Q: Is it Legal to Drive With a Damaged or Missing Mirror?

asked by on November 18, 2015

Is it legal to drive with a damaged or missing mirror?

According to the California Vehicle Code, Section 26709, every motor vehicle that is subject to registration in the state of California, except motorcycles, must have two mirrors that reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the vehicle. One of the two mirrors MUST be on the left side of the vehicle.

The other rear-view mirror may be in the center of the windshield or on the right side of the vehicle, as most vehicles now are equipped from the manufacturer.

Although broken or missing rear-view mirrors are not expressly mentioned, reasonable standards should be applied here. Any vehicle that has a rear-view mirror that is broken or missing does not meet the state’s requirement of having two functional mirrors that provide a clear view behind the vehicle, especially if the broken or missing mirror is on the left side of the vehicle. To meet the state’s requirement, the left side rearview mirror and one other rear view mirror must be intact so that the driver can see clearly for at least 200 feet behind the vehicle.

Replacing rear-view mirrors is not necessarily a difficult task, although time can be a factor depending on which mirror needs attention. We’re here to help you keep your vehicle in safe operating condition and in compliance with existing vehicle laws.

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

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

What others are asking

My compass in the mirror is not working again.

Hello, thanks for writing in. If the compass in the rear view mirror has ceased to function then the mirror will likely have to be replaced. You may be able to take apart the rear view mirror and attempt to...

How do I manually dim the rearview mirror in a 2012 Honda CR-V?

The rearview mirror can be dimmed for increased visibility at night. When it is dark outside, the brightness of headlights in the rearview mirror can make it hard for you to see, so you should always dim your rearview mirror...

Do I Need to Readjust My Car Mirrors Before Driving?

In one word, yes. Anytime that you get into a vehicle, check and adjust your mirrors as needed before you enter any roadway. This ensures that you can see clearly to the rear of your vehicle. We're talking about your...

Is There a Way to Reduce Glare From Car Mirrors?

When it comes to the interior or rear view mirror, the quickest way to reduce glare is to use the tab lever under the mirror to rotate the angle of the mirror which changes the angle of the reflected light...

How do you use the automatic dimming rearview mirror?

If your car is equipped with an automatic dimming rearview mirror, you have a handy solution for beating glare from behind you. Here’s how the mirror works: Turn the key to ON. Turn the mirror on. Once activated,...

How do I defog the side mirrors?

If equipped, your side mirrors will automatically defog when you turn on the rear window defogger.

How do you use the automatic dimming rearview mirror?

If your car is equipped with an automatic dimming rearview mirror, you have a handy solution for beating glare from behind you. Here’s how the mirror works: Turn the key to ON. Turn the mirror on. Once activated,...

How do I adjust the rearview mirror?

The rearview mirror is an important safety feature that provides you with visibility out your rear window. Before driving, you should always adjust your rearview mirror so that you have maximum visibility. To adjust the mirror, manually move it up,...

How do I adjust the rearview mirror?

Having a clear, unobstructed view out the back window of your car is vital. You need to see behind you while you’re on the road, when you’re backing out of a parking space and more. Whether you have a manual...

Related articles

What Is the Best Way to Clean Car Mirrors?
Like Like the rest of your car, your car’s mirrors need to be clean and well maintained. If the glass is dirty or filmed over, your view to the rear and the sides is obstructed. What’s the best way to...
How to Buy a Good Quality Blind Spot Mirror
All All cars have blind spots – those areas beside and behind your car where you just can’t see. Even your car’s side view mirrors do little to help here. This can make driving on multi-lane roads more than a...
How to File a Claim When Bad Roads Damage Your Car
Potholes and rough roads can damage car tires, wheels, and exhaust. Gather evidence and documentation to file a car insurance claim for road damage.