What California's New Exhaust Law Means For Drivers

by Michael Satterfield

January 1st, 2019 California enacted Assembly Bill AB1824 making modified exhaust a non-correctable violation, meaning it's no longer a "fix it" ticket and can cost you, according to some up to $1,000, even for a first offense. According to what we found in the California Bail Schedule should be more like $280. Already social media has been flooded with stories and videos of people being pulled over and issued tickets for having an exhaust that is too loud.

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In the field, it seems that it is at the discretion of the police officer as what is "excessively loud" but according to the law, the system can emit no more than 95 decibels, this has been the law since 2003, the only change is now that it is not just a "fix-it" ticket. Once cited you will be referred to the Bureau of Automotive Repair (BAR.) to have your vehicle tested and if you pass you will receive a "Certificate of Compliance" which you can then present to the court as proof that your vehicle is in compliance with California law. The law is essentially the same, however now in addition to paying for the referee and going to court, you are also fined.

via Spencer Berke
You cannot submit your car to the BAR. preemptively, only after you have been cited for an exhaust noise violation can you submit the vehicle for testing. Once cited you will be referred to a toll-free number to make an appointment to schedule your test.

The automotive community in Calfornia is not happy with the prospect of being fined $1,000 plus dealing with the referee and court process, so far over 140,000 people have signed a petition to repeal the fine on Change.org. However, change is doubtful as California has been waging war on automotive take over events, street racing, and illegally modified cars for the last few years, and this is just one more way for law enforcement deter automotive enthusiasts.

Learn more info from the California BAR here.