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Are You Allowed to Drive Naked?

We’ve previously talked about the legalities of driving barefoot. While you might not have a problem driving without shoes, what about driving without clothes? Is it legal to drive naked? Some are more comfortable with nudity and would have no problem navigating the block in the buff.

Today, we’re looking at what might happen if you drive naked. Let’s take a peek at what the law has to say. 

Do You Have to Wear Clothes While Driving?

There are no laws regarding what clothes you must wear while driving. However, there are laws regarding public nudity. Your car becomes a public space when you pull it out of your garage and onto the highway.

Every state has laws prohibiting individuals from harassing or disturbing others by exposing themselves. While no rules state what you must wear, local penal codes typically govern what is acceptable for public spaces. 

Driving without a shirt
When we van camped in Hawaii, Tom rarely wore a shirt.

Is It Illegal to Drive Without a Shirt?

Whether you just finished a run or took a dip in a pool, it can be tempting to take off your shirt to cool down while driving. Luckily, no federal law requires men or women to wear a shirt while driving. In recent years, many states have begun to allow women to go topless in any public space where men can go shirtless. 

The only states that prohibit women from going topless in public are Indiana, Tennessee, and Utah. However, 14 states are ambiguous regarding laws around going topless.

While many states have no laws regulating driving topless, some cities do. There are many cities with local bans regarding toplessness. These laws may even contradict state laws. Unless you’re ready for a legal battle in court, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the local laws before driving without a shirt.

Pros and Cons of Driving Naked

There are many reasons that someone might drive naked. One major pro is that you can protect your seats. This can be helpful after a strenuous hike or workout when your clothes are dirty or sweaty. Disrobing and tossing your clothes can help you not ruin your seats during your drive home. Another bonus of not wearing clothes is that the air conditioning and wind can cool you down faster.

While there are some pros to driving naked, it’s not perfect. If you’re driving naked, you must go straight home or to a destination that allows nudity. You can’t stop to fill up your car’s fuel tank, go through a drive-thru, or stop at any public establishment. If you do, you’ll need to wear clothes to avoid significant legal troubles. 

Pro Tip: Connect with nature in a unique way by discovering Is Naked Camping a Thing?

Man driving shirtless on road trip
In most states, it’s not illegal to drive topless.

Another con of driving naked is the risk of injury. If you’ve ever climbed into a car on a hot summer day, you know that almost every surface can be dangerously hot. You don’t want sensitive parts to touch your vehicle’s seatbelt or other metal or leather pieces. If they do, it might be the last time you ever drive naked.

Pro Tip: You don’t need to strip down to have a fun road trip. Try these Top 10 Fun Road Trip Games to Pass the Time.

What Happens If You Get Pulled Over by the Police When Driving Naked?

If the police pull you over while you’re driving naked, you’ll likely get a ticket. Indecent exposure and public lewdness are the most common charges people face. An officer probably won’t be thrilled to discover you’re naked and may ask that you cover yourself.

The severity of the charge will depend on the motives for your nudity. If an officer determines that you are purposefully trying to cause a scene or expose yourself to others, you might get more than a ticket. You could enjoy a free lift and accommodations at the local county jail.

Person driving naked
It is possible to get tickets for public nudity if you choose to drive naked.

What Is Considered Obscenity?

Regarding obscenity and public nudity, laws typically refer to public acts with the design to shock, offend, or arouse others. These incidents often involve nudity or sexual activity occurring in a location that is viewable by others.

Some homeowners receive charges for nude sunbathing on their property because it is in public view. However, the intent of the action is critical. Defending your intent in court can be a long, stressful, and expensive legal battle.

Depending on the severity of the crime, obscenity can range from a simple misdemeanor to a felony. You could receive a warning from the officer or face serious charges. Driving naked could be an obscenity, according to many local penal codes.

If you’re bringing attention to your nakedness, there’s a chance you’ll receive a severe charge. However, if the officer pulls you over for failing to use your turn signal and you cover yourself up as they approach your vehicle, you may get off with a warning.

Pro Tip: Want to go on an epic road trip adventure? This is How to RV Across America: The Ultimate American Dream.

There are no state restrictions for driving barefoot. However, most states encourage drivers to make wise choices regarding their footwear. Proper footwear keeps everyone safe on the road.

Choosing footwear that won’t be a distraction while you’re driving is essential. Drivers should avoid loose-fitting shoes or ones that get in the way. If shoes that match your outfit aren’t conducive to driving, going barefoot may be your best option. Place your shoes in the backseat or the passenger-side floorboard to prevent them from sliding around at your feet.

bare feet sticking out of car window
Close up of woman driver bare feet sticking out of a car open window.

Will You Drive Naked?

While driving around topless may be acceptable in some areas, full-frontal nudity isn’t likely to fly with most law enforcement officers. It’s also crucial to remember that you may be a safe driver, but accidents and flat tires can happen with little notice.

While there are no specific clothing rules for changing a car tire, we know it’s best to be fully clothed. The decision to drive naked is up to you, but you’re also responsible for the consequences.

We also explored the legality of stealth camping. Find out what we discovered here: Is Stealth Camping Illegal?

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About Tom and Caitlin Morton

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of “Go North” on Amazon Prime Video, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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Jon Heil

Thursday 15th of June 2023

#MOIST getting naked with it ha

Sam

Thursday 15th of June 2023

You have nothing better to write about ?? Where do you come up with this crap??

Milos Stomatos

Thursday 13th of April 2023

I live in a county in which I drive naked regularly. In over twenty years I have seen only a handful of officers on the road. This give me a very relaxed feeling while driving and have probably put on well over 10000 miles of carefree enjoyment.. I have absolutely no desire to be seen by anyone and often will place my shorts over my seatbelt and appear to be innocuous .. Having never been pulled over I feel confident that my system is nearly flawless.. One day I will take a naked vacation hitting up the best disc golf courses along the way.. with clothes on of course.. except in Michigan !

Harvok

Monday 11th of July 2022

Very informative post. Thanks for posting.