Can You Decorate Your Car With Christmas Lights Legally?

Can You Decorate Your Car With Christmas Lights Legally

With the holiday season in full swing, many people have seen cars lit up for Christmas, either in their city or on the Internet. Yet this probably has you wondering if you can decorate your car with Christmas lights legally.

The general consensus is that you cannot legally decorate your car with Christmas lights. This is because the Christmas lights become a distraction to other drivers and increase the chance of an accident. 

But, don’t let the scrooges get you down! There are still ways to decorate your car for Christmas that don’t encourage any traffic tickets.

We will walk you through precisely what Christmas lights are illegal and alternative ways to decorate your car for Christmas. 

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Here’s a Quick Pro Tip!

Adding Christmas lights to your car is a risk that may steer you straight into trouble with the law. But that doesn’t mean you can’t add some festive cheer to your car at all!

Here are some of our favorite Christmas car decor items that you can add to the interior of your car:

1. Santa Clause Headrest Hats – Great for adding a cute and cozy touch to your car.

2. Christmas Steering Wheel Cover – Makes a perfect gift, too!

3. Christmas Window Decals – A fun way to add cheer to your fellow drivers.

Don’t forget to check out the other great Christmas decorations for your car!

Is It Legal To Have Christmas Lights on Your Car?

A specific law about Christmas lights on your car does not exist, but if a police officer pulls you over, they will have an arsenal of laws that restrict every color of lights and type of lights that you can have on your car. 

And, to no surprise, there is a different law regarding every color, even white. It is up to the discretion of the cop to fine you or just let you off with a warning.

However, if you do put Christmas lights on your car, you are playing with fire. 

Is It Illegal To Put Christmas Lights on Your Car?

It is indeed illegal to put Christmas lights on your car. The Christmas lights create a distraction for other drivers on the road, increasing the chance of an accident. 

However, this doesn’t mean you can’t jazz up your car with Christmas lights; you will just have to leave your car in the driveway.

But, if you drive your lit-up car on the road, even during the day, you are leaving your fate in the hands of the law, and they are not on your side in this case. 

What Is the Punishment for Having Christmas Lights on Your Car?

Since having Christmas lights on your car is not the worst thing someone can do, and far from it, you will likely get let off with a warning or a fine, but not more than $100 typically. 

Of course, this all depends on where you live and how festive the cop feels when he pulls you over.

Additionally, putting Christmas lights on your car is not a crime highly publicized or even warned about, so most people don’t even know it’s illegal. The cop will likely let you off with a warning in light of this. 

You might also enjoy our post on Is it Too Early to Decorate for Christmas?

Can I Put Christmas Lights on My Car in California?

According to the law, Christmas lights are not allowed on your car, even if you live in laid-back California. As festive as they are, Christmas lights distract other drivers and increase the chance of an accident.

Although you may have seen many cars with Christmas lights on their car, they probably forgot to show you the ticket they got because of them.

Cops do not appreciate anything on the road that acts as a distraction, especially speeding down the Pacific Coast Highway.

Is It Legal to Decorate a Car With Christmas Lights in Canada?

Even in the friendly Great White North, a car decorated in Christmas lights is illegal. Winter can cause some treacherous driving conditions in Canada, and when you mix in distracting Christmas lights on a car, it’s a recipe for disaster. 

Just ask this unlucky Tesla driver (okay, unlucky and Tesla should never go in the same sentence, nonetheless) who got pulled over in Burnaby, British Columbia, for having his car lit up like a Christmas tree.

He received an $81 fine and was told to remove the lights within three days. 

What Car Decorations Are Illegal?

Christmas lights are the leading car decoration that is illegal since it acts as a significant distraction while on the road. However, any other decorations that do not block your vision or create a distraction for other drivers are likely legal in your area. 

Holiday decor items that are unlikely to earn you a ticket are reindeer antlers, wreaths, Santa hats, and car wraps.

Just ensure they are tightly fastened, so they don’t end blowing off while a cop is tailing you.

Can I Wrap My Car in Christmas Lights?

You can definitely wrap your car in Christmas lights as long as you don’t plan to drive it any time soon. Driving a car wrapped in Christmas lights will definitely land you a traffic ticket or a stern warning.

A car wrapped in Christmas lights acts as a distraction to other drivers on the road in the eyes of law enforcement. There is also the chance of the Christmas lights falling off and shattering on the road or someone else’s car.

Can You Put Christmas Lights on Your Car?

You can put Christmas lights on your car if you are part of a parade, but if you plan to drive your lit-up car on regular streets, you may be opening up yourself up to a visit from the cops.

You will likely get pulled over for having Christmas lights on your car since the lights are distracting to other drivers and could potentially fall off while you are driving.

Luckily, you may be let off with a warning or a small fine of less than $100.

What Color of Christmas Lights Can I Put On My Car?

Unfortunately, all colored lights are illegal to put on your car, whether Christmas-related or not. There are laws that outline why each specific color of light is illegal on your car. 

Especially red and blue, since you can get confused for a police car or ambulance.

These laws exist so people do not put any additional lights on their cars that can be distracting to other drivers and create the potential for an accident to happen. 

You might also enjoy our post on Can You Decorate Your Mailbox?

Can I Decorate My Car With Christmas Lights for a Parade?

You can absolutely decorate your car with Christmas lights for a parade. Just make sure to drive very carefully to the parade and do not have the lights turned on until you get there.

Drive carefully to the parade, so the lights don’t fall off and cause an accident.

Additionally, driving with Christmas lights on public roads is illegal, so don’t plug your lights in until you get to the parade. 

How to Decorate Your Car With Christmas Lights

To decorate your car with Christmas lights, you will need the following: a power converter or 12-volt Christmas lights, zip ties, command strips, magnets, and electrical tape. Of course, you do not need all of these items, depending on what kind of lights you use.

Rope lights are a great way to light up the bottom of your car since you easily attach them with command strips and run them neatly along the bottom.

We recommend these Waterproof 12V LED Rope Lights from Amazon and these Outdoor Rope Light Clips

For other 12-volt Christmas lights, you can attach them with zip ties or heavy-duty magnets around the area of your car that you want to decorate.

Just ensure that everything is secure so they don’t fall off while the car is in motion. 

Christmas Lights on Car Roof Rack

Putting Christmas lights on your car’s roof rack is a fast way to add some Christmas cheer to your car. They are easy to wrap around the rack and easy to plug in. Just make sure they are only plugged in if you are at a parade.

To install the Christmas lights on your roof rack, plug them into your power outlet. Then, run the lights out of a car window up to the rack. Wrap the lights around the rack as much as you can.

Once they are secure, secure the end of the lights with a zip tie. 

How Do I Put Christmas Lights on My Car?

To put Christmas lights on your car, you will need a power inverter or 12 volt Christmas lights, zip ties, strong tape, magnets, string Christmas lights, rope lights, or both.

You might also enjoy our post on Neighbor Hit My Parked Car

Decide where you would like your Christmas lights to be, and then use any of your securing tools to attach the lights to your car safely.

For example, if there is a part on your car that you can wrap a zip tie around, use a zip tie. If you want to secure lights to the hood of your car, use strong tape or magnets. 

You will then have to run the Christmas lights into your car and plug them into your power inverter or your car’s power outlet. Make sure your lights are very secure before you put the car in motion. 

Where to Plug-in Car Christmas Lights

Christmas lights can plug into your car’s power outlet, usually behind the middle console or on your dashboard near the radio. You can purchase Christmas lights that fit directly into this outlet or a power inverter.

The power inverter will have the right part to put in the car’s power outlet, and then you can use any two- or three-prong lights.

Once you have your Christmas lights all strung where you want them, string the lights into the car and plug them into your outlet. 

Christmas Car Decorations

Apart from Christmas lights, other car-appropriate Christmas decor items are wreaths, reindeer antlers, Santa hats, Christmas decals, and car wraps. When placed responsibly, all these items are legal on a car.

Thankfully, you are less likely to get pulled over for having Christmas decorations on your car that aren’t Christmas lights.

As long as your Christmas decorations don’t interfere with your vision or any other driver’s vision, it will be smooth sailing down the highway for you. 

How Can I Decorate My Car for Christmas?

You can decorate your car for Christmas with decorations that are specifically for cars, such as reindeer antlers, car Santa hats, Christmas wraps, and Christmas decals. These are all legal as long as you secure them properly. 

  • Wreaths look great on your car’s bumper and can be easily attached with zip ties
  • Reindeer antlers look extra charming sticking out of your windows
  • Large Santa hats can cover the whole roof of your car
  • Christmas decals and car wraps offer an easy and safe way to spread your Christmas cheer

These are all great ways to decorate your car for Christmas!

Can I Put Christmas Decorations on My Car?

You are legally allowed to put Christmas decorations on your car as long as they are safely secured and do not impair your vision or any other drivers. But, of course, this all depends on where you live.

If you are unsure if Christmas decorations are legal in your area, check with your city’s bylaws. In most cities, they are legal but double-check just to make sure.

You will likely walk away with just a warning if you take the risk and get pulled over. 

How Do You Attach Decorations to a Car?

Decorations designed for your car will typically have a built-in apparatus that makes them easy to attach to your car. For example, reindeer antlers have a unique hook that clips to the top of your window. 

If the decor you bought doesn’t have a built-in attachment, you will have to get creative. Tools like zip ties, electric tape,  and magnets work great for securing decor to your car.

Once you have your decor attached, do a test run around your neighborhood to ensure everything stays in place. 

You might also enjoy our post on How to Stop Icicles From Forming on Gutters

How Can I Decorate My Car Without Damaging It?

If you are worried about damaging your car with Christmas decorations, you can use magnetic tape. One side of the magnetic tape has an adhesive backing that you stick to the decor, and then the other side is magnetic that sticks to your car.

This is an excellent option if you are worried about your car’s paint coming off once you take off the decorations. You can also use zip ties to attach decor to your front grill or bumpers.

These can be simply cut off when it is time. 

Related Questions

How Can I Decorate the Inside of My Car for Christmas?

You can decorate the inside of your car for Christmas by adding a festive rear-view window charm, window decals, wrapping greenery around the grab handles, and adding festive steering wheel covers.

Other great ideas include Santa hats that you can put on top of your headrest:

  • A blown-up Grinch that you can put in the passenger seat
  • Christmas vent clips
  • Christmas car coasters
  • Air fresheners that are scented for Christmas like cinnamon
  • Pine
  • Gingerbread

The possibilities are endless if you get into the Christmas spirit!

Can I Put Fairy Lights in My Car?

You may get away with fairy lights in your car if they are not too visible from the outside and only white lights. However, the cops will look out for any lights distracting to drivers.

You can string the lights along your dashboard or on top of the ceiling of your car. Just make sure you don’t go overboard, as it may increase your chances of getting pulled over.

Although there are no specific laws regarding this, the police may consider the lights a distraction and fine you. 

Final Thoughts

When the holidays roll along, we all want to spread as much festive cheer as possible, but hopefully, after reading this article, you will steer away from lighting up your car this Christmas. 

It is not only distracting to drivers, but it also increases your chances of getting a nice present from the cops, either in the form of a fine or warning. 

Opt for more road-appropriate decorations like reindeer antlers, wreaths, and window decals. They are festive, charming, and safe.

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