How do I get an Exemption to the Noise Ordinance?

Sound WaveI have had more than one call from an angry resident late at night because someone is making too much noise (not my favorite call). The city has a well established noise policy found in chapter 9.06 of our code book. The amount of noise that is acceptable is determined by the decibels produced. The chart at the end of this post outlines the acceptable level of decibels (day is from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm). The ordinance does allow for exceptions for sounds created by parades, carnivals, special public social events, or special construction projects. 

An exemption is granted by a permit from the Mayor. If you are interested in an exemption you must complete two tasks. First, obtain written permission from the neighborhood chair over the area where the event will be held. To do this contact the City Council office who will help you communicate with the neighborhood chair and second, email with details of the event including the special nature of the event and the time period for which you are requesting an exemption.

Each exemption is issued under the condition that it can be revoked. It is expected that during the event the applicant will work with police if complaints are filed to accommodate the reasonable needs of neighbors.


(1) Continuous and Intermittent noises described in 9.06.010(1) shall not exceed:

DISTRICT                                             DAY                           NIGHT

Residential/agricultural                     85 dBA                     55 dBA

Commercial                                          85 dBA                      65 dBA

Industrial                                              85 dBA                      85 dBA

(2) Continuous Noises described in 9.06.010(2) and 9.06.010(3) shall not exceed:

DISTRICT                                             DAY                           NIGHT

Residential/agricultural                     65 dBA                     55 dBA

Commercial                                          70 dBA                      65 dBA

Industrial                                              75 dBA                      75 dBA

(3) Intermittent Noises described in 9.06.010(2) and (3) shall not exceed:

DISTRICT                                             DAY                           NIGHT

Residential/agricultural                     70 dBA                     60 dBA

Commercial                                          75 dBA                      65 dBA

Industrial                                              80 dBA                      80 dBA

(4) Impulse Noises described in 9.06.010(1), (2) and (3) shall not exceed the following levels, measured on the “fast” response scale of the sound level meter:

DISTRICT                                             DAY                           NIGHT

Residential/agricultural                     75 dBA                     60 dBA

Commercial                                          80 dBA                      65 dBA

Industrial                                              85 dBA                      85 dBA

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  1. Marci Carlson

    There needs to be a law against loud, thundering, deafening, vibrating, stereo cars!!!

  2. Alif Ambler

    For us the worst noise issue is the motorcycle racing and illegal exhausts along 900 E. This will get worse when the construction is completed. Many people don’t know but almost all aftermarket exhausts for motorcycles and cars are not ‘street legal’. Furthermore people will drill out mufflers and remove parts to get their bikes to be ‘nice & loud’ which is also illegal on public roads. I don’t have a problem with those on racetracks where they are legal. I do have a problem with them screaming down 900 E which is mostly residential at 3 AM. If you hear and see a loud motorcycle in your neighborhood, try to get the license plate and description of the vehicle to report to Provo Police on the non-emergency number at 801-852-6210. I think the only way this is going to stop is for residents to keep reporting them, and for the police to start impounding bikes and cars with illegal exhausts. If you know where a loud vehicle parks, provide that information as well. The police can’t do much about the worst offenders because they just outrun the cops and create a very dangerous situation.

  3. Scott Norton

    I agree with the loud motorcycles on 9th East.

  4. matt

    maybe utah county should construct a racetrack, where ohv, race car or bike peoples have a safe place to enjoy their “nice and loud” toys. 9th east is a safety hazard to provo and always will be.

  5. Brian

    Are garbage trucks exempt from this noise ordinance? They come as early as 6:30 in the morning and wake up my whole household. They are easily louder than every specified decibel level described in the chart.

  6. Shawn

    Noise is a serious problem in Provo that too many people have gotten used to. And by far, the loudest producer are motorcycles. Motorcycles here are louder than jet engines (I’m not kidding.) Not only 9th East, but they run on the freeway even at the speed limit and have a signal strength of more than 3 miles. I live out West of town, and when a loud motorcycle (when is pretty much always from Apri to Oct) goes down the freeway, I can here it for about 3 minutes. The only things louder are helicopters. This is not a quality of life I want to live.

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