FL HID Laws

Recently we have had several inquiries as to whether or not HID lights are legal in Florida.  Can you get an HID light ticket for aftermarket lights in FL?   I want to start with my disclaimer… I am not a legal professional, lawyer, state trooper, or anyone else that might take legal responsibility if this is proven inaccurate!  I am simply posting about the laws specific to the Florida vehicle code in regards to headlamps.  HID Laws vary from state to state and this post does not imply that HID Laws in one state will reflect the Headlight Laws in another state.

So, Are HID lights legal in Florida?

Short answer: No, HID lights “change the performance of an original design.”

If you have gotten a ticket in FL and want to fight it, check out the FL ticket fighter to get that ticket cleared up.

Here is the Florida Vehicle Code 316.220, regarding headlights on motor vehicles…

316.220 Headlamps on motor vehicles.—

(1) Every motor vehicle shall be equipped with at least two headlamps with at least one on each side of the front of the motor vehicle, which headlamps shall comply with the requirements and limitations set forth in this chapter, and shall show a white light. An object, material, or covering that alters the headlamp’s light color may not be placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied over a headlamp.
(2) Every headlamp upon every motor vehicle shall be located at a height of not more than 54 inches nor less than 24 inches to be measured as set forth in s. 316.217.
(3) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation as provided in chapter 318.
History.—s. 1, ch. 71-135; s. 172, ch. 99-248; s. 9, ch. 2000-313.

316.241 Selling or using lamps or equipment.—

(1) No person shall have for sale, sell or offer for sale for use upon or as a part of the equipment of a motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, or pole trailer or use upon any such vehicle any headlamp, auxiliary or fog lamp, rear lamp, signal lamp, or reflector, which reflector is required hereunder, or parts of any of the foregoing, which tend to change the original design or performance, unless of a type which has been submitted to the department and approved. The foregoing provisions of this section shall not apply to equipment in actual use when this section is adopted or replacement parts therefor.
…and here is the link to the rest of the vehicle code, if you want to verify or read up on vehicle requirements in FL:
hid light ticket in Florida

10 thoughts on “FL HID Laws

  • May 22, 2013 at 1:28 am
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    316.220 Does not suggest HID bulbs/ballast is illegal, as long as the light is white. 316.241 is only relevant to someone ‘selling’ the whole headlamp unit. It doesn’t seem relevant to the modification of the factory headlamp , for the purpose of adding an HID bulb/ballast.

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    • October 25, 2016 at 10:02 am
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      Is not pleasant to be dazzled by those headlights or everyone is allowed to use it or nobody can

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  • July 6, 2013 at 3:23 pm
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    The above text states that you may not apply a substance over the headlight to alter its color/performance. It says nothing about changing the bulb. Stay within the 4300-6000K range and aim the beams properly and you should have no problem.

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  • August 15, 2013 at 7:02 am
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    316.241 selling OR using lamps OR equipment.

    You are changing the DESIGN of the lamp because it was not originally DESIGNED to use HID bulbs, and all aftermarket HID bulbs have been changed from the original DESIGN to work in your current headlight.

    While I can see the argument that it doesn’t clearly say you cannot change the bulb, it does in fact say change “the PERFORMANCE”. You are not pleased with the way that your current headlight bulb PERFORMS. You don’t like the dim…poor light, short lifespan, and all ,that “blackness” in front of you. You like how the HID’s PERFORM. So you change to the HID’s because they put more light down the road, they eliminate the “blackness,” last longer, and are brighter…thus they PERFORM better that the stock headlight bulbs did.

    I’m an emergency responder and heard this same speech from a multiple officers I know in the state patrol about my motorcycle when I made the switch to HID’s. Ultimately its up to the officer. There are many things people do to their car that are technically considered illegal, but if done within reason, you wont be bothered. Most states have laws about modifying the exhaust of a car, and many of us do that.

    If you get “normal” colors, are respectful about how you aim them, and aren’t a crazy driver, your chances of being pulled over are slim to none. In fact, I have never been pulled over on my sport bike for my headlights, nor was it ever mentioned by the officer when I did get pulled over, and I always rode with my high beams on in the day. But know, if the officer doesn’t like how your driving, or really wants to be a jerk, he can use the headlights as a reason to pull you over, fish for something bigger to nail you on, or simply ticket you depending on how one acts while being pulled over.
    Get the HID’s you will love them! Get quality HID kits, re-aim the headlights if needed, and you will enjoy many years of excellent lighting on the road!

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  • September 21, 2013 at 6:18 pm
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    There is more to it then what you are reading. Read the underlined section above. If the change has not been approved by the FDOT (Florida Dept. of Transportation) it is illegal to use them. OEM and conversion kits are not manufactured to the same standard as factory. Factory has integrated balancing and the bulbs are coated. They also are tested by FHSMV (Federal Highway Safety Motor Vehicle). In addition to 316.220 review statutes 316.238 and 316.2397 as both of these also come up with HID’s. Basically since FHSMV has not approved a single aftermarket conversion (which will happen before state approval) for HID they are not legal for street use. There is a presentation going thru So. Fl. using a power point outlining this so if you live down here Id suggest return to factory or a approved device.

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  • October 25, 2013 at 3:51 am
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    And yet, Down here in SW Florida, I see them illegally installed in MANY vehicles here, the result being the light from these vehicles is severely blinding.

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  • August 30, 2014 at 5:10 am
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    They can pull you over for whatever, legal or not, giving you a ticket is a little different. They most likely will not give you a ticket if you have normal colored hid white lights. Now they most likely will give you a ticket for it if they are giving you a ticket for speeding or reckless driving just like they would for a barely over tint. I got a warning for having my license plate light out… But it wasn’t out. I drive a 2006 mustang with tint and it was obvious he wanted to see what was in my car because in addtion to looking in my car while talking to me he had another officer go to the other side and peek around. bs, bs, but anyway HERE IS THE IMPORTANT PART I’VE NOTICED. It states that you must have no less than two lights that show white as in the loop hole not to miss here is that this means for cars like mine and some trucks and sportier cars; These cars have been coming out with fog lights. It seems as though the headlights can then be modified with your oracle, halo lights that you please if you have good bright fog lights in addition

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  • August 9, 2015 at 1:51 am
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    Well, it seems that someone needs to clarify a few things. When laws were made about noises, as in a party at your house and speakers blaring the laws were SUBJECTIVE, meaning it was up to whoever was listening and from where they chose to listen whether a ticket was given.

    The Higher Courts in every state and federally have upheld that such laws are illegal as they are ARBITRARY. Therefore new codes on sound abatement had to be written. for instance 120db of sound at 15 feet from the property line, or 90db of sound as heard from outside a vehicle. This meant that each officer in order to give a citation that is not thrown out as being illegal must carry a decibel meter and use it.

    The same is true for the COLOR of your light bulbs in your vehicle. What is “white light”? is it 2800K? TO me that is orange. How about 3600K? to me that is yellow. How about 4800K? well that is average daylight so probably fairly close to something we could call “white” and agree upon it.

    However, lacking a SPECIFIC WAVE LENGTH, SPECTRAL COLOR OR KELVIN COLOR there is NO way that any court can legally uphold that your light is “bluer” or yellower than white. This would be a subjective decision by any officer. He must have CALIBRATED equipment and a RANGE of acceptable light.

    The decisions for SOUND violations in volume are identical to light wave theory and therefore apply directly, the STATE MUST have documented and verifiable wavelength standards or no ticket will hold up under the law. The Courts have already ruled on this.

    BTW, as one ages yellows and oranges and reds become more pronounced and visible. It is part of aging. Therefore the AGE of an officer could actually make a difference in his perception of light!

    Think about it. Look up case law.

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  • September 22, 2016 at 4:43 pm
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    Got a ticket city of miami for HID 6000k head lights office say are blue how I get this dismiss in court

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  • December 7, 2016 at 3:05 am
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    You do not necessarily need to buy a sander, you could always make 1.

    Reply

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