The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in Hawaii

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If you live in, or are planning to move to, Hawaii, you need to know the requirements for modified vehicles to ensure your car or truck will be street legal. Here you will find out about the rules and requirements so you can ensure you are following the laws in your state.

Sounds and noise

Hawaii regulations cover both the sound systems and the mufflers of all vehicles on the roads.

Sound system

  • Sounds from a vehicle’s radio or stereo equipment can’t be audible from 20 feet away. In this case, plainly audible requires only that the sounds can be heard, not that words are clear.

Mufflers

  • Mufflers are required and must be in good working condition.

  • Cutouts, bypasses and other equipment designed to amplify the sound of the engine or muffler are not permitted.

  • Replacement mufflers can’t allow sound levels beyond those created by the original manufacturer parts.

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

Frame and suspension

Vehicles in Hawaii must comply with the following regulations:

  • Vehicles can’t exceed 14 feet in height.

  • Body lift kits can’t exceed three inches.

  • Vehicles 4,500 pounds and under have a max front and rear bumper height of 29 inches.

  • Vehicles between 4,501 and 7,500 pounds have a max front and rear bumper height of 22 inches.

  • Vehicles between 7,501 and 10,000 pounds have a max front and rear bumper height of 25 inches.

Engine

Hawaii requires that all modified vehicles, which includes any that have parts that have been removed, added, altered or substituted by parts that were not used by the original manufacturer, undergo a Reconstruction Inspection and safety inspection and receive a sticker stating that the vehicle passed it.

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • Blue lights are not permitted on passenger vehicles.

  • All reflectors must have a D.O.T. stamp on them – in most cases aftermarket lens do not have this stamp, and the vehicle will not pass the Recon or safety inspections.

  • One spotlight is permitted.

Window tinting

  • Non-reflective tint can be applied to the top four inches on the windshield.

  • Front and back side windows and rear window must allow more than 25% of light to pass through.

  • Vans and SUVs can have any tint darkness on back side and rear windows with side mirrors.

  • Reflective and mirrored tints are not permitted.

Antique/classic car modifications

Hawaii requires that classic or antique cars also pass the Reconstruction Inspection and safety inspections.

If you want to modify your vehicle but want to make sure you are in compliance with the Hawaii laws, 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.


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Arturo

25 years of experience
42 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Volkswagen Tiguan - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - La Jolla, California
Arturo was efficient and extremely professional. I'll refer him to friends and family and call him for any issues related to my car. I am very happy with the service!
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto

Travis

11 years of experience
312 reviews
Travis
11 years of experience
Ford Explorer Sport Trac - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Minneapolis, Minnesota
Travis is great! This is the second time he has come and serviced our truck. I recommend Travis for any service ned you may have!
Subaru Forester - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Rosemount, Minnesota
Thank you Travis for your fast, easy, honest work on my vehicle today!! The first thing you did upon arrival to my home was find me a discount coupon for $50 off my service estimate. You did only what needed to be done in record time. You not only saved me lots of money, but did things in a profession manner. I've been looking for an honest auto mechanic for my whole life and would love for you to be it!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!! You're the best!!!

Scott

32 years of experience
346 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Arrived on time and worked quickly. Gave me detailed information on his completed work and the details of my car. Answered all of my questions thoroughly.
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Nicholas

9 years of experience
251 reviews
Nicholas
9 years of experience
Lexus GX470 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Clayton, North Carolina
Nicholas texted me 30 minutes prior to arrival. Showed up on time as scheduled. He confirmed the work that I requested be performed. He completed the work, performed the road tested, and delivered my keys along with recommendations of other work that might be in my best interest. Was very pleasant, professional, and cleaned up after he was done. I was so impressed with the service he performed and the speed at which the services were completed. I have already scheduled a future service with Nicholas and will schedule any and all future repairs with him if he is available.

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