Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. The Guide to Legal Car Modifications for All States

The Guide to Legal Car Modifications for All States

The Guide to Legal Car Modifications for All States

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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...

Related questions

Q: Back end bounces jolts

Hello, I will be happy to assist you. I don't think it's a problem with the Magnetic Ride Control because an issue with one of those systems would likely cause a Check Engine Light or service light. However, the rear...

Q: How much does it cost to tint the windows of my Honda Accord?

Hi Art, thanks for your question. The rules and regulations for window tinting in California indicate that front side windows must allow over 70% of the light through but rear and back side windows can have any tint darkness. ...

Q: Power capabilities

Hi there. The engine will not start to break down or lose power at that point. The factory engine does not make that much power on its own so I have to assume you are talking about aftermarket power modifications....