Many people decide to purchase after-market products for their vehicles such as headlamps, window tint and licence plate products.  Although many of these products are readily available in Canada, it is important to know whether or not it’s legal to have on your vehicle before you decide to make a purchase.

Depending on the size of the lettering this may be illegal.  There can be nothing obstructing the driver’s view of the road ahead.  A good guide is the area swept by the windshield wipers.

HTA 73(1)(b) - Have object obstructing view – Fine: $85.00 plus surcharge

There is no restriction on window tint or colouring on rear windows as long as there are side mirrors providing a clear view to the rear.  A driver must have a clear view out of the front windows and the windshield and a police officer must have a clear view in.

HTA 73(1)(a) – Window obstructed / Windshield obstructed – Fine: $85.00 plus surcharge

HTA 73(3) – Colour coating obscuring interior – Fine: $85.00 plus surcharge

Motor vehicles must have a system to remove moisture from the windshield.  It must be in good working order at all times and controlled by the driver.

HTA 66(1)(a) – Improper windshield wiper / No windshield wiper – Fine: $85.00 plus surcharge

It is illegal to have any other light at the licence plate other than white and the light must shine on the plate only.

HTA 62(19) – Improper number plate light – Fine: $85.00 plus surcharge

Every motor vehicle (except motorcycles) must display two plates; One ON the front and one ON the back in a conspicuous location.  The Plate has to be ON the vehicle, not IN the vehicle.

HTA 7(1)(b) – Drive motor vehicle fail to display two plates - Fine: $85.00 plus surcharge

It is an offence to obstruct, cover or do anything that makes the licence plate numbers not plainly visible or makes the plate appear to be different from the intended appearance.

Dark, coloured or dirty cover HTA – 13(2) – Obstruct plate / Dirty Plate / Entire plate not plainly visible – Fine: $85.00 plus surcharge

Yellow or red cover HTA – 13(1) – Confuse identity of plate – Fine: $85.00 plus surcharge

The sticker or val-tag must be affixed to the top right corner of the rear plate for cars and front plate for trucks

HTA 12(1)(f) – Use validation not in accordance with Act / Regulations – Fine: $140.00 plus surcharge

Plates have to be registered to the car that they are on and the sticker has to match both the car and the plate.

HTA 12(1)(d) – Use plate not authorized for vehicle - No Set Fine

HTA 12(1)(e) – Use validation not furnished for vehicle - No Set Fine

Red lights to the front are restricted to Police, Fire and Ambulance.  Green flashing lights are restricted to Volunteer Firefighters and blue flashing lights are restricted to Police, Snow ploughs and Highway Sanders. Therefore, it is illegal to have them on any other vehicle other than the ones prescribed above.

HTA - 62(15) (Red Lights) - Red light at front – Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

HTA - 62(16.1) (Green Lights)  Use VFF lamp improperly - Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

HTA - 62(32) (Blue Lights) – Improper use of blue flashing light - Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

It is illegal to cover headlights with any tinted or coloured material or to reduce the effective area of the beam of your headlights at night (½ hour before sunset and ½ hour after sunrise).

HTA 62(7) - Drive with headlamp coated / Drive with headlamp covered / Drive with headlamp modified - Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

Tires that are worn to below 1.5 millimetres in two adjacent major grooves or tread wear indicators contact the roadway are unsafe.  Any exposed cord or bulges in the sidewall make the tries unsafe too.  It is illegal to use any tire that is marked “not for highway use” or any tire that is not DOT or otherwise approved.

HTA 70(3)(a) – Improper tires - Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

The tires must be approved for highway use and are not in contact with any part of the car.  The vehicle must also have mud guards, mud flaps or fenders sufficient to control wheel spray.  It does not have to be raining.

HTA 70(3)(a) – Improper tires - Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

HTA 66(3) – Improper mudguards / No mudguards - Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

The vehicle must be OVER 6.1 meters in length and the lights can only be amber or green.  They can not be visible to the front or the rear.  The lights cannot be flashing. 

HTA - 62(13) – Improper use of side marker lamps –  Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

Lowered suspension is not illegal, however no part of the tires may come into contact with the vehicle and the front wheels cannot be visibly out of alignment.

HTA 70(3)(a) – Improper tires - Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

Mud guards must be adequate to reduce wheel spray or splash.

HTA 66(3) – Improper mudguards –  Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

Any unreasonable or unnecessary noise or smoke coming from any vehicle is an offence.

HTA 75(4) – Unreasonable smoke/Unnecessary noise - Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

All motor vehicles and motorcycles need to be equipped with a muffler in good working order and in constant operation to prevent excessive or unusual noise and excessive smoke.  Use of a muffler cut-out, straight exhaust, gutted muffler, Hollywood muffler, by-pass or similar device is prohibited. 

HTA 75(1) – No muffler - Motor Vehicle / Improper muffler - Motor Vehicle – Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

Motor vehicles must have at least one mirror to provide you with a clear view of the road to the rear.

HTA 66(1)(b) – Improper mirror / No Mirror - Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

Racing harnesses typically are not DOT or otherwise approved.  Replacement seat belts cannot be marked “not for highway use” and the anchor points must be of adequate strength.

HTA 106(1) – Drive with seat belt inoperative / modified - Fine $85.00 plus surcharge

Click here for to view the Highway Traffic Act - Equipment section.