How high should mud flaps be off the ground?

If you are driving in the United States and your vehicle has mud flaps, the flaps must adhere to the regulations of each state that you drive in. Many states have the same regulations when it comes to mud flap length. Certain states have slightly different regulations from the rest of the country. But no matter where you drive, keep the mudflaps on your vehicle at least 6 to 8 inches above the ground and your vehicle will meet all of the regulations. 

How high should mud flaps be off the ground?

The laws regarding mud flaps will be the same in most states with the US. Only a few states will have slightly different regulations, and many of the regulations only apply to industrial trucks.

In the US, there are certain vehicles, mostly industrial trucks, that have to place mud flaps behind tires so they can protect the drivers behind them. 

Mud Flaps should not be so low that they fold underneath the tire with the vehicle backing up. It also can’t be so high that it does not protect the tire and surrounding area from mud. 

NOTE: When a truck has a heavy load sitting in the truck bed, the weight of the load will force the bed and the bottom of the truck to drop lower. This is why mud flaps regulations exist. If the mud flaps are too low when the bed is empty, then the truck can back over the mud flaps and rip them off.

Diesel big rig trucks and mud flaps

The regulations that apply to large semi-trucks with diesel engines are not the same as the laws for private trucks and cars. All semi-trucks and big rigs need to have mud flaps attached behind their tires, as the flaps will also protect the vehicle behind the semi-trucks. 

Basic regulations

To avoid any issues with mudflaps, any flaps that you hang on your vehicles should be at least 6 to 8 inches above the ground. Mount the mud flaps at a 22-degree angle as well. As long as the mud flaps on your vehicle adhere to these two rules, you should be fine wherever you drive. 

What if a vehicle had mud flaps that are too low?

If a vehicle has mud flaps that are too low, the driver can end up reversing over the mud flaps and ripping them out of their anchor. Mud flaps are cheap but it’s still a hassle to have to install them over again after accidentally ripping them off their anchor.

What are the benefits of having mud flaps on your vehicle?

Most people think that only large semi-trucks and trucks that transport goods are the only vehicles that should have mud flaps. But it is not true. Any vehicle can have mud flaps installed behind its tires.

There are few benefits to installing mud flaps on a car, SUV, or truck. 

The first benefit is the most obvious. Mud Flaps will prevent a lot of mud and dirt from coating the underside of the vehicle as well as the fender and the wheels.

As you may know, washing caked-on dirt and mud off of the underside of a vehicle can be time-consuming. If it is not done often enough, rust can develop within the vehicle.

But mud flaps prevent a lot of mud from flying up the coating of the underside of a vehicle.

Secondly, mud flaps are a very cheap way to protect the underside of your vehicle. A pair of mud flaps can cost as low as $10. They can also go up to $50 for a single pair. Their cost all depends on the mud flaps’ durability, material, and how each flap attaches to the back of the tire.

The third benefit to having mud flaps on the back of your vehicle is mud flaps are customizable. Many people like to purchase customizable mud flaps and print an image on the back of the mud flap.

By doing this, the vehicle behind you can see the image. Printing your favorite image onto your vehicle’s mud flaps can add a little bit of personality to your vehicle. 

Small businesses can also use this extra space to advertise their services to the people behind them.

The fourth benefit to having mud flaps installed behind the wheels of a vehicle is to prevent rocks and other hard objects from colliding with the underside of their vehicle. Mud flaps will also protect any exposed parts from excessive damage.

This is especially true with trucks and other off-roading vehicles that have to run over lots of small rocks and twigs. Mud flaps will prevent them from flying up into the air and hitting the underside of the vehicle.

What are some of the other laws pertaining to mud flaps and vehicles?

If a truck driver lives in Utah, Montana, Washington, Alaska, or Connecticut, then they must have mud flaps on their trucks. It does not matter if the truck is for industrial use or for regular street and highway driving. Truck drivers must have mud flaps on their trucks if they live in these states. 


In order to comply with most regulations in the United States, mud flaps should be six to eight inches off the ground. One critical reason why they need to be a certain number of inches off the ground is due to the truck or car bed dropping low when a heavy load is in the back.

If mud flaps are too low and a heavy load drops them even further down, the operator of the vehicle may run over their own mud flaps and rip them off their anchor. 

Mud flaps prevent the underside of a vehicle from becoming too dirty with mud, rocks, or dirt. They also protect the underside of the car from excessive damage from rocks or debris. If a truck driver operates or lives out of Montana and Alaska Connecticut, they have to have mud flaps on their trucks by law.

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

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