Are darkened taillights legal

Black taillights - what colors are allowed?

Fine calculator »Black taillights - which colors are allowed?

From, last update on: May 16, 2021

Are black taillights allowed?

For many tuning friends they are a worthwhile goal: black taillights. But the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO) define the permissible lighting of a vehicle very precisely.

So are black taillights even legal? Risk tuners fineor worse if they paint their taillights black?

FAQ: Black taillights

Is the appearance of the rear lights required by law?

Yes, according to the regulations of the StVZO, backlighting devices may only be available in red. Reversing lights may shine white.

Are black taillights allowed?

No, the color of the rear lights must not be changed. Painting the rear lights black is also prohibited, as is the use of black film.

What are the consequences of black taillights?

If vehicle owners change the color of the rear lights, the operating license expires. This can result in fines of between 25 and 90 euros. You can find out what further consequences the owner or driver will have to face here.

The fine calculator for vehicle lighting

Legal requirements of the StVZO

The StVZO regulates in Section 49a the general principles of lighting equipment on vehicles.

(1) Only the prescribed lighting equipment that has been declared permissible may be attached to motor vehicles and their trailers.

But what is considered permissible in relation to the question of the rear lights? According to the StVZO only certain colors of light approved on vehicles. These are based on the Direction in which they mainly radiate:

  • Glow that Forward shine: white
  • Direction indicator front, back and possibly on the sides: yellow
  • Glow that to the rear rays: red

The only exceptions are that Reversing lightswhich in turn have to shine white. The purpose of this regulation is Traffic safety. The uniformity of the lights in road traffic enables other road users to find out more quickly whether there is a vehicletowards them or away from them moved and react accordingly.

ECE test mark: Which rear lights are permitted?

Completely black taillights are with it illegal in any case. It does not matter whether you paint the tail lights black or want to wrap them with foil - a change due to the tint of the light, which loses luminosity, is never permitted.

Nevertheless, there is a whole range of lights available on the open market. Which of them are now legal? Buyers should pay particular attention to the certification marks. ECE approval mark stand for the fact that the respective rear light has been approved by the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) and a Type approval is present.

Nevertheless, tuners who want to install other taillights should don't blindly trust it. Black taillights are sometimes glazed afterwards by dealers to make them more attractive. Taillights with a film that is black also usually do not have a type approval. This extinguishes the Vehicle operating permit!

Possible consequences of black taillights

Next Fines for driving without an operating license between 25 and 90 euros, tuners also face the Loss of insurance coverage. This means that damage costs would have to be borne in the event of an accident, especially if black taillights have contributed to the event. In addition, driving without insurance is similar to driving without a license Offensethat can be punished with imprisonment.

It does not matter how the taillights were darkened. Tinting, painting or foiling black - dark taillights are not allowedif there is no valid E-mark.

If in doubt, have it checked

Black taillights should also be used tested by TÜV especially if the driver or owner is not sure whether the purchased components are legally permissible.

With a corresponding certificate, the rear lights can then entered in the vehicle registration document - so you are on the safe side during a police check.

(106 Ratings, average: 4,15 of 5)
Black taillights - what colors are allowed?
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  1. Hello,

    But what if you have black taillights where the rear lights are still white and the tinted red and yellow lights are replaced by brighter LEDs, so that there is no loss of luminosity due to the tint?

    Many Thanks!
    Sincerely, Dennis

    • Hello Dennis,
      Basically, only the “prescribed lighting equipment and those declared to be permissible” are permitted. If necessary, have modifications checked by the TÜV.

      Your team from Buß

  2. Hello,
    my taillights were lightly foiled, yesterday I was stopped by the police, I had to remove the foil from my taillights on site, they told me that I would be charged a complaint and a fine of € 200. After researching the Internet, I was able to find out that I got a much lower fine and no complaint.

    Can it really be that I get a complaint and a fine of 200 € only for slightly foiled taillights?

    Thanks in advance

    With best regards

    • Hello Didi,
      under certain circumstances - such as endangering road traffic - the sanctions according to the catalog of fines may increase. However, based on your information, we cannot assess whether this is the case for you. You should therefore wait for the notification and the facts listed in it.

      Your team from Buß

  3. Hello,

    A couple of led's failed on my Passat 3C, now I wanted to replace them (this model only works in the entire rear light). On Ebay there are various taillights, including this one [link removed from editorial office] is this type of taillight also a problem or not?

    With best regards

  4. Hello,
    I was planning to swap my red taillights for black ones.
    The manufacturer writes “Our articles give your vehicle that special visual touch. All parts are free of registration and provided with a test mark, so that there is no need to register with the Tüv ”, as well as“ with E-mark / approved in the area of ​​the StVZO ”.
    Are there any exceptions so that these black taillights may be legal?
    With best regards