In today’s world, owning a vehicle has become a necessity. While that’s true, you need to also understand that having a car isn’t without its issues. You’ll have to inspect and maintain the vehicle from time to time, ensuring that its components, such as tire, engine, oil, and many more, are in good working conditions.
Besides, you may also want to change the color of the vehicle from time to time, depending on your location or personal interest. When it comes to changing the color of your car, one of the few factors that you need to consider is the laws attached to it.
That brings me to this question – is it necessary to inform the DMV when you change the color of your car?
Generally speaking, you’ll likely need to notify the DMV after changing the color of your car in order to update the information on your car registration. However, it’s important to understand that laws vary from state to state. As such, the need to inform the DMV about a change in a car’s color will depend on your location.
Is changing your car color illegal? Is it important to notify the DMV and your insurance company after changing the color of your vehicle? These are some of the questions that you’ll find answers to as you further read through this article.
Is Changing Car Color Legal?
Before going ahead to address the main question of this post, here’s a quick question; is changing your car color legal or illegal?
To answer this question, I’ll say that it’s very much legal in most jurisdictions. As of now, there isn’t any law that says you cannot repaint your vehicle to your preferred color.
A worst-case scenario is having your car painted to look exactly like that of a police vehicle. Even in this case, the law won’t go against you, as the move is pretty much legal. The only time painting your car to look like that of the police could be tagged illegal is when you add sirens or utilize certain flashlights on your vehicle (depending on your state). That’s not all; using police power after painting the vehicle to look exactly like that of a police vehicle is also illegal.
The bottom line is, no law will punish you for painting your car, as it’s very legal.
Do I Have to Notify the DMV About Changing My Car Color?
Back to the main question of this post; does it matter whether or not you inform the DMV about changing your car color?
As earlier mentioned, the need to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regarding a color change to your car will depend on the state you’re living in. In some states in the US, you might not need to inform the DMV after repainting your car with a new color. However, in some states, such as Rhode Island, you certainly need to let the DMV know about the color modification to your car.
According to Rhode Island’s DMV website, one of the frequently asked questions says; “I’ve changed the color of my car. Is there anything I need to do?” The response to the question says you need to contact the DMV at any of their branches close to you to update the information on your car registration.
Here’s what the response to the question looks like below:
“Yes. You must update the information on your registration. You may do this at any DMV branch location.”
When you go through your car registration, you’ll most likely notice a section that mentions the color of your vehicle. It’s worth knowing that the document doesn’t specify the exact color of the car. Instead, it uses a code or number to represent the color.
If you can see a color listing on the registration paper, it most likely means you need to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles in your state to update the information for you.
What Happens If I Wrap My Car In a Different Color?
Let’s quickly take our mind off car color changes and talk a little bit about a similar topic – car wraps.
For those who don’t know, “car wrapping” is a process of partially or completely covering your car with vinyl film. This approach of improving the aesthetic look of your vehicle is cost-effective when you compare it to car painting. Besides, the wraps are easy to remove, maintain, and interestingly, you can always customize them according to your taste.
But here’s a quick question, what exactly will happen if you end up wrapping your car in a different color?
The first thing you need to know about car wrapping is that it’s pretty much legal. While that is true, you need to also keep in mind that every state has its rules and regulations regarding the use of car wraps. For instance, some states, such as San Francisco, do not accept the use of car wraps for advertisement.
Furthermore, if you’re wrapping your vehicle for advertising purposes (of course, this depends on your state), you may need to visit the DMV to re-register the vehicle.
Will My Insurance Go Up If I Change the Color of My Car?
Back to the main topic of this article – car color modification – and let’s relate it to your insurance. Here’s a quick question, will your insurance increase after changing your car color?
The answer to the question is yes, your insurance will surely go up, depending on the cost of the color modification. However, for this to happen, you’ll need to inform your insurance company regarding the change of color of your car.
Is changing the color of your car illegal? Now, you understand that it’s entirely legal to change the color of your car to your preferred color.
However, you might need to inform the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) regarding the modification – if your state requires it. Furthermore, if you’re looking to increase your insurance, you might want to reach out to your insurance company and talk to them about your move to add new expensive paint to your car.