The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in New Mexico

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Whether you live in New Mexico or are moving to the area, there are vehicle modification regulations of which you need to be aware. Complying with the following laws will help make sure your vehicle is street legal when driving on the roadways throughout New Mexico.

Sounds and noise

New Mexico has regulations in place concerning the sounds that come from the radio systems and mufflers in your vehicle.

Sound systems

New Mexico requires that the following decibel levels be met in specific areas:

  • 57 decibels in areas or on lands where quiet and serenity are significant factors of its intended purpose (these areas are not defined)

  • 67 decibels in areas around public places such as schools, parks, hospitals, libraries, playgrounds, and residences

  • 72 decibels on developed land or properties

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 Mexico to make sure you are following any municipal noise ordinances that may be more stringent than state-level laws.

Frame and suspension

New Mexico does not have any restrictions on frame, bumper or suspension lift heights. The only requirement is that vehicles cannot be more than 14 feet in height.

Engine

New Mexico does not have engine modification or swap regulations, but emissions testing is required for those who live in or commute to Albuquerque.

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • Two spotlight are permitted.
  • Two auxiliary lamps (one passing, one driving) are permitted.

Window tinting

  • Windshield can have non-reflective tint above the AS-1 line from the manufacturer or the top five inches, whichever occurs first.

  • Front side, back side, and rear window tint must let 20% of light to pass through.

  • Side mirrors are required if back window is tinted.

  • Sticker signifying legal tint levels is required between the glass and film on driver’s door.

Antique/classic car modifications

New Mexico does not have regulations on historic or vintage vehicles. However, plates are available for year of manufacture for vehicles more than 20 years old.

If you want to make sure your vehicle modifications are within the laws in New Mexico, 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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Rigoberto

9 years of experience
706 reviews
Rigoberto
9 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Niles, Illinois
Rigo was great! He got there early, finished the job early, left everything clean. He changed my rear pads and rotors. The original quoted time was 90 minutes, he was done in about 60. He knows what he is doing and I am recommending him to all my friends and coworkers.
Mercedes-Benz C250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Chicago, Illinois
Rigo is a maverick hands down. Don’t take your car for work elsewhere. Especially great at Mercedes—this guy knows his profession! I will be using him for everything related to my car going forward.

Arturo

25 years of experience
35 reviews
Arturo
25 years of experience
Kia Forte - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Diego, California
ARTURO is great! very professional , fast, replaced my front brake pads and oil an filter change. everything now works and works well. Brakes have much improved stopping power and engine is smooth and quiet.Arturo is also kind and thoughtful. "Your mechanic" is very fortunate to have Arturo Lopez represent your company. I enthusiastically recommend him and "Your mechanic> as a fine operation Best regards to the Team Peter Marto
Nissan Maxima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - San Diego, California
Arturo was prompt and completed my brake repair, including new rotors in a very efficient manner. I am very pleased with the quality of the work and the parts and will definitely look to have him service our other car in the near future.

Scott

32 years of experience
345 reviews
Scott
32 years of experience
Lexus IS250 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Denver, Colorado
Always on time, speedy, professional, and pleasant to interact with. The work is always consistent and we'll done. I can't reccomend Scott highly enough!

Michael

10 years of experience
15 reviews
Michael
10 years of experience
Nissan Sentra - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Conyers, Georgia
He was promptly on time and got the job done efficiently in a timely manner. I really appreciate the rapid respone on getting the job done! I would most definitely use this service again.

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