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post #1 of 6 Old 04-06-2013, 06:53 PM Thread Starter
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NJ Standards for Motor Vehicles with Elevated Chassis Height

TITLE 13. LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY
CHAPTER 20. ENFORCEMENT SERVICE
SUBCHAPTER 37. STANDARDS FOR MOTOR VEHICLES WITH ELEVATED CHASSIS HEIGHT

N.J.A.C. 13:20-37.1 (2013)
13:20-37.1 Definitions
The following words and terms, when used in this subchapter, shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

"Chief Administrator" means the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

"Frame" means the main longitudinal structural members of the chassis of the vehicle or, for vehicles with unitized body construction, the lowest main longitudinal structural members of the body of the vehicle.

"Gross vehicle weight rating" or "GVWR" means the value specified by a manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single or a combination (articulated) vehicle.

"Lift" means any modification or alteration, other than load, of the chassis, suspension, body, rims, or tire size which elevates the height of a motor vehicle.

"Motor Vehicle Commission" or "Commission" means the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission established by section 4 of P.L. 2003, c. 13 (N.J.S.A. 39:2A-4).

"Original manufacturer" means any company engaged in the manufacture or assemblage of motor vehicles which comply with all applicable United States Department of Transportation regulations for delivery to the first purchaser.

"Original vehicle height" or "OVH" means the highest distance inclusive of the largest tires and highest suspension available as standard or optional equipment for the particular vehicle from the original manufacturer. The distance shall be measured from the lowest edge of the centerline of the operator's door with the door closed, or from the lowest point where the door would meet the body on vehicles without doors, or from the lowest point on the floor panel directly below the operator's position on vehicles designed without doors, to the level surface on which the unladen vehicle rests.

"Wheel track" means the shortest distance between the centers of the tire treads on the same axle. The widest distance shall be calculated on vehicles having dissimilar track widths.

13:20-37.2
Elevation of original vehicle height of motor vehicle restricted; elevated vehicle approval certificate; special windshield decal; inspection

(a) No person shall operate on any highway of this State any motor vehicle registered in this State whose original vehicle height has been elevated by modifying the tire or rim size from the manufacturer's specifications or by elevating the chassis, suspension or body from the manufacturer's specifications by use of "shackle lift kits" for leaf springs or by use of lift kits for coil springs or by use of blocks or by any other device or means without an elevated vehicle approval certificate issued by the Chief Administrator, except that an elevation of the original vehicle height resulting exclusively from an increase in tire diameter that does not exceed four inches or, for motor vehicles which have been modified for snowplowing purposes, an elevation of the front suspension from the manufacturer's specifications that does not exceed two inches, shall not be subject to the requirements of this subchapter.

(b) In order to receive an elevated vehicle approval certificate and a special windshield decal from the Chief Administrator, the owner or lessee of a motor vehicle whose original vehicle height has been increased by elevating the chassis, suspension, body, rims or tire size from the manufacturer's specifications shall comply with the requirements of this subchapter, and such elevated vehicle shall successfully pass inspection to verify that it complies with the requirements of this subchapter and does not possess any modifications or alterations that would affect the safe operation of the vehicle.

(c) In order to receive an elevated vehicle approval certificate and a special windshield decal from the Chief Administrator, an inspection of the vehicle to determine compliance with this subchapter shall be conducted by the Motor Vehicle Commission. Such inspection shall occur within 30 days after the elevation of the vehicle or registration or renewal thereof, whichever occurs first. All inspections required by this subchapter shall be performed at a site or sites specifically authorized by the Chief Administrator to perform the type of inspection and tests required by this subchapter. Any test or inspection conducted at any other location shall be null and void.

(d) In addition to determining whether a vehicle complies with the specific requirements of this subchapter, an elevated vehicle shall fail inspection if any of the modifications affect the safe operation of the vehicle; are improperly installed; degrade the structural integrity of the vehicle or any of its component parts; modify the geometric angles on critical components from original manufacturer specifications likely to result in component failure; create the danger of leaks, cracks, or chafing of brake lines; cause brake lines to be of insufficient length, size, or durability; or cause any component that affects the safe operation of the vehicle to be less effective or more likely to fail in the performance of its designed function.

(e) Vehicles subject to inspection pursuant to this subchapter shall comply with all other applicable safety and emissions inspection requirements imposed by law or regulation in addition to complying with the inspection requirements imposed by this subchapter.

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post #2 of 6 Old 04-06-2013, 06:54 PM Thread Starter
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13:20-37.3
Requirements for elevated vehicle approval certificate

(a) To be approved pursuant to this subchapter, a motor vehicle shall meet the following standards:

1. The suspension system shall consist of the basic elements originally provided by the manufacturer and be geometrically arranged in accordance with the manufacturer's specifications. No suspension system component shall be replaced unless the replacement component meets or exceeds the quality and performance standards established by the vehicle manufacturer. The vehicle shall have a suspension system that allows movement between the unsprung axles and wheels and the chassis body and shall be equipped with a shock-absorbing device at each wheel location. The suspension system shall be capable of providing a minimum relative motion of plus or minus two inches. When any corner of the vehicle is depressed and released, the damping device shall stop vertical body motion within two cycles. The use of spacer blocks between the front axle and leaf springs is prohibited.

2. Steering gear ratios and the number of turns necessary to rotate the steering wheel from the left stop position to the right stop position shall be in accordance with the original manufacturer's specifications within a tolerance of one-half turn. The distance between the wheel stop and the front axle shall be the same on both sides. The number of turns of the steering wheel from a straight ahead front tire position to right stop shall be equal to the number of turns of the steering wheel from a straight ahead front tire position to left stop within a tolerance of one-twelfth turn on either side of centerline. No modification of the motor vehicle shall obstruct or limit the turning radius of the motor vehicle.

3. Headlights shall be not less than 22 inches nor more than 54 inches from the level surface upon which the vehicle stands to the center line of the lamp. Tail-lights shall be not less than 15 inches nor more than 72 inches from the level surface upon which the vehicle stands to the center of the lamp. All lighting equipment shall meet the standards of the Society of Automotive Engineers and auxiliary off-road lights shall be equipped with opaque covers which shall be used to completely block any light at all times when the vehicle is operated on public roads.

4. License plates shall be not less than 12 inches nor more than 48 inches from the ground.

5. Brake lines and hoses shall conform to 49 C.F.R. 571.106 and shall be protected from excessive heat and vibration and be installed so as to prevent chafing and undue wear, stress, or unintentional disconnection during operation of the motor vehicle.

6. Where the vehicle was originally equipped by the manufacturer with bumpers, all bumpers shall be securely mounted, extend across the full width of the vehicle and be horizontal load-bearing bumpers attached to the vehicle frame to effectively transfer impact when engaged. Bumpers shall not have sharp edges or dangerous configurations. Bumpers shall be mounted to be no lower than 16 inches from the ground to the bottom of the bumper.

7. The maximum tire diameter for vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or under shall be 38 inches or six inches more than the maximum tire diameter available as standard or optional equipment for the particular vehicle from the original manufacturer, whichever is less. In determining compliance with this requirement, actual tire diameter shall be measured with the tires inflated to the manufacturer's specifications.

8. All tires on the same axle or on axles less than six feet apart shall be of the same tire size with respect to diameter and width. Each tire shall have a load carrying capacity specified by the tire manufacturer in excess of the intended maximum axle load divided by the number of tires on the axle. Each front tire shall measure a minimum of 60 percent of the tread width of the rear tires. Tires shall have a sufficient vertical and horizontal clearance so as not to rub on the chassis, body, suspension or other part of the vehicle while being operated. All tires shall be marked as approved for highway use as required by the United States Department of Transportation.

9. Fenders shall extend the full width of the tire tread and, in case the rear wheels are not covered by the fenders, body or other parts of the vehicle, the vehicle shall be equipped with suitable metal protectors or substantial flexible flaps so as to prevent the throwing of dirt, water or other debris on following vehicles. The metal protectors or flexible flaps shall be a standard type or design and installed in a manner which complies with the Society of Automotive Engineers Standard J682, incorporated herein by reference.

10. Fuel tanks which have become exposed as a result of elevating the vehicle shall be protected against damage from collision by some means of encasement. For vehicles equipped with a side-mounted fuel tank mounted outside the vehicle frame, a protective bar shall be installed to protect the fuel tank from being ruptured in case of collision.

11. All moving parts or exhaust system components which have become exposed as a result of elevating the vehicle shall be shielded to prevent injury to persons making contact with these parts.

12. Any ballast material used for the purpose of adding weight to the vehicle shall be permanently attached to the vehicle structure. No liquid or loose ballast is permitted.

13. Release of the steering wheel while the vehicle is in a sharp turn at a speed of between five to 10 miles per hour shall result in a distinct tendency for the vehicle to increase its turning radius.

14. The weight distribution between the two sides of an empty vehicle on level ground shall not exceed 45 percent/55 percent.

15. Spacers shall not be used to increase wheel track.

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post #3 of 6 Old 04-06-2013, 06:56 PM Thread Starter
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13:20-37.4 Standards for vehicles with elevated height

(a) If a motor vehicle has been elevated more than four inches beyond the manufacturer's specifications, it shall, in addition to complying with the standards set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:20-37.3, be tested to verify that it can withstand the lateral standard established by the Chief Administrator of the Motor Vehicle Commission.

(b) For testing passenger or utility type vehicles the standard is 1.1 gravitational force or more.

(c) For testing pickup trucks the standard is 1.1 gravitational force or more.

(d) Vehicles that have not been elevated more than four inches may be approved provided they comply with the standards set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:20-37.3.


13:20-37.5 Testing

Tests shall be conducted by the Motor Vehicle Commission at sites to be designated by the Chief Administrator using the procedures set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:20-37.7.

13:20-37.6 Maximum lift

(a) No motor vehicle shall be elevated by any means, including, but not limited to, elevation of the chassis, suspension, body, rims, or tire size, to create a lift with the vehicle unladen in excess of the following amounts based on the gross vehicle weight rating of the vehicle:GVWR Maximum Lift
4,500 pounds or under 7 inches above OVH
4,501 to 7,500 pounds 9 inches above OVH
7,501 to 10,000 pounds 11 inches above OVH


(b) In determining compliance with this section, the distance shall be measured from the lowest edge of the centerline of the operator's door with the door closed, or from the lowest point where the door would meet the body on vehicles without doors, or from the lowest point on the floor panel directly below the operator's position on vehicles designed without doors, to the level surface on which the unladen vehicle rests.

(c) Any vehicle equipped with adjustable lifts, including, but not limited to, hydraulic or air adjustable lifts, shall comply with the requirements of this subchapter when tested and measured with the lift devices in both their lowest and highest height positions. Adjustable lifts shall be installed in such a manner to prevent height modifications or alterations while the vehicle is in motion.

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post #4 of 6 Old 04-06-2013, 06:58 PM Thread Starter
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13:20-37.7 Procedure for testing elevated vehicles

(a) The track width of the front and rear axles shall be measured from the centers of the tread of the outermost tires on the same axle. The front track width shall be added to the rear track width and the sum shall be divided by two to give the average track width.

(b) The side to side weight distribution shall be calculated with the vehicle empty on level ground. The distribution shall not exceed 45 percent/55 percent as set forth in N.J.A.C. 13:20-37.3(a)14.

(c) One side of the vehicle should be raised to a static relative angle of 15 degrees plus or minus 1/2 degree from horizontal.

(d) The weight of the vehicle shall be measured on the unraised side.

(e) The maximum permissible weight on the unraised side is 62.4 percent of the total vehicle weight multiplied by twice the unraised side's weight percentage as determined in (b) above.


13:20-37.8 Method of measurement

Compliance with any distance or height limitation contained in this subchapter shall be determined by measuring the vehicle in an unloaded condition on a level surface with the tires inflated to the manufacturer's specifications.

13:20-37.9 Elevated vehicle approval certificate; special windshield decal; possession and exhibition of elevated vehicle approval certificate; compliance requirements

(a) Upon the motor vehicle's compliance with the requirements set forth in this subchapter and after successful completion of the inspection required by this subchapter, the Motor Vehicle Commission shall issue an elevated vehicle approval certificate and a special windshield decal for the vehicle. The elevated vehicle approval certificate shall be in the possession of the vehicle operator while the vehicle is being operated on any highway of this State and shall be exhibited to any law enforcement officer or duly authorized employee of the Motor Vehicle Commission upon request. The special windshield decal shall be affixed to the lower left corner of the windshield inside the passenger compartment of the elevated vehicle.

(b) Motor vehicles with elevated height that have been approved by the Chief Administrator pursuant to this subchapter prior to October 1, 1998 shall comply with all of the requirements of this subchapter as amended by not later than February 1, 1999 except:

1. Such vehicles need not comply with the requirements contained in N.J.A.C. 13:20-37.6, Maximum lift; and

2. Such vehicles shall comply with the requirements contained in N.J.A.C. 13:20-37.3(a)7 (tire diameter limitations) by not later than October 1, 2000.

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13:20-37.10 Denial or suspension of elevated vehicle approval certificate; suspension of vehicle registration

Any person who owns or leases a motor vehicle which is subject to the provisions of this subchapter, and who fails or refuses to have such motor vehicle inspected within the time period set forth at N.J.A.C. 13:20-37.2(c), or who fails or refuses to place such motor vehicle in proper condition after having such motor vehicle inspected, or who alters such motor vehicle for which an elevated vehicle approval certificate and a special windshield decal have been issued in accordance with N.J.A.C. 13:20-37.9 with intent to defeat the purpose of an inspection under this subchapter, shall be subject, upon notice and an opportunity to be heard pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act, N.J.S.A. 52:14B-1 et seq., and the Uniform Administrative Procedure Rules, N.J.A.C. 1:1, to a denial or suspension of an elevated vehicle approval certificate and, in addition thereto, a suspension of said vehicle's registration. A denial or suspension of an elevated vehicle approval certificate and a suspension of registration imposed pursuant to this subchapter shall remain in effect until such time as the Chief Administrator ascertains that the vehicle meets the requirements set forth in this subchapter.

13:20-37.11
Penalty for violation

A violation of any of the provisions of this subchapter constitutes a violation of N.J.S.A. 39:3-44 and will subject the operator of the vehicle to the penalty set forth in N.J.S.A. 39:3-79.

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post #6 of 6 Old 04-06-2013, 07:06 PM Thread Starter
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Violation Tickets that can be issued
N.J.S.A. 39:3-44
■ No person shall hereafter drive, move, park or be in custody of nor shall any owner or lessee hereafter cause or knowingly permit to be driven, moved or parked on any highway any vehicle, motor vehicle or motor-drawn vehicle or combination of vehicles which is in such unsafe condition as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property, or which does not contain those parts or is not at all times, equipped with such equipment in proper condition and adjustment as required in this article, or which is equipped in any manner in violation of this article. No person shall do any act forbidden or fail to perform any act required under this article.

NJSA 39:3-79.7
■ Any person who fails to comply with sections 1 and 2 of this act following an inspection shall be subject to the penalties of R.S. 39:8-9.

NJSA 39:8-9.
■ 39:8-9. a. The enforcement of this chapter shall be vested in the director and the police or peace officers of any municipality, any county or the State.
b. An owner or lessee who:
(1) Fails or refuses to have a motor vehicle examined within the time period prescribed by the director; or
(2) After having had it examined, fails or refuses to place or display a certificate of approval, rejection sticker or waiver certificate upon the windshield or other location on the vehicle as may be prescribed by the director; or
(3) Fails or refuses to place the motor vehicle in proper condition after having had the same examined; or
(4) In any manner, fails to conform to the provisions of this chapter or the regulations adopted by the director pursuant thereto, shall be guilty of violating the provisions of this chapter, and shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 or more than $200 or to imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or to both such fine and imprisonment.
c. A person who fraudulently obtains a certificate of approval, rejection sticker or waiver certificate, or displays or has in his possession a fictitious, altered, or stolen certificate of approval, rejection sticker or waiver certificate shall be subject to a fine of $500 for each such certificate or sticker.
d. The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced and all penalties for the violation thereof shall be recovered in accordance with the provisions of "the penalty enforcement law" (N.J.S.2A:58-1 et seq.), and in addition to the provisions and remedies therein contained, the following provisions and remedies shall be applicable in any proceeding brought for a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter:
(1) The several municipal courts shall have jurisdiction of such proceeding, in addition to the courts prescribed in "the penalty enforcement law";
(2) The complaint in any such proceeding may be made on information and belief by the director, or any police or peace officer of any municipality, any county or the State;
(3) A warrant may issue in lieu of summons;
(4) Any police or peace officer shall be empowered to serve and execute process in any such proceeding;
(5) The hearing in any such proceeding shall be without a jury;
(6) Any such proceeding may be brought in the name of the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles in the Department of Law and Public Safety or in the name of the State of New Jersey;
(7) Any sums received in payment of any fines imposed in any such proceeding shall be paid to the Director of the Division of Motor Vehicles and shall be paid by him to the State Treasurer, who shall deposit one-half of such sums in the "Motor Vehicle Inspection Fund" established pursuant to subsection j. of R.S.39:8-2, and who shall pay the remaining one-half of such sums to the county or municipality initiating the complaint or summons or, if initiated by State law enforcement personnel, to the State Treasury;
(8) The director or judge before whom any hearing under this chapter is had may revoke the registration certificate of any motor vehicle owned or leased by any person, when such person shall have been found to be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter as shall in the discretion of the director or judge justify such revocation.
e. The director may order the suspension of the registration or reciprocity privilege of any motor vehicle found to be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter. If the owner or lessee fails to surrender the license plates for that vehicle to the division within 45 days of the mailing of an order requiring their surrender, the director may order the confiscation of the license plates of the vehicle that is in violation. An order of license plate confiscation issued by the director shall include an order imposing a civil penalty of $200 on the owner or lessee of the vehicle. This civil penalty shall be paid to the State Treasurer, who shall deposit one-half of the amount in the "Motor Vehicle Inspection Fund" established pursuant to subsection j. of R.S.39:8-2 and pay the remaining one-half to any municipality or county whose law enforcement, police or peace officers confiscated the plates in accordance with the order of the director, or if the plates were confiscated by State law enforcement personnel, to the State Treasury. A civil penalty imposed pursuant to this subsection shall be in addition to any other penalty provided by this chapter.

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