Maine has a variety of vehicle modification laws. If you live in the state or are planning to move there, understanding the following regulations will help ensure that your modified car or truck is street legal when driving on the roadways throughout the state.
Sounds and noise
Maine has regulations that cover the noises that emit from your vehicle sound system and the muffler system.
- Maine prohibits sound systems that can be heard inside of a private building or by another person that is considered unreasonable by that person or law enforcement officials.
Mufflers are required on all vehicles and must prevent unusual or excessive noise, or noise that is louder than other similar vehicles in the same environment.
Muffler cutouts, bypasses or other modifications that make the engine sound louder than the equipment installed by the manufacturer are not permitted.
Exhaust systems must be attached to the engine block and vehicle frame and cannot have leaks.
Tip: Also check with local county laws in Maine to make sure you are following any municipal noise ordinances that may be more stringent than state-level laws.
Frame and suspension
Maine has frame height requirements based on the Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) along with other requirements.
- Vehicles cannot be taller than 13 feet 6 inches
- GVWR under 4,501 - Front frame height maximum is 24 inches, rear is 26 inches
- GVWR 4,501- 7,500 – Front frame height maximum is 27 inches, rear is 29 inches
- GVWR 7,501-10,000 – Front frame height maximum is 28 inches, rear is 30 inches
- Minimum vehicle frame height for all vehicles is 10 inches
- There are no other restrictions on lift kits or suspension systems
Maine does not have laws governing engine swaps. However, nitrous oxide is not permitted for street use and those living in Cumberland County are required to complete emissions testing.
Lighting and windows
White or amber auxiliary lights are permitted on the front and rear of the vehicle.
Amber auxiliary lights are permitted on the side of the vehicle.
Candlepower cannot exceed that of standard lighting, and cannot distract from standard lighting.
Under-vehicle lighting is allowed for exhibitions and shows but cannot be turned on when driving on public roads.
Non-reflective tint can be applied to the top five inches of the windshield or above the AS-1 line from the manufacturer.
Front side and back side windows must allow 100% of light through.
Front side and back side window tint must be non-reflective.
Antique/classic car modifications
Maine requires that classic or antique vehicles be registered and that an Antique Auto Affidavit be filed at your local DMV branch at the time of registration.
If you want to make sure your vehicle modifications follow Maine law, 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 Maine and was authored by Valerie Johnston.