Car Modification - Legal Issues

In the last article we talked about Safety Mods. Now it would be appropriate to have a look at some legal issues arising due to car modification. For this purpose I would present an extract from a website which deals with and educates on the legal implications due to car modification. But before that I would like to have some words with you.

Laws enacted by law enforcing agencies are for the betterment of oneself so you must not take steps to violate these laws as it could prove lethal to you as well as civilian around you in long or short run. Now lets see what legal problems you can get into because of unlawful car modification.

Under traffic laws in most states, drivers may be given a traffic ticket for operating a vehicle that has been modified in violation of laws that regulate vehicle specifications and vehicle equipment. Examples of vehicle modifications that may result in a traffic ticket include:

* Addition of non-standard lighting (neon lights, under-vehicle lights),
* Alteration or removal of air pollution and emissions control device
* Modification of vehicle ground clearance ("lowered" or "raised" vehicles),
* Removal of mufflers and other sound-control devices, and
* Window tinting (especially tinting of windshield or driver/front passenger side windows).

An unlawfully-modified vehicle can receive a traffic ticket for a mechanical violation. In some states, citations for certain unlawful vehicle modifications are considered "fix-it" tickets or "correctable violations." In California, for example, if you are given a "fix-it" ticket by a police officer, "yes" will be checked next to "Correctable Violation", and after the problem is fixed (i.e. you remove illegal under-car lights), you must get the signature of an authorized person (i.e. a local law enforcement officer) on the "Certificate of Correction" portion of the ticket. If you are issued a "fix-it" ticket for an unlawful vehicle modification in your state, read the ticket to determine whether you can mail the proof of correction, rather than taking it to court.

If the court accepts your correction, the case will be dismissed. But, if you fail to fix the problem within a short time after you receive a "fix-it" ticket, you will need to pay the fine for the unlawful vehicle modification, and you may be issued another ticket which will go on your record.

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