If I put a replacement light for my vehicle and it is "DOT" and/or "SAE" approved for legal street use does that mean it is legal in all 50 US States?

Specifically: I just replaced my Jeep turn signals with clear lights that flash amber when I am turning. All of the parts I used are labeled "DOT and SAE" approved. My local law says that turn signal in the color range of white and amber are OK for street use, but I am moving to Arizona in a few months where their law dictate strictly amber turn signals.

If I keep my turn signals will I be in a position to get ticketed? Or since all of the parts I used "DOT and SAE" approved can I use that as a legal excuse?

1 Answer 1


The DOT certification has more to do with the light output level being the right brightness (candella) and pattern not necessarily colour. I doubt a police officer cares whether your turn indicators are yellow/amber or white. They are more concerned about blue/red/purple etc.

  • +1. To add, you could find SAE and DOT stamps for side marker lights, but that doesn't mean you could use them for brake lights or turn signals.
    – jp2code
    Apr 4, 2013 at 15:13
  • I really doubt police officers are going to bother with your lights (unless you "look illegal" under Arizona law); it's more likely that if the light is non-conforming to the law, you'll just fail inspection and have to get it replaced then. Apr 4, 2013 at 15:40
  • @jp2code Yes side marker lights usually have DOT codes on the reflector plastic. The code is different from the ones for headlights, brake lights, and turn indicators. Each code indicates which position it is certified to be in.
    – Mike Saull
    Apr 4, 2013 at 16:15
  • 1
    Yeah, I'm using all of the lights in their proper places. I actually emailed AZPD and they said it doesn't really matter if there is always an amber color showing as long as there is a visible orange/amber when the blinker is flashing...
    – Sponge Bob
    Apr 4, 2013 at 20:55
  • @KeeganMcCarthy Yes I don't think it matters what colour the lens is as long as the light is the right colour. Even if it was a bit white I doubt they would care much.
    – Mike Saull
    Apr 4, 2013 at 22:35

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