A lot of fun can come from installing a lift kit. However, it can also be a big hassle - especially if you aren't up to speed on lift kit laws in your home state. These regulations can be incredibly complicated, even for the most esteemed off-road drivers, but it's essential that you pay attention to these restrictions and make sure all of your truck mods are in line with the law.
State by state
Lift kit laws and regulations vary on a state by state basis. In fact, no two states are alike, which can make it incredibly difficult to plan on installing a lift kit that can be used on off-road trails across the U.S.
Not only do states have different laws, but many have made it a complicated process to filter through the websites and codes in search of the applicable regulations. Luckily, organizations like LiftLaws.com have done the work for you and compiled the rules in one convenient place. There, you will be able to find laws regarding acceptable dimensions for a street or off-road vehicle, as well as information about brakes, tires, suspensions, bumpers, the engine and much more that may come in handy when making truck mods.
The key area you will want to look at is the frame. Each state has a maximum frame height that varies based on the type of automobile, so be sure you know what segment you should be looking for prior to starting your research.
If you make truck mods that don't comply with restrictions, you could face a complicated series of challenges. Many of the repercussions depend on the individual case - for example, the laws can be enforced to different extents based on the law officer involved or the location of the violation.
One of the more common problems that may arise if your automobile isn't up to code is that you will be pulled over by police. The resulting tickets and fines could put quite a dent in your wallet and throw off your future plans for modifications.
Another possible issue? If you get into an accident or have any need for help from your insurance company, they could refuse to provide coverage. In some cases all coverage could be revoked, so be sure to check out your policy and see what's covered by the plan. There are a few companies that will even protect the off-road gear itself, making it extremely important that you're taking the time to find the right policy as well as checking your restrictions.
General rules to follow
Although the restrictions depend upon the state your vehicle is registered in, there are a few general rules you can keep in mind while considering your options for truck modifications. For one, you should have a few tidbits of information figured out beforehand. Record how much your off-road vehicle weighs and its dimensions. This will make it easier to find the applicable laws and regulations when you search the Lift Laws database. Knowing these figures also allows you to measure how much of a difference your chosen lift kit will make and whether or not the upgraded vehicle will comply with codes.
Similarly, if you are making plans to visit an off-roading trail you've heard about in a different state, or if you have a destination you visit frequently where you may want to go off-road driving eventually, you should check the regulations of that area. That way, if you end up in the wilderness in a given region, you'll know you are in compliance with the law.