One of the attractive features of a Jeep is the ability to remove the tops and the doors and create an open vehicle that lets you experience the fresh air and nature all around you. Topless weekends on the beach have Jeeps of all makes and models driving doorless, topless, and loudly across the sand at the water edge.
The question that a lot of people wonder about is whether it is legal to drive a Jeep jeep with doors off on city streets and highways.
What Would Make Driving the Vehicle Without Doors Illegal?
The only real legality issues that Jeep owners face about driving their vehicles without the doors is the removal of some doors also removes the side mirrors.
All states have specific rules concerning how many mirrors a vehicle must have to be legal in the state. The majority of states require a vehicle to have a rearview mirror in place on the center portion of the front windshield. The rearview mirror allows the driver to be able to look into it and see what is behind their vehicle.
This ability reduces backup accidents because the driver can look in the mirror and see what is behind their vehicle before they put it into reverse.
Side mirrors are also required in the majority of states for vehicles that are to be driven on city streets and highways. The side mirror is one of the most important safety accessories the driver has.
The passenger-side mirror, which is usually attached to the door of the vehicle, allows the driver to see what items are on the passenger side of the car. If a driver is going down the road and wants to change lanes they can look in the side mirror on the passenger side and see if they have enough space between them and oncoming traffic.
The same thing is true of the side mirror located on the drivers’ door of the vehicle. The driver can see what things are alongside the vehicle. They can also watch the back of the car when they are pulling a trailer or towing a load. The side mirror gives them a view of the item they are pulling so they can stay safely in the proper lane, and not have accidents.
If you remove the doors from your Jeep wrangler and the side view mirrors are attached to those doors, then you will have to attach the side view mirrors in another manner so they are present on the vehicle in order for it to be legal to drive in most states.
States Where Jeeps to have Two Mirrors Include
The states that require a motor vehicle to have two mirrors, one on each side of the vehicle, to be legal on the roads include:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
In these states, if you remove the Jeep doors make certain you have the mirrors attached in another fashion so you are within the legal requirements and obeying state laws.
Some states drop the requirement of the second side view mirror if the vehicle is over a certain age. For instance: if you drive a vehicle manufactured prior to 1968 in Missouri you can legally drive it with zero mirrors. North Carolina requires a Jeep to have mirrors by other off-road equipment like tractors can travel the roads without a mirror or a door.
Is it Illegal to Drive a Jeep Without Doors in PA?
Pennsylvania is one of the states that is very tough on the rules about allowing Jeeps to be driven on city streets and roads without their doors in place. In Pennsylvania, if you drive a Jeep with no doors on city streets it must be a CJ. All other doorless Jeeps will get you a nice ticket from the local law enforcement.
The CJ was designed and offered for sale with or without doors. When you bought the vehicle, you could choose to buy it doorless. The other Jeeps allow the doors to be removed, but the doors are part of the original equipment that c9omes on the machine.
If the original equipment did not come with doors then you can legally drive it down a Pennsylvania street and not get a ticket. Pennsylvania law also states that the doors that are on the Jeep must be the same type of doors that originally came on the vehicle from the manufacturer.
British Columbia is very strict about Jeeps being driven without their original doors because the removal of the doors can remove the mirrors required for safety. Only the Jeep CJ can legally travel British Columbia streets without doors.
Is it Legal to Drive without Doors in Texas?
Texas is one of the states that allows Jeep owners to customize their machines by removing the doors, top, and more. Texas is one of the homes of Topless Jeep Weekends where people gather along the coastline beaches for a weekend of driving through the sand, riding with the wind in their hair, and plenty of sunshine.
In Florida, you can also drive along the roads without Jeep doors in place.
Removing the doors from the Jeep while off-roading gives you a greater sense of freedom. The real concern and problem about driving these vehicles down paved roads without doors on them are accidents. In the event of an accident, the door on the vehicle protects the person inside the vehicle from being ejected, or from having road debris blown into the car with them.