Ask a Trooper: Of hoods and fenders

Published 5:44 pm Tuesday, August 16, 2022

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By Sgt. Troy Christianson

Question:  Does a person need a hood on a vehicle to drive it down the highway legally?

Answer: No.

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Question: What is the law regarding vehicle fenders and tires sticking out beyond the sides of a vehicle?

Answer:  According to Minnesota State Statute 169.734.  “Every passenger automobile shall have fenders, or other devices, that are designed to prevent, as far as practicable, water, dirt, or other material being thrown up and to the rear by the wheels of the vehicle.” 

So every vehicle MUST have fenders. In reference to wheels sticking out, if the wheels go out beyond the outside of the vehicle, then they would NOT meet the part of “…as far as practicable…”. If someone was to have wider wheels on their vehicle that stuck out past the fender, they would need some type of fender flare added on. 

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson — Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at,