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

P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
P0359 OBD-II Trouble Code: Ignition Coil I Primary/Secondary Circuit Malfunction
P0359 code definition The P0359 code indicates that a fault has been detected in one of the vehicle’s ignition coils, generally the number 9 coil. This code can also be associated...


Related questions

Q: Wiper problem

Hi there. Check the wiper motor relay and see if its engaging or not. If the relay is not clicking when you turn on the switch, then replace the relay. Even if the relay clicks, its possible that the relay...

Q: What Kinds of Wiper Blades Are Available?

There are many types of wiper blades to choose from today with traditional factory replacement or OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts, up to special dual and triple blades, or winter blades that combat freezing of the wiper arm and ice...

Q: Wiper blades overextended

It sounds like your may have some wiper blade linkage problems. I would have a technician come out and remove the wiper access panel and inspect the linkage connected to the wiper blades. They might just need to be removed...