Before modifying a vehicle or buying a modified vehicle, it is good to know what is allowed and what is prohibited to avoid problems and disappointment.
Esthetics and performance are fine. But not at any cost!
You may modify a car or a motorcycle to improve its appearance or performance.
Once all the modifications have been made, you are required to check with us to make sure your vehicle is safe and compliant with the Highway Safety Code to be authorized for road use.
What the law says (for a motor vehicle designed to be operated on a public roadway)
Unless otherwise approved by us, it is prohibited to modify:
- the chassis
- the body
- any of the mechanisms
- any other component that may convert such a vehicle into another type of vehicle if the modifications are likely to reduce the vehicle's stability or braking capacity
Prohibition from modifying scooters
Modifying a moped or scooter to improve its performance (speed) is prohibited.
Examples of what is permitted
- bigger tires and rims
- a lift kit
- larger diameter rims
- a set of springs that are shorter than the original springs
- springs and shock absorbers
- shock absorbers with high-performance shock absorbers
- headlights, lights and reflectors with parts that comply with SAE standards
- seats, provided that the original seats are not equipped with airbags
- the bumper shell, provided the replacement shell is made of a similar material as the original
- a 4- or 5-point harness
- a wing or spoiler, or stylized side skirts
Examples of what is prohibited
- Heating, bending, cutting or welding the various components of the steering system.
- Carrying out any welding work on, or making any changes to, the chassis.
- Using springs that have been cut, heated or bundled.
- Lowering the vehicle to the point where the tires touch any part of the vehicle, or to the point where any part of the body or chassis touches the roadway under normal driving conditions.
- Not complying with the vehicle manufacturer's alignment specifications.
- Reducing the brightness of headlights, lights or reflectors
- Removing or deactivating an air bag.
- Connecting a 4- or 5-point harness to the anchor points of the original seat belt.
- Removing or modifying the original seat belts and their anchors.
- Tinting the front side windows such that light transmission is reduced to less than 70%.
- a lift kit that affects the electronic stability control system
- tires and rims such that they protrude from the body
- tires on rims that are wider than the width recommended by the tire manufacturer (tire stretching)
- tires that are not designed for road use (racing tires), tires that protrude from the vehicle's fenders or tires whose diameter is larger than permitted
- an HID headlight kit, if the original sealed-beam headlight was not designed for that type of bulb
- “suicide” doors (doors with hinges at the rear, such that they open from the front to the back)
- “scissor” doors (doors that open upward)
- parts that have sharp edges or spikes
- the power or maximum speed of a scooter
- the suspension system with one that is too stiff or that has an inadequate travel range
- headlights, lights or reflectors, or the sealed-beam headlight with parts that are not SAE compliant
- Replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs, where the lenses were not designed to be used with LED bulbs
- A steering wheel equipped with an airbag
- the colour of headlights, lights or reflectors
- the system that controls the vehicle's doors (opening, closing, locking and unlocking)
If your vehicle is not compliant
- You cannot register the vehicle
- The vehicle will not be authorized for road use
- You could be pulled over at any time by a police officer or carrier enforcement officer and:
- be assessed a $100 to $600 fine, plus costs
- in most cases, be required to have the vehicle undergo a mechanical inspection… at your expense
Before modifying a vehicle or having a vehicle modified
- Read the guide entitled Modify Your Car (PDF, 377.4 ko) to find out what is allowed and what is prohibited.
- Use parts that are specifically designed for the vehicle and issued by recognized manufacturers who certify their compliance with road use.
- See all the conditions required to register a modified vehicle.
For modifications to cars, motorcycles, scooters, hellaflush, tuning or building a hand-crafted vehicle, also read:
Last update: May 17, 2022