Understanding the Laws on Car Decals in NY: A Comprehensive Guide

June 25, 2023 - 8:15 am - 4 min read
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New York State has strict laws when it comes to the modification of cars. One specific area that has generated much debate lately is the use of car decals. Some car owners consider it a way of personalizing their ride while others see it as a safety hazard. Whatever your reason for wanting to adorn your car with decals or stickers, it is crucial to familiarize yourself with the laws on car decals in NY to avoid any legal issues that may arise. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about car decal laws in NY, from what they are to when you need to remove them.

What are Car Decals?

Car decals are self-adhesive vinyl stickers that are used to decorate or promote a specific cause. They come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, and can be placed anywhere on the car’s exterior or interior. Some examples of common car decals include bumper stickers, window decals, and rear window graphics.

Types of Car Decals Allowed in NY

In New York, there are specific guidelines that dictate the type of decals that are allowed on cars. The rules are aimed at keeping motorists safe and minimizing distractions while driving. Below are the types of car decals that are permitted in NY:

1. Safety or emergency decals: These are decals that display important information regarding the vehicle, such as its weight, load limits, or safety features, that may be useful in case of an accident.

2. Family decals: These decals usually depict family members, pets, or other similar images. They are allowed as long as they do not obstruct the driver’s view when looking through the rear window.

3. Collegiate decals: These are decals representing a college, university, or other academic institution. They are permitted as long as they do not exceed four inches in height and three-and-a-half inches in width.

4. Sports decals: These are decals that show love for a specific sports team or athlete. They are allowed as long as they do not obstruct the driver’s view and do not exceed four inches in height and three-and-a-half inches in width.

5. Political decals: Political decals are permitted on cars as long as they do not cause any distraction or nuisance to other motorists. They must not cover more than 50% of the rear window area, and the driver’s view must not be obstructed.

Types of Car Decals Prohibited in NY

Just as there are permitted types of car decals in NY, there are also those that are prohibited. Below are the types of car decals that you should avoid using on your car at all costs:

1. Offensive decals: These include decals that have obscene or vulgar language, or images that may be considered racist, sexist, or discriminatory.

2. Commercial decals: These are decals that promote a business, or try to sell a product or service. They are not allowed on cars, as they are considered a form of advertising in public spaces.

3. Driver distraction decals: These are decals that can distract other drivers or pedestrians, such as bright or flashy decals or stickers with moving or blinking images.

Penalties for Violating Car Decal Laws in NY

If you are found infringing on the car decal laws in NY, you can face serious legal consequences, including fines and even the impounding of your car. The fines range from $0 to $150, depending on the severity of the violation. You can also get points on your driver’s license.

When You Need to Remove Car Decals in NY

There are specific situations where you may need to remove car decals in NY. These include:

1. When the decal obstructs the driver’s view of the road.

2. When the decal covers more than 50% of the rear window.

3. When the decal contains offensive material.

4. When the decal interferes with the safety or emergency information on the car.

Conclusion

In conclusion, it is important to understand the laws on car decals in NY before investing in them. Remember that the law is in place to ensure the safety and well-being of all motorists and pedestrians, so it is crucial to comply with it. By keeping the permitted types of car decals in mind, you can customize your car without running afoul of the law. Happy decorating!

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