The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in Minnesota

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Whether currently living in the state or planning to move to Minnesota in the near future, you need to make sure that you understand the restrictions on vehicle modifications. The following will help you understand what requirements you have to meet in order to make sure your vehicle is street legal.

Sounds and noise

Minnesota has regulations on the sounds permitted from your vehicle.

Sound system

  • 60-65 decibels in residential areas from 7 AM to 10 PM
  • 50-55 decibels in residential areas from 10 PM to 7 AM
  • 88 decibels when stationary

Mufflers

  • Mufflers are required on all vehicles and must work properly.

  • Muffler cutouts are not permitted.

  • Vehicles traveling 35 MPH or less can’t be louder than 94 decibels at 2 feet from the center travel lane.

  • Vehicles traveling more than 35 MPH can’t be louder than 98 decibels at 2 feet from the center travel lane.

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

Frame and suspension

Minnesota does not have frame height or suspension modification restrictions providing the vehicle be within the following requirements:

  • Vehicles cannot be taller than 13 feet 6 inches.

  • Bumper height is restricted to within six inches of the original factory bumper height for the vehicle.

  • 4x4 vehicles have a maximum bumper height of 25 inches.

Engine

Minnesota does not require emissions testing and does not have restrictions on engine swaps or modifications.

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • Lights greater than 300 candlepower cannot hit the roadway 75 feet in front of the vehicle.

  • Flashing lights (other than hazard lights) are not permitted.

  • Red lights are permitted for braking only on passenger vehicles.

  • Blue lights are not permitted on passenger vehicles.

Window tinting

  • No tint is permitted on the windshield.

  • Front side, back side and rear windows must allow over 50% of light through.

  • Front side and back side window reflective tint cannot reflect more than 20%.

  • Sticker designating legal tint must be between the glass and film on driver’s side window.

Antique/classic car modifications

Minnesota does not allow vehicles that are designated as collector vehicles with plates to be driven as general or daily transportation. These plates are available for vehicles 20 more years old.

If you want to make sure your modifications are within Minnesota 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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