Having vehicle headlights that meet the legal requirements in Texas or your state will help keep you safe on the road, prevent accidents, and steer clear of being pulled over for illegal headlight use. The legal headlight laws in Texas are clear about what kind of headlights you can use on motor vehicles and when they must be turned on.
Headlight Laws in Texas for 2023
Texas law states that a vehicle must have at least one lamp that emits white light on the front, and that this illuminating device must be visible from a distance of 1,000 feet.1 State law also requires two red lights on the rear of the vehicle visible from a distance of 1,000 feet or one red light that meets the requirements and two reflectors.
Lighted fog lamps may be used with headlights provided they meet the Texas transportation code and are aimed at least four inches below the center level at a distance of 25 feet.1 These requirements also apply to horse-drawn vehicles.
When Should You Turn On Your Headlights in Texas?
State law requires drivers to use their headlights during the night and if visibility is less than 1,000 feet due to weather conditions including rain, snow, or fog. Texas drivers must also turn on their headlights within 30 minutes after sunset and leave them on until at least 30 minutes before sunrise.
Are Your Headlights Legal in Texas?
Headlight laws in Texas require that:
- A motor vehicle should have two headlights on the front, mounted at a height between 24 and 54 inches from the ground.
- You may also have no more than two fog lamps mounted in the front of your vehicle.
- You are not permitted to have a red, blue, or white flashing light unless you are legally operating a bus, snowplow, or tow truck.
- You should turn your low beams on when an oncoming vehicle is within 500 feet or when following another vehicle within 300 feet.
Penalties for Breaking Texas Headlight Laws
An example of the fine for defective headlights in Texas is $235 for each offense.2 Beyond getting a ticket for having illegal headlights or missing a headlight, being pulled over can often result in additional traffic violations for Texas drivers.
Removing Points from Your Texas Driving Record
If you have a few traffic violations in Texas, it pays to clean up your driving record to avoid cost increases such as auto insurance. With headlight tickets usually the requirement is to fix that issue and provide proof to the court of that. Sometimes a moving violation causes the police to pull you over and they notice the headlight issue(s) during the stop. With an affordable and convenient defensive driving course from Ticket School, in many cases you can get the moving violation dismissed. You may also save up to 10% from a participating car insurance company.