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towing a trailer

Legal Requirements for Towing a Trailer

If you are planning to go on a road trip, then you need to get everything in order first. Jumping into things blind can lead to disaster. If you are not sure of all of the requirements that come with towing a trailer, then serious legal ramifications can come your way. Unfortunately, this can be tricky as most states have entirely different legal requirements for towing a trailer. Here is what you will need to know before getting onto the road!

Universal Requirements

Most towing laws differ by state; however, there are a couple of universal laws. The following are requirements that are present in every state. As such, you cannot overlook these without breaking the law.

Tail Lights

Towing a trailer means obstructing the view of your own vehicle’s lights. Because of this, it is imperative that your trailer has its own set of tail lights. This will increase your safety on the road and prevent accidents from occurring.

License Plate Lights

License plate lights are mandatory if you want to be street-legal. Clearly illuminating your license plate can alert the public and authorities if something goes wrong. These lights need to be strong enough that your license plate is readable as far as fifty feet from the rear.

Common Requirements

These next requirements tend to be a common theme throughout the states. Although not present everywhere, you should double-check your state’s policy on these.

Brake Lights

Adding brake lights to your trailer will keep vehicles from rear-ending you. It is a dangerous game to leave brake lights off your vehicle. You are essentially giving the driver no heads-up. This can catch an unsuspecting driver off-guard and cause an accident.

Turn Signals

Just like with brake lights, turn signals exist to help other drivers around you. It can be tough to know what a towed trailer is going to do next, so it is good to give the people around you as much time as possible to react accordingly.


In keeping with the theme of visibility, reflectors are required by many states. They will help drivers get an idea of what it is they are driving next to. The dimensions of your vehicle will be displayed clearly, and you will be able to rest easy knowing that.

Safety Chains

Safety chains are a great backup plan if the hitch fails while you are on the road. By no means will they replace the hitch, but it will prevent a pile-up from happening. These chains cross over in the shape of an x, connecting the towing vehicle to the trailer.

As mentioned above, safety chains are by no means a solution for a bad hitch. You need to make sure that the hitch you have will hold up no matter the conditions. Investing in one that is durable and sleek will improve your road trips drastically.

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GEN-Y Hitch Limited Lifetime Warranty

This Limited Lifetime Warranty covers defects in the materials or workmanship of All GEN-Y manufactured products and is limited to the repair or replacement of the product by GEN-Y Hitch. The decision as to whether the solution is replacement or repair shall be at GEN-Y Hitch’s sole determination. This Limited Lifetime Warranty is provided only to the original purchaser and applies only to the original installation.


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This Limited Lifetime Warranty Warranty is expressly IN LIEU of any other express warranty and is further IN LIEU of any implied warranty, including, but not limited to, any implied WARRANTY OF MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR PARTICULAR PURPOSE except as may otherwise be required by applicable Federal or State law at the time the hitch was manufactured.

This Limited Lifetime Warranty does not cover the following:

  • normal wear and tear 
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GEN-Y Hitch shall not be held responsible for any or all “compatible parts or products” being used or being utilized for towing with or around a GEN-Y Hitch product. GEN-Y Hitch products shall never be altered in any circumstance or for any reason and will void any warranties if done so.

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This Limited Lifetime Warranty gives you specific legals right, and you may also have other rights which vary from state to state. The laws applicable to any litigation, dispute, mediation, arbitration, or any claim whatsoever arising from the sale, purchase, or use of the product shall be the laws of the State of Indiana, without regard to rules pertaining to conflicts of law. The exclusive jurisdiction for deciding any claims, demands or causes of action relating in any way, from the sale, purchase, or use of the product shall be with the courts of the Circuit or Superior Courts of Elkhart County, Indiana.

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If your GEN-Y product was involved in an accident, do not continue to tow with it. There may be structural damage to the hitch that you cannot see that could result in product failure