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The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in New Jersey

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

Those who live in New Jersey or are planning to move to the area need to know the regulations concerning vehicle modifications to ensure their cars or trucks that have been modified are considered street legal when driving on the roadways. The following are the requirements in the state of New Jersey.

Sounds and noise

New Jersey does have regulations on the noises that come from sound systems or the muffler on your vehicle.

Sound systems

Sound systems are not covered by statewide regulations. Individual counties throughout the state have regulations and ordinances that must be followed. Failing to comply with local noise ordinances can result in fines of $3,000 or less.

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 highways.

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

Frame and suspension

New Jersey frame and suspension regulations include:

  • Vehicles cannot be more than 13 feet 6 inches in height.

  • Lifted or elevated vehicles must pass an Elevated Vehicle Inspection.

  • Maximum lift allowed is based on the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) and is measured to the bottom of the door on the driver’s side.

  • GVWR less than 4,501 – Maximum height is 7 inches higher than factory.

  • GVWR 4,501-7,500 – Maximum height is 9 inches higher than factory.

  • GVWR 7,501-10,000 – Maximum height is 11 inches higher than factory.

  • Front lift blocks are not permitted.

  • Suspension system must use the basic elements used by the manufacturer of the vehicle and must follow original geometry of the system.

  • Bumpers cannot be less than 16 inches off the ground.

Engine

New Jersey does not have engine modification or swap regulations, but emissions testing is required.

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • One spotlight is permitted.

  • Two auxiliary lamps are permitted but must be covered when on roadways.

  • Red, amber, and blue LED, strobe or rotating lights require a permit for use as warning lights.

Window tinting

  • Windshield cannot be tinted.
  • No tint is permitted on the front side windows.
  • Back side and rear windows can have any darkness of tint.
  • Side mirrors are required if back window is tinted.
  • Reflective tint is not permitted.

Antique/classic car modifications

New Jersey has historic and street rod plates available for vehicles that are 25 or more years old and only driven for parades, exhibitions, and other similar events.

If you want your vehicle modifications to comply with New Jersey 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
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