South Dakota Neon Underglow Light Laws

Underglow lighting systems are considered by many a vanity accessory for motor vehicles. These lights can be either neon or LED powered. Their placement beneath the frame of the car creates a cool effect which is the main draw of installing them.

Car lighting modification rules are different in every state. Before you make any changes to your vehicle, it’s advisable to ensure they are within the limits of your state’s vehicle code.

If you want to know whether underglow is legal in South Dakota, then this article will answer your query.

As per the state’s code, there is no explicit prohibition of neon underglow lights. However, the code has placed certain restrictions based on certain criteria. For in-depth information regarding the same, continue reading.

South Dakota Laws for Underglow Lights

Blue FRS with blue underglow

All the pertinent information regarding South Dakota’s stance on underglow lights and vehicle lighting can be accessed under South Dakota Statutes, Title 32, Chapter 17.

The following sections discuss vehicle lighting laws:

  • 32-17-9
  • 32-17-11
  • 32-17-42
  • 32-17-44
  • 32-17-45

Based on these sections, we can make a few deductions even though there is no specific mention of underglow lights.

South Dakota has no issue with the use of aftermarket vehicle lighting as long as you follow the relevant restrictions. The rules do not mention light type or size, but there is a reference to criteria such as color, number of additional lights, and placement.

  • Number of lights: According to codified laws, you cannot have more than three additional driving lamps affixed to your vehicle. These lamps should meet the limitations of color and must be placed at the approved height to avoid penalty.
  • Mounting point: If you are mounting any auxiliary light on the front of the vehicle, ensure it remains within the range of 12″ and 24″ above the ground.
  • Color: It is illegal to use blue lights for civilian vehicles. Only authorized vehicles can use them. It is also not recommended to use red lights. Do not use red light on the front of your vehicle.

Besides limitations on color, it is also important to note that a non-lighted registration plate is considered an offense. White is the only permitted color for your registration plate.

  • Penalty: If you fail to follow the codified laws of the state, you will face a penalty based on your violation. If you illuminate your registration plate using any other color besides white, it is considered a petty offense.
    • It is a Class 2 misdemeanor for the unapproved use of blue light and for a red light to be visible from the front of a civilian’s vehicle.

As per South Dakota’s vehicle code, underglow neon lights are not assumed to be illegal. These laws explicitly prohibit the use of blue lights.

Since there are no other restrictions, we can conclude that neon lights of other colors (besides red and blue) are permitted.

Though the laws do not expressly forbid flashing or oscillating lights, it is highly recommended that such lights be avoided. Strobing lights are distracting to other drivers on the road and are mainly used by emergency and police vehicles.

There is a possibility that these laws may differ across South Dakota. Make sure to match the given information with local agencies before you make any modifications.

State of South Dakota Info

Flag of South Dakota

Home to the famous Mount Rushmore, South Dakota is situated in the North Central part of the U.S.

Named after the native American Indian tribes, Lakota and Dakota Sioux, South Dakota is the 5th least populated state in the country.

Part of the Dakota Territory in the past, South Dakota, became a U.S. state on 2 November 1889, along with North Dakota.

Population: 202,600
Capital: Pierre
Registered vehicles: 1,294,282
Total lane miles: 166,635
Number of highways: 4

Wikipedia | State Website

Underglow light law reference: South Dakota Legislature

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