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Windshield Wiper And Headlight Laws State-By-State

Thank goodness for windshield wipers when it’s raining, unless they’re old and squeaky… Did you know that in 18 states, it is ILLEGAL to be use your windshield wipers without your headlights on? Does it include your state?

States with windshield/headlight law:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Delaware
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Ohio
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Carolina
  • Virginia

Other states have other laws that are more vague, but TECHNICALLY you do not have to have your headlights on if the windshield wipers are on or off.

Headlights required in “adverse conditions” (generally rain, snow, dust, fog, etc.):

  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Iowa
  • Minnesota
  • Montana
  • New Hampshire
  • North Dakota
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

The remaining states do not have any laws regarding  weather and windshield wipers/headlights. These states only require headlights in extreme fog or when it’s nighttime/civil twilight.

Headlights only required in dense fog or if it’s nighttime:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Mississippi
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • South Dakota
  • Texas
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

Source and for a complete list:  AAA

-Matt