required to be registered with the Virginia Department of Health with the following exceptions:

  • X-ray machines in areas of exclusive federal jurisdiction (airports, military and other federal facilities).
  • X-ray machines belonging to manufacturers and dealers used for demonstration purposes ( See notification of temporary use requirements).
  • X-ray machines from out of state used for less than 180 calendar days (See notification requirements).

Owners of X-ray machines or those having administrative control of an X-ray machine shall submit a registration form to the Department of Health and provide the appropriate information regarding the machine and its intended use.  The registration form may be downloaded Non Medical Registration Form RH-F-33 (01/2020).  VDH will provide the facility a decal to place on the X-ray machine and issue a facility identification number and tube number.

Unpaid registration fees will be turned over to the Virginia Department of Taxation for collections and will accrue interest and additional penalties.  The Virginia Department of Taxation has used the VDH X-ray registration database as a tool to recover unpaid use tax on new X-ray machines.

Notification of Out of State or Temporary Use Machines

VDH must be notified in advance whenever an X-ray machine is brought into the state for temporary use.  Machines used more than 180 calendar days must be registered with VDH.  The individual will give written notice at least two working days prior to use in the state. The notice shall include:

  1. Type of radiation machine (Make, Model, Serial Number);
  2. The nature, duration and scope of use;
  3. The exact location where the machine is to be used;
  4. A certificate from the State in which the machine is registered or a current inspection report; and
  5. Contact name and telephone number.

Operational Procedures

X-Ray equipment used for non-medical purposes is inspected based on machine type, specifically:

  • Baggage X-Ray Units – Every 5 years;
  • Cabinet/Analytical X-Ray Units/Body Scanners – Every 3 years; and
  • Industrial Radiography X-Ray Units – Annually.

Ninety (90) days prior to the expiration date on the yellow certificate, a yellow notice is sent reminding the facility that an inspection is due.  Your previous inspector’s name and telephone number is provided.

The following should be posted for each inspection:

Inspection Requirements

The inspection may be performed by any of the Private Inspectors or State Inspectors qualified to perform inspections on non-medical x-ray machines.  See our Listing of Qualified Private Inspectors below.  Please note that the cost of these machine inspections is set by each individual Private Inspector.

After the facility provides VDH the inspection report, VDH will either provide the facility a certificate which should be placed in a conspicuous place near the X-ray machine if there are no items of serious non-compliance, or refer the inspection report to a VDH inspector for follow up of a serious non-compliance.


All X-ray machines must be inspected and certified for use.  Certification is based on the results of the inspection or if needed follow up inspection by a VDH inspector to resolve any outstanding regulatory non-compliance.  VDH inspectors will work with the facility to ensure each serious item is corrected and assist the facility to minimize potential operator exposure to radiation.

In those cases when the X-ray machine is not repaired or in some cases no longer repairable, certification will be denied and the machine will be posted and must not be used.


The VDH may consider enforcement action against facilities that fail to register its X-ray machines or continue the use of uncertified machines.

Machine Disposal/Inactivation

An X-ray machine may be taken out of service and placed in storage for several reasons such as:

  • Machine cannot be repaired or is too expensive to repair;
  • Does not meet certification requirements;
  • Replaced by a newer machine; or
  • Facility seeking disposal options.

The machine does not need to be inspected unless it is being returned to service; however, it must continue to be registered with VDH and registration fees paid, until permanently disposed or transferred/sold to another individual/facility.  Electrical power should be disconnected from the X-ray machine and preferably placed in storage.

The facility should notify VDH when the X-ray machine is transferred to an X-ray repair/installer for disposal; transferred/sold/traded to another individual or facility, or disposed in a landfill.  The name and address of person to whom the X-ray machine was transferred should be given so VDH may ensure the X-ray machine is properly registered or the machine is properly removed from our database.  Some x-ray installers/repair business will dispose of a machine for you at cost or included in the purchase of a new machine.

Listing of Qualified Private Inspectors

Facilities may request the services of a Private Inspector to inspect their X-ray machines. These individuals are not Health Department employees and set their own fees for providing inspection services.  VDH certifies these individuals for various types of X-ray equipment.  Individuals providing inspection services must be certified to conduct the State’s machine inspection.  We also maintain a Private Inspectors list and a State Inspector list.