Is it Illegal to Drive With Snow on Your Car in Illinois & Iowa?

cleaning snow off car

If you live in Iowa and Illinois, you are no stranger to snow.

Although many people enjoy the snow, locals understand that snow can be dangerous.

Icy streets are clearly hazardous, but snow and ice on our cars can be as well.

It’s best practice to remove snow and ice from vehicles before driving, but is it illegal to drive with snow on your car?

Illinois State Law

In Illinois, motor vehicles must have devices for cleaning rain, snow, and other obstructions off the windshield.

Drivers are not permitted to drive if they have snow, ice, moisture, or other materials blocking their windows or mirrors that obstruct their view.

In other words, driving with snow blocking your view is unlawful.

If you are pulled over for driving with an obstructed view, you could receive a fine.

Iowa State Law

Under Iowa state law, you can be fined for not cleaning your windshield.

You need to be able to see properly to drive safely on the road.

In fact, it’s not only the front windshield that needs cleaning: the side windows, rear windows, and side wings also need to be clear. 

If you drive with windows that are not clear, you can be fined. 

The Iowa State Patrol says that they don’t often give tickets for windows covered with snow, but if it results in an accident, they will.

Additionally, when troopers pull drivers over, they like to remind drivers of the law on clear windows to keep them from creating safety hazards.

Additional Reasons to Clean Snow Off Your Car

Cleaning snow off your car isn’t only for you. By cleaning snow and ice off your car, you keep others safe as well.

If you are driving with piles of snow on your car, those piles could be blown off your car and hit other people.

Not only can this cause damage to their cars, but it also blocks their visibility. This can quickly lead to accidents and pileups, and you could be held responsible.

Regardless of whether or not it is illegal in your state to drive with snow on your car, it’s always worth taking the time to clean off your vehicle for yours and others’ safety.

Injured in an Accident Because of Snow?

In the Midwest, accidents due to the weather are common.

Injured from an accident involving snow and another negligent driver?

We recommend contacting our personal injury attorneys as soon as possible to assess your case.

At VanDerGinst Law, we offer free consultations throughout the states of Iowa and Illinois.

Contact us today to schedule.


The information contained on this website is presented by VanDerGinst Law P.C. It is not intended nor should it be construed as professional legal advice. The information is general in nature about the Firm, the scope of services we offer, and our community outreach, it is not legal advice. Please contact us by phone, email, mail, or via this website for inquiries. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please contact a personal injury attorney for a consultation regarding your situation. This website is not intended to solicit clients outside the State of Iowa and/or the State of Illinois.