Short Answer: The legality of driving a Jeep without doors varies depending on where you live. It is usually legal to remove the doors of your Jeep at home and drive on public roads without doors in the U.S. and Canada, as long as you follow the government’s vehicle equipment standards. The only state where this is expressly prohibited is Pennsylvania. When you remove the doors, you’ll also remove the mirrors, and you may have to re-attach the mirrors to stay in compliance with local laws. Below, we have more details about the rules for driving a Jeep without doors in each U.S. state and Canadian province, as well as additional safety information and instructions for attaching mirrors to your Jeep.
Is It Legal to Drive a Jeep Without Doors in the U.S.?
It’s legal to drive a Jeep on the road without the doors attached in most states as long as your vehicle remains compliant with laws requiring that vehicles have enough mirrors to see behind the vehicle. Some states simply require cars to have a single mirror that allows drivers to have an unobstructed view of the road behind them. Others require one rearview mirror and one side-view mirror, while a few states vaguely say that “two mirrors” are required, with no positional specifications. Because the side-view mirrors are attached to the doors, you may need to find another way to attach a mirror to your Jeep to follow the law and stay safe.
Currently, the only state that specifically prohibits drivers from driving vehicles without attached, functioning doors is Pennsylvania. According to Pennsylvania vehicle codes, all vehicles manufactured and registered with doors as “original equipment” must be driven with attached, functioning doors. This can, however, include half doors and other door alternatives as long as they’re similar to the original doors. If doors are not attached and functioning (unless the car’s top is off, in which case doors do not need to be operable), the vehicle may fail inspection and drivers can be fined on the road.
For more information about your state’s specific vehicle equipment standards, see your state’s vehicle code and requirements for mirrors. We’ve outlined each state’s basic requirements and linked to their DMV websites or vehicle codes in the table below.
Is It Legal to Drive a Jeep Without Doors in Canada?
Like the U.S., Canada’s laws generally allow you to drive a Jeep without the doors as long as certain conditions are met. Each province or territory’s vehicle equipment safety code includes information about how many mirrors are required when driving. We list the mirror regulations from each province or territory’s Motor Vehicles Act below.
Provinces/Territories That Require One Mirror
Note: If the rearview mirror is obstructed, you must have an additional side mirror.
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
Provinces/Territories That Require Two Mirrors
Provinces With Other Mirror and Door Laws
The Motor Vehicles Act of the Northwest Territories does not include any specific regulations regarding mirrors or whether the doors must remain attached to the vehicle, at the time of this writing.
Safety Concerns When Driving Without Doors
Besides the mirrors, there are other safety concerns that you may want to consider before removing your Jeep’s doors.
Poor Accident Protection
Removing the doors takes away protection for the driver and passengers in the event of a side-impact collision with another car or with off-road obstacles. On modern vehicles, the doors generally have reinforced steel or aluminum in them that serve as the first line of defense, offering crucial protection for the passengers inside.
Of course, older Jeeps models may not have modern safety features like seat-belts. Be aware of your vehicle’s safety features; it’s best to make sure your Jeep is as safe as possible, especially when you plan to drive without doors.
Consider the weather in your area before driving your Jeep without doors. If you live in a place where it rarely rains, such as southern California, some people choose to leave their doors off year-round. However, you should be aware of potential weather threats in your area — especially hail — even in areas or seasons where inclement weather is rare.
Most people who remove the doors leave them at home; if you live in a place where it rains often, it’s important to remember that while Jeep models like the Wrangler are waterproofed to some extent, getting water inside the car is generally not good for the interior or onboard electronics. This problem will only be made worse if you have a Jeep with doors that were not designed to be removable, like a Cherokee, Compass, Liberty, or similar model.
If you’re driving a Jeep that isn’t a Wrangler, CJ, or similar and you remove the doors, police may pull you over and question your vehicle regardless of the local mirror laws. Even though you are driving legally, it may not be worth the hassle for some people to drive without doors if the police in the area regularly stop doorless vehicles. This is a choice you will have to make yourself, but a call to the police station or sheriff’s office can give you a better idea of your local law enforcement’s attitude toward doorless Jeeps.
How to Attach Mirrors to Your Jeep
If you have a Wrangler, CJ, or similar style Jeep, there are many aftermarket mirrors that you can buy that either attach to the door hinges or have brackets that attach the mirrors to another part of the windshield or body paneling. GetJeeping’s video below shows one option for installing mirrors with special brackets, but any aftermarket mirror you find will have instructions with it that detail how to get the mirror mounted correctly on your doorless Jeep.
If you have a Jeep that wasn’t designed to have its doors removed and you live in an area that requires a side view mirror, you may need to do some extra work to figure out how to mount mirrors to your Jeep. In some cases, you may need to hire a welder to customize a mirror for your vehicle.
In most states and provinces (besides Pennsylvania), it is legal to drive with your Jeep’s doors off as long as you have the legally-required number of mirrors installed. The number of required mirrors varies by state in the U.S. and by province or territory in Canada, but typical requirements include either a rearview mirror alone or a rearview mirror and one additional mirror. On vehicles like Wranglers and CJs, the process of removing the doors is relatively simple; even if you are driving something like a Cherokee or Liberty you can still legally do this, but the process will be more complicated. Be aware that removing the doors of your Jeep will decrease your accident protection and leave your Jeep open to unexpected weather conditions.