Can You Drive Without A Side Mirror?

Side mirrors are essential safety features in cars that help you see vehicles coming behind you within 200 feet. The purpose of the side mirrors is to help you avoid accidents when changing lanes, turning, overtaking, parking/backing out. Side mirrors are the mirrors you see hanging on the front doors; they are installed outside your vehicle’s front doors. Unfortunately, they easily damage from accident due to their location.

But can you drive without a side mirror without getting involved in accidents? Is it illegal to drive without side mirrors? I’ll be answering these questions and more in this article. Grab a seat and a cup of coffee.

can you drive without a side mirror

Can you drive without a side mirror?

If you’re one of those asking can you drive with a broken side mirror, you need to first of all consider your state laws. Based on the laws in your state, is it legal to drive without these components in your city?

But without looking at your region laws, can you drive without a side mirror in Florida or in any other city? The short answer is yes! You can drive with a broken or missing side mirror without experiencing any issues.  However, I will advise you not to drive without side mirrors because they are important safety features that aid your visibility. They are designed to help you see 200 feet behind you.

Is it illegal to drive without side mirrors?

Now, you may be asking, “is it illegal to drive without side mirrors?” The answer is yes. Driving without side mirrors is illegal in most states; but this may not be the case in a few states that majorly require the left side mirror along with the rearview mirror. 

Some states, such as Mississippi, Missouri, and Massachusetts, permit car owners to legally drive without side mirrors as long as you can see your behind through the rearview mirror. Nevertheless, when towing or carrying a cargo that is obstructing the rearview mirror, you need the side mirrors to see your behind. 

In other words, some states permit you to legally drive with only the left/drive side mirror and a rear view mirror. The driver-side mirror is the most important among others; this is because it helps the driver to have a clear view of the vehicle approaching him within 200 feet.

Is it illegal to drive without a rearview mirror?

As I said earlier, you can legally drive with just the left-side mirror plus the rear-view mirror in some states. But what about a situation where your two side mirrors working fine; is it illegal to drive without the rearview mirror?

It is not illegal to drive without the rearview mirror as long as both side mirrors are functional.

The rear view aid is a great safety feature. Have you imagined why most vehicles have blind spots on their left/right sides, front and rear?  The style and size of vehicles can increase the chances of causing a traffic violation. The larger the size of your vehicle, the more accidents it can cause. You can hit cyclists, pedestrians, and other road users.

This is why manufacturers equip cars with the center, rear, and lift/right side mirrors to help you see you’re behind clearly. 

What do you do if your side mirrors get damaged or missing?

The first thing you should do is to call your insurance company and let them know what is happening. They will advise you on what to do next to fix the issue.

However, the easiest and quickest way of fixing a damaged side mirror is by directly going to a mechanic shop to have them replace it. You can still talk to your insurance coverage and lay a claim. But waiting for them will delay the repair.

Can I glue my car’s side mirror? If your side mirror has cracks or breaks, you can repair them yourself by using an automotive silicone mirror adhesive. It will remain elastic and resistant to weathering and moisture, making it an excellent choice for such repair. If you were wondering what glue to use to reattach a mirror, now you know.

can you drive without a side mirror in florida

How can you fix a broken side mirror?

Once you notice you have a broken or missing side mirror, have a reputable independent shop or your dealership replace it. This will ensure you only install a complaint side mirror that is of the same size and style as your car and it is installed by a licensed mechanic. But before doing that, check your insurance policy wording to see if your insurance covers the side mirror.

Keep in mind, even if you live in a State where you can legally drive with only one side mirror, always replace your driver-side mirror whenever it breaks, even when the left is functioning. This is because these states require the driver side to function at all times.

Can a broken side mirror fail an MOT test?

You can get a ticket for driving with a broken side mirror. Whether you can pass an MOT test with a broken side mirror depends on whether you can drive to the inspection center.

Turning with a broken side mirror for an MOT test could cause you to fail the test for roadworthiness. This depends on your state and the side of the broken mirror.

Technically, you will fail an MOT test if you turn up with a broken or missing driver-side mirror because most states that say you can legally drive with one side mirror state you should drive with a functioning driver-side mirror. You won’t pass the MOT test if the driver-side mirror is missing or broken.

A failed MOT test will keep you from driving the vehicle until you fix the problem. Also, you may be required to run a second test after fixing the issue.

How much does it cost to fix a broken side mirror?

Glass is not an expensive material. So don’t panic if you break only that. On average, you will spend between $10 to $20 if it’s only the glass that breaks. However, if you have to replace the complete mirror, one side mirror will cost between $200 to $300, depending on your vehicle.

Final words

Side mirrors are essential safety features in vehicles, and they can be detrimental if damaged or broken. They heavily influence your visibility, helping you see what’s behind your vehicle. If you break one or both mirrors, it’s essential to replace them instead of asking if you can drive without them.

It is a simple fix you can do at home. But if you are not a DIYer, have your mechanic replace it. Side mirrors are as crucial as any other safety feature in a car—ensure you replace them properly.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a certified mechanic with over a decade of experience in the mechanic garage, and he has over five years of experience in the writing industry. He started writing automotive articles to share his garage experience with car enthusiasts and armature mechanics. If he is not in the garage fixing challenging mechanical problems, he is writing automotive repair guides, buyer’s guides, and car and tools comparisons.

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