Just now reading this. I live in nova in fairfax county. I never have to get a emissions inspection. I get my tags online via dmv's website. Only have to get state inspection, and they never say anything about my exhaust. Just my experience. Dad never has any emissions on his 08 or his 98 Chevy 6.5 turbo diesel. Like I said, just my experience.depends on what part of VA youre in.
up in NOVA you'll need an emissions test etc.... you'll have to have have a cat and a muffler for sure and you cant blow black smoke or anything.
but the inspection is just visual... so if you want to do a hollowed out cat / pseudo muffler i'm sure you could get away with it.
in Hampton Roads area- I always got away with just tossing my stock cat on (no muffler) and getting inspected. (then I just took it off afterwards)