DOT Lighting Requirements for RVs

by Melissa Warner
RVs must meet DOT light requirements.

RVs must meet DOT light requirements.

As with a car there are a number of lights on an RV that must be functioning. These lights help prevent accidents and traffic chaos. These specific lighting requirements are administered by the Department of Transportation. If the requirements are not met you can be ticketed by the police.

Front Lights

The upper beams of the headlights must be facing forward and white. They should be as far apart as possible and between 22 and 54 inches high. Parking lights can be white or yellow, and two are required. The front lights must face forward and be between 15 and 60 inches high. In the front you must also have two turn signals. These should also be as far apart as possible and be between 15 and 83 inches high.

Size Lights

Front clearance lights show how wide the RV is when driving down a road at night or when it is parked. These lights must be located at the two widest points of the RV and as high as possible. The front identification lamps are three yellow lights at the front of the RV at the highest possible location. You should also have a front side marker reflex reflector that goes as far forward as possible and facing sideways.

Rear Lights

The most critical lighting is on the back of the RV. One set of lights is the rear side marker lights. These are two red lights that need to be as far across the RV as possible from each other. There are also rear side reflex reflectors that must be two red lights at the top and bottom of the rear. Rear clearance lights are two required red lights at the widest and highest point possible. Rear identification lights require must be three red lights facing rearward centered between 6 and 12 inches apart.

Tail Lights

RVs must have two red tail lights on the back of the RV that are as far apart (vertically) as possible. The rear turn and hazard signals need to be two red or yellow on the rear as far apart as possible as well. Rear reflex reflectors show the width of the RV. These must be two lights facing rearward and as far across from each other as possible. One backup light is also required and must be white.

About the Author

Melissa Warner is a freelance writer and editor in Milwaukee, Wis. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including "The Irish American Post" and "The London Student." Warner received a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.

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