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The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in North Dakota

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

If you live in North Dakota or are planning to move to the state, it is important that you know whether your modified vehicle is within the laws in the state. The following information will help you keep your vehicle street legal on North Dakota roadways.

Sounds and noise

North Dakota has laws in place governing the sound and noise-dampening equipment on your vehicle.

Sound systems

Drivers cannot disturb the peace with their sound systems. These regulations include not playing music at over 85 decibels and not annoying or endangering the comfort or health of others.

Mufflers

  • Mufflers are required on all vehicles and must be in good working order.
  • Vehicles must not be louder than 85 decibels.
  • Muffler bypasses, cutouts, and amplifying devices are not permitted.

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

Frame and suspension

  • Vehicle must be no more than 14 feet in height.

  • Suspension lift maximum limit is four inches.

  • Body height maximum is 42 inches.

  • Maximum bumper height is 27 inches.

  • Maximum tire height is 44 inches.

  • No part of the vehicle (besides the tires) can be lower than the lowest part of wheels.

  • Body of vehicles 7,000 pounds or less can have no part higher than 42 inches from the road.

  • All modified from stock vehicles must have fenders on each of the four wheels.

Engine

North Dakota does not have engine swap or modification laws, and the state does not require emissions testing.

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • Two fog lights are permitted mounted between 12 inches and 30 inches above the roadway.

  • Two spotlights are permitted providing they do not strike the windows or mirrors of other vehicles.

  • Two passing auxiliary lights are permitted.

  • Two driving auxiliary lights are permitted.

  • Red and green lights that are visible from the front of the vehicle are not permitted.

Failing to comply with the following light color requirements will result in a $10 fee per violation:

  • Front clearance, marker lamps, and reflectors must be amber.

  • Rear clearance, reflectors, and marker lamps must be red.

  • License plate light must be amber or white.

Window tinting

  • Windshield tint must allow 70% of light through.
  • Front side windows must allow over 50% of light through.
  • Back side and rear window can have any tint darkness.
  • Reflective tint is not permitted.
  • Side mirrors are required with back window tint.

Antique/classic car modifications

North Dakota offers collector plates for vehicles that are 25 or more years old and that are not used for general or daily transportation. An Affidavit of Use for a Collector Motor Vehicle form is required.

If you want to make sure your vehicle modifications are legal in North Dakota, 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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Related questions

Q: Engine modification

Sounds like a nice build. Assuming you used the 305 crank, the engine will still be called a 5.0 or 305, since that is the cubic inch displacement of the engine.

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Low fuel pressure can certainly cause your symptoms. I am assuming you have enough fuel, so the key here is why is the fuel not getting to the engine? A bad fuel pump or clogged fuel filter can definitely be...

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