From: Sgt. Troy Christianson
Minnesota State Patrol
Question: I have a 2018 Jeep Wrangler that has a windshield that has the ability to fold down from the factory. I am just wondering if the windshield is properly folded down and strapped as per the factory design if this is then legal to drive on highway, county or state roads in Minnesota. While I doubt I’ll ever be zipping down I-94 with the windshield down, it would make it a lot easier driving between off-road trails to not put it up and down, but I don’t want to break the law.
I could only find the statute that indicates that if you do have a windshield you need to have wipers. So it sounds like there isn’t a law per se that says “Shall have a windshield on all on-road vehicles,” so I am assuming if the vehicle wasn’t designed to have one (like a motorcycle) it’s not required.
However, it doesn’t appear to specify what the rule is when you have a windshield, but the factory designed it to fold down. So the law is kind of gray in my mind and I hoped you could advise how the State Patrol approaches this law or rules for highway use.
Answer: We get this question fairly often, and it brings out some good discussion. When it comes to a windshield in a passenger vehicle, you are required to have one. Under Minnesota State Statute 169.468 it states, the commissioner has adopted federal motor vehicle safety standards, which is where it states a windshield is required (in the federal law).
For the purposes of your windshield being a “fold down from the factory” this is for off-road use.
Motorcycles may or may not have windshields, but even when they do, they do not meet legal requirements, and a rider must wear eye protection: face shield, goggles, or glasses.
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, 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester, Minn., 55901-5848, or Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us.