There are no national laws that restrict the operation of a motor vehicle with a rear tailgate in a certain position. Each state has regulates if it is legal to drive with the tailgate down.
In some states, the tailgate needs to be secured or fastened so it can’t move while the truck is in operation. In the following states it is illegal to drive with your truck tailgate down or unsecured:
The following states have no laws restricting driving a pickup with the tailgate down:
- AK, AR, CA, CO, CT, D.C., DL, FL, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, LA, MA, ME, MO, MS, MT, NC, ND, NM, NV, NY, PA, OH, OR, RI, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY
READ MORE: DOES PUTTING YOUR TAILGATE DOWN SAVE GAS?
Is Driving Without A Tailgate Illegal?
Yes, in most states. Most of the same states that do not have a law forbidding tailgate positions also do not regulate if you can drive without a tailgate. So most states it is legal to drive with no tailgate.
Will Driving With Tailgate Down Damage Your Truck?
Driving with your tailgate down can be done safely. But you should understand that it can cause damage if other drivers are not aware and they may inadvertently hit the tailgate while in operation.
Also, if you are driving your truck with the tailgate down make sure you check the bed so you are not carrying any cargo that may fall out while moving. Also, some tailgates are designed to be removed with the tailgate down and when you are driving it can shake and fall off! That may be an expensive error.
Your truck’s tailgate could be stolen when left unattended as well. Texas and California are dramatically worse for stolen tailgates. That makes the most sense because these two states have the most trucks:
Thanks for reading and stay dirty