Having a street legal vehicle in Florida means that you have to follow the laws and regulations set by the state when making modifications. If you live in or are moving to Florida, the following will help you understand how you are permitted to customize your vehicle.
Sounds and noise
Florida requires that all vehicles adhere to specific sound level limits from both the sound systems and mufflers. These include:
Vehicles manufactured between January 1, 1973 and January 1, 1975 can’t exceed 86 decibels.
Vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1975 can’t exceed 83 decibels.
Tip: Also check with local county laws in Florida to make sure you are following any municipal noise ordinances that may be more stringent than state-level laws.
Frame and suspension
Florida does not restrict the frame height or suspension lift limit on vehicles providing that the bumper height does not exceed the following bumper height specifications based on Gross Vehicle Weight Ratings (GVWR):
Vehicles under 2,000 GVRW – Max front bumper height of 24 inches, max back bumper 26 inches
Vehicles 2,000- 2,999 GVRW – Max front bumper height 27 inches, max rear bumper 29 inches
Vehicles 3,000-5,000 GVRW – Max front bumper height 28 inches, max rear bumper 30 inches
Florida does not have any engine modification regulations listed.
Lighting and windows
- Red or blue lights are only permitted on emergency vehicles.
- Flashing lights on passenger vehicles are limited to turn signals only.
- Two fog lamps are permitted.
- Two spotlights are permitted.
Non-reflective tint is permitted on windshield above the AS-1 line provided by the vehicle manufacturer.
Front side window tint must allow greater than 28% of light to pass through.
Back and back side windows must allow more than 15% of light to pass through.
Reflective tints on front and back side windows can’t be more than 25% reflective.
Side mirrors are required if rear window is tinted.
Sticker certifying legal tint levels is required on driver door jamb (provided by DMV).
Antique/classic car modifications
Florida requires vehicles that are more than 30 years old or manufactured after 1945 to have antique plates. In order to get these plates, an Application for Registration of a Street Rod, Custom Vehicle, Horseless Carriage or Antique form must be submitted to the DMV.
If you want to modify your vehicle but want to be in compliance with Florida laws, 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.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as The Guide to Legal Car Modifications in Florida and was authored by Valerie Johnston.