can i drive a car with no fender in CA?

my 74 buick is missing one fender. all the lights work. but its missing a fender and the bumper is and hood are a bit bent. you can not see the engine or anything. will i get pulled over?

I saw an Ariel Atom parked in Palo Alto last week. The absence of a fender in and of itself does not make a car not streel legal. And aquaintence in high school didn’t have a hood on his station wagon. As long as no other parts are flying off, you’re probably OK.

Which fender?

A police officer who is bored or a “stickler” for safety might pull you over. But if there are no other issues with the car, the majority of the time, no one is going to care.

Here’s a link to the applicable laws for california:

There doesn’t seem to be anything there.

While driving such a car is probably not illegal, it could get you a lot of extra scrutiny from the police. You might get pulled over for small infractions like failing to signal when changing lanes.

Drove a VW Beetle for a few days without a rear fender, It was falling off so I pulled it for preventative reasons. Light was reattached and working.

Ticket was for “Unfit for the Road” if I remember correctly. I am sure there are other catch all ways for you to get a ticket.

Can’t have anything on the road that the local plods might find aesthetically displeasing.

Wouldn’t fenders be considered part of the crumple zone for crash protection? I assume there would be, or could be, safety implications.

This question comes up in hot rod circles as no fenders on the front is often thought to be more pleasing. Unfortunately, there’s a law against it.

“No person shall operate any motor vehicle having three or more wheels, any trailer, or semitrailer unless equipped with fenders…”

I see a lot of custom motorcycles made without a fender.

Fenders are there for a purpose. They keep the wheels from slinging rocks.

FWIW, Atoms do have fenders.

Off-road guys often run afoul of the law if their big knobby tires stick out past the fenders, for the reason **aceplace **mentions.

I got a 'fix it ticket" for this once, so yes, it’s possible but doubtful.

OTOH< I had been something of a jerk

In the 70’s my brother had a street rod with no fenders. He got a ticket. He either had to fenders on it or some sort of flap to protect against throwing rocks. I also knew a kid who put oversized tires on his truck. Part of the tires were outside of the wheel well. He also got the same ticket.

Not in California! It depends on the state.

See this thread.

Or you can look up fender-less roadster.

IHTH, 48.

You left out “or any vehicles manufactured and first registered prior to January 1, 1971, having an unladen weight of under 1,500 pounds.” My dad had a '34 Ford coupe (somewhat) legally registered without fenders. I say “somewhat” because to get it registered he had to do an engine swap to bring it under 1500 pounds, which he reversed later. But since it was registered as being under the limit, it was no problem.