Neon Underglow Laws

Illinois Neon Underglow Lights Laws

Neon or more popularly called underglow lights are very popular among car enthusiasts looking to improve their car’s appearance. Though safety issues are less talked about with underglow lights, most car (or even motorcycle or truck) owners attach neon lights to their vehicles simply to make them look better.

Most states restrict the color or luminosity or neon lights attached to the car, among other things. Enthusiast drivers can take things too far sometimes, so to ensure other drivers don’t get distracted by overly flashy vehicles there are laws to prevent various modifications. For neon underglow, most of these laws are found under “Unlawful vehicle modifications” and “Lighting requirements”.

In the state of Illinois (IL), neon underglow lights are considered illegal to use. Below you can find the basic overview of guidelines pertaining to neon car lights in Illinois.

Are neon underglow lights legal in Illinois?

Illinois laws specifically prohibit all lighting devices on vehicles which are not expressly allowed by Illinois Code. Since neon or LED underbody lights are not mentioned in laws, they are not legal to install or use.

Illinois street glow laws furthermore prohibit and severely punish using any flashing, rotating or oscillating vehicle lighting. Since most LED underglow systems can flash and change colors, it’s not recommended to use such systems.

Law source:

  1. Illinois Compiled Statutes: Illinois Vehicle Code, Chapter 12: Equipment of Vehicles, Article II: Lights and Lamps.

Other restrictions

As mentioned Illinois laws do not permit any kind of flashing, oscillating, or rotating lights on cars unless specifically authorized (emergency vehicles). Even if unlighted, the possession of such lights is illegal. LED underglow is typically capable of flashing and rotating colors, and installing this type of underbody glow system is prohibited.

Since the very possession is illegal we strongly suggest never installing underglow on cars in Illinois. If you do, ensure the lights are always hidden underneath the vehicle chassis, and that you never turn the lights on while on public property.


Underglow system which is outside the law may result on you getting cited. In Illinois operating a vehicle equipped with unauthorized lights is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Remember, even if these lights are not in use while driving you are still in violation of Illinois laws.

Displaying red, blue, green or any combinations of these colors with white can also lead to further penalties and fines. You can be charged with impersonating an emergency vehicle which is a serious crime with severe penalties.

This article about Illinois Neon Underglow Lights Laws was last updated in 2024. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!