New Law Targets Car Audio

share on:
Florida Law on Loud Car Stereo

Blasting music while driving in Florida will get you a traffic ticket and set you back about $114 starting July 1.

The law prohibits music that is “plainly audible” 25 feet away from the car.  That’s a distance of about 1 ½ car lengths.

Reactions from Florida dealers Tuesday were mixed regarding the law’s impact on 12 volt sales.

Pete Muller on Florida Noise Law
Pete Muller of Tint World Orlando-Longwood explains impact of Florida law.

Pete Muller of Tint World in Orlando and Longwood, FL said the law could thwart customers who are considering whether or not to upgrade their sound system.  Speaking to local news Spectrum News 13, he said a previous Florida noise law also impacted sound off contests.

NavTool“Anything can effect consumer behavior. But most people who have made up their mind to get new audio for their car, I don’t think it will deter them. If someone was casually looking at at upgrading, it may.”  But he added, “I don’t think it will be a major thing.”

Florida passed a similar law years ago, which was stuck down in 2012 because it included exemptions for certain business or political vehicles and so, was deemed a violation of the First Amendment.  The new law is worded more carefully.

Paul Papadeas of Soundcrafters, South Daytona, FL, said he was surprised to see the return of the law since, “We don’t hear any of the boom cars anymore.”   The demographic at his  shop has shifted to more mature customers, 30+ years, so he doesn’t believe it will impact sales.

The law has its detractors.  Some are concerned it will give the police a pretext to pull over drivers.

Papadeas noted that even a premium OEM car audio system can be audible at 25 feet from the car.

The wording of the Florida law may be found here.

Source: Mental Floss, Florida Statutes

Want to receive industry news? Sign up here
share on:


  1. Most communities have a noise ordinance law that police can site if they believe the music from a car is too loud. When I had a retail store in the Boston area in the 80s, I got a $100 fine for having my stereo too loud. I contacted a local newspaper who wrote an article about it. I got to promote the store and it increased business.

  2. A law like this could only come from “the land of the free”. Guns, yes no problem, loud music? how dare you !

  3. “The provisions of this section do not apply to motor vehicles used for
    business or political purposes, which in the normal course of conducting such
    business use sound making devices”.


  4. I remember about 25 years or so when the FCC made a law where an FM Transmitter which people use to put between their antenna and their radio so they could transmit through an FM station, the transmitting output had to be at a new or lower output than what it was at that time. I can’t remember what it was then. This was because when the car with the FM transmitter approached another car it would interfere with that person’s radio. I still have some of the more powerful transmitters. Rockford Fosgate made them.

  5. Shades of the late 1980s, when I first reported about boom car ordinances in various cities and a Jersey City proposal to ban the sale and installation of large woofers and high-power amps in cars.

  6. In legal terms, “plainly audible” is very ambiguous so there’s many potential loopholes if legally challenged at the citation level, much less the actual statute.
    Within that statute within 316.3045 (4) it states that “The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shall promulgate rules defining “plainly audible” and establish standards regarding how sound should be measured by law enforcement personnel who enforce the provisions of this section” so it appears that hasn’t yet been established. There’s a flaw.

    Another flaw – 316.3045 (1) – “It is unlawful for any person operating or occupying a motor vehicle on a street or highway to operate or amplify the sound produced by a radio, tape player, or other mechanical soundmaking device or instrument from within the motor vehicle so that the sound is:”….. what about streaming audio directly from the phone to a hidden BT audio receiver where that phone – the source – IS NOT ‘within’ the vehicle?

    316.3045 (1)(b) is about the most ambiguous and ripe for abuse by those who deem anything ‘unnecessarily loud’ which states: “Louder than necessary for the convenient hearing by persons inside the vehicle in areas adjoining churches, schools, or hospitals.” This is not “and” from the (a) provision, it’s “or” and means that’s very open to debate.

    It appears to me, if you want to technically be in compliance via 316.3045 (3), be sure your shop demo vehicle(s) are registered in your company’s name so that “vehicles use for business purposes” apply in the normal course of conducting such business. Any question about that is definitely up for debate because demos are part of us conducting business, whether at a store parking lot, cars & coffee, car show, community event or just prospecting and passing out business cards where car enthusiasts gather.

    It won’t last.

  7. I think this is a case of “the Generals prepared to fight the last War.” Doubt this will have much
    of an impact, except in some urban markets. Fewer guys want to attract attention these days…

    As Paul suggested, the ‘Boom’ cars are now increasingly rare, and when mature, responsible ‘enthusiasts’ do ‘put the hammer down,’ it’s on the highway, or at speed, but not in neighborhoods, after dark. This law seems to target less aware individuals, who may abuse their ‘rights’ and
    thus should have to be, potentially, be reminded to be more courteous — in certain circumstances.
    The term ‘disturbing the peace’ seems rather appropriate here.

    1. This is exactly my thoughts as well.

      This law isn’t going to deter people from getting car audio systems. What this law does is give legal enforcement for times where it’s needed. When someone is blasting their music in a residential neighborhood at 11pm, that needs to be stopped. Nobody likes to be bothered late at night or early in the morning with loud noises of any kind. This law now allows the cops to actually do something about it without douchebags that are unaware of their behavior responding “bUt ThAtS mAh RiGhTs!”

  8. A factory system is audible within such parameters. Total BS to extort even more money from citizens.

  9. Some number of years ago the group called MERA was rather successful at intercepting many of these types of legislative proposals and either stopping their imposition or greatly diminishing their ability to be enforced. If some group is organized and has desire to intercede on behalf of the mobile audio industry today I may be able to dig up some examples of communications used with the legislatures trying to impose such measures…

    Ray Windsor ~ [email protected]

Comments are closed.