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Illegal Car Equipment

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Illegal Equipment Most Often Cited by Police Officers:

  • Loud car stereo (illegal if heard more than 50 feet from the vehicle)
  • Lack of front and rear DMV-issued plates
  • Lowered frame or any other part that is lower than the lowest point of the wheel rim
  • Air and hydraulic suspension systems that are operated unsafely
  • Tinting the front side windows and the windshield (except for a narrow band at the top of windshield); windows behind the driver's head may be tinted
  • Lack of white rear license plate light that must illuminate the license plate
  • Missing front and/or rear bumpers
  • Illegal engine modifications
  • Blue and yellow headlights (headlights must be white-blue; yellow headlights are illegal)
  • Headlights brighter or higher wattage than those from the factory
  • Tail lights other than red
  • Illegal brake lights (brake lights on vehicles newer than 1979 must be red)
  • Lack of rear reflectors (two red reflectors are required on the rear of cars and trucks)
  • Incorrect color of turn signal (must be white or yellow to the front, red or yellow to the rear)
  • Red lights to the front (except on Emergency vehicles)
  • Tail lights that incorporate a bulb with a red tint or coating
  • Tail lights that are too dim, washed out or show yellow, white or other colors
  • Illegal color of side marker lights
  • Driving with just parking lights on
  • Illegal decorative lights (all flashing decorative lights are illegal)
  • Illegal windshield washer nozzle lights (only white or yellow are allowed)
  • Lights attached to tire valves
  • Lighted license plate frames (unless red)
  • Illegal lights, whether or not they are operating (it is illegal just to have them on the vehicle)
  • Excessively noisy exhaust systems and mufflers
  • Exhaust systems, which meet smog requirements but are still too loud (exhaust equipment legal in all 50 states refers to smog, not noise)

Source: California Highway Patrol