License tag frames/coverings. Any tinted covering
over the tag itself is off limits on public roads. Even crystal-clear
covers are not allowed under state statute. Lights on tag frames
are a separate problem: If the light is any color other than red,
it’s illegal on the street. And if that light causes glare
that makes the tag more difficult to read, it’s illegal
lights. The only flashing lights of any kind that are
legal on the street are turn signals and appropriate emergency
flashers. “Chasers” and other flashing or blinking
lights are not legal anywhere on a car – inside or out.
and tail light covers. If these change the color of the
headlight or taillight, don’t use them on the street. Taillights
are required to be clearly visible from a distance of 1,000 feet.
For headlights, any cover that “alters the headlamp’s
visibility” is illegal. High beams must clearly illuminate
persons or objects at least 450 feet away; low beams must do that
for a minimum of 150 feet.
of lights. For obvious reasons, it is important for everybody
to know immediately if they’re looking at the front or the
back of your vehicle. Therefore, red is required for the rear
and it must not be visible from any other direction. Rear marker
lights must be red; front marker lights and turn signals must
be amber. The only non-red lights that may ever be seen from the
rear are turn signals, which can be either red or amber; white
back up lights; and the white light that illuminates the tag.
Only law enforcement vehicles may use blue lights of any kind.
Under the car lights. The same rules apply, meaning
they can’t be blue, red, or amber. They also can’t
blink or flash.
enforcement officers are frequently asked, “How can these
things be illegal? They sell them at reputable stores.” The
answer is, they’re not illegal in the sense that crack cocaine
is illegal – they’re just not legal to use on public
The lesson is this: Read the small print for statements such as
“may not be legal for street use”, “for show and
off-road use only”, or “check local laws before use”.
When in doubt – ask! The CCSO Traffic Unit office can be reached
at 213-6180. Stay safe and stay legal.