Legislation Introduced to Repeal 2018 California Exhaust Noise Law

By SEMA  Washington, D.C., Staff

Beginning January 1, 2019, a motorist cited for violating the current California exhaust noise law can receive an immediate fine. Previously, motorists received what is known as a “fix-it” ticket, which allowed for 30 days to correct the violation.

California Assembly members Jim Frazier and Tim Grayson introduced SEMA-supported legislation (A.B. 390) to repeal a 2018 law (A.B. 1824) that amended how California law enforcement officials issue citations for exhaust noise violations. Both assemblymen are members of the SEMA-supported State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus and have previously attended the SEMA Show. Assemblyman Frazier is the Chair of the Committee on Transportation.

Signed by then-Governor Jerry Brown in June of 2018, A.B. 1824 amended how excess exhaust noise violations are treated by law enforcement. Pursuant to the law, a vehicle cited for violating exhaust noise laws no longer receive what is known as a “fix-it” ticket. Instead, violations now result in an immediate fine. A.B. 390 would re-institute law enforcement’s discretion to issue “fix-it” tickets.

In California, exhaust systems installed on motor vehicles with a manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating of less than 6,000 lbs., other than motorcycles, may not exceed a sound level of 95 decibels when tested under Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test procedure J1492 (formerly J1169). This would be unchanged by A.B. 390.

A.B. 390 is currently awaiting committee assignment in the Assembly. Legislation introduced in the state must undergo a 30-day waiting period before consideration by the legislature.

Supporters can stay informed on this and other issues by signing-up for the SEMA Action Network (SAN). There is no cost or obligation to receive updates on the bill’s progress and how to shape its future.

For more information: Fact vs. Fiction: California’s New Exhaust Noise Law.

Questions? Please contact Christian Robinson at