Do You Need a Special License to Drive With a Bike Rack?

No, you don’t need a special license to drive with a bike rack. This is not the same as driving an RV or other large vehicle.

If you plan to use a bike rack and drive with it frequently, make an effort to become familiar with the rules so as not to get fined or lose any points off of your license. You should also be aware that while you do not need a special license, some localities require you to have the rack on your car and use it while driving.

Do You Need a Special License to Drive With a Bike Rack?

Why Don’t You Need a Special License to Drive With a Bike Rack?

You don’t need a special license to drive a bike rack because the act of driving the bike rack is not illegal. Your car license will allow you to drive with your bike on a bike rack so long as it doesn’t block your view or interfere with any safety equipment like an emergency brake, headlights, or side-view mirror.

Driving with a bike rack doesn’t require driving significantly differently than without a bike rack. A bit more cautious and a little bit slower perhaps, but no special movements

Bike rack legal requirements

There are some legal requirements you should know about if you plan to use a bike rack on your car.

Racks have to be properly fitted and the license plates, as well as taillights, must be visible at all times.

If you follow these two steps the chance of being stopped or getting fined will be almost zero. Helpful is to know how far can your bikes stick out for example. Read this article to know how far your bike can stick out.

License Plate Visibility

You will need to make sure that the license plate is easily visible when using a bike rack. Your license plate will need to be visible at all times, so it’s important that you adjust your bike rack accordingly. If you have a hitch-mounted bike rack a license plate holder might be something to look into.

They are very cheap and easy to use And solve the problem. If you are very creative you might get away with using Duct tape.

Or install an auxiliary plate, which can be purchased from your state’s registration department for a minimal cost. It must be illuminated so it may be seen at night.

Taillight Visibility

Your taillights should be visible at all times when you are using a bike rack on your car. This is another important safety measure that can help prevent getting stopped or fined by local authorities for improper use of a bike rack while driving in your car. Or go with a bike rack that has built-in lights.

Bike Racks and the Law

There are some localities in which using a bike rack is actually required when driving with bicycles on board. If this is the case where you live, then you must follow suit or risk getting fined or losing your driver’s license.

As long as your bike rack is properly fitted to the car and doesn’t obstruct license plates or tail lights, you should be fine. Racks are required by law to not block any of these features. Make sure that it’s installed correctly!

Read also: Can you drive with an empty Bike rack?

I ordered my auxiliary number plate and I don’t have it yet? Can I use my rear vehicle number plate in the meantime?

The main goal is to have your license plate visible when driving on public roads like on the highway for instance. So, Yes you can use your rear vehicle number plate in the meantime. But I wouldn’t recommend it using it for a long period of time. A license plate holder is not expensive and saves a lot of trouble


There is no need for a special license. Just know the rules and regulations. Bike racks are a great way to transport your bicycles while you’re driving, but they do come with specific requirements and limitations. If you plan on using one regularly or frequently then it’s important that you know what these requirements entail.

It is also helpful if the rack doesn’t obstruct license plates or tail lights so as not to get stopped by authorities. After properly installing your bike rack you might wonder if you can keep your bike rack on your car? if so, maybe you like this article which answers that question!

See also  Can a bike rack cover your license plate?

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