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New York Street Legal Laws

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North Carolina Lift Laws and Vehicle Equipment Laws


North Carolina has very few street legal laws and, luckily, none of them restrict suspension lifts, body lifts, frame height, or bumper height. This means that in North Carolina it is perfectly legal to install suspension lift kits, aftermarket wheels and tires, performance shocks, aftermarket bumpers, and grille guards.






Governing Laws

Code

The North Carolina General Statutes (NCGS) cover the street legal laws for the state.

NCGS Ch. 20






Vehicle Dimensions

Dimensions

Vehicle size in North Carolina cannot exceed 102 inches wide, 13 feet 6 inches tall, or 40 feet long for a single vehicle.

NCGS 20-116






Tire Restrictions

Tires

North Carolina requires that tires be in safe operating condition without any bulges or exposed cords. The minimum allowed tire tread depth is 1/16 inch. It is unknown if tires are allowed to be re-grooved.

NCGS 20-122






Wheel Restrictions

Wheels

The North Carolina statutes make no reference to wheels.






Braking Requirements

Brakes

Vehicles driven in North Carolina are required to have brakes capable of stopping the vehicle from a speed of 20 mph within 30 feet. A secondary, mechanical, parking brake is required.

NCGS 20-124






Steering Laws

Steering

North Carolina's only requirement for a vehicle's steering system is that is be safe.

NCGS 20-123.1






Suspension Laws

Suspension

There are no suspension modification laws in North Carolina for trucks or multi-purpose vehicles with special features for occasional off-road use. Passenger vehicles cannot be lifted or lowered more than 6 inches without the written approval of the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles.

NCGS 20-135.4






Frame Requirements

Frame

North Carolina does not have a vehicle frame height limit.






Bumper Restrictions

Bumpers

There are no bumper laws in North Carolina.






Fender Requirements

Fenders

It is not clear if fenders or mud flaps are required in North Carolina.






Lighting Requirements

Lights

In addition to headlights and tail lights, vehicles in North Carolina are allowed to have a pair of auxiliary lights installed.


Light

Number

Min. Height

Max. Height

Headlights

2 min.

n/a

42 Inches

Tail lights

2 min.

n/a

n/a


Spot lights

2 max.

n/a

n/a

Aux. driving lights

n/a

n/a


( Height measured to the center of the light. )



NCGS 20-129
NCGS 20-130
NCGS 20-131






Window Laws

Windows

The North Carolina code does not specifically state that windshields are required, although, vehicles with windshields are required to have windshield wipers.

NCGS 20-127






Exhaust Requirements

Exhaust

In North Carolina, vehicles are required to have mufflers. Exhaust cutouts and bypasses are prohibited.

NCGS 20-128






Engine Swap Rules

Engine

It is unknown if North Carolina has any engine swap or engine performance modification rules.






Emissions Testing

Emissions

North Carolina currently requires safety inspections. Emissions testing is also required on vehicles that are model year 1996 or newer.
(Historic vehicles are exempt from safety inspections.)

NCGS 20-183.2

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