Are Jeeps Without Doors Legal? + Pros and Cons

The Jeep Wrangler is identified with off-roading, but this capability is not the only focal point of this vehicle. In addition, the Wrangler is incredibly customizable, with a removable top and doors in both two and four-door versions. But are Jeeps without doors even legal?

The top can either come in a soft canvas that folds down for easy removal or a fully removable hardtop. The doors of the vehicle are also designed to come off easily. They lift off the hinges when the door is open, and you can keep them in the cargo area of the Wrangler. Many enthusiasts enjoy running off-road, or even on highways and in town, with the doors off.

Understandably, that comes with some concerns. For example, can driving a Wrangler without the doors be safe, especially when driving at higher speeds on public roads?

Why Are Jeeps Allowed To Have No Doors?

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The removable doors don’t compromise the structure of the Jeep and therefore do not affect the safety of the Jeep. Driving a Jeep without doors is ‘relatively safe’ because the doors don’t play a huge role in the overall protection during an accident.

Most people don’t know that jeeps were originally built as military vehicles. Initially, they had textile tops and doors that could be removed. This is because, in dire circumstances, these doors and rooftops had to be easily removable so the soldiers could easily enter and exit.

Another thing to clarify is that Jeeps are not factory-made without doors. They come with doors and roofs, but most drivers decide to remove them.

Many special edition Jeeps also have removable doors, including the Wrangler Sport, Freedom Edition, Willys Wheeler, Rubicon, Rubicon Recon, Sahara, Sport S, and Altitude.

Is it Legal to Drive a Jeep Wrangler Without Doors?

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There are no federal laws against driving a Jeep Wrangler without doors, and you can legally drive doorless and roofless in many states. Pennsylvania is the only state where doorless vehicles are legally outlawed. However, other states have laws that mandate a minimum number of side mirrors on a vehicle.

Here you can find a list of states that allow you to have a vehicle without doors, except that you have at least one mirror to guide you.

  • Alabama
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Montana
  • New Mexico
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Wisconsin

This is the list of states that allow you to have a vehicle without doors, except that you have at least two mirrors to guide you (left, right, or center):

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • New Hampshire
  • Oklahoma
  • Rhode Island
  • Washington

Some states have specific laws governing the use of side mirrors in Jeeps without doors. [1]

Kansas and Kentucky: Drivers must have a left-side mirror and either a right–side mirror or a center mirror.

Maryland: Required to have a left-side mirror. In addition, a center mirror or a right-side mirror allows up to 200 feet of visibility behind the vehicle.

Michigan: If your Jeep is an older model, then you may be able to find a loophole in the clause. However, newer models of jeeps are required to have left-side mirrors.

Missouri: A side mirror on either side of the car is required in case the center mirror is blocked and the driver cannot view the road behind him without having to look back.

Nevada: Required to have a left-side mirror. In addition, a center mirror or a right-side mirror allows up to 200 feet of visibility behind the vehicle.

New Jersey: Drivers must have a left-side mirror along with either a right–side mirror or a center mirror. However, these requirements vary depending on the model of the car.

New York: Requires a left-side mirror. If the car is a 1967 model or older, it may be able to surpass this prerequisite.

Ohio: Side mirrors will be mandatory if the view from the center mirror is hindered or unclear.

Vermont: Vehicles do not require mirrors unless they’re pulling trailers.

Virginia: Required to have a left-side mirror. In addition, a center mirror or a right-side mirror allows up to 200 feet of visibility behind the vehicle.

Wyoming: Drivers must have a left-side mirror along with either a right–side mirror or a center mirror. If the rearview window is tinted, then drivers are obliged to have left-side mirrors.

Pros of Driving Jeeps without Doors

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If you’ve never enjoyed the experience of riding a Wrangler without doors and a roof, you may be wondering what the fuss is all about. Here are a few common perks to cruising doorless:

  • The sense of freedom doorless wranglers give is second to none, with a feeling of being close to nature and the elements.
  • Removal of the doors allows you to enjoy your Wrangler to the fullest
  • Taking the doors off reduces the car’s overall weight, making it more fuel-efficient.
  • Without doors, the Jeep’s weight is reduced. If a need to tow anything arises, there will be additional space.

Risks of Driving without Doors

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We all know that driving a Jeep Wrangler without doors may seem like an obvious choice, but there are still some risks to consider.

Safety

The doors of your Jeep are made of reinforced steel, offering an extra line of protection against accidents and other unplanned incidents. Without the extra layer of reinforced steel, you’re less protected in the event of an accident.

Weather

Depending on your location, you may be more susceptible to erratic weather. For example, spontaneous thunderstorms can be produced during the summer, turning ideal Jeep weather into a wet and cold day. Doorless and roofless cruising may also increase your chances of UV exposure.

Hassle of being stopped

You might get pulled over if you aren’t driving a Gladiator or Renegade. Whatever freedom you may get from your doorless cruise may not be worth the risk of getting pulled over or questioned by law enforcement.

Tips for Removing and Storing your Doors

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Whether you’re a new Wrangler owner or new to the door-removal business, here are a few guidelines and tips for removing and storing your Jeep doors.

Removal

Newer models of the Wrangler come with a door-removal toolkit, so you should consult your owner’s manual to see if your Jeep has one.

If your Jeep isn’t new, and you don’t have the toolkit, you’d only need a few simple tools, a Wrench set, gloves, and a rubber mallet.

Here are the steps for proper removal:

  1. Fold in the side mirrors to make sure that the mirrors don’t get damaged or broken during the entire process
  2. Roll the windows down so you can have free access to both sides of the door.
  3. Remove the black safety strap, which is located on the inside of the door.
  4. Disconnect all the wiring. Disconnect the wiring harness that connects the door’s electrical elements to the vehicle; if your Jeep has power windows and locks
  5. Remove all the nuts and bolts from the doors. You will need to be careful so as not to scratch your vehicle’s paint with the wrench.
  6. Pull the doors up and out.
  7. Disarm the door alarm and light if required. Again, consult your owner’s manual for more details concerning your specific model.

Storage

Here are a few common ways of door storage:

  1. Cover them in a protective blanket and keep them in a cool and dry place. You’ll need to ensure they’re fully wrapped, tucked in, and in a place where they’re not likely to be hit, scraped, or knocked over.
  2. You can also mount the doors on a wall with a trusted wall hinge. This will require quite a bit of wall space. You will need specific mounting kits for Jeep doors, or you can make yours at home if you’re feeling handy.
  3. Lastly, you can simply purchase a Jeep door storage cart. They’re generally portable and take up less space, though they can be expensive.

Do you Need Mirrors on Jeeps without Doors?

On Wranglers, the side-view mirrors are attached to the doors. And when you remove the doors, you remove the mirrors too. So to make your doorless Jeep legal on the road, you’ll need to find a way to fix your mirrors to the Jeep’s frame

Although some states have differing requirements, most of which state that Jeeps must have at least one side mirror to meet road safety standards. This mirror will obviously have to go on the driver’s side since they need to view blind spots on the road. This mirror must be fixed before you can drive on public roads.

How to Put Mirrors on Jeeps without Doors

Regardless of the Jeep Wrangler model you own, there are many aftermarket Jeep mirrors to choose from. These mirrors are simple to install. When it’s time to reinstall side mirrors on your Jeep, choosing the most optimum location can be tricky.

However, many places on the vehicle would make for excellent spots to reinstall replacement mirrors. Here are the best choice locations for replacement mirrors:

Door Hinge: This common relocation point for side mirrors uses the door hinges themselves. These are among the cheapest options available and provide a quick method of installation/removal. However, this option puts your mirrors a little lower than what you are used to.

One of the best of this kind of side view mirror is the FreeForm Easy Install Adventure Mirror which you can install using only a single nut. It features a vibration-dampening cross brace that allows a clearer view of vehicles behind you.

Windshield Pillar: The windshield pillar is another prime location for side mirrors on your vehicle. Windshield pillar relocation positions the mirror much higher than its counterparts and more in line with the factory mirror location.

Stock Mirror: You can fix your new mirrors in the original place where they were factory fitted. This ensures they are at the same height and position for optimal viewing. Mount bracketed mirrors on the side panel of your Jeep at the original height of your stock mirrors. 

Tube Door Relocation: Most tube doors make provisions for side mirrors. In addition, some tube doors allow a direct relocation of the factory manual mirrors for a simple bolt-on replacement, and this is the best option for visibility and performance. But with this type of mirror, you will need to install tubular doors first. No worries, I have something just for you.

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Conclusion

When it comes to driving a Jeep without doors (or not), it all boils down to personal preferences. You can give it a shot if you’re feeling a little brave. First, you must ensure that your vehicle complies with the stipulated obligations.