New Hampshire Neon Underglow Laws

Many car enthusiasts are drawn to the idea of installing neon underglow lights to enhance the aesthetics of their vehicles. In the state of New Hampshire, underglow lights can add a touch of style and personality to your ride, but it’s essential to understand the laws and regulations governing their use. This article will provide a comprehensive guide to New Hampshire’s neon underglow laws, including when and how you can use them legally.

Is neon underglow legal in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire law does not explicitly address additional vehicle lighting, such as neon underglow. As a result, our conclusion is that neon underglow is generally not illegal in New Hampshire. However, it is important to adhere to the following restrictions and guidelines to ensure legal use:

  1. Avoid using red, blue, amber, or green lights on your vehicle, as these colors are typically reserved for emergency vehicles and law enforcement.
  2. License plate illumination should be white, and any additional lights near the license plate should also emit white light.
  3. While flashing lights are not specifically prohibited, it is strongly recommended to avoid them. Flashing, rotating, or oscillating lights can be considered distracting to other drivers and may potentially lead to violations of other laws and regulations.
  4. It is highly advisable to steer clear of using purple or violet-colored lights on any aftermarket lighting, including underbody glow.

New Hampshire does not have specific laws that expressly restrict or prohibit the installation of car underglow, which suggests that using it while driving is generally considered legal. However, it is essential to follow the outlined restrictions to ensure compliance with the law.

New Hampshire Neon Underglow lighting laws

Here are the pertinent excerpts from the New Hampshire Vehicle Code that define the limitations, restrictions, or permissions related to the installation of aftermarket lights or colors on vehicles.

Section 266:44 – Tail Lamp and Reflectors

Every motor vehicle and trailer or any combination of vehicles, when on the ways of this state at night, shall have on the rear thereof, and to the left of the axis thereof, one lamp, displaying a red light visible for a distance of at least 1000 feet to the rear of such vehicle, and a white light illuminating the registration plate of such vehicle so that the characters thereon shall be visible for a distance of at least 50 feet, except that passenger cars manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1952, shall have at least 2 tail lamps, one to either side of the axis thereof.

Section 266:78-a – Definitions

I. In this section:

(a) “Emergency light” means a steady burning, oscillating, rotating, or flashing red or blue colored light.
(b) “Warning light” means a steady burning, oscillating, rotating, or flashing amber light or arrow board or white colored light.

Section 266:78-b – Blue Lights Restricted to Law Enforcement and Emergency Response.

I. No person other than a sworn law enforcement officer with power of arrest shall operate a vehicle equipped with blue colored light […]

Section 266:78-c – Red Lights Restricted to Police, Fire, and Rescue Vehicles

No person other than those authorized in this section shall operate a vehicle equipped with red colored emergency lights […]

Section 266:78-h – Amber Warning Lights Authorized for Certain Vehicles

No person other than those authorized in this section or in RSA 266:78-c shall operate a vehicle equipped with amber colored warning lights. […]

Section 266:78-l – Private Security Vehicles.

Vehicles owned by or leased to licensed public or private security services but not personally owned vehicles of security guards may be equipped with amber or green warning lights […]

When Is It Legal to Use Underglow Lights in New Hampshire?

While New Hampshire does not have specific laws addressing underglow lights, there are general guidelines that must be followed to use them legally:

  1. Avoid Red and Blue Lights: Do not use red or blue underglow lights. These colors are typically reserved for emergency vehicles and law enforcement, and using them may lead to confusion on the road.
  2. No Flashing Lights: Flashing or strobing underglow lights are not allowed. Steady illumination is generally accepted.
  3. Ensure License Plate Illumination: Make sure your license plate remains visible with white light. If the underglow affects license plate visibility, it might be considered illegal.
  4. No Distraction: Underglow lights should not create distractions for other drivers on the road. Avoid any dazzling or excessive brightness.

Is It Illegal to Install Underglow Lights In New Hampshire?

It is not illegal to install underglow lights on your vehicle in New Hampshire, as long as you adhere to the restrictions mentioned above. The state does not have specific laws regulating underglow installations.

Are Multicolored Underglow Lights Illegal in New Hampshire?

While New Hampshire does not explicitly ban multicolored underglow lights, it’s crucial to avoid the use of red and blue, as mentioned earlier. Using these colors can lead to confusion and potential legal issues.

New Hampshire Traffic Ticket/Summons for Underglow Lights on a Vehicle

If you violate the guidelines for underglow lights in New Hampshire, you may receive a traffic ticket or summons. To avoid legal issues, make sure your underglow lights comply with the state’s restrictions.

Are Underglow Lights Legal While Parked in New Hampshire?

Using underglow lights while parked in New Hampshire is generally permissible, as long as they do not violate any local regulations or restrictions in the area where you are parked.

Are Motorcycle Wheel Lights Legal in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire’s regulations on motorcycle wheel lights are similar to those for underglow lights on vehicles. Follow the guidelines mentioned earlier to ensure your motorcycle wheel lights are used legally.

Is the Law for Underglow Lights the Same for Cars and Motorcycles in New Hampshire?

The general guidelines for underglow lights apply to both cars and motorcycles in New Hampshire. It’s essential to follow these guidelines to use underglow lights legally, regardless of the vehicle type.

Conclusion

In New Hampshire, underglow lights can be a fun and creative way to personalize your vehicle. While state law does not explicitly ban their use, it’s essential to follow the restrictions to ensure your underglow lights are legal. Avoid red and blue colors, flashing lights, and any distraction-causing effects. By doing so, you can enjoy the aesthetics of neon underglow lights while staying within the boundaries of the law. Always stay informed about the latest regulations to ensure your vehicle modifications remain compliant with the law.

New Hampshire Underglow law references:

New Hampshire Statutes, Cahpter 266: Equipment of Vehicles (sections 266:31 to 266:46a)

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