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Is It Legal To Drive Without Doors? Yes & No. Here’s Why!

Last Updated on: October 7, 2022

Yes, it is. Cops won’t pull you over.

But:

You must comply with state laws as most say your car should have at least one mirror. Fortunately, a car requires a few minor things after Jeep doors removal, so it isn’t expensive to reattach side mirrors and won’t interfere with the driving experience.

If you’ve been looking at doorless vehicles and wanting one, it’s not too late. Let’s discuss what you’d need for such an experience and what makes a Jeep without doors different.

What You Should Know Before You Buy A Car With Removable Doors

Driving without doors is safe. But, it has safety concerns because cars with removable doors pose an even greater risk to you and other road users. Beyond safety, other issues to think about before you remove a Jeep’s doors are:

Weather Threats

Weather Threats

For instance, what will you do when there’s a sudden rainstorm? You have to pull over and get the rain jacket in the back seat if it starts raining while driving a Jeep without doors. So, you pull over, reach out, and find your jacket is also wet because you had your Jeep doors removed. Crickets.

Beyond getting wet in a storm, you also have to worry about water damage to the car’s interior. I doubt you’d risk ruining your car’s interior for the excitement of driving a Jeep without doors in the rain or on muddy trails. One rainy day may not ruin your car, but imagine the damage from exposure several times until you reattach your Jeep doors.

Therefore, to experience the fun of a Jeep without doors, read the weather forecast first or drive in a place that rarely rains.

Terrain

Terrain

Doorless Jeeps are more suitable for off-road terrain when looking for adrenaline-pumping fun. You don’t worry about dust or rainstorms in such places, and you wear appropriate clothes suited to the road conditions.

The last thing on your mind is driving within a city, not out in the country looking for exciting activities, and maneuvering off-road obstacles like gravel, puddles, or rocks in a doorless Jeep.

Poor Accident Protection

Poor Accident Protection

We’re not saying that accidents only happen in doorless cruising, but knowing your car model can reduce the impact in a collision lowers safety concerns. Such side paneling shields your body better than when in a Jeep without doors.

There are also other Jeep models with reinforced steel to enhance the safety of occupants in case of an accident. But, that doesn’t mean passengers should drive without seat belts or with their hands and feet hanging outside a Jeep’s doors.

Security

Security

Would you prefer to leave your items in a car with doors or without? When you drive a Jeep without them, you have to check the inside constantly to ensure everything is as you left it, whether in the city or the countryside. It’s too much work when you have gadgets like a laptop.

Even your backpack can fall out of the moving car. You’ll have such safety concerns when driving in rough terrain.

How To Drive A Car Without Doors

After evaluating the issues above and preparing for each situation, you’re ready to go off-roading in an open car.

The first thing to do is confirm if your model has removable doors. For instance, Jeep models have removable doors, so it’s easier when you have such a car than when you have to change the factory design from scratch. But, even modifying a model like a Jeep without doors removes the side-view mirrors. 

Therefore, check the number of accessories needed to make your car street legal, such as purchasing aftermarket mirrors and the cost to attach mirrors.

You’ll have to check what your state says even though you see people driving doorless cars because such assumptions can be costly. For instance, in Pennsylvania, you need side mirrors with up to 200 feet of clear vision behind your vehicle. Thus, if you have a large spare wheel that obstructs your view, you need a right or left-side mirror to make it completely legal.

A few states, such as Arizona, California, and Colorado, follow the “two mirrors” rule — you need at least two mirrors to see the left, right, or center. It’s different in New York and Kansas as their laws require a left-side view mirror and an interior rearview mirror in a Jeep without doors.

If you’re in Ohio, it’s another story, as you need three mirrors, or the cops will pull you over. Ohio is the only state with such a law.

Also, Pennsylvania requires all cars registered in the state to have doors, so to enjoy this off-road experience in this state, you must get your vehicle elsewhere and bring it in.

Pro Auto Thought: Depending on your vehicle, having no doors is not a cause for legal issues. However, inconveniences could arise because your ride is doorless and one of these is sleeping in the backseat. Read our post and find out how to remedy this easily — How To Sleep Comfortably In The Backseat Of A Car.


Watch This!


Frequently Asked Questions

What vehicles can you take the doors off?

The most common model with this feature is the Jeep without doors. You can remove the door if you drive a Jeep Gladiator or a Jeep Wrangler. 

The Wrangler is a midsize SUV with enough cargo space to stow your doors without consuming the space needed to carry your off-road camping gear. It takes a few minutes to detach these doors as the manufacturer has already predetermined how you can do that.

The 2021 Ford Bronco presents a feature you won’t find in older models, one that puts it on the list of cars with removable doors and top. This feature is popular with modern vehicles like SUVs; therefore, check such models.

Can you drive a car with the doors open?

You can but you shouldn’t as you’ll endanger yourself and other road users. Though everyone in your car will buckle up, items inside may fall out and injure others on the road.

Doing this is illegal to do so in most states. In Oregon, your doors should be open long enough for you to load or unload passengers, and you should only open doors when it’s safe and doesn’t disrupt motorists and pedestrians. It means you can’t drive with open doors there. Some manufacturers even prevent such a situation, so the car doors won’t open unless you park first.

You might think about opening doors to transport an oversized load. However, check what your state allows first because other road users won’t expect to come across a car with open doors unless they already know the state allows it, which means they may not have the experience to maneuver.

Another situation that may have you driving with them open is when your car fails, and you have to push it to safety. In such cases, turn on hazard lights first.

Is it easy to take a car door off?

Yes, we can say that it’s manageable with little to no experience. You’ll require a few tools for this task, most of which you might have already, such as a wrench. The first step is disconnecting the wiring enclosed in the rubber tube. Next, unbolt the door holder.

Confirm that it’s a stand-alone piece not connected to the hinges, or you’ll have to take the hinges off first. If that’s the case, unbolt the door hinges. Your car might have welded, one-sided, or two-sided door hinges, so work according to the design. Someone or something should hold the door as you unhinge it, such that it doesn’t fall flat on the ground.

Lastly, store these hinges carefully as you might need them later if you decide to reattach the door.


Conclusion

It is legal to drive without doors as long as you follow local laws on parts like left-side mirrors. Hence, you have to relocate factory mirrors after unbolting your door to comply and be safe on the road. There are also state laws on the number of mirrors installed, with some states requiring as high as three mirrors. 

Alternatively, get one with removable doors, such as Jeep doors on the Jeep Wrangler. They are easy to make street legal as you can install a tube door to fix two mirrors on a Jeep without doors.

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