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Are You Allowed to Drive Naked?

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. 

Three girl friends topless yelling into sunset
Driving topless might seem fun until you have to get out of your vehicle.

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. 

Is It Illegal to Drive Around 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. 

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

The only states that prohibit women from going topless in public are Indiana, Tennessee, and Utah. However, 13 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. 

Man driving shirtless on road trip
In most states, it is 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 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. Check out these 10 Simple Ways to Make RV Driving Days Not Suck.

What Happens If You Get Pulled Over by 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.

Driver sticking bare feet out of car window
Driving barefoot isn’t illegal, but is not advised when on the road.

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 good 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.

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 Mortons on the Move

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 The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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Harvok

Monday 11th of July 2022

Very informative post. Thanks for posting.

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