Modifications of cars that you can and cannot do in Virginia

RICHMAND, Virginia (WRIC) – Some drivers like to customize their cars with small items such as bumper stickers and seat covers. Others decide to add LED lights, tint windows, make changes to the body frame and more.

But there are limits to the changes that people can make in every state and nationwide. Here are some changes banned in Virginia:

Bumper height restrictions/Raise the body above the frame

Under Virginia law, bumpers must remain within 14 to 22 inches above the ground if the driver seeks to lift the car. The range is determined by measuring any point on the lower edge of the main horizontal bar of the bumper, with the exception of the bumper guards.

Drivers cannot modify their cars to force the body or chassis to reach the ground, subject the fuel tank to damage as a result of an accident, or cause the wheels to touch the body while driving.

It is forbidden for vehicles to be higher than 13.5 feet and to have front lifting units. Based on Virginia bumper height rules for trucks – pickups and panel trucks Gross Vehicle Weight (GVWR).

Trucks with a full flight of less than 4501 can have front and rear bumpers up to 28 inches high. Those with 4,501-7,500 GVWRs can have a 29-inch front bumper and 30-inch rear bumpers. Trucks from 7,501 to 15,000 GVWR can have a 30-inch front bumper and a 31-inch rear bumper. The minimum height of truck bumpers is 14 inches according to the Virginia code.

Tinting windowss

Although drivers can tint the windows in cars, there are certain restrictions on how much and which ones. The tinting of the front side windows should transmit more than 50% of the light, and the rear and rear windows should transmit more than 35% of the light.

Reflective color may not reflect more than 20%, but non-reflective color is allowed on the windshield above the A-1 line from the car manufacturer. There are waivers of sunscreens for those who get a medical permit for one.

Sirens and whistles

It is illegal for any vehicle to have “any siren or exhaust, compression whistle or spark plug or horn” that would be used as an unauthorized warning, under Virginia law. This eliminates car beeps set by the manufacturer that allow drivers to make reasonable warnings.


There can be no mufflers in cars to make the exhaust system louder. Virginia bans vehicles with mufflers without internal deflectors, blown mufflers, cutouts in mufflers or straight exhaust pipes. Localities have municipal noise regulations, so there are differences in sound level restrictions depending on where you drive.


Drivers may not knowingly drive a vehicle of “any regulated or cut tire if that tire (i) does not meet or exceed the standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers, American National Standards Institute, Inc.” or the Federal Department of Transportation and (ii) labeled in accordance with these standards, ”in accordance with Virginia law. Those who break the rule face a criminal case of 1st class.


The front fog lights on cars should be transparent or amber, and the rear – red. It is not allowed to add lights of different colors, flashing or rotating.

Drivers are prohibited from installing blue and red lights because they are only allowed for Department of Corrections vehicles and no more than four can be turned on at a time.

Invalid equipment

Vehicles may not have any signaling devices, lighting devices, safety glass or other equipment that requires a permit. There are several other devices that are banned on most cars in Virginia:

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