Are Auxiliary Lights Legal? When Do I Need to Cover my Lights on the Road?

September 30 2022

Are Auxiliary Lights Legal? When Do I Need to Cover my Lights on the Road?


Modern motorcycle headlights are nearly always lacking in performance, which is why auxiliary lights are needed to ensure you can see the road or trail in front of you and so others can see you in traffic. At DENALI, we believe in adding the best and highest quality lights to your motorcycle or side-by-side while still staying legal. Rules and regulations pertaining to auxiliary lights vary by state, country, and even municipality. It’s nearly impossible to explain all of the state laws that might apply to a particular rider in a specific state, so we have assembled some general guidelines and links to assist you in researching the laws that apply to you and your area. 

Are Auxiliary Lights Street-Legal?

Many of the lights in the DENALI catalog offer certifications, such as DOT and ECE, that make our lights legal to use on roads in varying situations. 

Department of Transportation (DOT)

A light that is DOT compliant means that the lighting meets section 108 requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. These rules regulate the use of lights on vehicles in the United States. In order to obtain DOT certification, lights must meet certain vibration, water resistance, dust resistance, and performance standards. You can identify a DOT-approved light by the SAE number on the lens. 

For example, the DENALI D3 Fog Light above is DOT and E-Mark approved for street-legal use in states where DOT or ECE laws are followed.

E-Mark/ECE Certification

When lights have E-mark approval, that means they have been approved by the Economic Commission of Europe (ECE) for use in the European Union. Lights that meet ECE standards have been tested to ensure that lights are not blinding to oncoming traffic. 


DENALI Slip on Light Covers

When Should I Use Driving Light Covers?

In short, light covers should be used when the law requires or when conditions warrant. In extremely hazardous conditions like a sand storm in the desert, lens covers are handy to prevent potential damage to the lens of your lights. 

Additionally, light covers should be used when laws require them. Many states require covers to be used when auxiliary lights are installed outside of a certain distance from the headlights or when the quantity of forward-facing lights exceeds a number established by the law. 

In most states and countries, light covers are required to be completely opaque and cover the entire surface of the lamp. Opaque covers prevent any light from shining through them (opposite of translucent). In many states that require vehicle inspection, lights that are covered properly are exempt from inspection. 

DENALI Slip-On Blackout Covers keep your bike street legal in states that require aftermarket lighting to be covered on public roads. Once you get to the trails, slip the covers off of your DENALI D7 lights and go. The rugged silicone construction of the Slip-On Covers protect from rocks and other debris, providing an even longer lifespan to your DENALI lights.


Laws by US State 

If you are unsure about your local rules and regulations, we have assembled a list of lighting regulations for each of the 50 United States. We are lighting experts, not legal experts. If you have questions or concerns about your local laws, consult local law enforcement or an attorney. 

Alabama: Motor Vehicles and Traffic § 32-5A-115 

Alaska: Article 2- Lighting Equipment

Arizona: Title 28- Article 16

Arkansas: Code Title 27

California: Chapter 2

Colorado: Title 42

Connecticut: DMV FAQ

Delaware: Title 21

Florida: Chapter 316

Georgia: Title 40

Hawaii: Chapter 261

Idaho: Chapter 9

Illinois: Chapter 95

Indiana: Title 9

Iowa: Chapter 321

Kansas: Article 17

Kentucky: Chapter 189

Louisiana: Title 32

Maine: Chapter 17

Maryland: Title 22

Massachusetts: Section 16

Michigan: Chapter 257

Minnesota: Chapter 169

Mississippi: Title 63

Missouri: Chapter 307

Montana: Chapter 9

Nebraska: Chapter 60

Nevada: Chapter 484D

New Hampshire: Chapter 266

New Jersey: Title 39

New Mexico: Chapter 66

New York: Section 375

North Carolina: Chapter 20

North Dakota: Chapter 39

Ohio: Chapter 4513

Oklahoma: Chapter 12

Oregon: Chapter 815

Pennsylvania: Code 173

Rhode Island: Chapter 24

South Carolina: Title 56

South Dakota: Chapter 32

Tennessee: Chapter 378

Texas: Chapter 547

Utah: Chapter 6

Vermont: Chapter 13

Virginia: Title 23

Washington: Chapter 46.37

West Virginia: Chapter 17C

Wisconsin: Chapter 347

Wyoming: Title 31