Who doesn’t love a good old fashioned American road trip? The open road, sights, sounds, experiences, and more are all appealing. In fact, hitting the road is a time honored tradition in America. President Dwight D. Eisenhower pushed through the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, making him the “Father of the Interstate System.”
President Eisenhower came up with many of his highway ideas after taking a trip on the famous Lincoln Highway in 1919. A trip from Washington D.C. to San Francisco, California that took 62 days to complete. That is where it all began.
Now you can drive almost anywhere in the US without much of an issue. Besides traffic anyways. We have even cut down the once 62 day trip cross-country to about three to four days, coast to coast. Not bad!
If you are ready for a road trip anywhere in the US, things have certainly changed a bit. There are a lot more driving laws than there were in the early days of the Lincoln Highway. The following six state border laws can definitely serve useful. Let’s dive in!
1. Check Your Turn Signals Before Crossing Virginia And New York Borders
When on the road, you may be surprised that the laws in your home state are a bit different in others. One law in particular if crossing the Virginia or New York state borders is the turn signal law.
What may be a minor traffic offense in other states, failure to use your turn signal in New York state and Virginia can be a big ticket with potential jail time. That’s right — jail time up to 15 days. This is because not using your turn signal in those two states is considered reckless driving.
2. Meeting Required Car Insurance Laws
Car insurance is something we all know we need. However, the car insurance coverage you have may not be sufficient in other states. You could probably be alright if just passing through, but if you plan on being in a different state for some time, check the car insurance laws. This is especially important for snowbirds that live in a south state for half the year.
3. Do You Own and Travel With A Firearm? It Is Critical You Know the Law For Each State!
This one is very important to consider before crossing multiple state borders while on a road trip across the US. Why? Because you may end up in serious legal trouble if you are caught with a firearm in your car or on your person. For example, New York requires a permit to carry if transporting a firearm in the state.
However, in the state of Virginia, which is a state south of New York is okay with carrying a firearm without a permit. This makes a Virginia car inspections slightly different than that of one in New York state. Know the firearm laws before crossing any state borders!
4. Think Twice About Pumping Your Own Gas in Oregon Or New Jersey State
This is another odd, but important road trip legality to remember if venturing to Oregon or New Jersey state. It is illegal to pump your own gas in those two states, and if you do, you could be in trouble.
Sure, you probably will not have a swarm of federal agents come down from the gas station rafters, but you could get funny looks and a negative word from the gas station employees.
5. Is There Anything Hanging from Your Rear-View Mirror?
This is another odd road trip law to remember, but nonetheless important. If you cross the state border into New Jersey, it is illegal to have anything hanging from your rear-view mirror. Be sure to take down the air freshener pine tree or space ship you bought in Roswell, or else you may get a ticket.
6. Motorcycle Riders Leaving Florida Beware — Take Your Helmet with You
This is one state border crossing law for the motorcycle enthusiasts excited for a long run up the east coast. Bring your helmet — if you have one! Once you leave Florida state, you will need to strap a helmet on, or get a big time ticket and have your bike impounded. Be sure to keep the run going, so bring a helmet.
Ready to Hit The Road?
There are a number of laws you will need to consider when on a road trip. Not all the laws are the same in each state. Some may seem silly, but if you don’t pay attention, you can get a hefty ticket, or even worse, a few days in jail. The above six are only the tip of the iceberg, so do a bit of research on each state you will visit. Do you have a quirky state border crossing story?