The rating, measured in one to five stars (remember grade school?) will show how the vehicle performed in tests such as front and side impact.
While the new rating system will affect all model year 2008 vehicles, the NHTSA will let the automakers determine where to place the stars on the window sticker.
Honda Motors already displays safety stars on its 2006 model year vehicles voluntarily. The pictured Honda Ridgeline, for example, has a five-star rating.