Ask a Trooper: Keep Jeep's windshield up on streets
Question: I have a 2018 Jeep Wrangler which has a factory windshield that has the ability to fold down. If the windshield is properly folded down and strapped as per the factory design, is it 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 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 grey in my mind and I hoped you could advise how the State Patrol approaches this law or rules for highway use.
Thanks in advance for any information or understanding of the statute you would be able to share!
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. Minnesota State Statute 169.468 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.