The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in Alabama

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Whether you just purchased a new car, recently moved to the state or are just passing through, you need to know whether your modifications are street legal on Alabama roads. For those who live in the area, or who might just be visiting, there are laws in place that you must follow on your vehicle modifications to make sure you aren’t breaking any of the laws while driving on Alabama roads.

Sounds and noise

Altering the sounds your vehicle makes, either through the stereo system or the muffler is a popular way to personalize your car. However, Alabama does have some laws that you are required to follow when making these modifications:

Mufflers

  • All vehicles must have a muffler at all times
  • Modified mufflers can’t produce annoying or unusually loud noises
  • Mufflers can’t have bypasses or cutouts
  • Mufflers must have baffles, which help to reduce the amount of noise that they produce

Sound systems

  • Sound levels can’t exceed 80 decibels between the hours of 6 AM – 9 PM on public streets

  • Sound levels can’t exceed 75 decibels between the hours of 9 PM – 6 AM on public streets

  • Sound levels can’t be loud enough that they can be heard from 25 feet away from the vehicle (Specific to mobile)

  • Sound levels in residential areas can’t exceed 85 decibels between the hours of 6 AM – 10 PM (Specific to mobile)

  • Sound levels can’t exceed 50 decibels between the hours of 10 PM – 6 AM (Specific to Mobile)

Tip: Also check with local county laws to make sure you are following any municipal noise ordinances that may be more stringent than state-level laws.

Frame and suspension

Unlike many other states, Alabama does not have any laws restricting suspension modifications, lift limits or frame height limits. However, the maximum height for a passenger vehicle is 162 inches.

Engine

Alabama also does not have any laws regarding engine modifications.

Lighting and windows

Alabama also has laws covering the lighting options and window tint used to modify vehicles.

Lights

  • Vehicles can have one spot lamp providing that the brightest part of the light does not reach over 100 feet in front of the vehicle

  • Two fog lamps are allowed but must be between 12 and 30 inches above the road

  • No lights on the vehicle can produce dazzling or glaring light

  • Two fender or side cowl lamps are permitted but can only emit white or amber light

  • All lights with more than 300 candlepower have to be directed so that the light does not shine more than 75 feet in front of the vehicle

Window tinting

  • Transparent tint on front windshield can only be applied to the top six inches
  • All other windows must allow light transmission of 32%
  • Reflective tint can’t reflect over 20% of the light

Antique/classic car modifications

Alabama does require an MTV 263 form in order to register “kit” cars, including those for model years 1975 and older.

If you’re considering modifying your car to align with the restrictions set forth by Alabama law, YourMechanic can provide the mobile mechanics to help you install the new parts. You can also ask our mechanics what modifications may be best suited to your car using our free online Q&A system, Ask a Mechanic.


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

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