Law & Order

SEMA Publishes Comprehensive Guide to Federal Regulation of Aftermarket Parts

SEMA’s Government Affairs Office has compiled a comprehensive guide on how motor-vehicle parts are regulated by the federal government, which can be viewed at It is a must-read document for every SEMA member.  

The guide is generally presented in a Q&A format, with links to online resources for more information. Topics include an overview of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, emissions standards (Environmental Protection Agency and California) and special sections on lighting equipment, wheels and tires and fuel economy. The guide also answers questions such as:

  • Is my company required to register with the NHTSA?
  • What are my obligations as an importer?
  • What is self-certification?
  • Is “DOT-approved” a legal term?
  • How is lighting equipment regulated by the federal and state government?
  • Where can I download NHTSA rules and regulations?  

To learn more about the SEMA government affairs efforts and how your company can stay current with federal and state laws and regulations, contact Stuart Gosswein at