• Every vehicle shall be equipped with at least two and no more than four headlights. At one time on the front of a vehicle not more than four lights may be lighted including auxiliary lamps or spotlamps brighter than 300 candlepower.
  • In addition to two (or four) headlights and two tail lights, vehicles in Tennessee are allowed to have 2 auxiliary driving lights. When a vehicle is equipped with extra lighting, no more than 4 front lights can be on at one time while driving.
  • Flashing light systems are prohibited. Hazard lights are only allowed in an emergency.
  • If the adjustment of any headlight or auxiliary driving or fog light fails to conform the requirements the driver forty-eight hours to make changes.
  • Tennessee headlights laws

    Lighting laws in Tennessee

    Tennessee Motor Vehicle Laws

    Title 55 Motor and Other Vehicles

    Chapter 9 Equipment -- Lighting Regulations

    Part 4 Lighting Regulations

    Department of Transportation Department of Transportation

    55-9-402. Lights required on motor vehicles (a) -- Exceptions -- Regulations as to color, type and visibility distance.

    1) Every motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, road roller, road machinery or farm tractor shall be equipped with at least two (2) and not more than four (4) headlights, with at least one (1) on each side of the front of the motor vehicle. No nonemergency vehicle shall operate or install emergency flashing light systems, such as strobe, wig-wag, or other flashing lights within the headlight assembly or grill area of the vehicle; provided, however, that a school bus may operate a flashing, wig-wag lighting system within the headlight assembly of the vehicle when the vehicle's visual stop signs are actuated for receiving or discharging school children.

    2) Auxiliary road lighting lamps may be used, but not more than two (2) of the lamps shall be lighted at any one (1) time in addition to the two (2) required headlights.

    55-9-406. Headlights on motor vehicles -- Operation during inclement weather -- Violation -- Penalty -- Costs.

    (a) The headlights of every motor vehicle shall be so constructed, equipped, arranged, focused, aimed, and adjusted, that they will at all times mentioned in § 55-9-401, and under normal atmospheric conditions and on a level road produce a driving light sufficient to render clearly discernible a person two hundred feet (200') ahead, but shall not project a glaring or dazzling light to persons in front of the headlights.

    (b) Operation of headlights during periods of rain, as required in this section, shall be made during any time when rain, mist, or other precipitation, including snow, necessitates the constant use of windshield wipers by motorists.

    55-9-407. Multiple beam road lighting equipment -- Use.

    Whenever the road lighting equipment on a motor vehicle is so arranged that the driver may select at will between two (2) or more distributions of light from headlights or lamps or auxiliary road lighting lamps or lights, or combinations thereof, directed to different elevations, the following requirements shall apply while driving during the times when lights are required:

    1) When there is no oncoming vehicle within five hundred feet (500'), the driver shall use an upper distribution of light; provided, that a lower distribution of light may be used when fog, dust, or other atmospheric conditions make it desirable for reasons of safety.

    2) When within five hundred feet (500') of an oncoming vehicle, a driver shall use a distribution of light so aimed that the glaring rays therefrom are not directed into the eyes of the oncoming driver.

    Colors Restrictions Colors Restrictions

    55-9-414. Blue flashing emergency lights on motor vehicles unlawful -- Exception -- Penalty.

    (a) (1) Except as provided in subsections (b)-(f), it is an offense for anyone to install, maintain or exhibit blue flashing emergency lights or blue flashing emergency lights in combination with red flashing emergency lights, except full-time, salaried, uniformed law enforcement officers of the state, county, or city and municipal governments of the state, and commissioned members of the Tennessee bureau of investigation when their official duties so require as defined by §§ 38-8-106 and 38-8-107.

    Equipment Restricted Equipment Restricted

    55-9-415. Operation of vehicle with lamps or spotlights facing backwards -- Penalty.


    1) It is an offense for a person to operate any vehicle equipped with auxiliary lamps or spotlights facing backwards on a highway, street or roadway in this state when the lamps or spotlights are in operation.

    2) This section does not apply to any emergency vehicle or public utility vehicle.

    3) It is not the intent of this section to prohibit the use of the lamps or spotlights for lawful purposes while the vehicle is parked, but the use of the lamps or spotlights shall not interfere with a vehicle operating on a highway, street or roadway.

    (b) In the event any headlight or auxiliary driving or fog light, by reason of faulty adjustment or otherwise, emits a glaring light as defined in §§ 55-9-406 and 55-9-408 or otherwise fails to comply with this part, the officer making the inspection shall direct the driver to make the light or lights conform to the requirements of this part within forty-eight (48) hours.

    Other Rules Other Rules

    Headlights: 2 or 4

    • minimum height: n/a
    • maximum height: n/a

    Auxiliary driving lights: 2 maximum

    • minimum height: n/a
    • maximum height: n/a

    Tail lights: 2 minimum

    • minimum height: n/a
    • maximum height: n/a

    Notice! This page contains only a list of recommendations. Kensun does not give any LEGAL advice. Please be sure to refer to a lawyer, local DOT or Police Department for further assistance.