Illinois Laws on Car Modifications

Many people enjoy customizing their vehicle. Whether it’s high-quality rims, darker tint, or unique after-market lighting, it can be fun to individualize the vehicles in which we spend so much time.

Unfortunately, some customizations may actually be illegal- even if they seem minor.

While these laws vary from state to state, here are some things you need to know before modifying your vehicle in Illinois.

  • Tinted windows are not allowed on the front windshield. A 6-inch strip of tinting is allowed along the top of the front windshield. In sedans, all tinted windows must allow more than 35% of light in. For SUV’s and vans, the front side windows must allow more than 35% of light in, but there are no regulations on the tint of the back side and rear windows.
  • A muffler must be on the exhaust system to prevent excessive noise and smoke. Cutouts, bypasses, and changes to your car’s system to increase noise are illegal.
  • Your vehicle may not have more than four 300 candlepower lights. Flashing or moving lights are illegal (other than turn signals or hazard indicators). Red lights visible from the front of the car are also prohibited, except for police and emergency vehicles. Running board, cowl, or fender lamp lights are limited to one on each side, and they must be non-glare white or amber lights.
  • Your license plate must have a white light making the plate readable from at least 50 feet away. License plate covers are not allowed, and a license plate frame should not cover any part of the license plate.
  • All vehicles must have a horn that can be heard from 200 feet, but sirens, whistles, and bells are allowed only on authorized emergency vehicles.
  • Televisions or video recording monitors that can be seen from the driver’s seat are prohibited while the vehicle is in motion. Don’t drive distracted!
  • Possession and use of radar jamming devices is prohibited in ALL vehicles.
  • Special rules apply for lamps, brakes, lights, and turn signals on antique vehicles in Illinois. ‘Antique’ is defined as more than 25-years-old.

This is not an exhaustive list of the Illinois Vehicle Code, but before you invest money in vehicle modifications, we suggest that you check the Rules of the Road so you can avoid an expensive mistake.

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