Other states, such as Rhode Island, handle the issue of minimum vehicle height using the manufacturer's specified height as the standard and do not allow for deviations more than 4 inches from that standard. Maine uses a similar standard based on frame height with the minimum frame height limited to no less than 10 inches from the ground, unless the vehicle was originally manufactured with a frame height of less than 10 inches. In Minnesota, a lowered vehicle is measured by its bumper height and may vary up to 6 inches from the manufacturer's original manufactured bumper height. Many states choose simply to place limitations on maximum vehicle height. Others prohibit modification of a vehicle in a way that would cause the vehicle body or chassis to come into contact with the ground, expose the fuel tank to damage from collision, or cause the wheels to come in contact with the body.

2. Inoperable Vehicles


Freedom is...waking up on the weekend and being able to work on your own car, in your OWN BACKYARD. Don't Get Zoned Out! You come home one afternoon only to find a ticket on your lowrider project vehicle that's parked on your property. Sounds like a nightmare scenario, doesn't it? But in some areas of the country, it's all too real. State and local laws? some on the books now, others pending? can or will dictate where you can work to restore or modify your project vehicle. Believe it or not, that project car or truck you've stashed behind your house until the new crate engine arrives or the cherished collectible you've hung onto since high school to pass down to your kids could very easily be towed right out of your yard depending on the zoning laws in your area.

Why is the long arm of the law reaching into your backyard? Some zealous government officials are waging war against what they consider "eyesores." To us, of course, these are valuable on-going restoration projects. But to a non-enthusiast lawmaker, your diamond-in-the-rough looks like a junker ready for the salvage yard. If you're not careful, that's exactly where it will wind up. Hobbyists are becoming increasingly concerned about the many states and localities currently enforcing or attempting to legislate strict property or zoning laws that include restrictions on visible inoperable automobile bodies and parts. Often, removal of these vehicles from private property is enforced through local nuisance laws with minimal or no notice to the owner. Jurisdictions enforce or seek to enact these laws for a variety of reasons, most particularly because they believe: 1) inoperative vehicles are eyesores that adversely affect property values or 2) inoperative vehicles pose a health risk associated with leaking fluids and chemicals. Many such laws are drafted broadly, allowing for the confiscation of vehicles being repaired or restored.

For the purposes of these laws, "inoperable vehicles" are most often defined as those on which the engine, wheels or other parts have been removed, altered, damaged or allowed to deteriorate so that the vehicle cannot be driven. The following are some common conditions that cause vehicles to be in violation of these laws:

* Missing tires
* Vehicle on blocks
* Front windshield missing
* No engine
* Steering wheel missing
* License plate with expired registration date
* No license tag