When the clock struck midnight on January 1, 2019, a new traffic law went into effect in California regarding aftermarket exhausts. Before, if you got pulled over for an “excessively loud” exhaust, officers had the option to give you a “fix-it” ticket. That meant rather than getting slapped with the full violation fine, you could put the stock unit back on, take it to an inspection station, and pay a small $25 fine to cover the paperwork. That is no longer possible, and you will have to pay the full fine.
The new law, Assembly Bill 1824, is written in confusing legal jargon, but the California Highway Patrol has confirmed in simpler language. The Antelope Valley CHP also reiterated on their Facebook page in even more direct language:
As of January 1, 2019, a modified exhaust on an automobile or motorcycle, excessively loud, can no longer be cited as a correctable violation. Assembly Bill AB1824 has taken away the opportunity to correct the violation and requires a citation for such violation to result in a fine only. In many cases may also result in a trip to the Bureau of Automotive Repair B.A.R. If you feel your vehicle is grossly negligent in this area, removing resonators, deleting mufflers etc. You know who you are. Don’t waste your hard earned money on this violation. Drive safe everyone.
The fine, which can range from $200 to $1,000, can no longer be dropped. You’ll still have to put it back to stock; you’ll just be out $175 to $975 more than before. And In case you’re wondering, the noise limit is 95 decibels for a vehicle weighing less than 6,000 pounds. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. This has been a public service announcement from JNC.