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Technical Laws On Fenderless Cars

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by blazedogs, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. blazedogs
    Joined: Sep 22, 2014
    Posts: 350


    The topic was brought up by a car buff several days ago that there are states where it is illegal to drive your fenderless cars on their roads.

    God this irks me... I'm a old guy that comes from a family of vets that has a love for freedom.Our car will be fenderless and the Wife and I want to travel a bit. Should this be a concern ? Gene in Mn.
  2. I live in a state (South Carolina) where there is no law pertaining to fenders and have driven my old roadster through several states that may or may not have a fender law,,I never had a problem with the long arm of the law driving a fenderless car. HRP
  3. harpo1313
    Joined: Jan 4, 2008
    Posts: 1,605

    from wareham,ma

    Travel on ,no reason to fear a fender law.As a vet i would think youve been in worse situations.Enjoy your travels,and thanks.
  4. I don't know the law in Wa but plenty of folks running without and never heard of anyone getting hassled here. Come on out!

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  5. CruZer
    Joined: Jan 24, 2003
    Posts: 1,903


    For many years Mass. had this law. In the late 90's it was changed to let any 1948 or older car run fenderless. Why the legislature voted for 1948 or older is a mystery to me but I had sold my '40 Ford coupe by 2001 and I immeadiately started looking for a fenderless car. When I got my '34 coupe,I carried a paper copy of the law that I had gotten from the RMV just in case I got stopped or rejected for an inspection sticker. I drove that car all over until I swapped it for my roadster in 2007.
    I never had to show it to anyone!!!
  6. I would have to think, unless a cop has a bug up his ass, even if the law is in place as long as you are not acting like an idiot they will look the other way and if the cop is out to ticket you even with fenders he will probably find some other stupid thing that he can get you on.
    Kan Kustom and mike in tucson like this.
  7. 35desoto
    Joined: Oct 6, 2009
    Posts: 760


    In New Zealand you need a fender exemption to run anything earlier than 1936 without fenders. However some of the Police are not switched on to that law and in the main if you behave yourself and don't draw undue attention most cars get by. I believe our Aussie neighbours have a tougher time so you guys in USA have an easier ride than us guys downunder
  8. RainierHooker
    Joined: Dec 20, 2011
    Posts: 1,994

    from Tacoma, WA

    Yep, pretty much drive and play nice, law or no law, and you won't have a problem. Most people, cops included, don't know the foggiest about our cars, and unless you give them reason to think otherwise, wouldn't know if fenders were even supposed to be there.

    Don't drive like a jack ass, and don't drive a shit-box and all will be well.
  9. carmuts
    Joined: Jun 17, 2009
    Posts: 874


    I think there is or was a law on the books in Nebraska. Either it was repealed or is largely ignored as plenty are fenderless. Rod
  10. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,371

    from MN,USA

    Haven't heard of too many problems in MN and I've been driving my roadster fenderless with flathead running straight pipes for years without hassle.
  11. I think if you behave there should be no problem. There are many around my neck of the woods without fenders and I don't know of any problems. It does, also, depend on the individual officer though. Recently one of my friends got stopped for having YOM license plates. (WA calls them restored plates) He was told they were illegal and cited him. (City cop) He went to the police station and the ticket was thrown out. Now we all carry a copy of the law with us. No problems since.
  12. woodiewagon46
    Joined: Mar 14, 2013
    Posts: 1,364

    from New York

    My Deuce roadster has 55K on the odometer and has been to 21 states. The only state I ever had a problem in was Rhode Island. My wife and I were looking for a B&B and got lost. We went down a little side road and out of the corner of my eye I saw a patrol car parked on a side street. All of a sudden here he comes, lights and siren. I knew we weren't speeding, so I wondered what he wanted. After he ran my plate and checked for registration and insurance he gave my wife and I a lecture on fender less cars and how dangerous they were, then said, "since you have out of state plates, I can't issue you a citation, so you are free to go". I guess what I am saying is, that if your home state OK's it don't worry about it.
  13. saltracer219
    Joined: Sep 23, 2006
    Posts: 622


    Washington has a fair weather fender law. You are supposed to drive your fenderless car only in dry weather. I don't have the rcw number here in front of me, but if you use some common sense no one will hastle you. I don't know of anyone in the circle of hot rod guys I run with that has ever had a problem.
  14. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,100


    Has to be 1500 lbs. or under to be fenderless in California.

    That said, if you don't drive like a total jerk, you will likely get a pass. YMMV.
  15. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 7,501


    No fenderless exemptions here. Some do and get away with but fender must cover width of tire and 1/3 circumference.
  16. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,100


    Luckily, not too many folks will be driving their hot rods from Minnesota to Australia or New Zealand.
  17. 50Fraud
    Joined: May 6, 2001
    Posts: 9,318


    The 1500 lb law was pretty vigorously enforced when I was a kid in the mid-'50s. I'm told that the law is still on the books, but there are thousands of fenderless cars in CA now and I don't know anyone who's been ticketed in the last 40 years.
  18. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 16,100


    Except for a few CHP rookies out to change the world, Johnny Lawman seems to have bigger things to deal with.
    Atwater Mike likes this.
  19. I have fenders just not on any of my cars:rolleyes: Never had a problem except for bobwop.:eek:
  20. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 6,074


    If I saw an out-of-State (especially Connecticut) plate on a fenderless car, I would call 9-1-1 immediately. Not only are fenderless cars dangerous, they are unsightly as well. A violator should get TWO citations!
    tb33anda3rd likes this.
  21. ronnieroadster
    Joined: Sep 9, 2004
    Posts: 699


    CT has a fender law when I get stopped for no fenders I simply tell the officer my roadster was the economy model in 1932 fenders were an option! ;) So far been cross country twice traveled threw a lot of states never had a problem with no fenders. Hell even in the snow driving threw Wyoming coming home from California in June no fenders and no traction! :eek: Only a couple hundred thousand miles so far with no fenders during all those miles only one ticket for no fenders and that was in 1972. :rolleyes:
  22. '52 F-3
    Joined: Sep 30, 2007
    Posts: 828

    '52 F-3

    Pennsylvania has it covered very clearly, but it's also about impossible to enforce.
    Classic and Antique registered car must to stock, so the only legal option it to register is a "street rod" one of the specialty constructed type registrations. Street Rods registered vehicle my be inspected every year and are allowed to have not fenders, hood etc..... the rules are much more detailed, but is all spelled out on the state web site.
    one issue that arises is not all DMV employees or the police know the laws on specialty vehicle laws very well, so it can be difficult.
  23. Moby
    Joined: May 18, 2014
    Posts: 138

    Member Emeritus

    It's my understanding that if your car is legal in your home state, you can drive it legally in any state.
    Back in the 70's, when fenderless was illegal in PA, a guy with a fenderless California tagged T bucket "visited" a PA relative so long that a local cop took notice and tried to bust him for no fenders. The PA law said that any vehicle in the state for 30 days or more had to be PA licensed and inspected, meaning it needed fenders. The car was gorgeous and fenders would have killed the look so the T bucket guy drove to MD every 28 days (only 45 minutes) and came home with a dated, addressed gas receipt which proved the car wasn't in the state over 30 days. The bucket had no top and some of his trips were in the dead of winter but he never added fenders. Damn hot rodders always find a way, don't they?!!

    PA dropped the fender law in 2005 and I'm building my 3rd legal fenderless car.
    volvobrynk and Special Ed like this.
  24. Hey was a Camas cop that wrote my buddy for the restored tags...LOL
  25. Bill Rinaldi
    Joined: Mar 23, 2006
    Posts: 1,618

    Bill Rinaldi

    Drove a fenderless T roadster for 5 years---only got checked out one time---Got caught in a real down pour and ducked under an expressway over pass, a trooper pulled in behind me a few minutes later. He got out and looked the car over, we had a conversation about the car and hot rods in general. He mentioned a "fair weather" law and also was quite sure I wasn't driving in this weather on purpose. After a few minutes a couple of "chopper" bikes pulled in to get out of the weather, trooper walked over to them and started another conversation. The gulley washer rain lasted close to a half hour. We all left about the same time, the trooper wishing us all a safe trip. Can't complain about that. BILL RINALDI
    clem and volvobrynk like this.
  26. mj40's
    Joined: Dec 11, 2008
    Posts: 3,264


    Fair weather fender law in Idaho for pre 1935 cars. It has been around for over 20 years and you see all years driving around with no problems. Especially when the rat rod movement started.
  27. This Car is street legal in Wisconsin:eek:
    bobwop likes this.
  28. I think they should get four, one for each fender.:p
    bobwop likes this.
  29. We had to fight hard for a long time, to get that stupid fender law out of here! There are a few more that need to go as well!
  30. cac646
    Joined: Feb 7, 2007
    Posts: 175


    Just make sure you don't drive through Manitoba Canada. They'll treat you like you just murdered someone while they nail you for no fenders, no heater and prolly for no DOT markings on your cool vintage tail lights!

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