Learn Automotive Lighting
International Laws and Regulations

What Makes Legal?

For all equipment required on new motor vehicles and replacements for that equipment, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 108, "Lamps, reflective devices, and associated equipment" applies.  US safety standards are public law and apply to all parties associated with the manufacturing, importing, distributing, selling, installing, or repairing motor vehicle and motor vehicle equipment.  These parties must self-certify that all regulated vehicle and equipment comply with the applicable regulations prior to sale, and also must not interfere with regulated equipment installed in any manner that impairs the regulated equipment. The U.S. government does not approve any motor vehicle equipment, nor does it give type approvals, or compel testing.   

Code of Federal Regulations


Summary Description of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards


(Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 571)



ANSI is a private, non-profit organization (501(c)3) that administers and coordinates the U.S. voluntary standardization and conformity assessment system. The Institute's mission is to enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.  

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe


Light Source Regulations: Reg.37 (filament lamps) and Reg.99 (HID)  

Luminaire Regulations: Reg. 1,4,6,7,19,23,38,48,77,87,98,112,113…  

Installation of Lighting and Light Signaling Devices”: Reg. 48  

Canadian Motor Vehicles Safety Standards CMVSS 108


State Policies  

Resource - AAA Digest of Motor Vehicle Laws  

AAA Motor vehicle laws - Lighting falls under "other traffic laws" or "safety laws".

Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute - Lighting Research Center

Universities Researching Lighting and/ or Other Automotive Related Topics


University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute