Vehicle Exhaust Noise

Florida Vehicle Exhaust Noise Laws

Many car enthusiasts decide to modify their car’s exhaust system, but there are laws governing the noise limit your vehicle can produce. The section below outlines relevant laws and legislation pertaining to car exhaust noise laws in Florida.

Florida legal exhaust noise summary:

Florida prohibits vehicles from producing any excessive or unusual noise. Laws require vehicles exhaust systems to be equipped with muffler, manifold pipe, and tailpiping at all times while in operation.

Motor vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1979 may produce up to 72 db A when speed limit is under 35 mph, or 79 db A where speed limit is over 35 mph. Most vehicles fall into this category. Table below displays all vehicle exhaust noise regulations as per Florida laws:

Vehicles: Noise level:
Speed limit < 30 mph Speed limit > 30 mph
Before Jan 1, 1979: 76 dB A 82 dB A
After Jan 1, 1979: 72 dB A 79 dB A
After Jan 1, 1975 and over 10,000 lb 86 dB A 90 dB A
Motorcycles before Jan 1, 1979 82 dB A 86 dB A
Motorcycles after Jan 1, 1979 78 dB A 82 dB A

“dB A” means the composite abbreviation for the A-weighted sound level and the unit of sound level, the decibel.

The following law excerpts are from Florida Motor Vehicle Code, Section §316.293.

Sec. 316.293. Motor vehicle noise

[…] No person shall operate or be permitted to operate a vehicle at any time or under any condition of roadway grade, load, acceleration, or deceleration in such a manner as to generate a sound level in excess of the following limit for the category of motor vehicle and applicable speed limit at a distance of 50 feet from the center of the lane of travel under measurement procedures […]

This following paragraph from Section 293 is very important as it restricts using any non-original equipment which can increase noise limits on cars or other vehicles:

(a) No person shall modify the exhaust system of a motor vehicle or any other noise-abatement device of a motor vehicle operated or to be operated upon the highways of this state in such a manner that the noise emitted by the motor vehicle is above that emitted by the vehicle as originally manufactured.

This makes it illegal to use any aftermarket modifications louder than ones your vehicle is manufactured with. All devices producing excessive exhaust noise are not legal. Exceptions are provided for emergency vehicles, vehicles used in races or similar events, agricultural equipment, and test vehicles.

Legal exhaust noise summary:

To summarize, any exhaust system modifications on vehicles registered in Florida must not produce “excessive or unusual” noise. Noise emissions from vehicles must not be greater than noise with original manufactured equipment.

Essentially this means many exhaust system modifications which increase noise and are frequently done on sports or racing vehicles can be considered illegal. If you install aftermarket exhaust modifications make sure it does not produce excessive noise.

Florida laws specify noise limit in decibels as displayed in the table above. Regular vehicles may produce 72-79 dB A of noise, measured from 50 feet.

Violating vehicle exhaust noise laws in Florida is considered a traffic infraction, punishable as a non-moving violation as described in Chapter 318 of Florida statutes.

Sources and more info:

  1. Florida Motor Vehicles, State Uniform Traffic Control, Chapter 316, Section 272: Exhaust systems, prevention of noise
  2. Florida Motor Vehicles, State Uniform Traffic Control, Chapter 316, Section 293: Motor vehicle noise

Please remember that state laws are subject to change, and it is important to consult the current statutes and regulations in Florida but also your local city or county to ensure accurate information.

This article about Florida Vehicle Exhaust Noise Laws was last updated in 2019. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!