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Old 10-19-2008, 03:17 PM   #1
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Lift Laws - State by state

While I was researching the state laws in Minnesota concerning suspension modification and ride height, I found this from MinnesotaMud.com. Might consider making this a sticky...

Please, consult your own state laws regarding suspension modification and ride height when considering lift kits for your Tacoma.

Lift laws
Suspension Lifts, Body Lifts, Ride Height, etc...
What the Heck Is Legal in Your State?
From The December 2000 Issue of Off-Road Magazine BY TORI TELLEM


LET'S KICK THIS OFF BY SAYING THAT finding out what's legal in every state is about as tough as figuring which one of those whiny, rodent gnawing survivors would pocket a million bucks. You want to do right by The Man, but it ain't all that easy to track down the info. Start with the highway patrol and they'll send you to the DMV, who will refer you to the offices of Public Safety, who will recommend that you talk with AAA, who will return you to the highway patrol.

Seriously, there's more passing of the buck in some states than at a banquet at the Sportsman's Lodge. We even had one state's finest tell us he didn't have a clue and we should call a local 4x4 shop. But that's nothing like the one who told us we needed to talk to the attorney general. Right.

We'd like to think your attorney general is far too busy to take calls from Billy Joe Bob about his 4x4.

But despite all that, we still managed to compile the rules of the road. We burned up the phone lines trying to get all this information, but you online users might want to start with Officer.com, which has links to the police and DMV in almost every state (as well as international information), making it a good source for phone numbers and addresses. If you have further questions regarding the laws in your state, the best bet is indeed the highway patrol-but get the answers before you hit the road, not after you've been pulled over.

One thing you should be aware of: All states that base their laws on headlights and taillights take their measurements from the center of the lamp to the terra firma.


Alabama


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.


Alaska


Alaska is another state that bases its laws on lights, and in this case it's the distance from the headlights and taillights to the ground, which is 54 inches max and 24 minimum front and rear. One note: This state requires mudflaps.


Arizona


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, 1/4-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.


Arkansas


There's no law governing suspension upgrades, but there is a statute that restricts the height of 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.


California


What you can do is dependent on the GVWR. If your truck's is 4,500 pounds, the maximum frame height is
27 inches. If 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.


Colorado


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.


Connecticut


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.


Delaware


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.


District of Columbia


The headlamps on every motor vehicle (and that means your motorcycle too if you've got one) must stay below 54 inches, and taillamps must not be higher than 72 inches. The low for the front is 24, and for the rear 15. But we would hope you'd be altering your truck in the other direction.


Florida


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 2,000 but less than 3,000, it's 27 front and 29 rear. And if it hits the scales between 3,000 and 5,000 pounds, it's 28 and 30 inches.


Georgia


If you modify the OE bumper more than 2 inches above (or below, for that matter) the manufacturer's spec, don't be surprised if you're cited.


Hawaii


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.


Idaho


Lift laws here depend on the GVWR. 4,500 pounds or less, the front bumper can be up to 24 inches and the rear 26 inches. For 4,501 to 7,500 pounds, it's 27 inches in front and 29 out back, and for 7,501 to 10,000 pounds, it's 28 and 30 inches. Interestingly enough, 4x4s and dual-wheel trucks with a 10,000-pound or lighter GVWR can have 30inch-tall bumpers up front and 31 in back.


Illinois


You can't lift the body from the chassis more than 3 inches. In terms of bumper height, a 4,500-pound GVWR or less and your front bumper can't go higher than 24 inches, and the rear must be no more than 26 inches. GVWRs between 4,501 and 7,500 mean 27 inches at the front and 29 at the rear. Finally, if your truck is between 7,501 and 9,000, the allowable altering is 28 and 30 inches.


Indiana


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.


Iowa


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 the width can't go beyond 8 feet.


Kansas


There aren't laws specifically about the suspension, but rather about headlight, taillamp, and reflectors. Headlights should be no higher than 54 inches (no lower than 24 inches), and the taillamps can't reach higher than 72 inches (or below 15). Reflectors must be present front and rear (out back they can be incorporated into the light or stand alone) and can't be higher than 60 inches or lower than 15.


Kentucky


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 mortals would call safe.


Louisiana


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. FYI, foglights can't be higher than 30 inches from the ground.


Maine


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 overload 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.


Maryland


No trucks or multipurpose vehicles with a 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 30, and you'll be ticketed and/or given a Safety Equipment Repair Order (SERO) to fix the violation.


Massachusetts


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
2200


For 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.


Michigan


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, those numbers are 24 and 28 inches. For 7,501- to 10,000-pound vehicles, keep the height at 26 and 30 inches.


Minnesota


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'll have to pay an additional road-use tax and need an inspection where a new VIN would be applied.


Mississippi


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).


Missouri


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 must see no more than 26 inches. For 4,501 to 7,500 pounds, it's 27 inches front and 29 rear, and for 7,501 to 9,000 pounds, it's 28 and 30 inches.


Montana .


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.


Nebraska


There aren't any specific laws concerning lift kits, but mudflaps get all the attention. They must block the entire width of the tires.


Nevada


We'll cut to the chase: The bumper height, be it front or rear, cannot go beyond 24 inches.


New Hampshire


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.


New Jersey


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.


New Mexico


The restrictions this state has are that headlamps can't be higher than 54 inches, and taillamps can't be higher than 72 inches. However, it's no-holds-barred on the type of Iift used.


Now York


AII 1990-and-newer 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 than 54 inches above the cement, and taillights can't be higher than 72 inches. Turn-signal lights can't exceed 83 inches.


North Carolina


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 yours is a multipurpose ride atop a truck chassis that sees some dirt.


North Dakota


A height of 14 feet, loaded or unloaded, is the limit. Keep in mind that if your tires poke out from the body, you're best advised to stick on fender flares to keep the police at bay.


Ohio


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 at the rear, and 4,501 to 7,500 is 27 to 29. For 7,501 to 10,000, it's 28 and 31 inches. If the body or truck-bed height is altered, the difference in height between the body floor and/or the bed floor to the top of the framerail can be no more than 4 inches.


Oklahoma


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.


Oregon


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.


Pennsylvania


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.


Rhode Island


For all vehicles with a 10,000-pound GVWR or less, you can raise the chassis or body no more than 4 inches from the OE height.


South Carolina


You can't modify either up or down by more than 6 inches from the original height.


South Dakota


There aren't regulations for the suspension, per se, but the taillights can be no higher than 72 inches.


Tennessee


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.


Texas


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, and the foglamps between 12 and 30.


Utah


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:


Maximum Lift =


Wheelbase x Wheel Track
2200


For 4x4 wheelbases beyond 100 inches, you can lift a total of 8 inches, butyou'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).


Vermont


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 under, it's 24 inches front and 26 inches rear. For 4,501 to 7,500, it's 27 and 29, and for 7,501 to 10,000, it's 28 and 31.


Virginia


Don't even think about driving on these highways if there are more than 28 inches between the bumpers and the road if your truck falls in the 4,500-pound GVWR rating. For 4,501 to 7,500 pounds, the front bumper must stay lower than 29 inches and the rear 30 inches; for 7,501 and 15,000 pounds, it's 30 at the front and 31 at the rear.


Washington


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.


West Virginia


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.


Wisconsin


Wisconsin law says that vehicles with up to an 8,000-pound GVWR can be pushed 5 inches above the OE height, and the tires can be increased by up to 4 inches in radius over the factory size, equaling an acceptable 9-inch lift.


Wyoming


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.
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:27 PM   #2
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For south carolina...that law only applies to cars...pick up trucks are considered exempt

also...center of headlights must be between 24" and 54" from the ground and the taillights no higher than 60"
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:21 PM   #3
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Jason -

Excellent post! I am glad I live in NM where just about anything goes. On second thought, I like the Nebraska law requiring mudflaps that cover the entire tire width. Cracked windshields are pretty much a fact of life here.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:13 AM   #4
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Great list! Actually Maine won't let you go any larger on the tire size than what is on your inner door sticker...trust me...found out the hard way.
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:16 AM   #5
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Good list i guess if there is some more to add to your state jason can edit?
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Old 10-20-2008, 08:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by socalman22 View Post
Good list i guess if there is some more to add to your state jason can edit?
Sure. As long as you get the information directly from your state's traffic regulations. None of this "my brother-in-laws, sisters, rocker boyfriend said...". I say this because I've gotten a lot of different information from people around here that was different from what is in the actual traffic code.
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Old 10-20-2008, 10:16 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason_Wilkerson View Post
Sure. As long as you get the information directly from your state's traffic regulations. None of this "my brother-in-laws, sisters, rocker boyfriend said...". I say this because I've gotten a lot of different information from people around here that was different from what is in the actual traffic code.
+1- Most states have online listings for their state statues- So hit the internet running and find the answers you need. It's a lot cleaner that way- Takes a bit more work- but it's less tickets in the end.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrunesDoesTRD View Post
+1- Most states have online listings for their state statues- So hit the internet running and find the answers you need. It's a lot cleaner that way- Takes a bit more work- but it's less tickets in the end.

its not even that hard really

just google *insert state name here* code of laws and look for the vehicle statutes and you should be able to walk right to it
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Old 11-07-2008, 08:15 AM   #9
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nice thread. here in so cal they dont really enforce any of whats lifted above. i mean theres some ridiculous stuff out there too. my buddy has a 06 chevy silverado dbl cab with 14" suspension lift and on 38" superswampers. no tickets
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Old 11-07-2008, 08:23 AM   #10
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Regarding the NJ stability test, I've never had it performed but I hear it includes a waver absolving the state and test facility of responsibility in case the truck rolls.

The test itself is supposedly pretty reasonable in terms of suspension flex and center of gravity. Basically keeps the inherently-tippy trucks off the road.
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Old 11-07-2008, 08:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dabighi View Post
nice thread. here in so cal they dont really enforce any of whats lifted above. i mean theres some ridiculous stuff out there too. my buddy has a 06 chevy silverado dbl cab with 14" suspension lift and on 38" superswampers. no tickets
I'm sure most states are like that as well - better things to do that stop someone that's 1" over the height limit...

But I'm new to Minnesota and just don't know the local customs yet, so I thought I'd obey - at least for a little while...
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjp2 View Post
Regarding the NJ stability test, I've never had it performed but I hear it includes a waver absolving the state and test facility of responsibility in case the truck rolls.

The test itself is supposedly pretty reasonable in terms of suspension flex and center of gravity. Basically keeps the inherently-tippy trucks off the road.
i've done the test on my 88.not to bad of a test. you are only allowed 9" over stock with max tire size of 38"s
they weigh the truck on 4 scales. make you drive the passenger side on a wall 18" high(if i recall).tires cant stick out. dont recall headlight height,(depending on weight of truck),bumper height. there are laws for lowering your truck as well
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:49 AM   #14
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Good to Know
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Old 11-16-2008, 10:58 AM   #15
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alot of pansy lift law'ed states out there...sheesh man.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:53 PM   #16
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I would like to add to the Oregon laws. I was given a written warning for not having mud flaps on my truck. Mud flaps are required if your vehicle has 24" or more of lift from the bottom of the body to the ground.

I drove my truck all over w/out mud flaps and i was caught by the new guy from Reno, Nv. It may have just been this guys opinion seeing as how all the other cops i know are cool with my lift.
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Old 04-14-2009, 08:12 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LonghornTaco View Post

Rhode Island

For all vehicles with a 10,000-pound GVWR or less, you can raise the chassis or body no more than 4 inches from the OE height.
Also the tires can't stick out more than half an inch from the fenders.
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Old 05-10-2009, 03:36 PM   #19
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Helps out on how high i can go. Although I've seen lifts here in san antonio a hell of a lot higher than the law says. HAHAHHAHA
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:28 PM   #20
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Here in Florida I see a LOT of Ginormous trucks lifted up WAY higher that it says in the OP. I don't think they care down here about lift to be honest. Unless the cop is having a really bad day....
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