California Cracked Windshield Laws

California cracked winshield usage is governed by the state's Code. All relevant laws, rules and regulations pertaining to cracked windshields and windows in California are provided below. Make sure to examine the regulations carefully and repair your window cracks or replace cracked windows.

Cracked windshields, impaired view, windshield replacements, and other rules and regulations are different in every state. Cracked windshield laws in California prohibit driving vehicles where driver’s view of the road is obstructed.

Can I drive with a cracked windshield in California?

California laws do not allow driving a vehicle with obstructed view of the road. There are no further details about the size of windshield cracks or chips. This means it is up to police officers to determine if your view is impaired.

Other laws and regulations:

  • Obstructed windshield regulations: No sign, poster, or other non-transparent material that obstructs visibility is permitted unless in a 7-inch square on bottom passenger side, or 5-inch square in bottom corner on driver side of the windscreen. It is unlawful to operate a vehicle when windshield or rear window is in a defective condition, and impairing driver’s front or rear view of the road.
  • Replacement windshields: Replacement windshield glass must be of the same kind and quality, and any repairs done to glass should restore vehicle to its original state.
  • Windshield wipers: Vehicles must be equipped with windshield wipers in good working conditions. Cracks which prevent wipers from operating correctly may be illegal.

California drivers who receive a cracked windshield ticket will be required to fix the cracks within 48 hours, and provide proof of repairs.

Federal cracked windshield regulations

Federal laws require drivers to always have a clear vision of the road. Cracks, chips, or other windshield damage can potentially obstruct clear view of the road.

This is why federal laws require this damage to be outside of driver’s critical vision area. This is defined as area directly above the steering wheel, two inches from the top and one inch from sides.

Windshield cracks or chips smaller than ¾-inch in diameter are allowed, however they must be located at least 3 inches away from another crack.

Our information about California cracked windshield laws was last updated in 2023 and checked in 2024. In case any info we provided is not up to date or correct be sure to contact us so we can revise it. Thank you!

We always advise checking with your local law enforcement or other relevant agencies. California cracked window laws or windshield obstruction regulations in certain cities or counties may be different from state legislation. While we do our very best to advise whether it is legal to drive with cracked windshield, we can not be held liable for any potentially incorrect or misinterpreted info. Very often it is up to individual police officers to determine if your clear view of the road is obstructed.

State of California Info

California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is the most populous U.S. state, home to 1 out of 8 Americans, and is the third largest state by area (after Alaska and Texas). It is home to the nation's second and fifth largest census statistical areas (Greater Los Angeles area and San Francisco Bay Area, respectively), and eight of the nation's 50 most populated cities (Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Oakland). The capital city is Sacramento.

Capital: Sacramento

Population: 38,041,430

Area: 163,696 sq mi (423,970 km2)

Cities ▼

Cities in California: Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento, San Jose, Oakland, Santa Barbara, Mountain View, Pasadena, Anaheim, Beverly Hills, Berkeley, Monterey, Long Beach, Palm Springs, Santa Monica, Hollister, Malibu, Fresno, Bakersfield, Palo Alto, Big Sur, Calabasas, Irvine, Newport Beach, Cupertino, Huntington Beach, Napa, Temecula, Modesto, Torrance, Santa Cruz, Laguna Beach, San Luis Obispo, Riverside, Sunnyvale, Stockton, Pleasanton, Ontario, Ventura, Fremont, Menlo Park, Orange, Carmel-by-the-Sea, Carlsbad, Burbank, Santa Rosa, Solvang, Eureka

Counties ▼

Counties in California: Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Orange, Placer, Plumas, Riverside, Sacramento, San Benito, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Luis Obispo, San Mateo, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Ventura, Yolo, Yuba


State website

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