Is It Illegal For Someone To Stand In A Sunroof Of A Car While Driving? [Answered]

Whether it is legal or illegal to stand in a car sunroof while driving (or in moving car) depends on the seat belt laws of your respective state. These seat belt laws change from state to state in USA. Standing on the sunroof means you have to unbuckle the seatbelt. This can get you fined as the act could be illegal in your related state. Even if it isn’t illegal this action is highly dangerous.

Care to find out what else is a “No” when it comes to sunroof? Keep reading the article to know in detail.

Is It Legal To Stand In A Sunroof While Driving?

Depending on which state you are in, standing in the sunroof while driving can be illegal.

There are no direct rules regarding sunroofs. But as you need to unbuckle the seatbelts to stand in a sunroof, the seatbelt laws are applicable here.

However, the rules are different across the states based on age and seating position.

From the following table, you can find out the seat belt laws in different states. The seating position and fine amounts are also included.


  • “All” indicates you’ll get a ticket for violating seat belt laws in both the front and the rear seats
  • “Front” indicates you’ll get a ticket only if you unbuckle the front seatbelts while driving. 
USA StateAge CoveredSeat PositionFines
Albama 15+All$25
Alaska16+All $15-$25
Arkansas15+Front $25
Arizona 15+All $10-$37
California 16+All $20(1st offence)$50(second offence)
Colorado 16+Front $71
Connecticut 8+All $92
Delaware 16+All $25
DC16+All $50
Florida 6+Front $30-$116
Georgia -18Front$15
Guam All All $100
Hawaii 8+All $45-$112
Illinois 16+All $25
Idaho 7+All $10
Indiana 16+All $25
Iowa All Front  $25
Kansas 14-17+All $60
Kentucky 7+ All $25
Louisiana 13+ All $25
Maine 18+All $50
Maryland -16All$83
Michigan 16+Front $25-$65
Massachusetts 13+All $25
Minnesota 7+ All $25+$75
Mississippi 7+All $25
Missouri 8-15All $10
Montana 6+All $20
New jersey 7+ All $46
New Mexico 18+All $25
New york All All $50
New Hampshire N/AN/AN/A
Nebraska 18+ Front $25
Nevada 6+All $25
North Carolina 16+All $180-front seat$10-rear seat
North Dakota -18-18+All Front $20$25+1 point on license 
Northern Mariana island 6+All $25
Oklahoma 13+Front $20
Ohio 8-14All$30-driver$20-passenger 
Oregon All All $130
Pennsylvania 8-17All$10
Peurto Rico 9+Unspecified $50
Rhode island 8+ All $75
South Carolina 8+All $25
South Dakota 18+Front $25
Tennesse 16+ Front $25
Texas 8+ All $200 for under 17 (driver);$50 for over 15 (driver or passenger)
Utah 16+All $45
Vermont All All $25
Virgin IslandsAll Front $25-$250
Virginia +18All$25
Washington 8+ All $124
West Virginia 8-17Rear $25
Wisconsin 8+ All $10
Wyoming 8+All $25-driver$10-passenger

That table shows that New Hampshire is the only state where you don’t have to worry about seat belts. However, the ticket amounts and laws differ in other states.

This action should be highly discouraged even if someone doesn’t fall under the category. Because no matter how fun it looks, it comes with great risk.

Standing In A Sunroof Infographic

What Makes Standing In A Sunroof While Driving Illegal?

Standing in the sunroof is illegal due to the violation of seat belt law. Also, it puts the passengers in great danger. 

Imagine a child standing halfway out of the sunroof while driving. The child can get hit with a tree branch or anything in the range. Wires can get tangled on the neck.

Or if the driver halts the car abruptly, the person can even fall out of the car or can get severely injured. The aftermath of these scenarios is pretty gruesome.

This is why it is illegal to put any body part out of the sunroofs. However, you may not find any specific wording on it in traffic law books. 

So, a little warning from the police might be all that can happen. But one should refrain from repeating this action.

You might now ask –Can you open sunroof on highway? Yes, you can, but Standing in sunroof while on a drive is a big no.

Check this out in case you need to know whether a BMW X1 has a timing belt or a chain.

When Is Standing On A Sunroof Permissible?

We have established the fact that standing in sunroof while driving is pretty dangerous. And probably illegal too. But is it permissible for any occasion? This question may bother you.

After all, we see people standing in the sunroof or moonroof often. For example, while filming, or on a parade. So how come that’s permissible?

First of all, filming on the road requires permission from a higher authority. Also, the scenes that you see in a movie were filmed maintaining safety measures.

As for the parades, they are usually conducted on a closed route. They are not on a road with normal traffic. There’s also little to no chance of unexpected interruptions or brakes.

So, in such scenarios, standing on sunroofs is permissible. The key point here is safety. Unless yours isn’t one of these scenarios, better stay buckled up in the car.

You should be careful about other situations like the timing belt being off by one tooth. Inspect what causes it and solve the issue in no time.


How Much Weight Can a Sunroof Hold?

A sunroof can hold 120 to 200 pounds, even panoramic ones. But it’s better to be sure from the car owner’s manual. If the surfboards and gears are heavier than the said limitation, install a roof rack. You can also try using a towing trailer. 

Does a Sunroof Affect the Car’s Rigidity?

A sunroof doesn’t have any kind of effect on the car’s rigidity or performance. There’s a question about the car’s rigidity and structural strength when it comes to sunroofs. But that’s a proven invalid accusation. Sunroofs these days are not composed of rigidity at all.

Is It Safe to Drive With a Broken Sunroof?

No, it’s certainly not safe to drive a car with a broken sunroof. Sunroofs are usually made of tempered glass. When it breaks it can shatter into many tiny pieces with a little wind effect. It can cut and injure the passengers. So, halt your plans and fix the sunroof first.


Now you know if Is it illegal for someone to stand in the sunroof of a car while driving? Hopefully, you won’t make the mistake and prevent others from doing the same.

Safety is the first priority. And it can be achieved through public awareness and sharing knowledge.

Happy driving!

Leave a Comment

Written By

Photo of author

Gary Wright

Hi, I'm Gary Wright, an automotive industry specialist. I'm an installation, repair, and maintenance specialist of automotive sunroofs, moonroofs, and panoramic sunroofs/moonroofs.

Fact Checked And Mechanically Reviewed By


Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at with a passion for the automotive industry.