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The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in Indiana

The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in Indiana ARENA Creative / Shutterstock.com

If you live in Indiana or are moving to the state, you need to know the laws regarding vehicle modification to ensure you are street legal. Here you will find out the regulations that Indiana requires when driving modified vehicles.

Sounds and noise

Indiana has laws concerning the noises from the sound systems and mufflers of vehicles.

Sound system

Indiana requires that sound systems not be audible from more than 75 feet from the source if it is in a public place or on a public street.

Mufflers

  • Mufflers are required on all vehicles when in a public place or on a public street.

  • Mufflers can’t be audible to any person not on the same property between the hours of 10 PM and 7 AM.

  • Vehicles can’t have straight pipes, bypasses, cutouts, baffles or expansion chambers unless a permit has been granted due to a special event or occasion.

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

Frame and suspension

Indiana has the following regulations in place for the vehicle frame and suspension systems:

  • Vehicles can’t exceed 13 feet 6 inches in height.

  • There are no lift limits on the suspension or frame height providing the bumper is no higher than 30 inches.

Engine

Indiana does not have regulations regarding engine swaps or modifications affecting performance. Porter and Lake Counties require emissions testing on vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 9,000 pounds or less and that were manufactured after 1976.

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • Two fog lights are permitted that do not point more than 4 inches above the position of the lamp at 25 feet away.

  • Two spotlights are permitted that do not illuminate for than 100 feet in head of the vehicle.

  • Fender or cowl lamps are limited to two white or amber lights.

  • One running board lamp in amber or white is permitted on each side of the vehicle.

  • Flashing warning lights in the rear must be amber or red.

Window tinting

  • Non-reflective tint can be applied to the top of the windshield above the AS-1 line from the manufacturer.

  • Front side windows, back side windows and rear window must allow more than 30% of light to pass through.

  • Reflective tint on front side and back side windows can’t reflect more than 25%.

Antique/classic car modifications

Indiana offers both a historic and antique Year of Manufacture (YOM) license plate. Both plates are available for vehicles 25 years old or older. When a YOM plate is used, it is used on the rear of the vehicle and a Certificate of Registration and Year of Manufacturer affidavit must be carried in the vehicle at all times.

If you want to make sure your modified vehicle follows Indiana 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.

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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