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Is It Illegal To Drive Barefoot? Driving Laws In All 50 States

is it illegal to drive barefoot? barefoot driving laws

Expertly Reviewed By: Serah Waweru, Esq., on April 11, 2023

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in the United States? If you’re asking yourself this question, you’re not alone. So, let’s clear things up once and for all. 

In what states is it illegal to drive barefoot? The truth is, driving barefoot isn’t illegal in any of the 50 US states. There’s no federal law or state law that would support this urban legend. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about getting a ticket when driving barefoot.

But that doesn’t mean you have entirely nothing to worry about as far as driving barefoot is concerned. 

Here’s why.

Even though driving barefoot is not against the law, that doesn’t mean it’s a great idea. It can be dangerous for different reasons:

  • Your bare feet could easily slip off the car pedals, especially when they’re wet.
  • It can be difficult to apply the same braking force as you would with your shoes on.
  • You could step on something sharp or uncomfortable, taking your attention away from driving.

While you’re technically not breaking any laws by driving barefoot, it’s important to know that some states may have specific laws or regulations regarding this issue, as discussed below. 

Driving Barefoot Laws In All 50 States Explained


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Alabama?

If you want to drive your car without any shoes on your feet, you’re free to do so. However, if you do that while driving or riding a motorcycle, expect to get a traffic ticket. That’s a direct violation of the Code of Alabama, Section 35-5A-245.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Alaska? 

The State of Alaska allows people to drive a motor vehicle barefoot. But similar to Alabama, this doesn’t apply to driving or riding a motorcycle. According to Alaska’s Motorcycle Operating Manual, you must wear boots or shoes covering at least your ankles and providing good support.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Arizona?

There are no state laws forbidding you from driving barefoot in Arizona. However, the state encourages motorists to wear the proper footwear when operating their cars or trucks. That’s because the state might impose penalties if you get caught in an accident while driving barefoot, especially if the accident leads to a catastrophic injury.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Arkansas? 

Although it’s not illegal, Arkansas has the harshest laws on shoeless driving in the US. Starting in 2022, police officers can issue tickets if you’re charged with reckless driving while driving barefoot. This could lead to civil fines.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in California?

Californians can drive their vehicles without shoes or socks on their feet. They can even wear flip-flops and heels while driving. But, of course, that isn’t a good idea because it can be dangerous.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Colorado? 

You won’t get fined or sent to jail if you don’t wear shoes while driving in Colorado. In fact, there’s a better chance of you paying a fine when you drive a black car on a Sunday.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Connecticut? 

There are currently no laws in Connecticut about barefoot driving. Unlike other states, the Department of Motor Vehicles of Connecticut doesn’t specify if they consider it reckless if a person driving barefoot contributed to an accident.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Delaware?

Delaware is strict when it comes to reckless driving. But when it comes to driving your vehicle without wearing shoes, Connecticut won’t give you any fines or penalties.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Florida? 

No. Florida has no specific laws that can penalize you for choosing to drive barefoot. But if you get into an accident and police officers determine your lack of footwear is a contributing factor, you could earn a ticket for reckless driving.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Georgia?

In Georgia, barefoot driving is only legal if you’re driving an enclosed vehicle. And just like in Florida, you can face legal consequences if you get into an accident because of this.

An insurance company might also find you partially responsible for your accident due to driving without shoes. As a result, you could get less compensation from them.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Hawaii? 

Like wearing flip-flops while driving, it’s not considered illegal. In Hawaii, you can even get away with talking or texting on your phone when you’re behind the wheel.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Idaho?

Go ahead and let your feet breathe if you need to while driving. It’s not illegal. But, like in other states, it’s not advisable because you could be liable to pay compensation for a vehicular accident.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Illinois? 

There are no laws that specify what to wear while driving in Illinois. So, there’s no stopping you from driving your vehicle barefoot. But, as always, stay safe to avoid getting into an accident.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Indiana? 

Although it’s legal, that doesn’t mean you should. Some cities or towns in Indiana might have local rules against driving barefoot. Indiana also considers this practice unsafe, so you may want to think twice about doing it.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Iowa? 

There are no laws in Iowa that specifically prohibit drivers from driving without any footwear. You won’t also face additional penalties if you ever get into a vehicular accident without shoes. But like in some states, the State of Iowa considers it dangerous.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Kansas?

Police officers in the Sunflower State won’t pull you over if you drive barefoot. They don’t only allow this type of driving practice, but they also find it safer than driving in high heels or flip-flops.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Kentucky? 

Drive without your shoes on if you want. In Kentucky, there are no specific laws on what clothes or shoes (or the lack thereof) to wear while driving. It’s not even illegal to eat and drive in Kentucky.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Louisiana?

Louisiana doesn’t have general traffic laws or regulations that prevent people from driving a car, pickup truck, or motorcycle without footwear. People can wear high heels while driving if they want. (We suggest you don’t do that, though.)


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Maine?

Maine is one of the many states in the US that doesn’t recognize driving barefoot as illegal. However, under their distracted driver law, they can impose stiff legal consequences if you’re in a vehicular accident without proper footwear.

On your first offense, you can expect to pay $50. If you’re a repeat offender, your fine could go as high as $250 for every offense.


Is it against the law to drive barefoot in Maryland? 

The short answer is NO. But as always, practice safe driving, regardless if you’re wearing footwear or not.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Massachusetts? 

Massachusetts has plenty of driving laws, but none about driving barefoot. According to the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), the state does have a law that reminds people to wear clothes and footwear that won’t stop them from using the controls properly.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Michigan?

It’s not illegal—regardless of what you might’ve heard.

Because this rumor persisted for many years, Former Sheriff Rich Martin finally addressed it around three years ago. On Lake County Star’s “Ask The Sheriff” column, he wrote this: 

“Whether you are barefoot, have no shoes, or are driving with flip-flops, there is no law on the books that prohibits this.”

Rich Martin, Former lake county Sherriff,


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Minnesota? 

During an interview with the Duluth News Tribune, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper confirmed that it’s not against the law to drive without footwear in the state. He also added that driving barefoot would be safer than wearing flip-flops or other types of footwear that could easily get stuck between the pedals.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Mississippi?

Mississippi doesn’t have clothing and footwear regulations for drivers, either. As long as you drive safely and stay focused on the road, you can drive barefoot.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Missouri?

Don’t believe what others told you. You’re not breaking any laws when you drive barefoot in Missouri. Of course, if you can, wear proper shoes.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Montana? 

Fortunately, it’s not. However, you could get charged if your lack of footwear is a contributing factor to an accident.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Nebraska?

Nebraska isn’t any different from other states. Residents of the Cornhusker State can drive easy, knowing they won’t get a ticket if they don’t wear shoes.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Nevada? 

Driving barefoot is one less thing you need to worry about when visiting Nevada. There are no laws in the state that prohibit you from doing it. Just make sure it won’t distract you from driving safely.

New Hampshire

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in New Hampshire? 

New Hampshire has its fair share of interesting laws. Aside from allowing people to drive barefoot, the state also doesn’t require people to use a seatbelt or a helmet.

New Jersey

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in New Jersey? 

It’s perfectly okay to drive barefoot in New Jersey. However, you may get in trouble if you’re in an accident without footwear.  

New Mexico

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in New Mexico? 

You cannot be ticketed for driving barefoot in New Mexico because it’s not illegal in the first place.

New York

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in New York? 

The State of New York has no laws that specifically prohibit driving without footwear. It’s better than driving while wearing inadequate footwear or socks, which don’t provide a good degree of grip.

North Carolina

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in North Carolina?

North Carolina has tough laws when it comes to DUI and speeding. However, the state doesn’t impose fines or penalties on people who drive without shoes.

North Dakota

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in North Dakota?

The funny thing is that it’s unlawful to sleep with your shoes on in North Dakota. But when it comes to driving barefoot, the state has no problem with it.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Ohio?

In Ohio, you’re completely free to wear whatever footwear you want while driving. If you want, you can also operate a motor vehicle with your bare feet.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Oklahoma?

There’s a greater chance of you getting pulled over if you read comic books while driving than if you drive barefoot. In Oklahoma, there are no laws fining or jailing people who drive without their shoes on.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Oregon? 

Oregon has no road laws against driving without shoes. However, if doing this prevents you from using the controls properly, you could get distracted and cause a crash.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania is one of the most dangerous states in the US for winter driving. So, while no law specifically prevents you from driving barefoot, it’s better to avoid doing it.

Rhode Island

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Rhode Island?

A police officer can’t ticket you for driving barefoot in Rhode Island—unless it results in an accident.

South Carolina

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in South Carolina? 

The State of South Carolina has a “whatever makes you most comfortable” stance on issues like driving barefoot. So, it’s not against the law. However, it’s not encouraged, either.

South Dakota

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in South Dakota?

South Dakota doesn’t also make a big fuss about driving barefoot. That’s despite the fact that the legal age for a learner’s permit in the state is 14.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Tennessee?

Tennessee doesn’t have state laws on barefoot driving. But to be sure, check the ordinances of each municipality in the state. Each municipality might have local regulations prohibiting this practice.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Texas? 

Much like other states, Texas doesn’t prevent people from driving without footwear. But, again, this isn’t a free pass for you to avoid wearing shoes whenever you’re behind the wheel.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Utah? 

Utah doesn’t consider it illegal to drive barefoot. However, common sense should always prevail. Not wearing shoes could potentially expose you to accidents, which could make it difficult for you to claim insurance.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Vermont? 

Vermont residents were named as one of the most distracted drivers of any state. Despite this, the state doesn’t consider  barefoot driving illegal. It makes one wonder, doesn’t it?


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Virginia? 

Can you drive around Virginia without your shoes on? Yes, it’s completely legal. You could also wear flats, flip-flops, sandals, or other footwear that you find comfortable and safe.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Washington?

Washington doesn’t have laws that control what footwear people need to wear while driving—or a specific law that bans barefoot driving. But, as with any state in the United States, it’s not recommended to drive without shoes on.

West Virginia

Is it illegal to drive barefoot in West Virginia? 

If you don’t want to wear shoes while driving in West Virginia, go ahead. It’s perfectly legal to do so.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Wisconsin? 

According to State Trooper Jim Larson, it’s completely legal to drive barefoot in Wisconsin. In fact, many Wisconsinites do so.

However, it’s also important to take note that Wisconsin has a high number of dangerous driving incidents. So, always consider your safety before anything.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Wyoming? 

The state of Wyoming believes driving barefoot is dangerous. However, it also made it clear that you won’t get pulled over just because you’re not wearing shoes while driving.


Is Driving Barefoot Dangerous?

While driving barefoot is not inherently dangerous, it is not as safe as driving with proper footwear. Here’s why: 

  • Shoes provide better traction on pedals than bare feet.  
  • Shoes can protect your feet in case of an accident 
  • Driving barefoot can be uncomfortable, causing distractions from the road and potentially leading to an accident.

Is It Unlawful To Drive With Flip Flops?

Driving with flip-flops anywhere in the United States is not specifically illegal. However, flip-flops can slip off or get caught under the pedals, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle. In addition, they provide minimal foot support and do not offer much protection in case of an accident or sudden braking.

Is It Against the Law To Drive in Sandals In the United States?

No federal law in the United States specifically prohibits driving in sandals. However, states may have their own laws or regulations regarding appropriate footwear while driving. 

For example, in Alabama, driving a motorcycle or any motor-driven cycle barefoot or with footwear that does not stay securely on the foot is illegal.

Is It Illegal To Drive With Headphones?

It depends on the state. To put things into perspective, some states have specific laws prohibiting drivers from wearing headphones or earbuds while driving, while others do not.

For example, in Colorado and Virginia, wearing headphones in both ears is illegal, but wearing them in one ear is allowed. In addition, Alaska, California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Washington are the nine states where the use of headphones while driving is completely prohibited.

Is It Prohibited To Drive a Commercial Vehicle Barefoot?

While it is technically true that there are no federal Department of Transportation laws that specifically prohibit certain types of footwear for commercial vehicle drivers, it is not entirely accurate to say that any type of footwear is allowed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requires drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) to wear shoes that provide adequate protection for their feet while operating the vehicle. 

While the FMCSA regulations do not specify a particular type of footwear, shoes with slip-resistant soles covering the entire foot, including the toes, are recommended. Therefore, while wearing flip-flops or even driving barefoot while operating a commercial vehicle may be possible, it is not considered safe or advisable.

Is There a List of States Where It Is Illegal To Drive Barefoot?

There is no comprehensive list of states where driving barefoot in the United States is illegal. That’s because it is generally legal to drive barefoot in all 50 states.

Keep in mind that while some states may require drivers to wear appropriate footwear, such as shoes or sandals, these laws typically do not specifically prohibit driving barefoot.

Can You Get a Ticket for Driving Barefoot?

In most jurisdictions, you cannot get a ticket specifically for driving barefoot. However, if driving barefoot affects your ability to safely operate your vehicle, you may be cited for careless or reckless driving, which could result in a fine or other penalties. Alabama is a good example of a state where you would get a ticket for riding a motorcycle barefoot. 

Is It Illegal To Drive Naked in the United States?

No, it is not illegal to drive naked in the United States. However, that does not mean you won’t get in trouble with law enforcement for driving naked. Here’s why. 

Most states have indecent exposure laws that prohibit exposing one’s genitals or private parts in public, which includes driving a vehicle naked. So while you may not be charged for driving naked, you may get in trouble for indecent exposure. 

In addition, driving naked can also be dangerous and distracting to other drivers on the road. This alone would give a traffic office reasonable cause to charge you. 

Is It Illegal To Drive Without a Shirt?

No federal law in the United States prohibits driving without a shirt. That said, you may still be charged with indecent exposure in some states, depending on the specific circumstances of your case. 

Is it Unlawful to Drive Barefoot in the District of Columbia?

No, it’s not. Like other states, DC considers driving barefoot unsafe but not illegal.


Is it illegal to drive barefoot in any state? There’s currently no state in the United States that has laws against barefoot driving. Alabama is the only state that makes it illegal to drive or ride a motorcycle without wearing shoes. But just to be sure, always check the ordinances of the city or town you’re planning to visit before doing so.

Written by
Andrew Wandola

Andrew Wandola is a highly skilled and experienced Legal Content Writer specializing in Personal Injury and Immigration law. For over 10 years, he has worked with top law firms across the United States, providing high-quality content that accurately conveys complex legal concepts clearly and concisely. Andrew's expertise in the legal profession extends beyond his knowledge of Personal Injury and Immigration laws. He possesses the ability to write about any legal topic with precision and clarity. His deep understanding of the legal industry, combined with his proficiency in marketing techniques, allows him to work with law firms and attorneys all over the country.

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