If you live in Oregon or will do so in the near future, you need to make sure you understand the laws concerning modified vehicles. The following information will help you keep your modified car or truck street legal when on the roads in Oregon.

Sounds and noise

Oregon has a variety of ordinances in place throughout the state restricting noise levels from vehicles.

Sound systems

The individual counties throughout Oregon have limits on the volume levels that are permissible. In most cases, sound systems cannot disturb the peace or annoy another reasonable person that may be in the area.

Mufflers

  • Mufflers are required on all vehicles and must prevent unusual or excessive noise.

  • Headers are permitted if the remainder of the exhaust system limits the noise emitted by the engine.

  • Mufflers on vehicles manufactured before 1976 must limit sound levels to 94 decibels.

  • Mufflers on vehicles manufactured 1976 and after must limit noise levels to 91 decibels.

Tip: Always check with local county laws in Oregon to make sure you are following any municipal noise ordinances that may be more stringent than state-level laws.

Frame and suspension

Oregon does not limit suspension lift, frame height or bumper height. However, the following must be met:

  • Frame of vehicle cannot be lower than the sidewall of the tires.
  • Vehicle cannot be more than 14 feet in height.

Engine

Oregon does require emissions testing in Medford and the Portland metro area. There are not engine modification or swap regulations.

Lighting and windows

Lights

  • Clear tail lamp covers are permitted with red LED bulbs.

  • Purple or blue dot inserts in taillights are not permitted (except of vehicles manufactured prior to 1959 that have assemblies that include another light).

  • Green and blue lamps are only permitted for emergency vehicles.

  • Red lamps in the front are only permitted on emergency vehicles.

  • Neon lights, valve stem lights and windshield washer lights are not permitted.

  • Fog lamps are permitted with amber lights.

Window tinting

  • Non-reflective tint is permitted on the top six inches of the windshield.
  • Front side, back side and rear windows must allow over 35% of light to pass through.
  • Reflective tint cannot reflect over 13% on front side and back side windows.
  • Side mirrors are required when rear window is tinted.
  • Red, amber and green tint is not permitted.

Antique/classic car modifications

Oregon provides permanent antique vehicle plates that limit driving only to club activities, exhibitions, parades, and other educational activities. These vehicles cannot be used for daily transportation.

If you want to modify your vehicle yet still be within Oregon 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 Oregon and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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