Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Are Rear Windshield Wipers Legally Required?

Rear Windshield Wiper

Some vehicles, particularly hatchbacks and sport utility vehicles, are equipped with a rear wiper assembly. The rear wiper performs the same function as the front windshield wiper: to clear the glass when rain, snow, or dirt build up on it.

Rear wiper systems only have one wiper arm and blade, and the motor only turns a single pivot. The rear windshield wiper motor is usually mounted in the hatch or liftgate, and the wiper arm directly mounts to its pivot.

Because of the shape at the back of the vehicle, dirt, snow, and moisture tend to swirl around by the rear glass. These items, especially dirt, collect on the rear wiper motor and cause it to seize up. That means the rear wiper will not turn to swipe the rain, snow, or dirt off the rear window.

Is the rear windshield wiper legally required to be there?

In many jurisdictions, the rear wiper needs to be functioning if a vehicle is equipped with one. Some states require annual inspections that will catch a faulty or missing rear wiper, while in other states a rear wiper is not inspected at all. In other places yet, if a vehicle is equipped with a rear wiper, it is required to work for the inspection, while other locales permit a rear wiper assembly to be removed.

While the legal requirement for a rear windshield wiper changes from location to location, its purpose, to clear the rear window, is still important. Without a functioning rear wiper, it may be more difficult to see behind your vehicle in traffic or when reversing.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Buy Fuel Treatments
Adding a fuel additive to your gas tank when you fill up is one way to clean vital engine parts of deposits, improve the performance of your engine,...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Shutterstock.com Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....


Related questions

Q: Hello , one of windshield wiper works and the other don't , do you have an idea of what the issue may be?

Hello. Thank you for writing in. The wipers are independently motored, and powered through the same switch. The power supply to the motor is either not making to that side, or the motor has failed. You should be able to...

Q: How do I use the rear window wiper in a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox?

The rear window wiper helps you retain visibility out of your rear window by wiping away rain or any other moisture. Turning on the rear windshield wiper takes only a few seconds: 1. Locate the windshield wiper lever, which protrudes...

Q: When Should I Replace My Wiper Blades?

Your wiper blades are subject to wear from dirt and debris that is wiped from your windshield or has accumulated on the wiper blade itself. The wiper blade rubber dries out and cracks from environmental elements, and they can tear...