Is it Legal to Ride in the Back of a Truck?


We have all seen those movies and television commercials where there are a bunch of people, piled in the back of a truck, and they look like they are having the time of their lives. The weather is great and everyone is smiling and laughing. Sounds familiar? They make the experience look so fun and grand and the thought probably entered your mind as well. If you have ever wondered if it is legal to ride in the back of a truck, then you are not alone.

No one in the films or television commercials stops and asks themselves “wait, is this legal” but hey, that is the difference between television and real life. Is it legal to ride in the back of a truck? Let’s find out!

Is it Legal to Ride in the Back of a Truck? | Check your State

Yes, this is one of those questions where the answer changes depending on what state you currently reside in (or you are planning to visit). It is best to check the rules and regulations of your state before hopping on the back of a truck or allowing someone, or a group of people, to hop on the back of yours.

Also, keep in mind that rules and regulations are not constant which means what was legal last year might not be legal again this year. We recommend that you check online to see where your state currently stands concerning this issue before making any haste decisions.

List of States| Do they have restrictions for passengers to ride in the back of a truck?

Please note: This is just a quick and general list. Please look up your respective state for the full informational breakdown.

  • Alabama:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Alaska:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Arizona:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Arkansas:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: People who choose to ride in the space of trucks where said space is intended for merchandise. Also, the employees on duty may not ride on the back of the company’s or their vehicle during work time.
  • California:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those who use farmer-owned vehicles/trucks. This is because farm owned vehicles must be used only for farming purposes and they have to be used within one mile of the highway. Next are people who are restrained by the federally approved restraint system. Lastly, no parades that are more than eight miles per hour.
  • Colorado:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: People who sit in the truck’s cargo area if all four sizes or most of the cargo area is enclosed.
  • Connecticut:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those who are over the age of sixteen, those who are fifteen and younger if they are belted in and any farming operations. This also includes parades and hayrides from August through December.
  • Delaware:
    • No
    • No state law
  • District of Columbia:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Employees that are on duty and those who ride in the back of trucks whose sole purpose is to transfer materials and cargo.
  • Florida:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those who are eighteen and older and anyone younger than seventeen that is in any enclosed area.
    • *Florida has an extensive list that we believe you should look into. The two points above are the main ones but there are also other fine prints.*
  • Georgia:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Anyone eighteen and older and those seventeen and younger that are in an enclosed space. Pickup trucks off the interstate are also not covered.
  • Hawaii:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Idaho:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Illinois:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Indiana:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Iowa:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Kansas: 
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Anyone fourteen and older. No parades and employment vehicles.
  • Kentucky:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Louisiana:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those who are twelve and older if the truck goes to a non-interstate highway.  Any parades that move faster than 15 mph.
    • *Louisiana has some rules regarding emergencies that we believe you should look further into*
  • Maine:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: People nineteen and older, agricultural workers as well as hunters that are eighteen years old or younger. No parades and people in OEM installed seats.
  • Maryland:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those that are sixteen years and older and fifteen-year-olds and younger if the vehicle is going 25 mph or less. No employees being transported to work or people engaging in farming operations.
  • Massachusetts:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those twelve years old and older. Those who are eleven years old and younger if the truck is being driven less than 25 mph. No parades and farming activities.
  • Michigan:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those eighteen and older. Those seven years old and younger if the truck is moving at 15 mph or less. No parades, no military vehicles, emergencies, construction, and farming.
  • Minnesota:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Mississippi:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Missouri:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: *Missouri has many restrictions so we suggest looking up their stance on it before you decide to ride in the back of a truck*
  • Montana:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Nebraska:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: People eighteen plus and for parades.
  • Nevada:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: People eighteen and older and those who are younger than eighteen if the truck is used for farming or ranching purposes.
  • New Hampshire:
    • No
    • No state law
  • New Jersey:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Employees
  • New Mexico:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those eighteen and older.
  • New York:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: *New York has many restrictions so we suggest looking up their stance on it before you decide to ride in the back of a truck*
  • North Carolina:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those sixteen and older and those fifteen and older if an adult is present.
  • North Dakota:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Ohio:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those sixteen and older and those fifteen and younger if the truck is driving less than 25 mph. Also, if the person seated and belted is in an OEM seating position.
  • Oklahoma:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Oregon:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those eighteen and older.
    • *Oregon has many restrictions so we suggest looking up their stance on it before you decide to ride in the back of a truck*
  • Pennsylvania:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those eighteen and older if the truck is going less than 35 mph.
  • Rhode Island:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those sixteen and older and those fifteen and younger who are secured in cargo space.
  • South Carolina:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: People fifteen and older and people fifteen and younger if an adult is present.
    • *South Caroline has many restrictions so we suggest looking up their stance on it before you decide to ride in the back of a truck*
  • South Dakota:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Tennessee:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Those twelve and older. Those between the ages of six and eleven if the vehicle is being operated off the interstate or state highway. This also includes parades if the truck is going less than 20 mph and any agricultural activities.
  • Texas:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: People who are eighteen years and older. Vehicles that are owned by the member of the households, as well as vehicles being used in parades.
    • *Texas has quite a bit of restriction so we would recommend checking to see if their rules and regulations have changed*
  • Utah:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: If the truck is off-highway operations or if employees performing their duties get hurt. Also, those who ride in the back of the truck during work hours in an enclosed space that was meant for cargo/
  • Vermont:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Virginia:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered:
  • Washington:
    • No
    • No state law
  • West Virginia:
    • No
    • No state law
  • Wisconsin:
    • Yes
    • Those not covered: Inapplicable to enclosed areas.
  • Wyoming:
    • No
    • No state law
Is it Legal to Ride in the Back of a Truck? #Ford #Ram #Chevy #Jeep #Toyota #Nissan #Trucks #Pickuptrucks #4x4

In Conclusion | Always be Safe About It

The truth of the matter is, despite whether your respective state allows for passengers to ride in the back of a truck, safety is always the most important factor.

Do not get in the back of a truck if the driver is intoxicated in any way and if you are traveling with small children and pets, be sure to keep them close to you. Do not allow them to roam freely and if possible, ride in the back of the truck for as little time as possible.

We hope this article will give you some peace of mind and as always, stay safe.

Kern Campbell

I've had a passion for four-wheel-drive vehicles since I was a kid riding in the back seat of my Grandfather's Jeep Grand Wagoneer. I have owned a lot of vehicles over the years. They each have their pros and cons and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you so you can find the vehicle that's just right for your needs.

Recent Content