Is It Legal To Drive With The Tailgate Down in 2023?

It is IIIegal to Drive with the tailgate down. IS THAT TRUE?

It depends on where you live. I know that’s a lame answer, but it’s true. Tailgates, truck beds, and everything in between are subject to state laws.

Although I live in California, I often travel to the southwest and occasionally to the south. I researched whether there are any states that prohibit driving with my tailgate down.

  • Driving with the tailgate down is legal in some states, but not in others.
  • In most states, you can drive without a tailgate if there is no law prohibiting tailgate positions.
  • When driving, tailgates can shake and fall off if they are removed with the tailgate down.
  • It is possible for your tailgate to be stolen if you drive with your tailgate down

No national law restricts the operation of a motor vehicle with a rear tailgate in a certain position. Depending on the state, it may be legal to drive with the tailgate down.

In some states, the tailgate must be secured or fastened so it cannot move while the truck is in operation. Driving with your truck tailgate down or unlocked is illegal in the following states:

  • KS
  • IL
  • MI
  • MN
  • MD
  • NE
  • NJ
  • TX

There are no restrictions on driving a pickup with the tailgate down in the following states:

AK, AR, CA, CO, WA, WI, WV, WY, CT, D.C., DL, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY,, MS, MT, NC, ND, NM, NV, NY, PA, OH, OR, RI, TN, UT, VA, VT, LA, MA, ME, MO

Is Driving Without A Tailgate Illegal?

In most states, yes. State laws that do not prohibit tailgate positions also do not regulate whether you can drive without a tailgate. In most states, it is legal to drive without a tailgate.

Will Driving With Tailgate Down Damage Your Truck?

It is safe to drive with your tailgate down. It can cause damage if other drivers are unaware and hit the tailgate inadvertently if they are not aware.

Check the bed of your truck if you are driving with the tailgate down to ensure you are not carrying any cargo that could fall out.

Additionally, some tailgates are designed to be removed with the tailgate down, and when you are driving it can shake and fall off! A mistake like that could cost you a lot of money.

A lower speed might have an impact on the wear and tear of your vehicle if you want to protect your investment.

It is also possible for your truck’s tailgate to be stolen when left unattended. There is a dramatic increase in tailgate thefts in Texas and California. These two states have the most trucks, so that makes sense:

Can A Locked Tailgate Be Stolen?

A locked tailgate cannot be stolen unless the thief can pick the lock or destroy the truck bed. It is possible for your tailgate to be stolen if you drive with it down. Here are some locks that allow you to do it relatively cheaply.

There are no restrictions on driving without a tailgate in most states. Most states in the U.S. allow trucks to drive without tailgates, except in California and New York, where truck drivers are required to have rear-view mirrors (and therefore, at least one side of the vehicle’s bed must be open).

Tailgates for trucks come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. Wood, metal, or plastic can be used to make them. Bolt-on tailgates are the easiest to remove.

For this simple task, you usually only need a socket wrench. You can replace your truck bed’s built-in tailgate with an aftermarket drop-in bed liner if it isn’t removable.

When purchasing a new truck, make sure it has a bolt-on tailgate. It is easier to remove and replace this type of gate if it is stolen or broken into pieces. Don’t forget to get the right tailgate lock as well.

Takeaways: Drive With The Tailgate Down

Laws are clear. Most states prohibit driving with your tailgate down, but there are some exceptions.

You might consider lowering the tailgate when driving on a highway or freeway if you need to transport goods in your truck’s bed. This will prevent cargo from flying out when going over bumps.

You may also need to load up at Home Depot after hours where they have metal detectors before entering the store instead of leaving your items behind to avoid being scanned by security guards.

You won’t be cited unless someone complains about transporting things in an unsafe manner due to these kinds of situations.

Most states prohibit driving with your truck’s tailgate down. While prosecution varies from state to state, the general rule seems to be that if you drive with a loaded trailer and don’t lower it when not traveling, you’re breaking the law.

Is It Legal To Drive With The Tailgate Down Video Explanation

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