Courtesy Light Laws by State

Courtesy LightsCourtesy lights are used by a variety of different vehicles to request right-of-way or to simply increase their visibility on the road. Depending on the state, volunteer firefighters and other volunteer first responders may be allowed to display blue courtesy lights or other alternative warning lights on their vehicles.

Unlike emergency vehicle lights on police cars, fire trucks and ambulances, courtesy lights do not grant the driver of the vehicle permission to disregard traffic laws. Be warned: in most situations, violating traffic laws while using courtesy lights or warning lights will result in increased ticket fines.

Because laws vary greatly from state to state, it is important to do your research before using courtesy lights. As a public service to our brave volunteer firefighters and other first responders, 911SignalUSA has put together this handy reference guide to state laws regarding courtesy lights and other alternative warning light systems.

Please keep in mind that while we have made every effort to ensure the information supplied below is accurate, we cannot be held responsible for any errors. It is your own responsibility to make sure you fully comply with all state and local laws.

State Service Type(s) of Lights Allowed Notes/Restrictions State Statute
ALABAMA
AL Vehicles authorized by the Alabama Director of Public Safety Amber or yellow   § 32-5A-115
ALASKA
AK Department of Transportation and Public Facilities Yellow or amber lights   13 AAC 04.095
AK Contractors used for highway maintenance Yellow or amber lights   13 AAC 04.095
AK Construction companies and public utility companies Yellow or amber lights Yellow or amber lights may only be used by these vehicles when actively working within 8 feet of a roadway. 13 AAC 04.095
AK Any bus, truck, or rig that is wider than 80-inches or more than 30-feet long Yellow or amber lights   13 AAC 04.095
AK Any vehicle that is lawfully towing a large building or house Yellow or amber lights   13 AAC 04.095
AK Volunteer firefighters Blue/amber   13 AAC 04.095
ARIZONA
AZ School buses and snow removal vehicles Amber and yellow lights   28-947
AZ Hobby or display fire engine Red flashing lights Red lights can only be used during parades or to test the lighting equipment 28-947
CALIFORNIA
CA Tow trucks and wrecker vehicles Amber lights Amber lights may be placed at the rear of a tow truck or wrecker when traveling slower than the speed of traffic. Amber lights may never be used on the highway unless inclement weather is present. VC section 25253
COLORADO
CO Tow trucks and wreckers Yellow or amber flashing or oscillating lights Lights may only be used when responding to traffic scenes. 42-4-2133
CO Volunteer firefighters, Volunteer ambulance attendees Green lights Permission from the fire chief or the fire chief executive officer is required. 42-4-222
Connecticut
CTWreckers and tow trucksTwo flashing yellow lightsLights must be used when towing a vehicle and when responding to a traffic scene14-96q(C )(4)(A)
CTAny vehicle carrying fifteen or fewer handicap passengersFlashing red lightLight can only be used when dropping off or picking up handicap passengers14-96 (p)(2)
CTMotor busPurple lights 14-96 (p)
CTInterstate public service vehicleGreen lights 14-96 (p)(2)
CTTaxi CabsWhite, lunar lights 14-96 (p)(2)
CTVolunteer firefightersBlue lightsMust be authorized in writing by the fire department chief executive officer14-96 (p)(4)(b)
CTVolunteer ambulance personnelGreen lightMust be approved by the department's chief executive officer and can only be used when in route to an emergency14-96 (p)(4)(c)
Delaware
DETow trucks and wreckersAmber or yellow lights 14-96q(C )(4)(A)
DEVolunteer firefightersBlue and white Title 21 Chap. 43 SC II
Florida
FLVolunteer first responders, medical physicians, and paramedicsRed lightsRed lights can be used by any of these officials when responding to a medical emergency.316-2397(3)
FLSecurity vehiclesGreen lights 316.2397
Georgia
GATow trucks and wreckersYellow, amber, red, and white lights 40-6-16
Hawaii
HIVolunteer firefightersRed warning lights 291.31-5
Idaho
IDTow trucks and wreckersAmber and yellow warning lights 49-910A(3)
IDVolunteer firefightersRed lights Title 49
Illinois
ILHazard vehicles, caution vehicles, construction trucks, and tow trucksAmber and yellow warning lights 12-215(b)2
ILVolunteer firefightersBlue lights 094-0730
Indiana
INFuneral escort vehiclesRed/white, red, or amber lights 9-19-14-5.5
INEMT POVsGreen lights Title 9
INVolunteer firefightersBlue lightsMust be approved by fire chiefTitle 9
Iowa
IATow trucks and construction vehiclesYellow/amber lights 321.423.6
IAVolunteer firefightersBlue lights 321.423
Kansas
KSVolunteer firefightersVaries depending on countyMust be approved by fire department chiefChapter 8 Article 15
KSTowing, wide transport vehiclesAmber/yellow lights Chapter 8 Article 15
Kentucky
KYCommand vehiclesGreen lights Chapter 189.00
KYVolunteer firefightersRed Chapter 189.99
KYTowing, wreckers, and wide transport vehiclesAmber/yellow lights Chapter 189.99
Louisiana
LAVolunteer firefightersRed RS 32:318
LAWreckers and tow trucksAmber/yellow lights RS 32:318
Maine
MEVolunteer firefightersRed/White §2054
MEHighway maintenance vehiclesAmber/Yellow §2054
MEWrecker , tow trucks, snow removal vehiclesAmber/Yellow lights §2054
MEAnimal control officersAmber/yellow lights §2054
MEMail carriers, newspaper carriersAmber/yellow lights §2054
MEHazardous material vehicleBlue light §2054
MEFuneral escort vehiclesYellow lightYellow light must only be used when the funeral escort vehicle is the lead vehicle in a funeral procession.§2054
Maryland
MDTaxi CabsGreen lights 22-218
MDVolunteer firefightersRed/White lights 22-218
MDTowing, wrecker, and wide transport vehiclesAmber/yellow lights 22-218
Massachusetts
MAForestry vehicles, Deputy Chief of a Municipal Fire Department, Volunteer firefighters, Fire department chaplainRed oscillating lightsRed light can only be used when responding to a fire or an alarmChapter 90 Sec 7E
MAIndividuals that were hired by a police department official to do a particular taskBlue lightsPermission to use a blue light on a vehicle must be approved in writing. If permitted to use a blue light, the blue light permission must be kept on your person at all times when operating the vehicle.Chapter 90 Sec 7E
Michigan
MIVolunteer firefightersRed lights Section 257.698
MITowing vehicles and wreckersRed/white 257.698
MIWide transport vehiclesAmber lights only 257.698
MISnow plowsAmber lightsAmber lighting may only be used by these vehicles when actively removing ice and snow.257.698
MIVehicles dispatched to spills or major clean-upsAmber lights 257.698
MIFuneral escort vehiclePurple or amber lightsPurple or amber lights may only be used on a funeral escort vehicle during a funeral procession.257.698
MIPhysiciansRed oscillating or flashing lightsA physician may use a red or flashing light on the dash of their personal vehicle when responding to an emergency at a hospital.257.698
MISecurity vehiclesAmber lightsSecurity vehicles may be equipped and use amber flashing or oscillating lights, but the lights may not be activated on public roads.257.698
Minnesota
MNSnow removal and maintenance vehiclesBlue lights 169.63 subd.4
MNMotorcyclesBlue lightsBlue lighting can only be used as part of a motorcycles rear brake169.63 subd. 4
MNTowing vehiclesAmber/red 169.63
Mississippi
MSVolunteer firefighters, Volunteer rescue squadsBlue lightsLights can only be used in a bona fide emergency and only when en route to an emergency and require the written permission of the fire department or ambulance association's chief executive officer.307.175
MSTow trucks and wreckersAmber 307.175
Missouri
MOVolunteer firefightersBlue lights 307.175
MOTow trucksAmber lights 307.175
Montana
MTVolunteer firefightersRed lights 61-9-402
MTTow trucksAmber/red lights 61-9-402
MTWide transport vehiclesAmber lights 61-9-402
Nebraska
NEEmergency mgt, and military vehiclesGreen lightsWritten permission must be carried and applied for annually60-6-233
NEVolunteer firefightersRed/blue/white lightsVolunteers must apply for permission to use emergency lights on their vehicle and permission may be taken away if the driver abuses the lights.60-6-233
NETow trucksAmber/red/blue/white 60-6-233
Nevada
NVTow trucks and wide transport vehiclesAmber 484A-480
New Hampshire
NHSecurity vehiclesGreenLights may not be used on public roads or highways266-78-b
NHVolunteer firefightersRed lights 266-78-c
NHTowing/wide transport vehiclesAmber/yellow lights 266-78-b
New Jersey
NJVolunteer firefightersBlue lightsA paid permit is required for use39:3-54
NJTowingAmber/blue lightsA paid permit is required for use39:3-54
NJWide transportAmberA paid permit is required for use39:3-54
New Mexico
NMVolunteer firefightersNo color specifiedUse of emergency vehicle lights by volunteers must be approved by the local chief of police66-7-6
NMTow trucksAmber/blue lights 66-3-835
New York
NYVolunteer crime patrol1 amber light, lit only when engaged in a patrol operationRequires written authorization from police commissioner§ 375 (41)(3)
NYVolunteer firefighters1 blue light, lit only when engaged in an emergency operationRequires written authorization from fire chief§ 375 (41)(4)
NYVolunteer EMT1 green light, lit only when engaged in an emergency operationRequires written authorization from service chief§ 375 (41)(5)
North Carolina
NCVolunteer firefightersRed light, lit only in performance of duties § 20-130.1 (b)(8)
North Dakota
NDVolunteer firefightersBlue/amber 39-01
NDTow trucksAmber/red lights 39-01
NDWide transport vehiclesAmber 39-01
Ohio
OHFarm equipment on public roadsAmber 4513.17
OHVolunteer firefightersRed/White 4511.01
OHTowing and wide transport vehiclesAmber 4511.01
Oklahoma
OKTow trucksAmber lighting 47-12-2-12-218
Oregon
ORVolunteer firefightersRed lights 816-350
ORTowing and wide transport vehiclesAmber lights 816-350
Pennsylvania
PAVolunteer firefightersBlue lights Chapter 173
PATowing and wide transport vehiclesAmber lights Chapter 173
Rhode Island
RIVolunteer firefightersRed/White lights 31-24-31
RIWreckers, tow trucks, service station trucks, snowplows, tractors, utility trucks, television vehicles, Funeral procession vehiclesAmber 31-24-31
South Carolina
SCVolunteer firefightersRed lights Chapter 56
South Dakota
SDTowing and wide transport vehiclesAmber 32-14-1
Tennessee
TNTow trucks and wide transport vehiclesAmber/white lights 55-9-402
Texas
TXVolunteer firefightersRed 547.001
Utah
UTTowing and wide transport vehiclesAmber Title 41 Chapter 6a
Vermont
VTVolunteer firefightersRed 23-1252
VTWide transport and towing vehiclesAmber 23-1252
Virginia
VAVolunteer firefightersRed 46-2-1025
VATow trucks, utility vehicles, haz mat vehicles, garbage collection vehicles, security vehicles, farm vehicles and tractors, neighborhood watch vehicles, funeral escort vehiclesAmberIn most situations, vehicles that are allowed to use amber emergency vehicle lights are only allowed to use these lights when completing a task.46-2-1025
Washington
WAVolunteer firefightersGreen 204.21.30
WATowing and wide transport vehiclesAmber 204.21.30
West Virginia
WVTowing and wide transport vehiclesAmber 17c-15-26
WVHaz mat vehiclesRed lights 17c-15-26
WVSchool buses, agriculture vehiclesRed lights 17c-15-26
WVSnow removal vehicles, tow trucks, newspaper delivery vehiclesAmber 17c-15-26
Wisconsin
WIVolunteer firefightersRed/white Chapter 347
WITowingAmber/red Chapter 347
WIWide transport vehiclesAmber Chapter 347
Wyoming
WYVolunteer firefightersRed/white/amber warning lights Article 9
WYTow trucks/wreckersAmber/white Article 9
WYWide transport vehiclesAmber Article 9