Are you sure that you know when you do and don’t need your headlights on, according to Missouri Headlight Laws? For all our friends passing through the Show Me State, take this short quiz to find out, then brush up on the statutes for a little bit of light reading. Don’t forget to pass it along to someone else that could use the knowledge!

Questions:

  1. It is 2:30PM now, it is sunny, it is moderately raining, I can see clearly for 400 feet – are headlights required to be on?
  2. Sunrise is at 5:30AM, it is 5:10AM now – are headlights required to be on?
  3. It is foggy outside, my windshield wipers are not required, I can see clearly for 400 ft – are headlights required to be on?
  4. I got a ticket today for failing to have my headlights on when required during rainy weather conditions – will points go on my license if I plead guilty and pay the fine?

Answers:

  1. YES, because it is raining windshield wipers are required to operate in a careful manner, when wipers are required headlights are also required.
  2. NO… Headlights are required until 30 minutes before sunrise.
  3. YES… Conditions are foggy and you cannot see at least 500 ft, headlights are required.
  4. NO… Points will not be put on your license because you would be pleading guilty to a non-point infraction with a max fine of $10.

Missouri Statutes:

307.020 (9):

“When lighted lamps are required” means at any time from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise and at any other time when there is not sufficient light to render clearly discernible persons and vehicles on the highway at a distance of five hundred feet ahead. Lighted lamps shall also be required any time the weather conditions require usage of the motor vehicle’s windshield wipers to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner as defined in section 304.012. The provisions of this section shall be interpreted to require lighted lamps during periods of fog even if usage of the windshield wipers is not necessary to operate the vehicle in a careful and prudent manner.

Missouri 307.040.

No person shall drive, move, park or be in custody of any vehicle or combination of vehicles on any street or highway during the times when lighted lamps are required unless such vehicle or combination of vehicles displays lighted lamps and illuminating devices as hereinafter in this chapter required. No person shall use on any vehicle any approved electric lamp or similar device unless the light source of such lamp or device complies with the conditions of approval as to focus and rated candlepower.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section 307.120, or any other provision of law, violation of this section shall be deemed an infraction and any person who violates this section as it relates to violations of the usage of lighted lamps required due to weather conditions or fog shall only be fined ten dollars and no court costs shall be assessed.

There you have it! Although, we think it’s better safe than sorry when it comes to using your headlights. Avoid a ticket, and possibly an accident by using your headlights during periods of weather and from after sunset to before sunrise.