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Vehicle & Driver · Passenger Vehicle Equipment

This page will provide you with rules and regulations governing after market equipment on vehicles.

For more information and details on these laws, please see our printable brochure.

For information on the types of vehicles and required equipment, see the Vehicle Classifications page.


Fender Flares & Anti-Spray Devices

  • Required - All vehicles, trailers, and semi-trailers must be equipped with fenders, covers, flaps, or splash aprons adequate for minimizing the spray or splash of water and mud to the rear if the vehicle.

    • For passenger cars, motorcycles, mopeds, trailers, and semi-trailers, all such devices shall be as wide as the tires behind which they are mounted, and extend down to at least the center of the axle. (See required equipment for exceptions)

    • For a converted off-road motorcycle, all such devices shall be as wide as the tires behind which they are mounted and extend down at least ½ way to the center of the axle. (NOTE: an off-road motorcycle cannot be converted until after January 1, 2012).
  • Are not included in the total maximum width of 8'6" for motor vehicle.
    See Projections and RCW 46.37.500


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Height Requirements

  • Minimum Height - No part of the vehicle may be lower than the lowermost portion of the rim of any wheel in contact with the roadway. RCW 46.61.680

  • Maximum Heights - *Bumper (4.5" min. width)
    • GVWR 7501 and up = Front 28" & Rear 30"
    • GVWR 4501 - 7,500 = Front 27" & Rear 29"
    • GVWR 4500 and under = Front 24" & Rear 26"
    • Car = Front 22" & Rear 22"

      *(Measured from ground to the bottom of original bumper) WAC 204-10-022

    • Body Lift - 3" maximum spacer, with body not raised more than 4" above frame when installation is complete. WAC 204-10-036


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Projections

  • Wheels - No vehicle may be equipped with wheel nuts, hubcaps, or wheel discs extending outside the body of the vehicle when viewed from directly above which:
    • Incorporate winged projections; or
    • Constitute a hazard to pedestrians and cyclists.
      RCW 46.37.369
  • Body, Fender, and Bumpers - Shall be maintained without protrusions that could be hazardous to pedestrians. Bumpers shall not extend past the original bumper line. RCW 46.37.517

  • Safety Appliances - Such as clearance lights, flexible fender extensions, mud flaps, splash and spray inhibiting devices, and others may not extend more than 3" beyond the extreme limits of the body. RCW 46.44.010

  • Rear Vision Mirror - Shall not extend more than 5" beyond the extreme limits of the body. RCW 46.44.010

  • To the Front - Load shall not extend beyond 3' (Read for exemptions RCW 46.44.034)

  • To the Rear - Load shall not extend more than 15' beyond the center of the last axle. RCW 46.44.034

  • Outside Load Limits - No passenger type vehicle shall be operated with any of the load extending past the fender line on the left side, nor more than 6" past the fender line on the right side of the vehicle. RCW 46.44.060


View Obstruction

(Visors, stickers, hood scoops, mud, and all other after market items.)

  • No items except the hood ornament and windshield wipers, identical to those originally installed by a recognized manufacturer, shall project more than 2" above a line from the top of the steering wheel to the top of the front fenders or hood. WAC 204-10-024

  • No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster, or other non-transparent material upon the front windshield, side wings, or side or rear windows of the vehicle that obstructs the driver's clear view of the highway or intersecting highway. RCW 46.37.410,


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Vehicle Lights

(Color, location, and number)

  • Covers - No additional lamp, reflective device, or other motor vehicle equipment shall be added which impairs the effectiveness of the lamp standard. See individual lamp RCW/WAC Headlamp.

  • Concealment Device - Shall be fully opened in not more than 3 seconds after the actuation of a driver operated control. FMVSS 108 S12.5

  • Front - A maximum of four of the below listed lamps may be on at one time. RCW 46.37.270
    • Head lamps -
    • Must meet requirements outlined in FMVSS 108 and be marked “DOT,” or of ECE regulations and be marked with a circled uppercase E or boxed lowercase e.
    • Each lamp must be equipped with the type of bulb for which it was designed. Note: A halogen headlight cannot be converted to a high intensity discharge (HID) headlight as replacing a halogen bulb with a HID bulb renders the headlamps performance dangerous and noncompliant with applicable regulations
    • Required to be on from a half hour after sunset, to a half hour before sunrise, and at any other times when persons and vehicles are not clearly discernable at 1000 ft. RCW 46.37.020
    • If installed after 1975, not closer than 12" from the centerline of the vehicle, but as far apart as practicable. If customized, then no closer than at the time of manufacture. WAC 204-21-040
      • Located not more than 54", nor less than 24" from the ground to the center of the light. RCW 46.37.040
    • Taillights - Between 15" and 72" off the ground. RCW 46.37.050
    • Rear Reflectors - Two red reflectors are required and must be attached between 15" and 72" off the ground. RCW 46.37.060 & WAC 204-10-060
    • Fog Lamps -
    • Auxiliary Passing Lamps -
    • Between 24" and 42" off the ground. RCW 46.37.180 & WAC 204-21-100 (Shall not be used in lieu of headlamps)
    • Two or less. RCW 46.37.180
    • Auxiliary Driving Lamps -
    • Between 16" and 42" off the ground. RCW 46.37.180 & WAC 204-21-090 (Shall not be used in lieu of headlamps)
    • Two or less. RCW 46.37.180
    • Spot Lamps - Two or less. RCW 46.37.180
  • Side Marker Lamps - Not required on vehicles under 80" in width, but if present must be amber to the front, and red to the rear only. RCW 46.37.210 (46.37.100 if over 80")

  • Rear
    • Tail Lamps - Required to be on from hour after sunset, to hour before sunrise, and at any other times when persons and vehicles are not clearly discernable at 1000 ft. RCW 46.37.020
      • At least two, red in color, visible from 1000 ft. RCW 46.37.050
      • All must be on same level and as widely spaced as possible.RCW 46.37.050
      • On a vehicle 40 or more years old, or vehicles titled as a street rod or custom vehicle, may have a blue or purple insert, not more than one inch in diameter. RCW 46.37.100 and RCW 46.37.5185
    • Brake / Stop Lamps - At least two if assembled after 1964. Red, amber or any shade between, visible from 300'(daylight) after 1/1/1960. RCW 46.37.200

    • Turn Lamps - A total of four, one on each side, front and back, after 1/1/1960. Red, amber or any shade between, red, amber or any shade between, visible from at least 500' (daylight) RCW 46.37.200

    • License Lamp - White in color only, rendering license legible from 50'. RCW 46.37.050

Other After-Market Lighting Devices

  • Neon Lights - After market neon lighting devices may not be used on motor vehicles while they are in motion on public roads. WAC 204-21-230
  • Signs / Message boards - May not be lighted, or electronically powered on any motor vehicle while on the public right-of-way. (Some exemptions apply - see WAC for more details) WAC 204-21-230


Window Tinting / Sunscreening

  • Sunscreening devices are products, permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary, which reduce the adverse effects of the sun. RCW 46.37.430

  • Materials not permitted
    • Mirror finish products
    • Red, Yellow, Gold, or Black material
    • Brushed or sprayed on material. RCW 46.37.430
  • Sunscreening devices and/or recreational products may not be applied to, or suspended between the driver and the windshield, or to the windows to the immediate right and left of the driver. Recreational products may be applied to other windows only if they do not interfere, by their size and/or position with the driver's ability to see other vehicles, persons, and objects. RCW 46.37.430

  • Must have both left and right side-view mirrors if window tinting is applied, allowing a 200' view to the rear. RCW 46.37.430

  • The maximum level of sunscreening material to be applied to any window, except the windshield, shall have a total reflectance of 35% or less, and a light transmittance of 24% or more. RCW 46.37.430

  • Exemption - Doctor's orders. RCW 46.37.430 A greater degree of sunscreening may be applied to the top 6" of the windshield. RCW 46.37.430

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If you are unable to get your questions answered by this Web site, please e-mail them to equipment@wsp.wa.gov.

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