- Montana Headlights Laws
Lighting laws in Montana
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MONTANA CODE ANNOTATED 2015
TITLE 61. MOTOR VEHICLES
CHAPTER 9. VEHICLE EQUIPMENT
Part 2. Lighting Equipment
Department of Transportation
61-9-201. When lighted lamps are required.
Every vehicle upon a highway within this state at any time from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise and at any other time when due to insufficient light or unfavorable atmospheric conditions persons and vehicles on the highway are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet ahead shall display lighted lamps and illuminating devices as hereinafter respectively required for different classes of vehicles, subject to exceptions with respect to parked vehicles.
61-9-202. Visibility distance and mounted height of lamps.
1) Whenever requirement is hereinafter declared as to the distance from which certain lamps and devices shall render objects visible or within which such lamps or devices shall be visible, said provisions shall apply during the times stated in 61-9-201 in respect to a vehicle without load when upon a straight, level, unlighted highway under normal atmospheric conditions unless a different time or condition is expressly stated.
2) Whenever requirement is hereinafter declared as to the mounted height of lamps or devices it shall mean from the center of such lamp or device to the level ground upon which the vehicle stands when such vehicle is without a load.
61-9-203. Headlamps on motor vehicles.
1) A motor vehicle other than a motorcycle, quadricycle, or motor-driven cycle must be equipped with at least two headlamps, with at least one on each side of the front of the motor vehicle, that comply with the requirements and limitations set forth in this chapter.
2) A motorcycle, quadricycle, or motor-driven cycle must be equipped with at least one and not more than two headlamps that comply with the requirements and limitations of this chapter. If a motorcycle is registered under 61-3-411 as a collector's item, it need not be equipped with headlamps; however, if it is not equipped with headlamps, it may not be operated upon a highway or street from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise or if persons and vehicles are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet. A motorcycle may be equipped with a means of modulating the high beam of its headlamps between high and low beam at a rate of 200 to 280 flashes a minute; however, an operator may not modulate the headlamps at that rate during periods when headlamps are required to be lighted by 61-9-201.
(3) A headlamp upon a motor vehicle, including a motorcycle, quadricycle, and motor-driven cycle, must be located at a height, measured from the center of the headlamp, of not more than 54 inches or less than 22 inches, to be measured as provided in 61-9-202(2).
61-9-209. Color of clearance lamps, side marker lamps, reflectors, and backup lamps.
1) Front clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the front or on the side near the front of a vehicle must display or reflect an amber color.
2) Rear clearance lamps and those marker lamps and reflectors mounted on the rear or on the sides near the rear of a vehicle must display or reflect a red color.
3) All lighting devices, reflectors, and stoplights mounted on the rear of a vehicle must display or reflect a red color, except:
(a) the signal devices, as defined in 61-9-218;
(b) the light illuminating the license plate that must be a white lamp; and
(c)the light emitted by a backup lamp that must be white.
61-9-204. Taillamps.1) A motor vehicle, trailer, semitrailer, and pole trailer and any other vehicle that is being drawn at the end of a combination of vehicles must be equipped with at least one properly functioning taillamp mounted on the rear that emits a red light plainly visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear, except that in the case of a combination of vehicles, only the taillamp on the rearmost vehicle need actually be seen from the distance specified.
2) A taillamp upon a vehicle must be located at a height of not more than 72 inches or less than 15 inches.
61-9-205. New motor vehicles to be equipped with reflectors.
1) Every new motor vehicle hereafter sold and operated upon a highway, other than a truck tractor, shall carry on the rear, either as a part of the taillamps or separately, two red reflectors, except that every motorcycle, quadricycle, and motor-driven cycle shall carry at least one reflector meeting the requirements of this section, and except that vehicles of the type mentioned in 61-9-208 shall be equipped with reflectors as required in those sections applicable thereto.
2) Every such reflector shall be mounted on the vehicle at a height not less than 15 inches or more than 60 inches measured as set forth in 61-9-202(2) and shall be of such size and characteristics and so mounted as to be visible at night from all distances within 300 feet to 50 feet from such vehicle when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps, except that visibility from a greater distance may be required of reflectors on certain types of vehicles.
61-9-217. Spot lamps, fog lamps, and auxiliary lamps.
1) A motor vehicle may not be equipped with more than two spot lamps and a lighted spot lamp must be turned off upon approaching another moving vehicle from either direction.
2) A motor vehicle may not be equipped with more than two fog lamps that provide a low, wide-angle light pattern to increase short-range visibility. Fog lamps must be mounted on the front at a height not more than 30 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands and so aimed that when the vehicle is not loaded none of the high-intensity portion of the light to the left of the center of the vehicle at a distance of 25 feet ahead projects higher than a level of 4 inches below the level of the center of the lamp from which it comes.
3) A motor vehicle may not be equipped with more than two auxiliary driving lamps that produce a long-range, pencil-shaped light pattern and that are used to supplement the upper beams of headlamps. Auxiliary driving lamps must be mounted on the front at a height not less than 16 inches or more than 42 inches above the level surface upon which the vehicle stands.
Headlights: 2 minimum
- minimum height: 24 inches
- maximum height: 54 inches
Tail lights: 1 minimum
- minimum height: 15 inches
- maximum height: 72 inches
Spot lights: 2 maximum
Fog lights: 2 maximum
- maximum height: 30 inches
Auxiliary passing lights 2 maximum,
- minimum height: 24 inches
- maximum height: 42 inches
Auxiliary driving lights: 2 maximum
- minimum height: 16 inches
- maximum height: 42 inches