The Guide to Legal Car Modifications for All States

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Vehicle modifications can take many forms, from simple modifications such as light window tinting to under-vehicle LED lighting to the more complex frame and suspension modifications. Laws and regulations for vehicle modifications have been set in place for many reasons, including being an effort to reduce harmful vehicle emissions and ensure drivers stay safe through the reduction of possible vehicle-related distractions.

Some of the items that can be considered a vehicle modification by different states include:

  • Mufflers, including whether use is required, decibel limits, and baffle requirements
  • Sound systems, including decibel limits related to time and location
  • Frame and suspension modifications (“lifting” or “low-riding”)
  • Lighting, such as the required amount of working vehicle lights, locations, such as under-vehicle LED lighting, and overall limits to brightness and possible color
  • Windows, including tinting limits and allowed tint types (e.g., reflective tint)

Violating the laws related to vehicle modifications can result in fines and penalties, so when driving around your hometown, or planning a trip out of state, be sure to check that any modifications to your vehicle comply with state laws and regulations.

In addition, many states have laws and regulations regarding what is considered an “antique vehicle.” Since this can impact items such as seat belt requirements, emissions, and more, be sure to check that your older vehicle falls within legal guidelines for an antique before heading out on that cross country roadtrip.

Also, vehicle modifications may impact the ability to get car insurance as well as the overall cost. YourMechanic has information on how to insure a car with modifications to help drivers stay informed and educated.


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Pardeep

20 years of experience
652 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Again 5 star service. And already scheduling him for my next appointment. Highly recommend Pardeep for your car needs.
Chevrolet Camaro - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Jose, California
Great knowledgeable mechanic and fast great work. I will use Pardeep and your services again. Thank you

Theodore

15 years of experience
1137 reviews
Theodore
15 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Everett, Washington
Theodore arrived on time, he did a great job replacing my brakes on my Camry, I will definitely work with him again.
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Renton, Washington
We have had previous work done by Theodore. Really appreciate his thoroughness and professionalism!

Matthew

32 years of experience
734 reviews
Matthew
32 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Yorktown, Virginia
We've been using Your Mechanic services for a few years, for a few reasons. The convenience of having an expert mechanic "on-call," the great pricing and transparency for services (saving 10% - 25% at times), most of all Matt is our go-to guy who is highly qualified, knowledgeable in the work and knows how to explain it to us in detail.
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Newport News, Virginia
Matt's technical knowledge of his profession is incredible! He is prompt, thorough, friendly, professional, engaging, and completes the job to 100% perfection! Thank you, Matt for the most outstanding auto repair service in all my many years!!!

Jason

31 years of experience
162 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Mateo, California
Jason was very professional and friendly. He provided extremely honest and helpful advice on issues with my Altima that would require proactive future maintenance.

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