Insuranks’ new report ranks what laws Americans think are the strangest in each state and whether those rules and regulations would keep them from living there.
Every state has one: an antiquated, arbitrary, or stupid law that somehow stood the test of time. From keeping camels off the highway in Nevada to putting an age limit on Trick-or-Treating in Virginia, the nation is full of rules and regulations that have left many of us scratching our heads and wondering… “what could they have possibly been thinking?!”
But when it comes to these US stupidest laws, which one tops the list as the strangest? We surveyed more than 800 Americans to have them rank the most weird state laws to discover which ones are the most mind-boggling.
Red, white, and bizarre! Taking the top spot for the most weird American laws is the Empire State with a “weird” ranking of 4.74. Although New York is home to the City That Never Sleeps, New Yorkers are not allowed to wear slippers past 10 p.m. We’re guessing boots and high heels are still okay though..
Vermont claims the #2 spot for weird and funny laws, where it’s illegal for women to wear fake teeth without the approval of their husbands. This law scored a 4.68 in its ranking out of the 50 weird state laws, and we’re not sure people in Vermont will be smiling over this score.
Alabama comes in at #3 for the most crazy US laws because of a law that makes it illegal to wear a fake mustache that causes people to laugh in churches. We’d like to know what whiskered wisecracker prompted that to be codified into law!
In Arizona, you absolutely must keep your donkey awake in the bathroom at all costs, otherwise, you’re in for a ticket as it’s illegal for a donkey to sleep in a bathtub. This received a score of 4.57 in our ranking of the most weird and funny laws in states. The jury is out on showers, however.
Rounding out the top 5 for weird and dumb laws is Connecticut, where people are especially particular about their pickles! Lawmakers in Connecticut passed a bill that states ‘a pickle must be able to bounce’. We’re not sure how many delis are testing that out before selling their pickles, but, it is in fact law and scored a 4.4 in weirdness.
Some other notable crazy laws that rank among the weirdest include Louisiana, where it’s illegal to send a surprise pizza, and Maine, where it’s against the law in Maine to park in front of Dunkin Donuts. People in the Pine Tree State must be a competitive bunch to get their coffee in the morning. It’s unclear the impact this law has on Maine running on Dunkin’.
Each state has its own, weird and strange laws, and Hawaii is no exception. Ranking at #13 with a score of 4.16, in Hawaii, it’s illegal to place a coin in a person’s ear. We'd recommend using a wallet or pocket anyway, much safer!
Arkansas claims the spot for #15 among the US strange laws requiring silence around sandwich shops. Lawmakers there made it illegal to honk your horn near a sandwich shop after 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, in South Dakota, it’s illegal to sleep in a cheese factory. We’re guessing it’s for liability reasons, but regardless this is 16th and scored a 4.01 in our ranking of the weird and dumb laws in each state.
In Kentucky, a woman can marry the same man three times, but four times is against the law. In Virginia, there’s an age limit on a popular American tradition; it’s illegal for anyone over 14 years old to go Trick-or-Treating.
No need for Washington's Bigfoot to sign up for life insurance. Washington apparently has a soft spot for this (mythical?) creature. State lawmakers there made it illegal to hunt, kill, or otherwise harass Bigfoot or any other hitherto undiscovered species. Here’s to hoping the Big Guy is residing comfortably in the Evergreen State! This is one of the weirdest laws in the world as it protects a creature whose yet to be proven to exist.
Coming in at #30 of our ranking for the weird and dumb laws by state, horseback riders in Indiana better mind their speed while traveling. It’s illegal in the Hoosier state to ride your horse over 10 miles per hour!
If you planned on riding a camel to work in Nevada, you might want to take the backroads to avoid a ticket. It’s illegal to ride a camel on the highway, and this law puts Nevada at #40 with a score of 2.44 in our ranking of the weird and stupid state laws.
In Mississippi, politeness is a priority. It’s illegal to use profane language in public. Moving west, we are keeping our fingers crossed that a zombie apocalypse doesn’t start in Oregon, as lawmakers there made it illegal to go hunting in cemeteries. Talk about weird things that are illegal!
Even though some of the most ridiculous laws from our ranking in #30 to #50 are strange, a few make a little more sense to Americans.
Here are the bottom three weird laws in each state: In Alaska, (#48) you can’t put an animal in the back of an open vehicle. In Utah, (#49) you can’t bite someone while boxing, and in Iowa, (#50) it’s illegal to throw a brick on the highway.
In addition to the crazy laws in each state, we wanted to know what laws Americans think are the funniest (and dumbest). Connecticut claims the top spot for both categories with its law on pickle bounciness – it’s clearly a big dill. Although this law was aimed at stopping laughter, Alabama’s ban on funny mustaches in church ranks #2 as the funny and strange state law. Rounding out the top 3 funniest state laws is Arizona, where a donkey can do just about anything in a bathtub except fall asleep.
Kansas comes in at #2 for the dumb and weird laws in every state: if two trains meet on the same track, neither shall proceed until the other has passed. Talk about a stalemate. Vermont’s law about women needing a husband’s approval to wear false teeth wraps up the top 3 dumbest laws.
A vast amount of Americans (83%) are unaware of the weird laws in every state. However, nearly 1 in 4 (23%) say they would think twice about living in a state because of a weird law.
Whether it’s banning ‘idiots’ from voting in New Mexico, or making surprise pizzas illegal in Louisiana, there are some seemingly weird laws that still exist across the nation. Enforcement of these laws remains at the discretion of local law enforcement officials, but even if they aren’t being enforced, at least knowledge of these unique and stupid laws makes for a great dinner conversation topic.
In January 2023, we surveyed 834 Americans and had them score state laws from 1 to 5, 1 being “normal” and 5 being “weird.” We then used the score averages to determine the rank of laws from “weirdest” to most normal. State laws were also individually researched through various sources.
Respondents were 49% female, 49% male, and 2% non-binary with an age range of 18 to 80 and an average age of 41 years old.
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