27 Strange Laws in California

27 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 crazy California laws were created for specific reasons that are just dumb 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

California article
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.

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Weird Laws in the Los Angeles Area

California article
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. In Blythe, you are only permitted to wear cowboy boots if you own at least two cows.

California article
You better own at least two cows if you want to wear cowboy boots in Blythe. Good thing it's an hour-plus drive from Coachella.

9. Between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m., it is illegal to walk a camel down Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs.

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

11. It is illegal to grow oleander in Norco.

12. Unless it is for amusement or drama, it is illegal for men and boys to dress as females in Walnut without a permit from the sheriff. 

13. Flying a kite higher than 10 feet off the ground is also prohibited in Walnut.

California article
It's all fun and games in Walnut until you fly your kite higher than 10 feet off the ground.

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

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

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

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

Bizzare Laws Along the Central Coast

California article
Technically, women are not allowed to wear high heels within Carmel city limits. 

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

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

Quirky Laws in the San Francisco Bay Area

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

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

21. In San Francisco, it is not legal to carry bread, cakes, or pastries that are intended for human consumption in open baskets or exposed containers.

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

California article
You might want to take up dog walking if you live in San Jose; it is against the law to own more than two cats or dogs.

23. In San Francisco, it is not legal to store anything other than automobiles in the garages of apartments and hotels.

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

25. Walking an elephant down Market Street in San Francisco is illegal, unless the elephant is on a leash.

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

27. In San Francisco, any person classified as “ugly” may not legally walk down any street.

Do you know about any other funny laws in California? Let us know in the comments below.

Rachael Medina

WRITTEN BY Rachael Medina

Rachael Medina is the staff writer and content manager for California.com. She was born and raised just outside the Mojave Desert in Southern California and moved to the redwood forests of Humboldt C…

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  • Clifton Palmer McLendon | Jan, 7

    CALIFORNIA -- THE GRANOLA STATE: Chock-full of fruits, nuts, and flakes! Reply

    • Leon | Mar, 16

      All states have goofy laws on the books. IIRC in Salt Lake City it's illegal to carry an unwrapped ukelele. Reply

  • Eddy A Zainy | Mar, 10

    Samples of persons classified as ugly, please? Reply

    • Chris Laflamme | Jul, 9

      If you have to ask, just stay inside. 😂 Reply

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