The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in New Hampshire

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Whether you live in New Hampshire or plan to move there in the near future, you need to understand the laws surrounding vehicle modification. Understanding the following regulations will ensure that your vehicle is street legal when driving on the roadways throughout the state.

Sounds and noise

New Hampshire has regulations in place that cover the muffler on your vehicle. Failure to follow them can result in a $100 fine for the first offense, $250 for the second offense, and $500 for each additional offense.

Mufflers

  • Mufflers are required on all vehicles and must be in working condition to limit unusually loud or excessive noise.

  • Muffler bypasses, cutouts, and similar devices are not permitted on roadways.

  • Straight pipes are not permitted.

  • After-market exhaust systems are permitted providing they are not excessively loud (exact loudness levels are not defined).

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

Frame and suspension

New Hampshire does not have frame or suspension lift height restrictions. However, other regulations include:

  • Vehicles cannot be more than 12 feet 6 inches in height.

  • Minimum bumper height for cars, SUVs, and trucks is 16 inches.

  • Cars and SUVs bumper height cannot exceed 20 inches.

  • Truck have a maximum bumper height of 20 inches.

  • Lowered suspension systems cannot allow any part of the chassis, steering or suspension on the vehicle to be lower than the lowest portion of the wheels.

Engine

New Hampshire does not have engine modification or swap regulations. However, annual safety inspections are required. Emissions testing is also required for vehicles manufactured after 1996.

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • Two spotlights are permitted providing that the high-intensity part of the beam does not strike windows, mirrors or the windshield of another vehicle on the roadway.

  • Three auxiliary lamps are permitted.

Window tinting

  • Non-reflective tint is permitted on the top six inches of the windshield.
  • No tint is permitted on the front side windows.
  • Back side and rear windows must allow over 25% of light through.
  • Side mirrors are required if back window is tinted.
  • Reflective tint is not permitted.

Antique/classic car modifications

New Hampshire provides Antique plates for vehicles that are more than 25 years old. However, these vehicles can only be used for public interest activities such as parades, club activities, and exhibitions.

If you want your vehicle modifications to comply with New Hampshire 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.


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Fabrice

18 years of experience
133 reviews
Fabrice
18 years of experience
Toyota Yaris - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Orlando, Florida
My appointment was late in the day, so being late was expected. Fabrice notified me ahead of time about his tardiness. When he arrived, he was apologetic, courteous and professional. He got to work right away and let me know of other work that was needed for future appointments

Oreste

12 years of experience
111 reviews
Oreste
12 years of experience
Nissan Frontier - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Miami, Florida
The best ever!!!! Will not use anyone else in future .. very knowledgeable and explained every thing to me .very professional, well spoken .

Breck

18 years of experience
527 reviews
Breck
18 years of experience
Jeep Patriot - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Houston, Texas
Becks was very informative about things that I didn't know needed to be looked at with my car. He fixed little hick ups quickly and had me ready to get back on the road sooner than I thought he would.

Miguel

19 years of experience
63 reviews
Miguel
19 years of experience
Audi allroad - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Fair Lawn, New Jersey
Miguel is very professional mechanic. He called me in advance about his coming. He brought the quality parts (brakes pads and rotors) and done his job quickly and of great quality. I tested the brakes after the replacement and they were efficient and very silent. I would recommend him very much.

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