Is it Legal? Christmas Lights on Cars

Dec 18, 2020 | Allen A. Ritchie

Car with Christmas Lights


I like Christmas lights. But what do you think of the car pictured above?

The Royal Canadian Mounties tweeted this photo after pulling over the car and issuing the driver a warning. The tweet included, “Please don’t do this, it can be dangerous if they [the lights] fall off in traffic, never mind the distraction.”

They were worried about public safety, and these are folk who let moose on the road (or so I have heard). Well, here is the sad truth. The Alabama State Troopers would pull you over too.

Alabama doesn’t have a law directly commenting on vehicle Christmas lights, but it does have several vehicle lights laws. If you are tired of reading The Night Before Christmas, may I suggest Alabama Code – Section 32-5-241: ADDITIONAL PERMISSIBLE LIGHTS ON VEHICLES.

Here is the bottom line in Alabama, which may hinder your auto decorating creativity.

  • No lights that would make someone think you are an emergency vehicle. This basically means no red or blue lights.
  • No white lights that could hinder someone else’s vision. This is basically any white light so forget those too.
  • If the lights flash, they must warn other drivers about something. So, no blinking Christmas lights.

Now comes the part that pretty much puts an end to making your car look like a Christmas tree. From the aforementioned Code, “Any motor vehicle may be equipped with not to exceed one auxiliary driving lamp …”

Yes, you get one bulb that cannot blink and not be a variety of festive colors. Need I say, your car would look more pathetic than Charlie Brown’s tree.

So, my legal advice is to stick to reindeer antlers attached to your car’s back windows … and leave the lights for the next parade.

From all of us at Eiland and Ritchie, have a safe Christmas, and God bless us, everyone.

If you suffer a personal injury like an auto accident, slip and fall, or on-the-job injury, you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie for free. We want to help you get back on your feet. We are mostly working remotely but are always available for personal meetings with appropriate CDC precautions.

Also, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the News. We are taking a fall break and will offer 5-minute segments for the rest of the year and a live call-in segment every Monday on NBC 15 at around lunchtime.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer