Maine Working Group Recommends Delays to Further Restrictions on Aftermarket Exhaust Systems

In 2003, a version of SEMA-model legislation to create an enforceable motor vehicle exhaust noise standard was signed into law in Maine.  Prior to 2003, Maine deemed illegal all modifications that increased noise levels above that emitted by the vehicle’s original muffler. Under the SEMA model, an exhaust system modification is legal if it results in a sound level of 95-decibels or less as measured by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) test standard J1169.  The 2003 Maine law also stipulated that all exhaust sound level tests be performed by certified inspection stations.  

Last year, the law was again amended to clarify the statutory language and to require the Department of Public Safety (Bureau of State Police) to convene a working group to study issues relating to all road noise, including, noise created when an exhaust system is not properly installed or maintained or is altered. This working group, which included legislators, law enforcement personnel, the Maine Turnpike Authority, the Maine Motor Transport Association, the Maine Custom Auto Association, the National Street Rod Association and the United Bikers of Maine submitted its recommendations to the Joint Standing Committee on Transportation.  The group feels that recent efforts have resulted in reducing road noise and has recommended to the committee that monitoring be undertaken as well as educational efforts by the stake holders, before any additional measures are taken to further restrict the installation of aftermarket exhaust systems.

Accordingly, the SEMA Action Network (SAN) is appealing to the Maine hobbyist community to be aware that the exhaust noise issue remains a continuing bone of contention in your state.  We ask that you take heed of appropriate noise limits and make efforts to use these exhaust systems in conformance with applicable guidelines.  If we don’t police ourselves, it’s likely that additional restrictions will be forthcoming.

Thank you for your consideration.