New Mexico Neon Underglow Laws

New Mexico, known for its stunning landscapes and vibrant culture, is home to many car enthusiasts who seek unique ways to personalize their vehicles. One popular choice for self-expression is neon underglow lighting. While adding neon lights can enhance a vehicle’s aesthetics, it’s important to be aware of New Mexico’s specific laws and regulations governing these lights. In this comprehensive article, we will explore New Mexico’s neon underglow laws, what is allowed, what is restricted, and how you can enjoy your neon underglow lights while staying within the bounds of the law.

Is neon underglow legal in New Mexico?

Under New Mexico law, there are no specific restrictions on the use of additional vehicle lighting, including neon underglow. Consequently, we conclude that in New Mexico, neon underglow is generally legal, with the following limitations:

  1. Red lights must not be visible from the front of the vehicle.
  2. Flashing lights are not permitted.
  3. It is advisable to avoid the use of green, red, and blue colors on any aftermarket lights installed on your car, as these colors are typically reserved for use on emergency vehicles.

New Mexico lacks specific laws that restrict or prohibit the installation of underbody lighting, which means it is generally considered legal for use while driving. However, to ensure compliance with the law, it is important to adhere to the mentioned restrictions and use underglow lights responsibly.

New Mexico Neon Underglow lighting laws

Here are the pertinent excerpts from the New Mexico Vehicle Code that delineate the regulations governing the installation of specific aftermarket lights on vehicles.

66-3-801. Equipment; prohibited acts

[…] B. Nothing contained in Sections 66-3-801 through 66-3-887 NMSA 1978 shall be construed to prohibit the use of additional parts and accessories on any vehicle which are not inconsistent with the provisions of those sections. […]

66-3-829. Additional lighting equipment

A. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two side cowl or fender lamps which shall emit an amber or white light without glare.

B. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than one running-board courtesy lamp on each side thereof which shall emit a white or amber light without glare.

C. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two back-up lamps either separately or in combination with other lamps, but any such back-up lamp shall not be lighted when the motor vehicle is in forward motion.

66-3-835. Special restrictions on lamps

[…] B. No person shall drive or move, upon any highway, any vehicle or equipment with a lamp or device thereon displaying a red light visible from directly in front of the center of the vehicle or equipment. This section does not apply to any vehicle upon which a red light visible from the front is expressly authorized or required by the Motor Vehicle Code [66-1-1 NMSA 1978].

C. Flashing lights are prohibited except as provided in Subsection D of this section and except on authorized emergency vehicles, school buses, snow-removal equipment and highway-marking equipment. Flashing red lights may be used as warning lights on disabled or parked vehicles and on any vehicle as a means of indicating a turn. […]

New Mexico Neon Underglow Laws: What You Need to Know

Neon underglow lights are legal in New Mexico, but it’s crucial to understand the following regulations:

  1. Permissible Colors: New Mexico permits neon underglow lights of various colors, except for red, blue, and green. These three colors are typically reserved for law enforcement and emergency vehicles.
  2. Placement: Neon underglow lights should be mounted beneath the vehicle and should not extend beyond the wheel wells.
  3. Flashing Lights: Flashing or oscillating neon lights are not allowed. Neon underglow lights should emit a steady and constant glow.
  4. Brightness: Neon underglow lights should be adjusted to be neither overly bright nor distracting to other drivers. They should provide a subtle, ambient glow without causing discomfort or impairing visibility.

Consequences of Violating Regulations

Violating New Mexico’s neon underglow laws can result in penalties, including fines and potential warnings from law enforcement. To avoid legal issues, it’s crucial to adhere to these regulations.

In accordance with Section 66-3-801, operating a vehicle that is equipped in a manner that contravenes lighting regulations constitutes a misdemeanor.

66-3-801. Equipment; prohibited acts.

A. Except as otherwise provided in this section, it is a misdemeanor for any person to drive or move or for the owner to cause or permit to be driven or moved on any highway any vehicle or combination of vehicles which is in such unsafe condition as to endanger any person or which does not contain those parts or is not at all times equipped with such lamps and other equipment in proper condition and adjustment as is required by Sections 66-3-801 through 66-3-887 NMSA 1978 or which is equipped in any manner that is in violation of those sections or for any person to do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required under those sections. […]

Responsible Usage

While neon underglow lights can enhance your vehicle’s appearance, it’s essential to use them responsibly:

  1. Be Considerate: Use neon underglow lights thoughtfully, especially in residential areas, to prevent disturbances to neighbors.
  2. Regular Maintenance: Ensure your neon lights are correctly installed and in good working condition to avoid accidents and malfunctions.
  3. Environmental Consideration: Adjust the brightness and usage of your neon lights to prevent distracting or discomforting other road users.

Stay Informed

Laws and regulations can change over time, so it’s advisable to consult current sources, such as the New Mexico Department of Motor Vehicles or local law enforcement, to ensure compliance with the most up-to-date information.


Adding neon underglow lights to your vehicle in New Mexico can be an exciting way to express your style and make your vehicle stand out. By understanding and adhering to the state’s laws and regulations, you can enjoy your neon underglow lights while respecting the law. Stay informed about the latest regulations to ensure compliance with New Mexico’s neon underglow laws and continue enjoying the beauty of your personalized vehicle.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Underglow Lights in New Mexico:

Are Underglow Lights Legal in New Mexico?

  • Yes, underglow lights are generally legal in New Mexico, but there are specific regulations you must follow.

When Is It Legal to Use Underglow Lights in New Mexico State?

  • It is legal to use underglow lights in New Mexico as long as you comply with the state’s regulations.

When Is It Illegal to Use Underglow Lights In New Mexico?

  • It is illegal to use underglow lights in New Mexico if they emit red, blue, or green colors, as these are reserved for law enforcement and emergency vehicles.

Is It Illegal to Install Underglow Lights In New Mexico?

  • It is not illegal to install underglow lights in New Mexico, provided they adhere to the state’s regulations.

What New Mexico Vehicle & Traffic Law Restricts Use of Lights On Motorcycles?

  • The same regulations regarding underglow lights that apply to cars generally apply to motorcycles in New Mexico.

Are Multicolored Underglow Lights Illegal in New Mexico?

  • Using multicolored underglow lights is generally legal in New Mexico, with the exception of red, blue, and green lights, which are reserved for law enforcement and emergency vehicles.

New Mexico Traffic Ticket/Summons for Under Glow Lights on a Motorcycle

  • Violating underglow regulations in New Mexico may result in receiving a traffic ticket or summons.

Are Under Glow Lights Legal While Parked in New Mexico?

  • Underglow lights are generally legal for use on a parked vehicle in New Mexico, provided they comply with state regulations.

Are Motorcycle Wheel Lights Legal in New Mexico?

  • The legality of motorcycle wheel lights in New Mexico is generally subject to the same regulations as underglow lights on other vehicles.

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

  • Yes, the same laws and regulations regarding underglow lights apply to both cars and motorcycles in New Mexico.

New Mexico Underglow law references:

New Mexico Statutes, Chapter 66: Motor Vehicles, Article 3, Part 9: Equipment, Sections 66-3-801 to 66-3-839

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