Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

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
Icon-warranty_badge-02

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.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
P0291OBD-II Trouble Code: Cylinder 11 Injector Circuit Low
P0291 code definition When your vehicle’s PCM registers the P0291 code, it means that a voltage reading came from the fuel injector circuit – for cylinder number 11’s fuel injector –...


Related questions

Q: How do I shift out of PARK?

In order to shift from PARK to REVERSE or DRIVE (in an automatic transmission), you have to have your foot firmly pressed on the brake pedal. This ensures maximum safety when you operate your vehicle.

Q: What are the three most common levels of tint?

Hi there, thanks for asking us to help you with your science project. The popularity of window tint will depend on the US State in which the individual lives. The national average of window tint percentage is around 50% window...

Q: i cut off the roof

If you still have the windshield and install a roll bar then you should not have a problem, but if I were you I would check with local ordnance to make sure it is legal.