Vehicle Modification

So you want to modify your vehicle?

Not all vehicle accessories are street legal. Reviewing the following frequently asked questions could save you money and an encounter with local law enforcement.  These are valid at the time of this writing in Saskatchewan, and are likely to be similar across Canada.

Additional information can be acquired by contacting Vehicle Standards and Inspections at 1-800-667-8015 ext. 6188.

Frequently asked questions
 Are neon licence plate lamps permitted?

Licence plate lamps are required. The licence plate lamp must emit a white light and no additional lamp or equipment that impairs the effectiveness of the required lamps are permitted.

Are licence plate covers permitted?

No licence plate covers will be permitted that prevent any character from being accurately photographed by a red light camera system. Glares from the cover may have an effect.

What are legal bumper heights?

Bumpers are designed to absorb some of the crash impact and reduce intrusion, thus reducing collision damage and personal injury. On passenger cars, bumpers must be between 380 and 560 millimetres above the road surface. On trucks, the lowest part of the bumper can not be more than 750 millimetres above the road surface. Bumpers must also have a vertical surface of at least 100 millimetres.

Can the height of a vehicle be raised or lowered?

In addition to bumper height requirements, headlamps must be between 535 and 1,400 millimetres from the road surface to the centre of the lamp. Brake, signal and tail lamps must be between 350 and 2110 millimetres from the road surface. Compliance with CMVSS must be maintained.

* Contact Vehicle Standards and Inspection at 1-800-667-8015 ext. 6188 for additional information.

Are front and rear suspension tower braces permitted?

Suspension tower braces are permitted as they are commonly used to enhance (beef-up/stiffen) the suspension/unibody of the vehicle.

Are taillamp and head lamp covers permitted?

No, taillamp and headlamp covers of any kind are not permitted.

Are clear taillamp lenses permitted?

Clear taillamp lenses are permitted when the following requirements are met:

  • Signal lamps must emit either amber or red light.
  • Brake lamps (not bulbs) must be red.
  • Taillamps (not bulbs) and the required retro-reflective reflectors must be red.
  • Side marker lamps (not bulbs) and side retro-reflective reflectors must be red.

Are coloured (*blue,*green, etc.) or high intensity headlamp bulbs permitted?

All headlamps must be white in colour as defined by Society of Automotive Engineers. White lamps have been tested to meet all headlamp requirements. The maximum voltage is 70 watts. Blue and green lamps are designated for use on emergency vehicles only. Red lamps to front are reserved for emergency vehicles and school bus warning lamps.

*Includes colours within this colour spectrum.

Are under-car glow lamp kits permitted?

No vehicle driven on a highway can be equipped with:

  • a lamp that emits a white light facing to the rear;
  • a lamp that emits a red* light facing to the front;
  • a lamp that emits blue* or green* light; or,
  • equipment that detracts from required lighting.

* Includes colours within the colour spectrum.

Are fog and auxiliary driving lamps permitted?

Fog and auxiliary driving lamps are permitted if they meet the following guidelines.

  • They must be focused at least as low and as far to the right as the low beam headlamps.
  • They must not be mounted any higher than the headlamps.
  • They must comply with permitted lamp colours (blue, green and red are prohibited).
  • They must also be approved for street use.
Is after-market window tinting or decals permitted in any window?

After-market window tinting, sunscreen or reflective material is not permitted on the windshield or the front side windows of the vehicle. The windshield must be free of decals greater than 51.20 millimetres in diameter in the area swept by the windshield wipers. Window tinting is permitted on any window located behind the driver’s head as long as outside mirrors provide the driver with a clear view to the rear of the vehicle.

Is one windshield wiper permitted?

Vehicles must have at least one windshield wiper that sweeps at least 70 per cent of the total area of the windshield.

Are hood scoops or cool air intakes permitted?

Hood scoops and cool air intake systems are permitted as long as the system does not interfere with the drivers visibility.

Are less restrictive flow (loud) mufflers /exhaust systems or noise enhancements permitted?

National standards dictate that vehicles must be equipped with a muffler and exhaust system that reduces noise.

Are after-market exhaust headers permitted?

Headers are permitted providing the rest of the exhaust system, including legal mufflers, is in compliance. An unrestricted exhaust system is not permitted.

Can a vehicle be equipped with a nitrous oxide system?

The nitrous oxide system must be sealed and vented to the exterior of the vehicle. The vent must be located at a point that is higher than the nitrous oxide container.

Are wide tires or smooth slicks permitted?

Wide tires are permitted. However, a fender, mudflap or body overhang that reduces the rearward projection of gravel, mud, water and snow from each tire is required. This must extend the full width of the tire. As well, a tire on a passenger vehicle must have 2/32nds of tread depth across the face of the tire, and the tire must be approved for highway use. Smooth slicks are not permitted.

Are vehicles required to have door handles?

Doors must have a means of being opened from the inside and the outside, but this does not necessarily have to be a door handle. A remote release or switch is acceptable.

Can the shift handle be changed on a manual transmission?

If the vehicle has more than three forward gears, the shift pattern must be displayed in view of the driver.

Can a smaller steering wheel be installed?

A steering wheel must be at least 330 mm in diameter. This is a minimum of 13 inches across. The horn must be maintained and be within reach of the driver.

Can I install an interior lamp kit?

Interior lamps are not specifically addressed, but distractions to other road users are not permitted. If a lamp kit is installed, the emitted light should not reduce the drivers vision and not emit light that can be seen by other road users while the vehicle is moving.

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