For interested parties, it would seem illegal come not have a bumper. However have not found anything on what the bumper must be do of....

You are watching: Is it illegal to drive without a rear bumper

Per ar §375 of dmv:

Bumpers

48. Bumpers or comparable devices. (a) because that the purposes of this subdivision, the adhering to terms shall have the adhering to meanings:

(i) Bumper. A system, the primary duty of which is to administer protection against damage affecting front or rear outside lamps, human body parts and vehicle occupants during low speed impacts.

(ii) Passenger car. A motor automobile whose body layout is a sedan, hardtop, coupe, convertible, station wagon or hatchback but not a van, minivan, polytheistic passenger vehicle, truck, tractor, motorcycle or bus.

(b) No human being shall run a passenger vehicle registered in new York unless it is equipped with both a front and rear bumper, each securely fastened and also with some component of the bumper located in between sixteen inches and also twenty inches above the ground. This provision candlestick not apply to a car registered together an historical vehicle.

(c) except insofar as i (b) of this subdivision chandelier apply, no person shall run a motor car designated as a nineteen hundred ninety or newer design year vehicle, i beg your pardon is registered in this state, other than a motorcycle or special purpose commercial auto registered under schedule F that subdivision seven of section four hundred among this chapter, i beg your pardon is so constructed that the body has a clearance in ~ the front end of an ext than thirty inches indigenous the ground once empty, uneven the front finish of the car is equipped with bumpers or gadgets serving similar purposes which shall be so constructed and also located the (i) some component of the bumpers or gadgets must be at the very least sixteen but not an ext than thirty inches over the ground v the automobile empty; (ii) the best distance in between the closestly points between bumpers or devices, if much more than one is used, shall not exceed twenty-four inches; (iii) the preferably transverse street from the widest component of the motor automobile at the front come the bumper or device shall not exceed eighteen inches; and (iv) the bumpers or tools shall be considerably constructed and firmly attached. A motor auto constructed and maintained so that the body, chassis, or various other parts that the auto afford the front finish protection contemplated chandelier be deemed to it is in in compliance v this section.

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(d) other than insofar as paragraph (b) of this subdivision candlestick apply, no person shall operate a motor vehicle or a combination of vehicles, designated as a nineteen hundred ninety or newer model year vehicle, except a tractor, pole trailer, vehicle engaged in saddle-mount operation, motorcycle or special objective commercial automobile registered under schedule F the subdivision seven of section 4 hundred among this chapter, if the motor automobile is registered in this state, and also which is so created that the body, or the chassis assembly there is no the body, has actually a clearance in ~ the rear finish of more than thirty inches native the ground when empty, uneven the rear end of the automobile or mix of vehicles is equipped v bumpers or tools serving comparable purposes which shall it is in so constructed and located that: (i) some component of the bumpers or tools must it is in at the very least sixteen but not an ext than thirty inches over the ground v the car empty; (ii) the preferably distance in between the closestly points in between bumpers, or devices, if much more than one is used, shall not exceed twenty-four inches; (iii) the maximum transverse street from the widest part of the motor automobile at the rear to the bumper or an equipment shall no exceed eighteen inches; (iv) the bumpers or devices shall be situated not an ext than twenty-four inches front of the excessive rear of the vehicle; and also (v) the bumpers or tools shall be considerably constructed and also firmly attached. Motor vehicles constructed and maintained so the the body, chassis, or other parts the the car afford the rear end protection contemplated chandelier be understood to it is in in compliance through this section.