21 Strange Laws in California

By Rachael Medina May 21, 2019

In California, legal matters seem to make their way into the headlines for one reason or another—whether it is yet another celebrity divorce, a prominent figure who has avoided paying their taxes, or a group of wealthy individuals who have paid bribes to get their children into certain colleges—but we just don’t hear about all of the strange laws as much as we (unfortunately) hear about the latest political shenanigans or the Kardashians. In an effort to restore the balance of the world, we have rounded up some of the most interesting laws regarding everything from driving, to recreation, to gardening (yes, gardening).

Oddly enough, it is often easier to pass new laws than it is to expunge old ones, allowing these chuckle-worthy legalities to stick around for years, even when they are not actually enforced. Whether these laws were enacted to prevent personal injuries, reduce workers’ compensation claims, or avoid some other type of lawsuit, it is clear that these laws were created for specific reasons that are just strange enough to make you question why. Some of our favorite weird California laws include the following.

Strange Laws in All of California

1. It is illegal for autonomous vehicles to drive over 60 miles per hour.

2. It is illegal for women to drive vehicles while wearing a housecoat.

Odd Laws in the San Diego Area

Homeowners in the San Diego region may be charged with a $250 fine if they don't remove their Christmas lights by February 2. 

3. Homeowners who have Christmas lights on their houses past February 2 may be subject to a fine of up to $250.

Weird Laws in the Los Angeles Area

The official city bird of Arcadia, peacocks always have the right of way since they are considered town citizens.

4. It is illegal to pour salt on a highway in Hermosa Beach.

5. In Long Beach, it is prohibited to put anything other than cars in a garage.

6. In Downey, you cannot wash your vehicle in the street.

7. In Los Angeles, it is not legal to wash your neighbor’s car if you have not gotten their permission.

8. Blythe residents are only permitted to wear cowboy boots if they own at least two cows.

9. It is illegal to grow oleander in Norco.

10. It is not legal to curse on a mini golf course in Long Beach.

11. In Walnut, it is prohibited to fly a kite higher than 10 feet off the ground.

12. In Glendale, it is against the law to jump into or out of a moving vehicle.

13. It is also illegal to drive in reverse in Glendale.

14. You may not hunt moths under street lamps in Los Angeles.

15. Peacocks have the right of way in Arcadia, including in driveways and all roadways.

Bizzare Laws Along the Central Coast

Within the city limits of Carmel, women are not allowed to wear high heels. 

16. In Prunedale, two bathtubs cannot be installed in the same house.

17. Women may not wear high heels while in Carmel city limits

Quirky Laws in the San Francisco Bay Area

Make sure to leave the bowling balls and pins at the bowling alley while in Chico, as the town prohibits bowling on the sidewalks. 

18. In Fresno, visitors cannot bother lizards at city parks.

19. It is against the law to have more than two cats or dogs in San Jose.

20. In Berkeley, it is illegal to whistle for a lost canary before 7 a.m.

21. Bowling is not legal on the sidewalk in Chico.