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.

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