Washington Neon Underglow Laws

Washington, the Evergreen State, is known for its breathtaking natural landscapes, including lush forests, picturesque coastlines, and the majestic Cascade Range. For car enthusiasts in Washington, personalizing their vehicles with neon underglow lights can add a touch of style and flair to their rides. However, it’s essential to be well-informed about Washington’s laws and regulations concerning neon underglow. In this blog post, we will delve into the specifics of Washington’s neon underglow laws, ensuring that you can cruise in style while staying within the bounds of the law.

Is neon underglow legal in Washington?

Washington law places restrictions on additional aftermarket vehicle lighting, including neon underglow. In the state of Washington, the use of neon underglow is generally considered illegal.

However, there is an exception to this rule: it is permissible to use car underglow when your vehicle is parked on private property. It’s important to note that even in this scenario, your underglow lights must not emit red or blue colors, and they should not be configured to flash or rotate in any manner.

Washington vehicle lighting laws

Here are the key excerpts from the Washington Vehicle Code that specify the limitations, restrictions, and permissions related to neon underglow lights that can be installed on vehicles.

WAC 204-21-230 – Lighting equipment prohibited.

[…] (a) If a vehicle is in motion on a public roadway, the vehicle must not:

(i) Display aftermarket neon lighting devices.

[…] (b) If a vehicle is not in motion and parked on private property, the vehicle may use aftermarket lighting except as outlined under RCW 46.37.180. […]

(3) Red emergency lights are prohibited on any vehicle other than an authorized emergency vehicle, a law enforcement vehicle, an emergency tow truck as defined in WAC 204-21-020(8), school buses, and private carrier buses.

(4) Blue lights are prohibited on any vehicle other than a law enforcement vehicle as defined in WAC 204-21-020.

(5) Flashing white lights are prohibited on any vehicle other than authorized emergency vehicles, law enforcement vehicles, school buses, and emergency tow trucks as defined in WAC 204-21-020.

The Legal Spectrum

In Washington, the use of neon underglow lights on vehicles is a topic with both clear regulations and a touch of artistic freedom. Here’s what you need to know:

Permitted Colors:

Washington permits the use of neon underglow lights, but with a twist. These lights must emit only white or amber light. In the land of evergreens, red and blue are off-limits, as they are typically reserved for emergency vehicles.

Placement Rules:

Proper placement is key. Neon underglow lights should be installed on the vehicle’s exterior in a way that does not obstruct the driver’s view or pose a safety hazard. Keep it stylish but safe!

Use on Public Roads:

Washington’s law allows the use of neon underglow lights while the vehicle is in motion on public roads. So you can let your personality shine through on those night drives. Just remember to follow the color rules!

No Flashing Lights:

Flashing neon lights are a no-go in Washington. The law prohibits the use of flashing, oscillating, or rotating neon lights on vehicles.


Violating Washington’s neon underglow regulations can result in fines and potential traffic citations. Penalty for violation of vehicle lighting regulations is a $124 fine.

Local Ordinances:

While Washington has consistent state regulations, it’s worth noting that some local jurisdictions within the state may have additional rules. Always check with local law enforcement or city ordinances for any specific regulations in your area.

A Neon Adventure Awaits

With Washington’s stunning landscapes as your backdrop, adding neon underglow lights to your vehicle can be a creative expression of your style. The state’s laws are designed to ensure both safety and personalization, giving you the freedom to shine in your own way.

As you embark on neon adventures through the Evergreen State, remember to keep it white or amber. Red and blue are off the palette for neon underglow, as they are reserved for those rushing to the rescue. Additionally, always ensure proper placement and avoid flashing lights to comply with Washington’s regulations.

So, whether you’re cruising through Seattle’s urban jungle or exploring the natural beauty of Mount Rainier, you can do it in style with your vehicle’s neon underglow lights. Stay informed, stay stylish, and enjoy the neon adventure that Washington has to offer.

FAQS About Washington Neon Underglow laws

Are Underglow Lights Legal in Washington?

In Washington, neon underglow lights are generally legal, but they must adhere to specific regulations.

When Is It Legal to Use Underglow Lights in Washington State?

It is legal to use underglow lights in Washington while your vehicle is in motion on public roads. However, the lights must emit only white or amber colors.

When Is It Illegal to Use Underglow Lights In Washington?

It is considered illegal to use underglow lights that emit red or blue colors from the front of the vehicle. Flashing, oscillating, or rotating underglow lights are also prohibited.

Is It Illegal to Install Underglow Lights In Washington?

Installing underglow lights in Washington is not explicitly illegal. However, it is essential to ensure that the lights are compliant with state regulations, particularly regarding color and use.

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

Washington’s vehicle and traffic laws apply to motorcycles as well. Therefore, the same restrictions and regulations regarding underglow lights typically extend to motorcycles.

Are Multicolored Underglow Lights Illegal in Washington?

Multicolored underglow lights are generally not allowed in Washington. The lights should emit only white or amber colors to comply with state regulations.

Washington Traffic Ticket/Summons for Under Glow Lights on a Motorcycle

Violating Washington’s regulations on underglow lights can result in fines and potential traffic citations. The penalties may vary based on the circumstances and law enforcement discretion.

Are Under Glow Lights Legal While Parked in Washington?

Underglow lights are generally legal to use while your vehicle is parked in Washington, provided they comply with state regulations.

Are Motorcycle Wheel Lights Legal in Washington?

Motorcycle wheel lights are subject to the same regulations as other underglow lights in Washington. They should emit white or amber light and adhere to state guidelines.

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

Washington’s regulations on underglow lights typically apply to both cars and motorcycles, with the same color and use restrictions for both vehicle types.

Know About Washington State

Location: Washington, often referred to as Washington state, is located in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is bounded by the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north, Idaho to the east, Oregon to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Capital: Olympia

Largest City: Seattle

Cities in Washington: Seattle, Tacoma, Spokane, Bellevue, Olympia, Redmond, Everett, Bellingham, Renton, Yakima, Kirkland, Vancouver, Puyallup, Issaquah, Federal Way, Bothell, Lynnwood, Bremerton, Kennewick, Kent, Auburn, Tri-Cities, Forks, Wenatchee, Port Angeles, Richland, Gig Harbor, Walla Walla, Pasco, Pullman, Port Townsend, Woodinville, Edmonds, Marysville, Anacortes, Sequim, Mercer Island, Mount Vernon, Lakewood, Ellensburg, Bainbridge Island, Leavenworth, Poulsbo, Lacey, Tukwila, SeaTac, Shoreline, Fort Lewis, Sammamish, Port Orchard

Nickname: The Evergreen State

Population: As of my last knowledge update in January 2022, Washington state had an estimated population of over 7.7 million residents, making it the 13th most populous state in the U.S.

Geography: Washington boasts a diverse landscape, featuring everything from coastal regions along the Pacific Ocean to mountain ranges such as the Cascades and the Olympic Mountains. The state is known for its lush forests, including the famous temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula. Notably, Washington is home to Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano and the highest peak in the state.

Economy: Washington has a robust and diverse economy. It is a major technology hub, with companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing headquartered in the state. Agriculture also plays a significant role, with Washington being a top producer of apples, cherries, and other fruits. The state’s ports and proximity to Asia contribute to its trade and export industries.

Washington Underglow law references:

Washington Administrative Code, Title 204: State Patrol (Equipment), Chapter 204-21: Lighting Requirements.

Washington Administrative Code, Title 204, Chapter 204-21, Section 230: Lighting equipment prohibited

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