Suspend RCs of cars/bikes with ‘modified exhausts’: Transport Commissioner

Cars and bikes with modified exhausts are common in India. Though it’s illegal to modify exhausts, cops generally take a lenient view of this modification in most parts of the country unless someone’s running a very loud exhaust. All this could soon change. The transport department of Mysuru, Karnataka, is all set to crackdown on vehicles with modified exhausts. And this could just the beginning of similar crackdowns across the country.

Suspend RCs of cars/bikes with ‘modified exhausts’: Transport Commissioner

What’s it all about?

State Transport Commissioner B. Dayananda – in a review meeting that saw district-level RTOs and ARTOs of Mysuru, Chamarajanagar, Hassan, Kodagu and Mandya participating – has asked RTO officials to crack down on vehicles running modified exhausts.

He’s asked the RTO officials to seize such vehicles under laws of the Motor Vehicle Act and suspend their RCs. Yes, running a modified exhaust could now get your car/bike seized, and the Regsitration Certficate suspended. 

Why this move?

Suspend RCs of cars/bikes with ‘modified exhausts’: Transport Commissioner

The reason given for this crackdown is that the vehicles with modified exhausts create loud noise, which sometimes cause accidents. Also, the sound pollution caused due to loud exhausts is said to ‘disturb the peace of children, elderly and patients’.

What’s permissible, and what’s not?

There are a lot of modifications that are illegal, and that can get your vehicle seized. Altering exhausts for sound/aesthetics or even performance is one such modification. While the maximum permissible sound limit for two wheelers is 80 decibels, that for four wheelers is 75 decibels.

However, most law enforcement departments in the country do not have audio meters to measure the actual loudness of a vehicle’s exhaust. Therefore, they take the easy way out of seizing the vehicle or imposing a fine on the owner of the vehicle that’s found to be louder than normal. Also, since modifying exhausts is illegal, the law enforcement officials are at an advantage. Modify exhausts at your own peril.

The noise limit of automobiles have been enforced by Environment (Protection) Amendment Rules, 2000 and were enforced in 2003 by the law. The noise limit for various automobiles are as follows:

S. No.

Type of vehicle

Noise Limits from 1st January, 2003, dB(A)

Date of implementation






Two wheeler
Displacement upto 80 cm3

Displacement more than 80 cm3 but upto 175 cm3

Displacement more than 175 cm3

75 77


Ist January,2003


Three wheeler
Displacement upto 175 cm3

Displacement more than 175 cm3

77 80

Ist January,2003


Passenger car


Ist January,2003


Passenger or commercial vehicle Gross vehicle weight upto 4 tonne

Gross vehicle weight more than 4 tonne but upto 12 tonne

Gross vehicle weight more than 12 tonne

80 83


Ist July,2003