8 Illegal Car Modifications In Texas (Updated For 2022)

Many people are curious if cold air intake is illegal in Texas. Modifications on every vehicle are already a part of integral parts of the vehicle’s culture. It is no wonder that car drivers would want to modify their vehicles. 

After all, one would wish for an upgrade on their vehicle. Modifications of the vehicle are prevalent, but it does not mean that all of them are legal. And so, if you are planning to do modifications to your vehicle, you have to consider if such modifications are legal or illegal in your state. 

People would want to modify their vehicles. Of course, they would aim for improvement and upgrading and have better performance. However, it is not that simple.

Every state has its illegal modifications, and you should follow these rules. If you are currently living in Texas today, or you might be planning to move into the state of Texas, then you will have to follow a lot of rules and laws for that specific place. 

And you have to follow those laws, and you have to make sure that the modifications on your vehicle are legal in every state. But unfortunately, some car modifications are illegal in Texas. 

Let us learn more about illegal car modifications in Texas. Let us get started.

Illegal Car Modifications In Texas

Illegal Car Mods In Texas

It is best to know the lists of illegal car modifications in Texas. Here are all the illegal car mods in Texas. 

1. Sounds and Noises

Texas has regulations that will limit the sound levels that your car can make. Texas requires all cars to follow the specific sound requirements to ensure that they are not significantly loud if it is on the roadways. Therefore, these regulations will include both the muffler and the sound system.

2. Sound System

The sound level coming from a vehicle stereo system must not exceed sixty-eight decibels within fifteen feet of the vehicle. The violations are considered a misdemeanor and can be punished by a fine of fifty dollars to one thousand dollars. 

This is the first offense. The fines can be one hundred dollars to two thousand dollars for each subsequent offense. 

3. Muffler

The mufflers are mandated for all vehicles, and they must prevent unusual or excessive noise. The muffles are required to work correctly, and the flexible pipes are only allowed if they will be used by the manufacturer of the vehicle or on diesel tractors. 

In addition, the mufflers must extend beyond the outside or the rear of the vehicle, and mufflers are not allied with excessive or annoying sounds. Mufflers with bypasses or cutouts are not permitted. You must always check with your local county laws in Texas, and you have to make sure that you are following any municipal noise ordinances that are more stringent than state-level laws.

4. Frame and Suspension

In terms of frame and suspension, Texas does not limit the frame, the bumper, or the suspension lift heights. However, the vehicle can be no taller than 13 feet six inches.

5. Engine

There are no regulations mentioned about engine modifications, and swaps by many areas in Texas will require emission testing.

6. Lighting and Windows

All the bulbs must have an SAE or a DOT stamp, and red bulbs are currently not DOT approved. Off-road and show-only equipment is not permitted to use on roadways. 

The stop lamps and the tail lamps must emit an amber or red color. An illuminated license plate frame, including neon colors, is not permitted.

7. Window Tinting

The non-reflective tint is permitted on the windshield above the AS-1 lies from the manufacturer or along the top of the five inches. The front side and the back side window must be allowed over twenty-five percent of light to pass through, and the rear window tint can be any darkness. 

The side mirrors are required with a rear window tint, and the tint on the front side and the backside windows must not be over twenty-five percent reflective. In addition, the sticker identifying legal tint levels is required on the driver-side window between the glass and the film.

8. Antique Classic Car Modifications

Texas offers a lot of different antique and classic car plates. The vehicle must be over twenty-five years old, and the vehicle is not required to pass annual inspections. 

In the classic, the vehicles must be able to pass an annual safety inspection. In addition, there are specific criteria like the seatbelts that will determine if they are included originally by the manufacturer.

Is All Car Modding Illegal In Texas?

No, not all vehicle modifications are considered illegal in Texas. There are modifications that you can do and not interfere with the laws of Texas. You just have to identify the legal modifications and illegal modifications.


In summary, Texas has stringent laws regarding the modification of vehicles. This has something to do with the state’s high number of street racers. 

A vehicle modification will not cause a problem in the law of Texas, well, some of them, but you must follow the regulations.



Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more