New York Street Legal Laws

North Dakota Street Legal Laws

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


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

NCGS Ch. 20

Vehicle 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


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


The North Carolina statutes make no reference to wheels.

Braking Requirements


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


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

NCGS 20-123.1

Suspension Laws


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


North Carolina does not have a vehicle frame height limit.

Bumper Restrictions


There are no bumper laws in North Carolina.

Fender Requirements


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

Lighting Requirements


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



Min. Height

Max. Height


2 min.


42 Inches

Tail lights

2 min.



Spot lights

2 max.



Aux. driving lights



( Height measured to the center of the light. )

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

Window Laws


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


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

NCGS 20-128

Engine Swap Rules


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

Emissions Testing


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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