Technical Services Bureau
State of New York
Department of Motor Vehicles
Division of Vehicle Safety Services
Empire State Plaza
Albany, NY 12228
Dear Mr. Baker:
This is in reply to your FAX of March 14, 1996, to Taylor Vinson of this Office. You have assumed that vehicles "that bore a federal certification statement had SAE/Dot approved lighting", and believe that you are "finding out that may not be true." Specifically, you asked whether the agency "would accept lighting that does not bear the SAE/Dot lens markings. Eg. SAE STL-79, SAE DP-81."
The answer is yes, except for original and replacement headlamps covered by paragraph S7 of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108 Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment ). The lenses of these headlamps must be marked DOT as a certification of compliance (paragraph S7.2(a)). These are headlamps manufactured for use on vehicles other than motorcycles.
The SAE codes you quote appear to relate to motorcycle lighting equipment other than headlamps. Thus, it may be that this type of motor vehicle is of some concern to you. Standard No. 108 contains alternative specifications for motorcycle headlighting systems. If the motorcycle has a headlamp system conforming to SAE J584 April 1964, no lens marking is required. However, if the motorcycle is equipped with one half of a type of headlighting system specified in S7, as it is permitted to do pursuant to paragraph S220.127.116.11 of Standard No. 108, the marking requirements of S7.2 continue to apply.
No DOT marking is required for the lens of any other original or replacement lamp. If a manufacturer wishes to certify compliance of a replacement lamp, paragraph S5.8.10 of Standard No. 108 permits it do so by putting a DOT symbol on the lens (otherwise the manufacturer is expected to certify by a label attached to the lamp, or a statement on the container in which it is
shipped). We have never required that lenses be marked with SAE code functions, and note that even the SAE materials that cover individual types of lighting equipment do not contain a specification that lighting devices be marked in accordance with SAE Recommended Practice J759 Lighting Identification Code though many manufacturers do so.
If you have any further questions you may refer them to Taylor Vinson of this Office (202-366-5263).
Samuel J. Dubbin Chief Counsel ref:108 d:4/4/96