HomeCar CultureCommentaryCalifornia governor gets bill that ends instant fines for loud exhaust

California governor gets bill that ends instant fines for loud exhaust


You may recall the upset earlier this year when drivers in California started receiving fines for having exhaust systems that were too loud to meet the requirements of a law passed in May 1998 that prohibited vehicle exhaust louder than 95 decibels.

Though the law had been on the books for more than 20 years, what changed was a bill passed in 2018 that required police officers to issue an immediate fine instead of the traditional 30-day repair notice.

Steps were taken in the California Assembly to stop the immediate fines and to return to the 30-day repair program, and SEMA reported this week that SB 112 has gone to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for his signature.

SB 112 is a budget implementation bill that restores the “fix-it” ticket instead of levying an immediate fine, SEMA said.

“SEMA thanks Assembly Members Grayson, Boerner-Horvath, Ting, and Chen, and Senator Mitchell for their tireless work on behalf of the over 1,700 member companies based in the Golden State,” SEMA’s vice president for legal and government affairs Daniel Ingber, was quoted in the organization’s news release.

As for the people who equipped their vehicles with aftermarket exhausts systems, Ingber added: “Thanks to their efforts, enthusiasts in California will continue to be afforded due process under the law.”

Larry Edsall
Larry Edsall
A former daily newspaper sports editor, Larry Edsall spent a dozen years as an editor at AutoWeek magazine before making the transition to writing for the web and becoming the author of more than 15 automotive books. In addition to being founding editor at ClassicCars.com, Larry has written for The New York Times and The Detroit News and was an adjunct honors professor at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.


  1. Good for Gov. Gavin.
    Now, if someone could do something about the draconian noise control reg in Jerome, AZ, where when last I visited, they smugly and gleefully ticketed even out of state drivers/riders for simply having aftermarket exhaust, regardless of the noise. I proved my system was factory and in good repair, but it wasn’t fun, screwed my whole vacation, and I’ll be damned if I ever spend another dime in Arizona.
    Maybe Gov. Gavin could be persuaded to change residency and run in AZ?


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