Exhaust Noise Laws By State

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image/svg+xml MA MN MT ND HI ID WA AZ CA CO NV NM OR UT WY AR IA KS MO NE OK SD LA TX CT NH RI VT AL FL GA MS SC IL IN KY NC OH TN VA WI WV DE MD NY PA NJ ME MI AK Objective method for measuring exhuast noise Prohibits use of muffler that emits "excessive or unusual" noise Prohibits use of muffler that emits "excessive or unusual" noise AND prohibits modification if it causes the muffler to emit more noise than the original, factory-installed muffler. DC
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The following information is current as of December 2018 and is posted here for enthusiasts to learn more about exhaust noise laws in their states. Please understand that state laws are subject to change, and it is important to consult the current statutes and regulations in your state to ensure accurate information. You should not rely solely on the following information, and SEMA disclaims any responsibility for damages that arise out of reliance on the following information. If you have further questions, please contact SEMA Action Network at san@sema.org.

Alabama

Code of Alabama

 

§ 32-5-216.  

 

(a) Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke, and no person shall use a muffler cut-out, bypass, a muffler without baffles or similar device upon a motor vehicle on a highway.

 

(b) The engine and power mechanism of every motor vehicle shall be so equipped and adjusted as to prevent the escape of excessive fumes or smoke.

 

§ 33-5-23.

 

(a)  The exhaust of every internal combustion engine used on any vessel shall be effectively muffled by equipment so constructed and used as to muffle the noise of the exhaust in a reasonable manner. The use of cutouts is prohibited, except for vessels competing in a regatta or official boat race, and for such vessels while on trial runs.

Alaska

Regulated locally. 

Arizona

Arizona Revised Statues

§ 28-955. Mufflers; noise and air pollution prevention; emissions control devices; civil penalty; exception
 
(a)  A motor vehicle shall be equipped at all times with a muffler that is in good working order and that is in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise.

(b)  A person shall not use a muffler cutout, bypass or similar device on a motor vehicle on a highway.

(c)  The engine and power mechanism of a motor vehicle shall be equipped and adjusted to prevent the escape of excessive fumes or smoke.

(d)  Beginning with motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines of the 1968 model year, motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines shall be equipped with emissions control devices that meet the standards established by the director of environmental quality.

(e)  A person who violates this section is subject to a civil penalty of at least one hundred dollars.

(f)  This section does not apply to an electrically powered motor vehicle.

Arkansas

Arkansas Code

§27-37-601.  Noise or smoke producing devices prohibited.
 
(a)  Every motor vehicle shall, at all times, be equipped with a factory-installed muffler or one duplicating factory specifications, in good working order and in constant operation, to prevent excessive or unusual noise and annoying smoke.

(b)  No person shall use on a motor vehicle upon the public roads, highways, streets, or alleys of this state, nor shall any person sell for use on a motor vehicle upon the public roads, highways, streets, or alleys of this state, a muffler, other than as defined in subsection (a) of this section, cutout, bypass, similar device, or any type device which produces excessive or unusual noise or smoke.

§ 27-37-602. Cutouts prohibited.

(a)  The sale or use of cutouts on any motor-driven vehicle while on the public roads, highways, streets, and alleys of Arkansas is prohibited.

(b)  Any person found guilty in any court of Arkansas of violating this section, in whole or in part, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500).

California

California Vehicle Code

§ 27150. Adequate muffler required

(a) Every motor vehicle subject to registration shall at all times be equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise, and no muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cutout, bypass, or similar device.

§ 27151.  Modification of exhaust systems

(a) No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor of the vehicle so that the vehicle is not in compliance with the provisions of Section 27150 or exceeds the noise limits established for the type of vehicle in Article 2.5 (commencing with Section 27200). No person shall operate a motor vehicle with an exhaust system so modified.

(b) For the purposes of exhaust systems installed on motor vehicles with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of less than 6,000 pounds, other than motorcycles, a sound level of 95 dbA or less, when tested in accordance with Society of Automotive Engineers Standard J1169 May 1998, complies with this section. Motor vehicle exhaust systems or parts thereof include, but are not limited to, nonoriginal exhaust equipment.

Colorado

Colorado Revised Statutes
 
42-4-225. Mufflers - prevention of noise
 
(1) Every motor vehicle subject to registration and operated on a highway shall at all times be equipped with an adequate muffler in constant operation and properly maintained to prevent any excessive or unusual noise, and no such muffler or exhaust system shall be equipped with a cut-off, bypass, or similar device. No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle in a manner which will amplify or increase the noise emitted by the motor of such vehicle above that emitted by the muffler originally installed on the vehicle, and such original muffler shall comply with all of the requirements of this section.

(1.5) Any commercial vehicle, as defined in section 42-4-235 (1) (a), subject to registration and operated on a highway, that is equipped with an engine compression brake device is required to have a muffler.

(2) A muffler is a device consisting of a series of chamber or baffle plates or other mechanical design for the purpose of receiving exhaust gas from an internal combustion engine and effective in reducing noise.

(3) Any person who violates subsection (1) of this section commits a class B traffic infraction. Any person who violates subsection (1.5) of this section shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of five hundred dollars. Fifty percent of any fine for a violation of subsection (1.5) of this section occurring within the corporate limits of a city or town, or within the unincorporated area of a county, shall be transmitted to the treasurer or chief financial officer of said city, town, or county, and the remaining fifty percent shall be transmitted to the state treasurer, credited to the highway users tax fund, and allocated and expended as specified in section 43-4-205 (5.5) (a), C.R.S.

(4) This section shall not apply to electric motor vehicles.

Connecticut

Connecticut General Statutes
 
Sec. 14-80.  Mechanical equipment.
 
(a)  Each motor vehicle and the devices on such vehicle shall be operated, equipped, constructed and adjusted to prevent unnecessary or unusual noise.

(b)  Each motor vehicle operated by an internal combustion engine shall be equipped, except as hereinafter provided, with a muffler or mufflers designed to prevent excessive, unusual or unnecessary exhaust noise. The muffler or mufflers shall be maintained by the owner in good working order and shall be in use whenever the motor vehicle is operated. No person, including a motor vehicle dealer or repairer or a motorcycle dealer, shall install, and no person shall use, on a motor vehicle, a muffler or mufflers lacking interior baffle plates or other effective muffling devices, a gutted muffler, a muffler cutout or a straight exhaust except when the motor vehicle is operated in a race, contest or demonstration of speed or skill as a public exhibition pursuant to subsection (a) of section 14-164a, or any mechanical device which will amplify the noise emitted by the vehicle. No person, including a motor vehicle dealer or repairer or a motorcycle dealer, shall remove all or part of any muffler on a motor vehicle except to repair or replace the muffler or part for the more effective prevention of noise. No person shall use on the exhaust system or tail pipe of a motor vehicle any extension or device which will cause excessive or unusual noise.

(c)  The engine of every motor vehicle shall be equipped and adjusted to prevent excessive fumes or exhaust smoke.

(d)  All pipes carrying exhaust gases from the motor shall be constructed of, and maintained with, leak-proof metal. Exhaust pipes shall be directed from the muffler or mufflers toward the rear of the vehicle and shall be approximately parallel with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and approximately parallel to the surface of the roadway, or shall be directed from the muffler upward to a location above the cab or body of the vehicle so that fumes, gases and smoke are directed away from the occupants of the vehicle. Exhaust pipes on a passenger vehicle shall extend to the extreme rear end of the vehicle's body, not including the bumper and its attachments to the body, or shall be attached to the vehicle in such a way that the exhaust pipes direct the exhaust gases to either side of the vehicle ensuring that fresh ambient air is located under the vehicle at all times. The Commissioner of Motor Vehicles may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 to establish safety standards for passenger vehicles equipped with exhaust pipes located in front of the rear axle.

(e)  Every motor vehicle shall, when operated on a highway, be equipped with a horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than two hundred feet, but no horn or other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a whistle.

(f)  No vehicle shall be equipped with, nor shall any person use on a vehicle, any siren, whistle or bell as a warning signal device, except as otherwise permitted by this section. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with a theft alarm signal device which is so arranged that it cannot be used by the driver as an ordinary warning signal. Any authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with a siren, whistle or bell, capable of emitting sound audible under normal conditions from a distance of not less than five hundred feet and of a type approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Such signal shall not be used unless the vehicle is operated in response to an emergency call or in the immediate pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, in which event the driver of the vehicle shall sound the signal when reasonably necessary to warn pedestrians and other drivers of the approach of the vehicle.

(g)  Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined one hundred fifty dollars for each offense.

Delaware

Delaware Code
 
Title 11 § 4311. Mufflers; cutout prohibited
 
(a) No person shall drive a motor vehicle, including a motorcycle, on a highway, including residential streets, unless such motor vehicle or motorcycle is equipped with a muffler in good working order and in accordance with manufacturer's specifications and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise.

(b) No person shall use a "muffler cutout" on any motor vehicle upon a highway.

(c)  It shall be unlawful to sell or offer for sale any muffler without interior baffle plates or other effective muffling devices or to sell or offer for sale any "gutted muffler," "muffler cutout" or "straight exhaust."

(d)  The provisions of this section shall only apply if there is not a violation of § 4311A of this title.

Florida

Florida Statutes
 
§ 316.272.  Exhaust systems, prevention of noise
 
(1)  Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with an exhaust system in good working order and in constant operation, including muffler, manifold pipe, and tailpiping to prevent excessive or unusual noise. In no event shall an exhaust system allow noise at a level which exceeds a maximum decibel level to be established by regulation of the Department of Environmental Protection as provided in s. 403.061(11) in cooperation with the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. No person shall use a muffler cutout, bypass or similar device upon a vehicle on a highway.

(2)  The engine and power mechanism of every motor vehicle shall be so equipped and adjusted as to prevent the escape of excessive fumes or smoke.

(3)  A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
 
§ 316.293.  Motor vehicle noise
 
(5)  Noise abatement equipment modifications.
 (a) No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle or any other noise-abatement device of a motor vehicle operated  or to be operated upon the highways of this state in such a manner that the noise emitted by the motor vehicle is above that emitted by the vehicle as originally manufactured.
 (b) No person shall operate a motor vehicle upon the highways of the state with an exhaust system or noise-abatement device so modified.

Georgia

Official Code of Georgia
 
§ 40-8-71.  Exhaust system; prevention of noise, smoke, and fumes
 
(a) Every motor vehicle shall at all times be equipped with an exhaust system, in good working order and in constant operation, meeting the following specifications:

   (1) The exhaust system shall include the piping leading from the flange of the exhaust manifold to and including the muffler or mufflers and tail pipes;

   (2) The use of flexible pipe shall be prohibited except on diesel tractors or according to manufacturers' original specifications;

   (3) The exhaust emission point shall extend beyond the rear or outside of the passenger compartment. The trunk shall be considered as part of the passenger compartment;

   (4) The exhaust system and its elements shall be securely fastened, including the consideration of missing or broken hangers; and

   (5) There shall be no part of the exhaust system passing through the passenger compartment or any exposed stack so located that any individual entering or leaving the vehicle may be burned.

(b) The engine and power mechanism of every motor vehicle shall be so equipped and adjusted as to prevent the escape of excessive fumes or smoke.

(c) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or offer for sale any muffler which causes excessive or unusual noise or annoying smoke or any muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device for use on a motor vehicle or for any person to use, to sell, or to offer for sale any motor vehicle equipped with any such muffler, muffler cutout, bypass, or similar device. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Hawaii

Hawaii Revised Statutes
 
§ 291-24.5. Motor vehicle muffler.
 
(a) No person shall use on a public highway, sell, alter or install a muffler which will noticeably increase the noise emitted by a motor vehicle above that emitted by the vehicle as equipped from the factory.

(b) Any violation of this section shall constitute a violation and shall be enforceable by police officers. The fine for this violation shall be not less than $25 nor more than $250 for each separate offense. Any person who violates the provisions of this section may be issued a summons or citation for such violation.