Colored car lights banned starting July 1 under new state law

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Say goodbye to colorful headlights.

An Indiana law passed during this year’s legislative session requires Indiana drivers to have white or amber headlights. The law, Senate Enrolled Act 266, goes into effect July 1. Gov. Eric Holcomb signed it into law in March.

That means other colors of lights—like red, blue, green, etc.—aren’t allowed on the front of vehicles. The new law also mandates that stop lamps/taillights on a vehicle must be red and backup lights need to be white or amber.

"Historically, in Indiana, and other states as well, colored lights are designated for emergency vehicles and so, we want to eliminate any confusion on the roadways," said Indiana State Police Trooper John Perrine.

LED lights that have a blue-ish tint are still okay. Perrine said colored under-lights that face forward or backward will also be illegal.

The soon-to-be illegal lights aren't factory standard and are generally installed by individuals for personal and aesthetic reasons.

"The higher the voltage of the light is not necessarily how much better and brighter it is to drive. It just changes the color for the higher voltage," explained Ronald Freer, the store manager at Best One Tire.

Freer said Hoosiers who need to get their lights replaced to follow with the new law should do it soon. Some vehicles are more complex and require more work to fix the lights.

"There are a lot of cars that the whole front bumper has to come off to do headlight replacements," said Freer.

Headlight replacements generally cost between $30 and $150.

Sgt. Todd Ringle with Indiana State Police tweeted about the new rules Tuesday and said the law means lights around license plates must be white:

In response to questions about the law, Ringle tweeted that the current law on headlights and taillights was “outdated” and had “a few loopholes.”

The law doesn't apply to certain vehicles, like buses and those used by emergency responders.

State police said initially, troopers will hand out warnings, until drivers get familiar with the new law. Counties establish the individual fines and it could be between $100 and $150 if you get a ticket.

If you have questions about if your lights are legal, you can contact state police.

Here’s the relevant portion from the digest of the new law:

Specifies that head lamps on motor vehicles, motorcycles, and motor driven cycles may display only white or amber light. Requires that motor vehicles except for motorcycles, motor vehicles manufactured before January 1, 1956, and motor driven cycles must be equipped with two stoplights. Specifies that: (1) stop lamps on the rear of a vehicle must be red; and (2) signal lamps on the rear of a vehicle must display only red or amber light or any shade of color between red and amber. Specifies that signal lamps showing to the front of a vehicle must display only white or amber light or any shade of color between white and amber.

You can learn more about the law here.