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VERIFY: Yes, 'wipers on, headlights on' is law in the DMV and you can face fines if you don't

After seeing many cars without lights on driving in the rain, a viewer asked does the law require you to turn your headlines on when your wipers are on?


Is headlights on, wipers on the law in DMV?


Yes, this is the law in D.C., Maryland and Virginia


AAA Mid-Atlantic

Metropolitan Police Department

2010 Maryland Code

Virginia State Police 


Suspicious of something you see? Ask our Verify team to look into it.

That's exactly what viewer Michael McKittrick did... he says our area has seen a lot of rain recently and he's noticed many cars driving in the rain without headlights on. 

Michael asked us to verify: Is it the law to have your headlights on when your wipers are on in DC, Maryland and Virginia?

Our Verify Team checked in with AAA for this question.

DC law states headlights are required when visibility is less than 500 feet. They must be used a half hour after sunset and a half hour before sunrise. Also headlights must be on when windshield wipers are on.

In Maryland, headlights are required to be on when visibility is poor and when your wipers used continuously. 

Lastly, in Virginia, lights must be used from sunset to sunrise and  when wipers are in use.

So we verified yes, in DC, Maryland and Virginia, wipers on, headlights on is the law. 

Violating this could result in fines of $75 dollars in DC ,. according to Metropolitan Police. 

In Maryland, you could also b hit with a fine but of no more than $25.

Virginia State Police told Verify researchers, in Virginia, the penalty is a traffic citation and up to the individual court to set the fine.