List of strange state laws on the books in California. These rules and regulations were passed by the California state legislature, or in an individual city, and for one reason or another, were never overturned, remaining active on the books until this day. Almost every city and state has some outdated, old-fashioned, and even nonsensical laws on the books, and they can come about for a variety of reasons. Most frequently, the laws appeared in the books following a court ruling on a specific case, that then set a common law precedent from that point on.
Strange or unnecessary laws have become a popular source for humor, both online and in popular culture. TV shows such as "The Simpsons" have had a lot of fun with all of the peculiar regulations on the books across the country. (In one episode, Mayor Quimby is surprised to find out the town charter mandates that all ducks wear long pants.)
Oftentimes, "dumb laws," as reported on websites and in humor books, have been shown to be inaccurate. This sometimes happens because a real, sensible law has been exaggerated or misunderstood, turning into something that sounds silly or ridiculous. Other times, it is simply the result of a hoax being repeated enough times to gain some kind of credibility. If you think any of the laws on this page are not accurate or do not remain active in California, let me know in the comments below.
list ordered by
Vehicle without a driver No vehicle without a driver may exceed 60 miles per hour.
Peacocks Peacocks have the right of way to cross any street, including driveways. (Arcadia)
Lizard in a city park No one may annoy a lizard in a city park. (Fresno)
Detonating a nuclear Detonating a nuclear device within the city limits results in a $500 fine. (Chico)
Keeping a rhinoceros All persons wishing to keep a rhinoceros as a pet must obtain a $100 license first. (Norco)
Beat his wife with a strap It is illegal for a man to beat his wife with a strap wider than 2 inches without her consent. (Los Angeles)
Forbidden to kiss a woman. Men who wear mustaches are forbidden from kissing women. (Eureka)
Cowboy boots You are not permitted to wear cowboy boots unless you already own at least two cows. (Blythe)
Illegal spitting It is illegal to spit, except on baseball diamonds. (Burlingame)
Animals are banned Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship.
Restroom One may not use one’s own restroom if the window is open. (Dana Point)
Bowling on the sidewalk Bowling on the sidewalk is illegal. (Chico)
Salt It is illegal to pour salt on a highway. (Hermosa Beach)
Wearing a jacket and pants A man can’t go outside while wearing a jacket and pants that do not match. (Carmel)