Usage of neon underglow lighting is governed by Oregon Revised Statutes, Volume 17: Utilities, Vehicle Code [...], Chapter 816: Vehicle Equipment: Lights.
Is neon underglow legal in Oregon?
Oregon law does not specifically restrict additional vehicle lighting which would include neon underglow. Therefore it’s our conclusion that in Oregon neon underglow is not illegal, as long as you avoid these restrictions:
- No red color may be visible from the front of the vehicle
- Only permitted color in the rear of your car is red (white license plate illumination excluded)
- Blue color is completely prohibited and is reserved for police vehicles
- No flashing lights are allowed
Ensure you never use any blue colored lights, and only use steady burning neon glow without any flashing, revolving, rotating or oscillating lights. To be safe we also recommend avoiding red colored lights on all aftermarket lighting systems installed on your car.
There are no relevant OR state laws which specifically restrict or prohibit installing underbody lighting, meaning we consider it legal to use it while driving.
Oregon vehicle lighting laws
Below are all relevant excerpts from Oregon Vehicle Code that limit, restrict or allow certain aftermarket lights to be installed on vehicles.
815.005 Consistent parts and equipment authorized.
Nothing in the vehicle code shall be construed to prohibit the use of additional parts and accessories on any vehicle not inconsistent with the provisions of the vehicle code.
This section essentially allows using after-market vehicle lighting, as long as it is not in violation of other provisions and regulations in Oregon Vehicle Code. Therefore as long as your underglow does not violate state laws and regulations it is considered legal.
816.090 Registration plate lights.
Each of the following is a requirement for registration plate lights as described:
(1) A registration plate light shall be so constructed and placed as to illuminate the rear registration plate of the vehicle.
(2) A registration plate light may either be constructed as a separate light or as part of a taillight.
(3) A registration plate light shall show a white light.
816.250 Police lights.
Each of the following is a requirement for police lights as described:
(1) Police lights may be blue, red, yellow, amber or white.
(2) Police lights may be revolving or stationary-type flashing lights.
816.350 Prohibitions on number and kind of lights for certain vehicles.
(2) Except when blue or purple inserts are allowed under ORS 816.080, 816.100 or 816.120, no vehicle may have any lighting equipment mounted on the rear that displays or reflects any color other than red except for the following lighting equipment:
(a) Turn signal lights.
(b) Rear mounted lighting systems.
(c) Registration plate lights.
(d) Back-up lights. [...]
(4) Vehicles operated by a police officer and used for law enforcement may be equipped with any type of police lights, but only these vehicles may be equipped with blue lights. [...]
(11) Except as otherwise allowed under this section, no vehicle or equipment may display or carry any lighting equipment or device with a red light visible from directly in front of the vehicle or equipment.
(12) Except as otherwise allowed under this section, all flashing lights are prohibited on all motor vehicles on any street or highway except for turn signals, hazard lights and headlight flashing systems described in ORS 816.050.
As per article 816.300 and 816.360 operating a vehicle with nonstandard or prohibited lighting equipment is a Class C traffic violation.
816.300 Operation with nonstandard lighting equipment; penalty.
(1) A person commits the offense of operation with nonstandard lighting equipment if the person does any of the following:
(a) Drives or moves on any highway any vehicle equipped with lighting equipment described under ORS 816.040 to 816.290 that does not meet the standards required for the equipment under ORS 816.040 to 816.290.
(b) Owns a vehicle or combination of vehicles and causes or knowingly permits the vehicle or combination of vehicles to be driven or moved on any highway when the vehicle or combination is equipped with lighting equipment described under ORS 816.040 to 816.290 that does not meet the standards required for the equipment under ORS 816.040 to 816.290.
(2) The application of this section is subject to the exemptions from this section established under ORS 816.310.
(3) The offense described in this section [816.300] operation with nonstandard lighting equipment, is a Class C traffic violation.
816.360 Use of prohibited lighting equipment; penalty.
(1) A person commits the offense of use of prohibited lighting equipment if the person does any of the following:
(a) Drives or moves on any highway any vehicle that is equipped with lighting equipment that the vehicle is not allowed under ORS 816.350.
(b) Owns a vehicle or combination of vehicles and causes or knowingly permits the vehicle or combination of vehicles to be driven or moved on any highway when the vehicle or combination is equipped with lights that the vehicle or combination is not allowed under ORS 816.350.
(2) The application of this section is subject to the exemptions from this section established under ORS 816.370.
(3) The offense described in this section, use of prohibited lighting equipment, is a Class C traffic violation.
Note that penalties only apply to either using prohibited lighting, or using lighting equipment specifically required or permitted which is in violation of the laws. Neon underbody glow is not part of the required and therefore described vehicle equipment, and thus should technically not fall under the same regulations, but use at your own risk.
State of Oregon Info
Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern boundaries, respectively. Oregon is the 9th most expansive and the 27th most populous of the 50 United States. Salem is the state's capital and third-most-populous city; Portland is the most populous. Portland is the 29th-largest U.S. city, with a population of 603,106 (2012 estimate) and a metro population of 2,262,605 (2011 estimate), the 23rd-largest U.S. metro area.
Area: 98,381 sq mi (255,026 km2)
Cities in Oregon: Portland, Bend, Eugene, Salem, Beaverton, Corvallis, Medford, Hillsboro, Ashland, Lake Oswego, Grants Pass, Coos Bay, Klamath Falls, Oregon City, Newport, Astoria, Seaside, Lincoln City, Cannon Beach, Gresham, Tigard, Roseburg, McMinnville, Fossil, Brookings, The Dalles, Hood River, Albany, Florence, Springfield, Redmond, Milwaukie, La Grande, Pendleton, Bandon, Newberg, Tualatin, Sherwood, Wilsonville, West Linn, Helix, Sisters, Boring, Baker City, Power City, Forest Grove, Tillamook, Prineville, Minam, Hermiston
Counties in Oregon: Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Columbia, Coos, Crook, Curry, Deschutes, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Hood River, Jackson, Jefferson, Josephine, Klamath, Lake, Lane, Lincoln, Linn, Malheur, Marion, Morrow, Multnomah, Polk, Sherman, Tillamook, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, Washington, Wheeler, Yamhill
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