The North Carolina legislature voted earlier this year to prohibit squatted trucks in the state. Well, the bell has finally tolled and the squatted trucks will no longer be welcome as of Dec. 1. In addition, if their drivers break the law three times within a year, they will have their license suspended – evidently, they mean business.
House Bill 692 passed the House of Representatives and was sent to the Senate, but a modified version was passed and signed into law by Governor Roy Cooper on Aug. 30. As of now, a vehicle with suspension modifications that simultaneously raise the front and lower the rear fenders of any vehicle-the signature look of the squatted truck-will be illegal.
As of today, the North Carolina vehicle code prohibits lifting or lowering a passenger vehicle by more than six inches. Nevertheless, the ratified legislation (available for download here) eliminates that specification and instead sets a limit of no more than four inches between the front and rear fenders to prevent squatting trucks.
Please note that this only applies to vehicles with modified “suspension, chassis, or frame,” so your 2000 Honda Insight and vintage Cadillac DeVille are safe.
Although the text of the bill changed between then and when it was passed, the law still gets rid of the paragraph that prohibits owners from raising or lowering their vehicles beyond the current six-inch limit. Having removed that text, it seems that car owners are now free to raise and lower their vehicles limitlessly, so long as no other violations are committed, such as exceeding 13 feet.
Those who are repeat offenders will have their licenses suspended automatically.
Aside from making squatting illegal, the law makes it mandatory for the courts to revoke a driver’s license from anyone who is convicted three or more times within a 12-month period. Offending drivers will have their licenses suspended for at least one year.
Divisiveness was a major part of the legislation. The issue sparked a battle between opposing petitions, with more than 70,000 people pledging to make the modifications illegal and another 20,000 opposing it.
Squatted trucks were long overdue for a ban, despite other dangerous modifications that should be restricted. In the name of clout, egregiously parked trucks pose a risk to pedestrians and motorists by obscuring their view of the road. It remains to be seen whether drivers will adapt to the law by modifying their fender arches.