If you live in West Virginia or plan to do so and you have a modified vehicle, you need to make sure you understand the laws and regulations the state. The following will help you choose modifications for your car or truck that will make sure that you are street legal when driving on West Virginia roads.
Sounds and noise
West Virginia has strict laws in place on how loud your music and vehicle can be. Failing to follow these regulations can result in fines up to $1,000 and/or up to 6 months in jail for every violation.
- Radios and sound systems cannot be played at levels that are annoying or disturbing to those who have reasonable sensibilities that are located outside of the vehicle. This also constitutes disturbing the peace when in residential areas.
- All vehicles must have mufflers that are designed to prevent unreasonably loud or disturbing noise.
Tip: Always check with local county laws in West Virginia to make sure you are following any municipal noise ordinances that may be more stringent than state-level laws.
Frame and suspension
West Virginia has the following restrictions on modifications to the frame and suspension:
The floor of the body cannot be lifted to the point that it is over three inches above the frame.
Vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of less than 10,000 pounds cannot have a bumper height exceeding 31 inches.
Bumpers must be three inches tall.
Vehicle can be no taller than 13 feet 6 inches.
Front lift blocks cannot be used.
Vehicles that are modified must undergo an inspection and receive a “modified vehicle sticker” that must be affixed and visible.
All vehicles must undergo a safety inspection each year.
All inspections are handled through the West Virginia State Police.
There are no references to engine modifications or swaps in the West Virginia regulations. The state also does not require emissions testing.
Lighting and windows
Two fog lamps are permitted.
Two auxiliary lamps are permitted.
No more than four lights can be lit at one time.
All lamps that are 300 or more candlepower on the front of a vehicle must not strike the roadway more than 75 feet in front of the car or truck.
Only amber and white lamps are permitted to be visible on the front of the vehicle.
Except for turn signals, flashing lights are not permitted on passenger vehicles.
Red and blue flashing lights are prohibited on passenger vehicles.
Non-reflective tint is permitted on the top five inches of the windshield .
Front side, back side, and rear window tint must allow over 35% of light to pass through.
Front side and back side window tint cannot be over 20% reflective.
Side mirrors are required with rear window tint.
Red tint is not legal for use.
Sticker certifying that tint levels are legal is required on all tinted windows between the glass and film.
Antique/classic car modifications
West Virginia allows registration of antique/classic motor vehicles, which have the following requirements:
Must be over 25 years old.
Is used for participating in club activities, parades, tours and similar events.
Can be used from 12 PM Friday to 12 PM Monday and holidays for general transportation.
If you want to make sure the modifications on your vehicle are legal in West Virginia, 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 West Virginia and was authored by Valerie Johnston.