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IA Trailer Laws Regulations Iowa Trailer Laws & Trailer Regulations

Iowa's laws and regulations for trailers are listed below:


Iowa Trailer Brake Laws

Every trailer of a Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) of 3,000 lbs. must be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and to stop and hold the vehicle, and so designed as to be applied by the driver of the towing motor vehicle from its cab, or with self-actuating brakes, and a weight-equalizing hitch with a sway control. Every trailer of a GVW of 3,000 lbs. or more must be equipped with a separate, auxiliary means of applying the brakes on the trailer from the cab of the towing vehicle. 



Iowa Trailer Dimension Laws

Total length: 70 feet (includes bumpers); trailer length: 53 feet; width: 102 inches; height: 14 feet.



Iowa Trailer Hitch and Signal Laws

Weight-equalizing hitches that apply leverage by means of spring bars, coil springs, or torsional bars are approved for use with trailers.

5th-wheel types of connections and sway control devices that employ friction, hydraulics, torsional bars, mechanical cams, or electronics are approved to limit side sway.



Iowa Trailer Lighting Laws

Every trailer having a GVW in excess of 3,000 lbs. must have the following: (1) on the front, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side, if the trailer is wider in its widest part than the cab of the vehicle towing it; (2) on each side, 1 side-marker lamp at or near the rear; 2 reflectors, 1 at or near the front and 1 at or near the rear; and (3) on the rear, 2 clearance lamps, 1 at each side; 1 stop light; 1 tail lamp; and 2 reflectors, 1 at each side.

A lighting device or reflector, when mounted on or near the front of a trailer, must not display any other color than white, yellow, or amber.

No lighting device or reflector, when mounted on or near the rear of any trailer, may display any other color than red, except that the stop light may be red, yellow, or amber.

Clearance lamps must be mounted on the permanent structure of the vehicle in such manner as to indicate the extreme width of the vehicle or its load.



Iowa Trailer Mirror Laws

Any motor vehicle towing another vehicle in such manner as to obstruct the view in a rearview mirror located in the Driver’s compartment must be equipped with a side mirror located so that the view to the rear will not be obstructed. When the vehicle is not towing another vehicle, the side mirrors must be retracted or removed. 



Iowa Trailer Speed Limit Laws

Interstate 70 mph or as posted. 



Iowa Trailer Towing Laws

When a vehicle is towing another, the drawbar or other connection must not exceed 21 feet.

The drawbar must be of sufficient strength to pull all weight towed and must be fastened to the frame of the towing vehicle in such manner as to prevent side sway. In addition to the principal connection there must be a safety chain which must be fastened as to be capable of holding the towed vehicle should the principal connection fail for any reason. 




The United States Trailer Laws and Regulations by State by is not an inclusive list of laws, regulations and it should be used by reference only and not used for any other purpose. is not liable for incorrect or incomplete information. To report an error, incomplete or incorrect information, please send an email to





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