It’s legal to remove the doors of your Jeep at home and drive on public roads without the doors, as long as you take care of a few minor things first. When you remove the doors, you’ll also remove the mirrors, so you may have to re-attach mirrors to keep in compliance with state laws. Removing the doors can also give rise to some safety concerns. Jeeps have been made since the 1940s as rugged off-road vehicles with many customization options. So, despite a bit of hassle, the ability to easily remove the doors from the vehicle remains a popular feature for greater visibility when off-road.
In This Article
- Poor Accident Protection
Is It Legal to Drive a Jeep Without Doors?
It’s legal to drive a Jeep on the road without the doors attached if your vehicle remains compliant with laws requiring that vehicles have enough mirrors to see behind the vehicle. All states require a certain number of mirrors to allow the driver to see behind the vehicle. Because the side-view mirrors are attached to the doors, you need to find another way to attach a mirror to your Jeep to follow the law and stay safe. Some states require one rear-view mirror and one side-view mirror, while other states simply say that “two mirrors” are required.
States that require one mirror include:
- New Mexico
- North Dakota
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
States that require two mirrors include:
- New Hampshire
- Rhode Island
Other states have one-off, specific rules. Only Ohio requires three mirrors. Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, and New York specifically state that a left side view and interior rearview mirror be installed. Michigan and Nevada only specify that mirrors are required if the vehicle is above a certain size; Missouri requires zero mirrors unless the car was made after 1968 and then requires that it have as many mirrors on it as came from the factory; New Jersey, Virginia, and Wyoming require two mirrors depending on the age of the car; North Carolina and Pennsylvania each require at least one mirror but don’t require any if the vehicle is a tractor or other piece of farm equipment; and Vermont only requires one mirror but it must have a certain size.
Since the states all have specific (often unusual) requirements for mirrors, see this list with details about each state’s specific requirements for mirrors and links to the state code that references mirror requirements.
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 install to the door hinges or have brackets that attach the mirrors to another part of the windshield or body paneling. This video 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 a state that requires a side view mirror, then 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 make something customized for your vehicle.
Other Safety Issues
Besides the mirrors, there are other safety concerns as well that you may want to consider before removing your doors.
Poor Accident Protection
Removing the doors takes away protection for the driver and passengers in the event of a side collision with another car or with obstacles off-road. On modern vehicles, the doors generally have reinforced steel or aluminum in them which serve as a front line of defense, offering crucial protection for those inside.
Of course, if you’re driving a Willys from the 50s that doesn’t even have seat-belts, you may have other safety issues to tackle before you start worrying about the doors.
You will want to consider the weather in your area as well. Most people who remove the doors leave them at home, so if you live in a place where it rains often, it’s important to remember that while Jeeps like Wranglers are waterproofed to some extent, getting water inside the car is never the best idea. This problem will only be made worse if you have a Jeep whose doors were not designed to be removable, like a Cherokee, Compass, Liberty, or other similar Jeep. If you live in a place where it rarely rains, like southern California for example, some people leave their doors off year-round.
If you’re driving a Jeep that isn’t a Wrangler, CJ, or similar and you remove the doors, some police may still pull you over and question your vehicle. Even though you are driving legally, it’s not worth the hassle for some people to drive without doors if the police in the area aren’t on board with it. This is a choice you will have to make yourself, but a call to the local police station or sheriff’s office can clear many things up quickly.
Driving a Jeep without the doors is legal as long as you have the required number of mirrors installed. It’s also a great way to give your Jeep an open and free feeling, especially off-road. On vehicles like Wranglers and CJs the process of removing the doors is fairly simple but even if you are driving something like a Cherokee or Liberty you can still legally do this but the process will be more complicated.