Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in Maryland

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

Maryland has strict laws surrounding vehicle modifications. If you already live in the state or are planning to move there, the following information will help ensure that your modified car or truck is street legal.

Sounds and noise

Maryland requires that all vehicles adhere to the following regulations.

Sound system

  • Sound systems cannot exceed 55 decibels in residential areas.
  • Sound systems cannot exceed 64 decibels in commercial or business areas.

Mufflers

  • Mufflers are required on all vehicles and must prevent unusual or excessive noise.

  • Muffler cutouts, bypasses or other modifications that make the engine sound louder than the equipment installed by the manufacturer are not permitted on highways.

  • Exhaust or tailpipe extensions to amplify sound are not permitted.

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

Frame and suspension

Maryland does not have suspension or lift kit limitations providing the vehicle complies with the following regulations:

  • Vehicles cannot be taller than 13 feet 6 inches.
  • Passenger vehicle frame and bumper height cannot exceed 20 inches.
  • Multipurpose (Class M) vehicle frame and bumper height cannot exceed 28 inches.

Engine

Maryland does not currently have engine swap or modification regulations. However, several counties do require emissions testing. Visit your local DMV website to find out if it is required in your area.

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • Flashing, blinking and oscillating lights are not permitted on passenger vehicles.

  • Two amber or white fender or side cowl lamps are permitted near the front of the vehicle.

  • One running board light with amber or white lamps can be added to each side of the vehicle.

Window tinting

  • Non-reflective tint can be applied to the top five inches of the windshield.
  • Front side, back side and rear windows must permit 35% of light to pass through.
  • Side mirrors are required if back window is tinted.
  • Sticker designating legal tint must be positioned between glass and film.

Antique/classic car modifications

Maryland allows vehicles 20 years and older that have not been modified substantially to be registered as historic vehicles. These vehicles cannot be used for daily transportation.

If you want to make sure your vehicle modifications follow Maryland 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
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

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...


Related questions

Q: What's your take on buying a COBB access port? People say what the car runs safer with less knocks vs stock.

Hello - I suspect the answer to this question revolves around whether you are making other modifications to the engine, and how often you drive with boost pressure near the limit. This device will offer more precise control for managing...

Q: Does my 02 civic have shocks or struts or both?

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2002 Honda Civic. Your car has struts all the way around. There are pros and cons to lowering your vehicle. Make sure that you consider everything before moving forward with this modification!...

Q: Can I put an XLR v engine in my 2001 caddilac deville. I want more power out of my big caddy.

The XLR-V motor is in fact a Northstar type engine, so yes it should work, but it will be very expensive. The engine alone will cost quite a bit, and you're gonna need to run the wiring harness for the...