General Question

dingus108's avatar

Is car underglow (neon under lights) illegal in California?

Asked by dingus108 (233points) May 5th, 2008

My friend’s dad is a cop and my friend asked him if it was. I didn’t hear him clearly and was either too lazy to ask again, or just kept forgetting. I have also heard it depends on what color is under the car. Someone please help me clarify this problem.

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21 Answers

cheebdragon's avatar

only if the light is blue or red

Breefield's avatar

Actually, I might be wrong, but I think it’s just blue lights that are illegal.

PupnTaco's avatar

it could qualify as a distraction. If not, it should.

boffin's avatar

All lighting has to be a certain height off the ground…
Check at your local DMV
Blue lights are illegal if visible from the front or rear of the vehicle.

Spargett's avatar

If its California, I’d say what ever you’re wondering about is almost always going to be illegal.

I love this state more than any other in the country, but damn there are alot of rules.

Allie's avatar

Rules are meant to be broken… some of them.

pattyb's avatar

its pretty much illegal to modify an automobile with any kind of lights. Lights are on a car for the obvious, but also for safety. I would have to guess its ok if the car is parked (like for a car show or fair)

pattyb's avatar

oh yeah, its also a cop magnet.

cheebdragon's avatar

If you think California has a lot of rules, visit Arizona and meet sherrif Joe Arpaio.

Spargett's avatar


Hah, I’ve heard of the man. I feel for you. The “good ol’ boy” mentality isn’t fun for anyone, unless you have a gut and a penis.

P.S. Not all cops suck. Just like everyone, there’s nice ones, mean ones, funny ones, etc.

cheebdragon's avatar

I could never live in Arizona again, its too damn hot.
The problem is that even most of the good cops will protect the bad ones by looking the other way. Know what I mean?

ninjaxmarc's avatar

Its illegal because it considered as a distraction to other motorist on the road.

Because they may break their neck trying to identify that UFO your driving.

Response moderated
Jordan12345's avatar

No matter what color it is illegial no matter what! Only use neon in parking lots and private roads!

dingus108's avatar

well, this topic has gotten to be confusing as hell due to the wide variety of answers… Plus I did finally find out from my friend’s dad who is a cop, that they are not illegal… I so I don’t know what to think.. I need to do more research I guess…

Allie's avatar

I live in Northern California and I’ve driven at night and seen cars with chassis lights. I’m guessing this is what you’re talking about. I don’t know if it’s legal or not, I’m just saying I’ve seen them. And if it matters, the ones I saw were green and orange.

cheebdragon's avatar

it is only illegal if the lights are blue or red

hahhaha's avatar

Its only illegal if you can see the actual bulb of the underglow. And it only can be used if the vehicle is not in motion.

Illegal Light colors:

These colors are illegal because these are the colors on emergency vehicles

You will run into many cops with different opinions, just be careful when you turn them on

popo7676's avatar

SECTION 25400–25401

25400. (a) Any vehicle may be equipped with a lamp or device on the
exterior of the vehicle that emits a diffused nonglaring light of
not more than 0.05 candela per square inch of area.
(b) Any diffused nonglaring light shall not display red to the
front, but may display other colors. A diffused nonglaring light
shall not resemble nor be installed within 12 inches or in such
position as to interfere with the visibility or effectiveness of any
required lamp, reflector, or other device upon the vehicle.
(c) A diffused nonglaring lamp or device, other than a display
sign authorized by subdivision (d), shall be limited in size to an
area of 720 square inches and where any lease, rental, or donation is
involved the installation of the lamp or device shall be limited to
those vehicles operated either primarily within business or
residential districts or municipalities, or between business
districts, residential districts, and municipalities in close
(d) An internally illuminated sign emitting not more than 0.25
candela per square inch and possessing copy which does not contain a
white background may be displayed on each side, but not on the front
or rear, of a trolley coach or of a bus being operated in urban or
suburban service as described in Section 35107 of this code.

25401. No diffused nonglaring light on a vehicle shall resemble any
official traffic control device.

MarkySmurf's avatar

I just put Blue Underglow on my vehicle yesterday, and was driving around in Laguna Beach on PCH tonight with them on and was pulled over. I made sure to do some research before i installed the lights and came apon CVC 25400 which has a lot to do with lights on a vehicle. The cop then told me that i was actually in violation of CVC 38346. He didnt write me a ticket and let me go with a warning, but when i got home i wanted to look this code up. It turns out that this code says any OFF-HIGHWAY vehicle cant have blue or red warning lights. In fact, when you look up CVC 38346, the first link is to the CA State Parks website. So, because i was on a public, city street, i do not believe this code applies to my car. I will continue to do some research, but as for now, im driving with them on. I do not believe that there is a CA Vehicle Code that says what i have is illegal. Let me know if anyone else knows something i dont. =]

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