Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 2. Lighting Equipment


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. The vehicles mentioned in this subsection, other than a motorcycle, quadricycle, motor-driven cycle, or truck tractor, registered in this state and manufactured or assembled after January 1, 1956, must be equipped with at least two properly functioning taillamps, with at least one mounted on each side of the rear of the vehicle, that emit a red light plainly visible from a distance of 1,000 feet to the rear of the vehicle.

(2) A taillamp upon a vehicle must be located at a height of not more than 72 inches or less than 15 inches.

(3) Either a taillamp or a separate lamp must illuminate with a white light the rear registration plate and render it clearly legible from a distance of 50 feet to the rear. A taillamp or taillamps, together with a separate lamp for illuminating the rear registration plate, must be lighted whenever the headlamps are lighted.

(4) Taillamps are not required on a motorcycle that is registered under 61-3-411 as a collector's item, but the motorcycle may not be operated on a highway or street from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise or when persons and vehicles are not clearly discernible at a distance of 500 feet unless it is equipped with the required taillamps.

(5) A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a highway with taillamps that are covered by a lens or a plastic cover or with a tinted or colored material, substance, system, or component placed on or in front of rear lamps, taillamps, license plate lamps, or rear lamp combinations that obscures the taillamps or diminishes the distance of visibility required by this section.

(6) (a) A custom vehicle or street rod may use a blue dot taillight, as defined in subsection (6)(b), as a stop lamp, a rear signal lamp, or a rear reflector.

(b) "Blue dot taillight" means a red lamp installed in the rear of a motor vehicle containing a blue or purple insert that is not more than 1 inch in diameter.

History: En. Sec. 115, Ch. 263, L. 1955; R.C.M. 1947, 32-21-118; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 42, L. 1979; amd. Sec. 3, Ch. 345, L. 1983; amd. Sec. 1, Ch. 58, L. 1987; amd. Sec. 7, Ch. 431, L. 1997; amd. Sec. 6, Ch. 458, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 25, Ch. 413, L. 2009.