Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in Ohio

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

Whether you live in Ohio or plan to move to the state, you need to know the laws concerning vehicle modification. The following information will help you keep your car street legal when driving on Ohio roads.

Sounds and noise

Ohio has laws and ordinances in place to control the sound levels that are permissible for vehicles.

Sound systems

The regulations for sound systems in vehicles is only that the sound emitting from them cannot be sustained at a volume that causes noise levels that are annoying to others or make conversation or sleep difficult.

Mufflers

  • Mufflers are required on all vehicles and must prevent unusual or excessive noise.
  • Muffler bypasses, cutouts and amplifying devices are not permitted on highways.
  • Passenger cars cannot exceed 70 decibels when traveling at 35 MPH or less.
  • Passenger cars cannot exceed 79 decibels when traveling more than 35 MPH.

Tip: Always check with local county laws in Ohio 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 13 feet 6 inches in height.

  • There are no suspension lift or frame lift laws. However, vehicles do have bumper height limits based on Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR).

  • Cars and SUVs – Maximum front and rear bumper height is 22 inches.

  • 4,500 GVWR and under – Maximum front bumper height is 24 inches, rear is 26 inches.

  • 4,501-7,500 GVWR – Maximum front bumper height is 27 inches, rear is 29 inches.

  • 7,501-10,000 GVWR – Maximum front bumper height is 28 inches, rear is 31 inches.

Engine

Ohio does not have engine modification or swap regulations. However, the following counties require emissions testing:

  • Cuyahoga
  • Geauga
  • Lake
  • Lorain
  • Medina
  • Portage
  • Summit

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • Headlamps must emit white light.
  • Spot lamp is permitted when emitting white light.
  • Fog lamp must emit yellow, light amber or white light.

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 cannot reflect more than a regular, untinted window.
  • Sticker signifying legal tint limits must be between glass and film on all tinted windows.

Antique/classic car modifications

Ohio offers historic plates for vehicles 25 or more years old. The plates allow driving to exhibitions, parades, club activities, and for repairs only – daily general driving is not permitted.

If you want to make sure your vehicle modifications are legal in Ohio, 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
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in New Mexico
The state of New Mexico offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch...


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.

Q: Went with bigger tires & installed a high flow filter/muffler

Anytime you make changes to the tire's overall diameter, multiple components are going to be thrown out of calibration including, ABS, speedometer and traction control. There was a time when a professional mechanic could reset ECU's, but recent changes in...

Q: I am looking to Turbocharge my 2008 Chevy Cobalt with manual transmission.

Hello. It is indeed possible to turbocharge this vehicle. Adding a turbocharger will definitely increase your horsepower. The main thing you need to keep in mind is that this will put added stress on the engine. Due to the mileage...