|November 2nd, 2007, 09:56 PM||#1|
81 inches of fun
Join Date: 11-10-05
Location: Lennon, Mi
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Lift Laws by state...
This is a great summary put together by Sport Truck magazine...
During the course of our in-depth research, we found that no two states are alike, with regard to enforcing equipment and modification violations. Some laws even vary from county to county within each state. We also discovered there is not always a direct way to find this information, without talking to five, sometimes eight, different people before we get the "I'm not sure who you want to talk to" answer.
What we do know is that police officials have confirmed that if you are driving erratically, whether you are piloting a lifted truck or not, you're probably going to get stopped. Your behavior during the stop will most likely determine what the officer will want to look for and whether or not you'll be hassled. In other words, having a lifted truck is cool. However, acting like a fool is not, and if you're not fond of your state's laws, have your attorney on speed dial or move.
Lifted or slammed, we have all been stopped at some point by Johnny Law. Some of youfortunate readers have gotten off easy with a warning, and some of you less fortunate readers have probably had worse things happen. Finding what is legal in your state can be complicated, and one thing that all states seem to have in common is a focus on safety. Safety on the road is the foremost issue concerning all vehicles, especially in densely populated states where thousands of cars and trucks are on the road at the same time.
So, if you're going to modify your truck, use this guide as a gateway to educating yourself regarding your local laws. But, you can also find out more information via the internet or call your local law enforcement department. One thing you should be aware of is that most states base their laws on how high or low your truck is, as measured from the headlights and taillights. Officers take their measurements from the center of the lamp to the ground, to determine whether or not your truck is in compliance.
NOTE: The following is subject to change. It is your responsibility to stay informed as to what is legal in your state. If unsure about whether or not a certain modification is legal or not, ask the cop as they write you the ticket.
There aren't codes dealing specifically with the suspension components; rather, you'll have to base your mods on the reflectors. They can't be more than 60 inches above the ground. Alabama's main concern is with the lights. You can have your truck almost any height, but you must have the lights to identify that height. Underbody light kits are illegal, and if your truck is more than 80 inches in width, you must have the reflector lamps for that. One thing we did find out is that if your vehicle is a sponsored vehicle and you intend to drive it on public roads, you are considereda commercial vehicle and must adhere to all rules and regulations of a commercial vehicle. Fines for violating these rules vary from county to county. We encourage you check your county's law before going buck wild on building a truck. Check out Alabama's website for more information at www.dps.state.al.us/mc.
Alaska is another state that bases its laws on lights, but it's the distance from the headlights and taillights to the ground, which can be 54 inches maximum and 24 inches minimum, front and rear. One thing to note is this state requires mudflaps. Upon talking with P.R. Rep. Greg Wilkinson, we found out that more information is available from the Alaska Legal Resource Center, under Title AAC 04.005, Disconnection or Alteration of Equipment. If you do get a ticket, the cost can be as much as $300, and the timeline to fix your vehicle is up to the officer issuing the ticket. We also found out that Alaska has more broken windshields than almost every other state, mostly due to the many gravel roads with heavy traffic. For more information, check out Alaska's website at www.alaska.gov.
It's all about mudflaps. The rear fender's splashguards can't be more than 8 inches from the ground and must be wide enough, of course, to actually cover the full tread of the tires. However, 3/4-ton or lighter pickups are exempt, unless you've increased the OE bumper height. So, in other words, lift it, and you're stuck following the mudflap rules. Leave your pickup stock, and you can skip the flaps. Also, keep in mind that, empty or loaded, your truck can't be taller than 13 feet, 6 inches. For more information, check out www.arizona.gov.
There's no law governing suspension upgrades, but there is a statute that restricts the height of the headlights. They can't be lower than 24 inches or higher than 54 inches from the ground. However, the overall height restriction is 13 feet, 6 inches, without permit, thereby limiting all those dreams you just had. For more information, check out www.arkansas.gov.
What you can do is dependent on the GVWR. If your truck weighs 4,500 pounds, the maximum frame height is 27 inches. It the GVWR is 4,501 to 7,500 pounds, it's 30 inches, and for 7,501- to 10,000-pounders, it's 31 inches. Also, keep in mind that the lowest portion of the body floor can't be more than 5 inches above the top of the frame. Upon our investigation, the vehicle laws were really thorough. To get a complete understanding of the law, we recommend going to the Official California Legislative Information website. Click California Law and you will be directed to all the rules and regulations for vehicles. Upon viewing this site, it seems like there is a rule for every vehicle in California. If you have a couple of hours to kill, it could be fun reading. For more information, check out www.california.gov.
No altering from the OE design is allowed. Psych! It's not allowed, unless you follow the rules: Headlights can't be more than 44 inches high, while taillights reach their legal limit at 72 inches. This is one state where we actually had a chance to talk to a state trooper who was a truck guy; he drives a Ford F-450 and was very informative. As with most states, the lift law says that almost any alteration of the suspension of a vehicle is illegal but not heavily enforced. What is enforced and a constant threat is unsafe vehicles and unsafe driving. If an officer determines that your truck is unsafe, in some cases, it can be impounded, with the court making the decision for how long. You can find more information on these websites: www.leg.state.co.us and www.colorado.gov.
Modifying the factory bumper height is OK, as long as you keep it at 30 inches from the ground, or lift the vehicle no more than 4 inches. For more information, check out www.connecticut.gov.
Short and sweet, without legal-eagle mumbo-jumbo: Don't let more than 30 inches get between the ground and the bottom of the bumper. Otherwise, there's not much information available. We also spoke to a state trooper, who told us they really don't have that many lifted trucks in Delaware to really see it as a problem. So, there you have it, Delaware truck fans. But, to be sure, contact the Public Relations department, (800) 652-5600, or go to the website at www.delaware.gov.
If your truck's net weight is less than 2,000 pounds, the max bumper height is 24 inches front and 26 inches rear. If it's more than 2,000 but less than 3,000 pounds, its max bumper height is 27 inches front and 29 inches rear. And if it hits the scales between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds, it's 28 inches front and 30 inches rear. For more information, check out www.florida.gov.
If you modify the OE bumper more than 2 inches above (or below, for that matter) the manufacturer's specs, don't be surprised if you're cited. For more information, check out www.georgia.gov.
Hawaii also determines what's OK based on the GVWR. If your truck is 4,500 pounds or less, the front and rear bumpers' maximum height is 29 inches. If you're looking at 4,501 to 7,500 pounds, it's 33 inches for both. And 7,501 to 10,000 pounds? Don't make it higher than 35 inches at either end. Also, be aware that the allowable distance between the body and the framerail tops off at 3 inches. For more information, check out www.hawaii.gov.
Lift laws here depend on the GVWR. At 4,500 pounds or less, the front bumper can be as high as 24 inches and the rear can be as high as 26 inches. For 4,501 to 7,500 pounds, it's 27 inches in front and 29 inches out back. For 7,501 to 10,000 pounds, it's 28 inches in front and 30 inches in back. Interestingly, 4x4s and dualies with a 10,000 pound or lighter GVWR can have 30-inch-tall bumpers up front and 31-inch-tall bumpers in back.
You can't lift the body from the chassis more than 3 inches. In terms of bumper height, a GVWR of 4,500 pounds or less and your front bumper can't go higher than 24 inches. GVWRs between 4,501 and 7,500 pounds determine the maximum height of 27 inches at the front and 29 inches at the rear. Finally, if your truck is between 7,501 and 9,000 pounds, the allowable alteration is a maximum height of 28 inches in front and 30 inches in back.
Simply put, that bumper needs to stay within 3 inches of the factory height. Keep those headlights at 54 inches, while you're at it.
We've been told that Iowa has repealed requirements concerning lifted 4x4s. For now, that means the general height, weight, and width requirements that apply to all other vehicles in the state apply to your four-by. Translation: The height cannot exceed 13 feet, 6 inches, and width can't go beyond 8 feet.
There aren't laws specifically about the suspension, but rather about headlights, taillamps, and reflectors. Headlights should be no higher than 54 inches and no lower than 24 inches, and the taillamps can't reach higher than 72 inches or below 15 inches. Reflectors must be present, front and rear; in back, they can be incorporated into the light or stand alone and can't be higher than 60 inches or lower than 15 inches. For more information, check out www.kansas.gov.
Currently, there are no restrictions in terms of bumper height. The Kentucky General Assembly has addressed the issue before, but, lo and behold, no one could agree on anything. Just keep it at what most would call safe. For more information, check out www.kentucky.gov.
It's a headlight state. No matter what kind of motor vehicle you drive, the lights can't be higher than 54 inches. Alter the suspension however you deem fit, as long as the lights are up to code. Foglights can't be higher than 30 inches from the ground. For more information, check out www.louisiana.gov.
Headlights: Don't even think about going higher than 54 inches. However, keep in mind that the original suspension cannot be "disconnected," but don't let that stop you from bolting on heavy-duty shocks and over-load springs. Other need-to-knows: Don't remove or disconnect the ABS, and the tires can be only two sizes larger than the manufacturer's recommendation. Spring-shackle extensions are also a no-no. For more information, check out www.maine.gov.
No trucks or multipurpose vehicles with GVWR of 10,000 pounds or less can be taller than 28 inches. A truck beyond 10,000 pounds-but not more than 18,000 pounds-can go beyond 30 inches (you Excursion owners just made it into that first grouping under the wire). Lift more than those 30s, and you'll be ticketed or given a Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO) to fix the violation. For more information, check out www.maryland.gov.
Get out your calculator: The maximum allowable mechanical lift (as well as what's acceptable in terms of bigger rubber) can be determined by this formula:Maximum Lift = Wheelbase x Wheel Track / 2,200For example, if you did that formula and came up with 2 inches, then a 2-inch lift and a 2-inch increase in tire size is allowable, equaling a total lift of 4 inches over stock. For more information, check out www.massachusetts.gov.
Lift blocks between the front axle and springs or lift blocks that exceed 4 inches in height between the rear axle and springs are not allowed. Shackle replacements cannot exceed the OE length by more than 2 inches, and ixnay on the coil-spring spacers. In terms of acceptable height, less than 4,501 GVWR, and your frame height cannot exceed 24 inches, and the bumper height can't go beyond 26 inches. For GVWRs between 4,501 and 7,500, your frame heightcan't exceed 24 inches and the bumper height can't be greater than 28 inches. For 7,501- to 10,000-pound vehicles, keep the height at 26 inches for the frame and 30 inches for the bumpers. For more information, check out www.michigan.gov.
The maximum legal height for bumpers is 25 inches from the bottom of the bumper to the ground. If you attach something to the bumper to make it conform to the legal height, it must be just as strong as the factory bumper or meet SAE standards. Simply bolting on pieces of wood or metal isn't gonna cut it, folks. If you slap on a lift kit, you might actually be required to register your truck as a "reconstructed" vehicle, and that would mean you'd have to pay an additional road-use tax and need an inspection where a new VIN would be applied. For more information, check out www.minnesota.gov.
No vehicle can be modified in any way that will put it over the state's 8-inch total lift limit, and the maximum suspension lift front and rear is 6 inches, so make sure your big tires won't be over the limit if you raise the suspension that much. For more information, check out www.mississippi.gov.
Here's another state that uses the GVWR as the bumper height guideline. For vehicles 4,500 pounds and under, the front bumper can't be taller than 24 inches, and the rear bumper must see no more than 26 inches. For 4,501 to 7,500 pounds, it's 27 inches front and 29 inches rear. For 7,501 to 9,000 pounds, it's 28 inches front and 30 inches rear. For more information, check out www.missouri.gov.
No laws here, but your truck will need to meet the lighting requirement, which is that headlights are no higher than 72 inches or lower than 15 inches. For more information, check out www.montana.gov.
There aren't any specific laws concerning lift kits, but mudflaps get all the attention. They must block the entire width of the tires. For more information, check out www.nebraska.gov.
This state has some cool gambling laws and you may be gambling if you violate Nevada's lift laws, so check this out: Rule: NRS 484.7385 Height of vehicle: Maximum ground clearance; exception. 1. A motor vehicle must not be operated on any highway of this state, if the lowest portion of its body, as measured from the surface on which the vehicle stands, exceeds for passenger cars, 24 inches, and for a truck or other motor vehicle having manufacturer's gross weight rating. A. Of 4,500 pounds or less, 28 inches. B. Of more than 4,500 pounds but less than 7,501 pounds, 30 inches. C. Of 7,501 pounds but less than 10,001 pounds, 32 inches. 2. The measurement taken to determine compliance with this section must be taken from level ground to a portion of the body or parts attached to the body, which have not been added or altered from the manufacturer's original body design. For more information, check out www.nevada.gov.
No vehicle's height (and we're talking loaded too) may be taller than 13 feet, 6 inches. Don't change the height or alter the bumper in any way that would make it farther than 20 inches from the ground. For more information, check out www.newhampshire.gov.
You can raise the suspension only 4 inches above stock height. Go any higher and your truck becomes classified as a "High Rise" and it must undergo a stability test at a state facility. For more information, check out www.newjersey.gov.
The restrictions this state has are that headlamps can't be higher than 54 inches, and taillights can't be higher than 72 inches. However, it's no-holds-barred on the type oflift used. For more information, check out www.newmexico.gov.
All '90-and-later commercial vehicles and trucks can't go crazy and get that bumper above 24 inches from the ground. Also, keep in mind that headlights must not be more than54 inches above the cement, and taillights can't be higher than 72 inches. Turn signal lights can't exceed 83 inches. Since lifted trucks aren't really in abundance in New York, the state police informed us that they mostly look for drivers that are in violation of traffic laws rather than height of the vehicle. If you want a more in-depth look, go to the website. You will find more information regarding terrorism than vehicle height, which is understandable. For more information, check out www.newyork.gov.
Don't even think about going higher than 6 inches from the factory height-unless, of course, you get a written OK from the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles. You don't need a permission slip, if your vehicle is a multipurpose ride, atop a truck chassis that sees some dirt. For more information, check out www.northcarolina.gov.
A height of 14 feet, loaded or unloaded, is the limit. Keep in mind that if you're tires poke out from the body, you're best advised to stick on fender flares to keep the police at bay. For more information, check out www.northdakota.gov.
This state keeps an eye on the GVWR for bumper height. For 4,500 pounds and under, 24 inches is the max at the front, 26 inches at the rear, and 4,501 to 7,500 pounds allows a max of 27 inches in front to 29 inches at the rear. For 7,501 to 10,000, it's 28 inches in front and 31 inches at the rear. If the body or truck bed height is altered, the difference in height between the body floor and the bed floor to the top of the framerail can be no more than 4 inches. For more information, check out www.ohio.gov.
Before you pick out that lift kit, keep in mind that headlights can be no more than 54 inches from the ground, and the taillights can't exceed 72 inches. For more information, check out www.oklahoma.gov.
Oregon doesn't have a maximum bumper height law, but headlights can be only 54 inches from the center of the headlight to the asphalt. Also, the maximum height of a vehicle, with anything on top or loaded, is 14 feet. For more information, check out www.oregon.gov.
Be aware that increasing the wheel track by using spacers or similar doodads thicker than 1/4 inch is a very bad move. On medium- and heavy-duty trucks, the rear bumper must be within 30 inches of the ground when the truck is unloaded. For more information, check out www.pennsylvania.gov.
For all vehicles with a 10,000-pound or less GVWR, you can raise the chassis or body, no more than 4 inches from the OE height. For more information, check out www.rhodeisland.gov.
You can't modify either up or down by more than 6 inches from the original height. For more information, check out www.southcarolina.gov.
There aren't regulations for the suspension, per se, but the taillights can be no higher than 72 inches. For more information, check out www.southdakota.gov.
There can be no more than 4 inches between the body floor and the top of the frame. The distance between the bumper and the ground is 24 inches for GVWRs of 4,500 and less; 26 inches for 4,501 to 7,500; and 28 inches for 7,501 to 10,000. For more information, check out www.tennesee.gov.
Laws concern lighting but not bumper height or even lift blocks. The headlamps must be mounted between 24 and 54 inches from the ground, the taillamps between 15 and 72 inches, and the foglamps between 12 and 30 inches. For more information, check out www.texas.gov.
After being told it's a "mathematical nightmare" to figure out by one local trooper, we got the scoop from another trooper. If your vehicle's wheelbase is 100 inches or less, the most you can lift can be determined by this equation:Maximum Lift = Wheelbase x Wheel Track / 2,200. For 4x4 wheelbases beyond 100 inches, you can lift a total of 8 inches, but you'll have to remember your new tires do that equation (so if you lift 4 inches, you can go up in tire size that much too). For more information, check out www.utah.gov.
For trucks and multipurpose vehicles, the allowable bumper height increase for front bumpers and rear bumpers depends on the GVWR. For 4,500 pounds and less, it's 24 inches front and 26 inches rear. For 4,501 to 7,500, it's 27 inches front and 29 inches rear, and for the 7,501 to 10,000, it's 28 inches front and 31 inches rear. For more information, check out www.vermont.gov.
Don't even think about driving on these highways, if there are more than 28 inches between the bumpers and the road and if your truck falls in the 4,500-pound GVWR. For 4,501 to 7,500 pounds, the front bumper must stay lower than 29 inches and 30 inches at the rear; for 7,501 and 15,000 pounds, it's 30 inches at the front and 31 inches at the rear. For more information, check out www.virginia.gov.
You can lift your truck in Washington without fear, as long as the kit is manufactured by an aftermarket company and is designed for your make and model of truck, as well as installed the right way. You know this already, right? Right? Body lifts can't use more than a 3-inch spacer and are not allowed to raise the body more than 4 inches above the frame, after all the components are installed. For more information, check out www.washington.gov.
The headlamps on every motor vehicle (and that means your motorcycle too, if you have one) must stay below 54 inches, and each taillamp must not be higher than 72 inches. The low for the front is 24 inches, and for the rear it's 15 inches. But, we would hope you'd be altering your truck in the other direction. For more information, check out www.districtofcolumbia.gov.
The most space you can have between the body and the frame is 3 inches, while the acceptable gap between the bumpers and the ground is 31 inches for a 10,000-pound GVWR or less.More weight than that, you're free and clear. For more information, check out www.westvirgina.gov.
Wisconsin law says that vehicles with as much as an 8,000-pound GVWR can be pushed 5 inches above the OE height, and the tires can be increased by as much as 4 inches in radius over the factory size, equaling an acceptable 9-inch lift. For more information, check out www.wisconsin.gov.
There are no official statutory guidelines for bumper height, frame height, rear blocks, or shackle lifts-all laws referring to these alterations say vehicles must simply be in "safe" working condition. For more information, check out www.wyoming.gov.
-- summary borrowed from Sport truck magazine
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