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Citations and Noise Violations

If you recently received a citation or ticket for modified emission controls or excessive exhaust noise, you may be directed by law enforcement to see a Referee.

You may see a Referee if you have received one of the following violations:

  • - 27150, modified muffler (noise level test)

  • - 27151, modified exhaust (noise level test)

  • - 27156, modified emissions part (complete smog check)

The California Vehicle Code sections 27150 and 27151 require that all vehicles must be equipped with an adequate muffler to prevent exhaust noise from exceeding 95 decibels.

Starting January 1,2019, if you are issued a citation for operating a vehicle in violation of Vehicle Code Section 27150 or 27151, it is no longer a 'fix-it' ticket. This means the associated fine is mandatory and is no longer correctible by getting a noise inspection and certificate of compliance from a state Referee Center or by offering proof of correction from an Officer.

If you have been cited for Vehicle Code Section 27150 or 27151, your vehicle's exhaust system may have deteriorated, or it may be modified resulting in noise level that exceed current standards. It is recommended that you obtain repairs as soon as possible to prevent being cited again. 

It is important to note that citations have a court appearance date. Failure to appear in court on the specified date can result in additional fines and penalties. 

California Vehicle Code section 27150.2.(a) prohibits BAR's Referee contractor from performing an exhaust noise test on a vehicle unless the vehicles has been cited for violating Vehicle Code section 27150 or 27151. For Brake and Light inspections, please call the Bureau of Automotive Repair at 1.800.952.5210 to locate a station.


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