Are Fog Lights Legal in California: An In-Depth Discussion

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Are Fog Lights Legal in California? Know the Rules and Regulations.
                                               are fog lights legal in California

Fog lights during bad weather and winter become essential safety features in vehicles. If you drive in cold and rain a lot, fog lights are mandatory for your riding safety and smoothness. However, the use of fog light is subject to specific regulations in different states of America. Naturally, Californian people often ask, “Are fog lights legal in California? Also, what to consider while buying and installing fog lights for their vehicles?

Californian traffic rules allow white and yellow fog lights only during adverse weather. So, you have to be careful about using fog lights in California. Also, while installing them, ensure you maintain the proper alignment, distance, and color codes. 

Today, we will discuss everything you need to know about fog light legality in California and its safe installation and use. 

Are Fog Lights Legal in California?

Fog lights are indeed legal in California. However, vehicle owners must comply with specific guidelines and traffic laws for fog lights. California Vehicle Code (CVC) Section 24400 approves using fog lights as a safety measure during lousy weather. The law also defines the color of the fog light and how you can install them without violating the law.

As the traffic rule shows, you can use these auxiliary lights in adverse weather conditions. Thus, fog lights in California are permitted for the following:

  • Fog,
  • Rain,
  • Snow
  • Dust

The key is to improve visibility for the driver without impairing the vision of other road users. As the rule suggests, you can’t use fog lights when there is enough natural light. You can only turn on the fog lights when the regular high beam and headlights can generate enough light to illuminate the road due to weather conditions.

Hence, you must understand the fog light regulations to avoid potential fines. It is also crucial to ensure road safety.


As mentioned, fog lights can only be used when weather conditions significantly reduce visibility. Using them under clear weather conditions is illegal, and you will be fined if you turn on these lights in bright daylight or unnecessarily at night.

Hence, it would help to be careful about the lighting condition before installing the fog lights. Or else, you might violate the traffic rule, and it’s the last thing you would want.


Although fog light is legit in California, you can’t just install them at the place of your vehicle. You need to follow a specific height for installing the fog lights.

In California, fog lights must be mounted on the front of the vehicle. Also, its height must be at least 12 inches above the ground. However, you can only reach up to 30 inches for the headlight above the ground.

On top of it, you must also position these fog lights in a way so that the light is not projected into the eyes of approaching drivers. If you turn the light toward drivers from the opposite end, the traffic police will fine you.


Fog lights must emit white or amber light. Blue or red fog lights are not permitted for regular vehicles and are reserved for authorized emergency vehicles. Therefore, you must follow the color code and its related fog light guidelines.

You should consult the technician to find the right color for fog lights. It’s crucial for both your riding safety and maintaining traffic laws.

Are Fog Lights Legal in California? Know the Rules and Regulations.
                                               are fog lights legal in California

What Color Fog Light Is Legal in California?

Are yellow fog lights legal in California? Can you mount yellow, amber, or white fog lights on Californian streets without violating traffic codes and rules? 

As mentioned earlier, the legal colors for fog lights in California are white and amber, aka yellow. White light is typically the most common color used by motorists. It has a good balance of brightness and visibility. Yellow light, on the other hand, has been found to cut through dense fog more effectively, reducing glare and providing better illumination.

Yellow fog lights are designed to cut through bad weather conditions effectively. It provides better visibility in adverse weather conditions. Yellow also reduces glare and reflects less light into the driver’s eyes than traditional white headlights. Thus, it will further enhance your overall visibility and reduce the risk of accidents.

What’s more, yellow or amber and white fog lights are legal in all states in America. So, you don’t need to worry about the fog light color while traveling through different states. It improves your riding convenience and reduces hassles. 

Moreover, yellow fog lights serve as a distinctive signal to other drivers on the road. When they see a vehicle with yellow fog lights turned on, it indicates that the driver is navigating through difficult weather conditions. 

Hence, the drivers know that the vehicle from the opposite end may require additional caution. The signaling function promotes safer driving practices. It also encourages other motorists to be more mindful and attentive in challenging weather situations.

Why Blue or Red Fog Light Isn’t Legal for General People in California?

Blue and red lights are reserved for emergency vehicles in California. This preservation of the specific colors for fog lights ensures clear identification of the vehicle by the public. Thus, whenever people and traffic police see blue or red fog lights on cars, they will clear away the road to help the authority tackle the emergencies better and faster. 

If traffic rules had permitted these two colors for regular vehicles, it could lead to confusion. Also, it could hinder the ability to identify genuine emergencies. That is why their usage is strictly limited to authorized personnel and vehicles. Naturally, it is illegal for regular motorists to have blue or red fog lights installed.

What to Consider While Choosing Fog Lights?

You see that choosing fog light is a crucial fact. So, you must be selective about purchasing and installing fog lights. When selecting fog lights for your vehicle, there are several essential factors to consider:

  • Light Color: You must choose fog lights that emit white or amber light. It is a must since these colors are legal in California and offer optimal visibility in adverse weather conditions.
  • Illuminating Capacity: Next, you should look for fog lights with the right luminous intensity that can cut through thick fog without causing excessive glare. It would help if you found a balance between brightness and capacity. The key is to ensure that the light does not blind other drivers.
  • Distance: Consider fog lights with a far-reaching beam pattern. It will enhance your vision on the road without compromising other drivers’ safety. However, in most cases, it should be at most 500 meters.
  • Angle Adjustment: You can opt for fog lights that allow you to adjust the beam angle. It will enable you to customize the lighting according to the road conditions.
  • Quality and Certification: Last but not least, you must invest in reputable fog lights that meet California’s legal requirements. Also, the fog light should carry appropriate certifications to ensure they are safe and reliable.

Final thoughts

Fog lights are essential safety features in adverse weather conditions. In California, these lights are legal when used appropriately, following specific regulations. 

You must adhere to the state’s guidelines regarding color, placement, and usage to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the road. When choosing fog lights, consider factors like -light color, illuminating capacity, distance, and compliance with relevant certifications. Also, it would help to use fog lights carefully to boost traffic easiness and not drop it. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  1. Can you use fog lights during normal weather conditions in California?

No, fog lights can only be used when visibility is significantly reduced due to adverse weather conditions like fog, rain, snow, or dust.

  1. Are aftermarket fog lights legal in California?

Aftermarket fog lights are legal in California as long as they comply with the state’s color, placement, and usage regulations. So, ensure the aftermarket fog light complies with the traffic rules.

  1. Can you install blue fog lights on your vehicle for aesthetic purposes?

No, blue fog lights are not allowed for regular vehicles in California. They are reserved for authorized emergency vehicles only.

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