Underglow Laws in Maryland

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Underglow is not the name of a new perfume or alcoholic drink. It is the effect gained from adding a system of LED lights underneath a car. As the car travels along the roadway, the underglow effect makes the car look as though it is floating on lights or powered from beneath. Underglow comes in many colors. It is an aftermarket addition to the car that is outlawed in many states, including Maryland.

The Law Specifics

Maryland state law prohibits colored lights other than amber, yellow and white on a vehicle that is not an emergency vehicle or other vehicle authorized by the state to have the colors in their lights. In fact, altering the colors of the lights on your car is not allowed in the state. Maryland Statute 22-205 (b) states that all lights must be at least 15 inches from the ground. This rule makes underglow lights illegal in Maryland.

What is Allowed?

You can have a running board light under statute 22-221(b). The only colors allowed are white and amber. The law doesn't allow glare from the running board light.

Penalties

The penalty for driving with underglow lights in Maryland is a fine of $40 to $50 and a traffic citation, according to the Berwyn Heights Police Department. Police have the authority to pull over a car displaying the underglow lights in order to issue a ticket.

Buying the Lights In Maryland

The Berwyn Heights Police Department urges customers to follow the law and not the retailer. Some aftermarket parts stores will sell the underglow systems, despite their being illegal. Customers who buy these kits cannot avoid a ticket using the excuse, "I bought it from a Maryland retailer." Police will ticket you for the underglow lights, a moving violation. Contact local law enforcement with questions on the legality of aftermarket car parts.

References

About the Author

Jonita Davis is freelance writer and marketing consultant. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "The LaPorte County Herald Argus" and Work.com. Davis also authored the book, "Michigan City Marinas," which covers the history of the Michigan City Port Authority. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in English from Purdue University.