Legalities Of Lifted Vehicles In Various States

Scott Owner California Posted   Latest  

Hi All,

I've got a client who brought her son's truck in to get the vehicle going after it had been sitting for 5 years. I've got the work completed and I'm waiting for her to get here and pay for the repairs. 

I've dealt with her in the past and she's since moved from California to Maine. Her plan was to pick this up from me and drive this across the country. I'm thinking bad idea, I'd have it transported. She said she had looked into that and the 3 transport companies that showed up said they wouldn't be able to do it. OK, but it should be doable, but she's not going for it. 

She called yesterday and said there's a change of plans as she found out NY, Massachusetts's, and Maine all have height limitations that the bottom of the door, door sill, can't be higher than 30". This truck is right at 35"

She wanted to get some rims and tires to get this to 30", or under. Another bad idea. This is a 2WD vehicle and is ridiculous with the lift…I'm wondering what will happen when we get the 42" off and put on 31". 

Is her statement true as far as lifted vehicles? She's concerned the vehicle will be impounded. I'm concerned she'll make it - not mechanically, but handling wise. 

diag​.​net/file/f2sj3gbqy…

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Manuel Diagnostician
New Jersey
Manuel
 

In tri state area this is no concern the show goes on!

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
 

Hi Manuel, We seem to have bigger concerns than pulling someone over to check whether the ride height meets the letter of the law, right?

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Ronald Owner/Technician
California
Ronald
 

I see some insane lifts in here California… I am not aware of issues here in the Golden state. That is called a California tilt here. I have no idea why people do this to vehicles, it must handle like a bucket of mess. If she is going to California I would just get her to get on the interstate and go. Alot of shippers will not deal with the wide tires and lifts…

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
 

Hi Ronald, California does have laws regarding vehicle lifts, but from what I've seen they're not, or rarely are enforced. liftlaws​.​com/california_lif… At the height of the previous run up in real estate in the 2000's I saw some crazy things going on. There was a S-10 truck that the bottom of the body appeared to be at least 5 feet off the ground. Where we were at the speed limit…

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Ronald Owner/Technician
California
Ronald
 

Scott: I don't get why people do this to vehicles. It always compromises something…and HTH do you get in the thing. Not my jam. The Wranglers can be almost as bad. Hows biz up there in the Inland Empire? I am in central San Diego.

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
 

Hi Ronald, Business is crazy busy. There were 2 months, early 2020 when the world shut down, that it dropped by about 8%. After those 2 months things have gone nuts. I wish, as probably most here, I could find some more qualified help as I'm turning work away. Crazy times. How are things in San Diego?

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Ronald Owner/Technician
California
Ronald
 

We have been around 23 years so we stay quite busy. In September 2020 we started closing at noon on Fridays and we have never worked weekends. My brother and I alternate taking Fridays off completely. My brother and I were getting to the point where we really were burnt out so we had to change things. The employees really like it. I am 52 and if I will not be replacing any employees if they…

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Pete Mechanic
Delaware
Pete
 

Maine's laws seem to be related to frame height, measured at the spot a bumper connects. A Google search also said that suspension lifts are permitted so long as it's a kit engineered and sold by a company that does that sort of thing and the entire kit must be used. I suggest a little more googling of “Maine lift laws” for more clarity but I didn't see anything about door sill height…

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
 

Hi Pete, I wouldn't drive the vehicle across the country and would have just had it transported, or sell the vehicle in California. But that's me. I told her, you do know the fuel costs are going to be at least $1,500, and then the plane out, and then lodging…She didn't care about any of that, but she is concerned about getting the vehicle impounded. She's 71, are you sure about this? You do…

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Gerald Mechanic
Massachusetts
Gerald
 

she is right about Mass laws. But have never saw one impounded for being too high.

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Robert Technical Support Specialist
New York
Robert
   

Not a problem with height here, now in some states she may have issues with tires being past the body but simple fix is wide mud flaps. I've had 44's on my Bronco and my last Jeep was on 37's never had a issue in NY but got a fine in PA going from the campsite to the trailhead with my Jeep for the tires being past the body, I fought it and won since my vehicle was registered in NY state. Never…

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Dan Owner/Technician
Texas
Dan
 

… I wouldn't touch it with YOUR tools… Things like that belong in an arena … Dan H. … Hobbs … South Texas

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
   

Hi Dan, Too late, I've got it ready to go. The tires and what she is requesting to do, if it gets done, there's not going to be a paper trail.

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Dan Owner/Technician
Texas
Dan
 

… Scott … What do you call this ? … Dan H. … Hobbs …

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
 

Hey Dan, You heard what happened to snitches? VBG

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Dan Owner/Technician
Texas
Dan
 

… Yeah … they get STICHES … I wasn't the one that posted any info on a public forum for the whole world to see… Dan H. … Hobbs …

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
 

Hi Dan, I was kidding. “VBG” I do take safety issues seriously.

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Michael Owner/Technician
New Jersey
Michael
 

The key is where it's registered. If legal in CA, they're supposed to let you through without issue. However, you can always get a dickhead who is looking to make a quota or who sees it and insists on searching the truck for whatever. If that happens, the only thing I can suggest is to NEVER consent to a search especially in NY, CT, NJ, NH, VT or ME.

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Rusty Owner/Technician
Massachusetts
Rusty
 

If it was registered on MA, it should be rejected when submitted for inspection. We used to use a chart to measure the bottom of the door but the RMV stopped updating it years ago. 2-4” lift in a truck like that would pass but the wide tires (protruding) would be a problem.

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
 

Hi Rusty, I'm not sure how to measure this lift, but it's at least 10". There's mud flaps for the rear, but not the fronts. She just plans to get this to her house in Maine and then park it in a garage and wait for her son to get home. After that, I'm not sure.

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Michael Technician
New Hampshire
Michael
 

Both Maine and New Hampshire have various height laws. If the truck doesn't meet the specs, you can't get an inspection sticker. New Hampshire advises inspectors to make notes of trucks that look like the 1 pictures, but has stock sized tires on it. It covers the inspectors beehind, and “proves" the operator was trying to evade a law, so the fines increase. If the state troopers feel it…

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Victor Technician
California
Victor
 

simple! Any level lift kit. It is adjustable and can be lowered for inspection and raised for off road use on a 2WD lol.

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Kevin Mechanic
California
Kevin
 

Whats up Scott, glad to hear you're still busy! FWIW, back in the day (15 years ago?) CST was a high quality fab shop, they often took custom jobs, and did very clean work. They were far superior to off the shelf lifts kits like Fabtech, or Skyjacker. Out of curiosity, does the truck really feel that unsafe? I been out of the offroad seen for some time.

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
 

Hi Kevin, How have you been? I can, or at least I used to be able to, throw a rock and hit CST from my shop. They're right around the corner. They do seem to have some pretty good stuff, although re-engineering suspensions is always questionable in my mind. The truck rides pretty decently at this point, but my concerns would be what happens when we put stock size tires on this vehicle?

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Randall Technician
Pennsylvania
Randall
 

This might help, sorry I didn’t have time to go through it. Randy

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Barrie Owner
Virginia
Barrie
   

wric​.​com/news/local-new… usnews​.​com/news/best-stat… vsp​.​virginia​.​gov/wp-content/upl…​.​pdf (See page 146)

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Ric Owner/Technician
New Hampshire
Ric
 

We have bumper height laws in NH, but they are rarely enforced. Maybe a fine, but not much more. Tires beyond the fenderline…..fail. Tinted windows….also a fail. But we see them all over the place. Nearly zero enforcement.

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Scott Owner
California
Scott Resolution
 

I appreciate the replies and I spent way more time on this than I should. I need to get better at distancing myself from someone else's problem, but…I have a hard time letting a 71 year old lady drive across the country with hopes she'll make it home. Yeah, I know, I told her what I would do and she chose not to listen - I should have closed that chapter and had her come to pay for what was…

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Dan Owner/Technician
Texas
Dan
   

… NOW you tell us the lady is 71 years old … Lol … I think you kinda left that part out (or I just missed it … Lol )… Looking back… I DID… I see now where you did mention that to Pete… My bad … Dan H. … Hobbs.

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Scott Owner
California
Scott
 

Hi Dan, It got lost, but I replied to Pete Rudloff of her age. Even though it has running boards she'll probably need a step to reach those. I think this will be a handful for her to drive, but…What do I know?

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