Dot side marker lighting requirements

Written by linda knutson
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Dot side marker lighting requirements
All vehicles must be equipped with front and rear side marker lights and reflectors. (car image by Mladenov from Fotolia.com)

Side marker lights and reflectors are used to increase the visibility of vehicles in low light or darkness. Side marker lighting requirements are regulated under the Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

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Regulated Vehicles

All trucks, trailers, passenger vehicles and buses must be equipped with front and rear side marker devices. Vehicles 30 feet or longer must also have intermediate side markers. Additionally, side marker lights and reflectors must be permanently mounted and in operating order at all times.

Location

One red lamp and one red reflex reflector must be mounted on each side of the rear of all regulated vehicles. One amber lamp and one amber reflector are also required on each side of the front of all vehicles. Vehicles 30 feet or more in length must also have one amber lamp and one amber reflector located on each side, midway between the front and rear side markers.

Exceptions

Truck tractors do not have to be equipped with rear side marker lamps or reflectors. Additionally, trailers shorter than 6 feet, including the tongue, are not required to have front side marker lamps or reflectors.

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