Windshield Laws in California

If you drive a vehicle on the roads and highways in California, you have to make sure you follow the laws are requirements to ensure you do so legally. One area in which there are strict requirements is the windshield on your vehicle. The following are the windshield laws in California that you must follow to avoid citations and fines.

Windshield requirements

The requirements for windshields in California are as follows:

  • All vehicles, other than motorcycles, must have a windshield. This does not apply to antique or classic vehicles that were sold without a windshield as part of the original manufacturer equipment.

  • The windshield and all other windows on vehicles manufactured after January 1, 1936 must be made of safety glazing material that is formulated to prevent shattering or flying glass if it is struck.

  • It is unlawful to replace the windshield or any other glass in the vehicle with materials other than safety glazing material.

  • All vehicles, excluding motorcycles, must have working windshield wipers that are controlled by the driver and capable of removing rain, snow, and other moisture.

Chips and cracks

California does have regulations governing chips and cracks in both the windshield and the rear window.

  • Drivers are not permitted to drive on California roads with a windshield or rear window that has defects that impair the driver’s vision. These defects are not standardized, which means it is up to the discretion of the ticketing officer to determine whether any cracks or chips impair the driver’s view.

  • Any driver who receives a citation due to cracks or chips must correct the issue within 48 hours of receiving the citation. The driver or owner of the vehicle can face arrest and must provide proof to the courts that the windshield or rear window has been repaired or replaced in a manner that makes it compliant with the codes in California.

Obstructions

California also has laws in place that make it illegal to have signs, posters or stickers on the windshield that obstruct the driver’s vision.

  • Only stickers required by law are permitted, and must be within the lower right or left corner of the windshield and no larger than five inches in diameter.

  • Electronic traffic management, toll or video event recorders are permitted on the windshield providing they are no larger than five square inches.

  • GPS systems are permitted that are seven square inches when mounted in the lower corner farthest from the driver, or five square inches in the corner closest to the driver but outside of an airbag deployment zone.

Violations

Violations can result in fines and the requirement to fix them within 48 hours. In some cases, drivers can be arrested due to extenuating circumstances or failure to bring the vehicle up to code after receiving a citation.

If your windshield needs to be inspected or your wipers are not working properly, a certified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, can help you get back on the road safely and quickly so you are driving within the laws.


Next Step

Schedule Windshield Wiper/Washer System Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Windshield Wiper/Washer System Inspection. Once the problem has been diagnosed, you will be provided with an upfront quote for the recommended fix and receive $20.00 off as a credit towards the repair. YourMechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7-days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 2,000 cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

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

Recent Windshield Wiper/Washer System Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating

(64)

Rating Summary
57
4
0
0
3
57
4
0
0
3

Peter

43 years of experience
1321 reviews
Peter
43 years of experience
Chrysler Crossfire V6-3.2L - Windshield Wiper/Washer System Inspection - Scottsdale, Arizona
Showed up on time,very professional diagnosing my problem,plus explained what he was doing and next steps to complete my work
Saturn Vue - Windshield Wiper/Washer System Inspection - Scottsdale, Arizona
This is the second time I have used Your Mechanic and had specifically requested Peter for my service. I was once again impressed beyond measure by his customer service, knowledge about my vehicle and overall professional manner. Your Mechanic has been a wonderful option when I needed vehicle service and I highly recommend their services and if you're in the Phoenix metro area, Peter in particular.

Tien

23 years of experience
903 reviews
Tien
23 years of experience
Land Rover Range Rover Sport V8-4.4L - Windshield Wiper/Washer System Inspection - San Lorenzo, California
I appreciate Tien's professionalism and knowledge. I was mislead by another mechanic, but he treated me with dignity and respect and resolved my issue. I will definitely schedule him again
Ford Taurus - Windshield Wiper/Washer System Inspection - Alameda, California
Tien was great and everything was done in the allotted time. This was my first time using yourmechanic.com and was a great first experience.

Lavell

28 years of experience
230 reviews
Lavell
28 years of experience
Hyundai Santa Fe L4-2.4L - Windshield Wiper/Washer System Inspection - Oakland, California
Lavelle performed tasks in a professional and timely manner. His approach to task was positive..professional and polite.as close to perfect that anyone could be.

Dellano

18 years of experience
509 reviews
Dellano
18 years of experience
Toyota Tundra V8-4.6L - Windshield Wiper/Washer System Inspection - Upper Marlboro, Maryland
Delano clearly addressed my issue AND clearly explained what he was doing. I am very pleased with the service call.

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

Related articles

How to Make Your Own Windshield Washer Fluid
It's easy to make windshield washer fluid with common ingredients. Homemade washer fluid can be more environmentally friendly than conventional fluid.
How to Replace a Windshield Wiper Switch
Car windshield wiper switches keep windshield wiper blades working effectively to keep car windshields clear.
B2109 OBD-II Trouble Code: Heated Windshield Relay Short to Vbatt
B2109 trouble code means there's an issue with a heated windshield relay, caused by damaged windshield wires, blown fuses, or a shorted relay.

Related questions

How do I use the automatic climate control defroster?
The defroster helps increase your visibility when the windshield has become foggy or frosty. To turn on the defroster, press the Defrost Level button.
Where is the vehicle identification number (VIN)?
The vehicle identification number (VIN) is the legal identifier for your vehicle. You can find your VIN on the left side of the dashboard, where it meets the windshield.
Windshield wiper clicks and engine revving heard on radio
Yes, corrosion on a ground terminal or splice point can cause various engine and electrical systems issues. Looking at the wiring diagrams I see nothing related between the entertainment and engine control systems that jump out at me as the...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 · hi@yourmechanic.com