Citations and Noise Violations

If you recently received a citation for modified emission controls or modified/loud exhaust, you may be directed by law enforcement to see a Referee. Read all the information below and make all required repairs BEFORE attempting to make an appointment. 

If cited for 27156 (modified emission controls): The vehicle must pass a complete Referee inspection, which includes ensuring the vehicle’s computer programing is not tampered. It is strongly recommended the vehicle has no modified equipment or modified programing prior to making your Referee appointment. Failure to correct any modifications prior to the Referee appointment will result in significant delays.  

If cited for 27150 or 27151 (Modified/Loud Exhaust): The Referee can inspect your vehicle and issue a certificate if it passes. The fee for a Referee noise inspection certificate is $108. Receiving a certificate may not necessarily remedy the violation and the court could still issue a fine in addition to the Referee fee. 

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.

NOTE: If using an aftermarket exhaust baffle insert to lower noise, it must be permanently welded or riveted in place BEFORE your Referee appointment. Baffle/Inserts not permanently welded or riveted in place will fail the inspection, and will result in significant delays before another appointment can be granted.    

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. The California Vehicle Code section 27150 requires that every vehicle must be equipped with an adequate muffler to prevent excessive or unusual noise. The California Vehicle Code section 27151 requires non original exhaust equipment from exceeding 95 decibels

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.

NOTE: The Referee is unable to perform a decibel reading on vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) greater than 5,999 lbs. To verify the weight, please see the sticker located in the driver’s door pillar/jamb. If greater than 5,999 lbs, contact the court for further guidance.