Washington D.C. Neon Underglow Laws

Washington D.C. neon underglow usage is governed by the state's Code. All relevant laws, rules and regulations pertaining to vehicle lighting including car underglow in Washington D.C. have been provided below. Make sure to examine the regulations carefully and do not use any restricted lights.

Usage of neon underglow lighting is governed by District of Columbia Municipal Regulations, Title 18: Vehicles and Traffic, Chapter 7: Motor Vehicle Equipment.

Is neon underglow legal in Washington D.C.?

Washington D.C. law does not specifically restrict additional aftermarket vehicle lighting which would include neon underglow. Therefore it’s our conclusion that in Washington DC neon underglow is not illegal, as long as you follow these restrictions:

  • No red lights may be visible from the front of the vehicle
  • License plate illumination must be white
  • Flashing lights are prohibited

We highly recommend avoiding blue and red colors on any aftermarket lights including underbody glow, as these colors are typically used for emergency vehicles. To be safe you should only use white or amber underglow.

There are no relevant District of Columbia laws which specifically allow or prohibit installing car underglow, meaning we consider it legal to install, but not recommended to use while driving.

Washington D.C. vehicle lighting laws

Below are all relevant excerpts from Washington Vehicle Code that limit, restrict or allow certain aftermarket lights to be installed on vehicles.

18-708 – Color and mounting of reflectors, clearance ramps, side marker lamps, and back-up lamps:

Front clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of a vehicle shall display or reflect an amber color.

Rear clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the rear or on the sides near the rear of a vehicle shall display or reflect a red color.

All lighting devices and reflectors mounted on the rear of any vehicle shall display or reflect a red color, except as provided in § 708.4.

708.4  The stop light or other signal device mounted on the rear of a vehicle may be red, amber, or yellow; the light illuminating the license plate shall be white; and the light emitted by a back-up lamp shall be white.

18-714 – Additional lighting equipment:

Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two (2) sidecowl or fender lamps which shall emit an amber or white light without glare.

Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than one (1) running-board courtesy lamp on each side of the vehicle which shall emit white or amber light without glare.

Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not more than two (2) back-up lamps either separately or in combination with other lamps, but the back-up lamps shall not be lighted when the motor vehicle is in forward motion, nor shall they have a maximum intensity of more than seven hundred fifty (750) beam candlepower per lamp.

Our information about car neon underglow laws in Washington D.C. was last updated in 2023 and checked in 2024. In case any info we provided is not up to date or correct be sure to contact us so we can revise it. Thank you!

Check our data with your local law enforcement or other relevant agencies! Washington D.C. underglow laws in certain cities or counties may be different from state legislation. While we do our very best to provide the most accurate information about LED and neon street glow usage we will not be held liable for any potentially incorrect or misinterpreted info.

State of Washington D.C. Info

Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States.

Capital: Washington, D.C.

Population: 658,893 (2014)

Area: 68.3 sq miles (176.9 km²)

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