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It always surprises me when I travel to a country where many of the taxis are pickup trucks with long benches installed in the bed. I first saw this in the Caribbean and have since realized it’s common in most of Southeast Asia. But the truth is that you can ride in the bed of a pickup truck in much of the United States too, especially if you install seats with a federally-approved restraint system, AKA seatbelts. You’ll want to check out your state and local laws, but here’s an overview.

Can you ride in the bed of a truck?

Twenty states have no law preventing you from riding in the bed of a truck. Most other states allow it in certain circumstances. Some towns have local ordinances limiting riding in the bed of a truck. So you will most certainly want to check your local laws and guidelines.

Two people ride in seats in the bed of a pickup truck during a parade.
Pickup truck in a parade | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Many states specify that only adults can ride in the beds of pickup trucks. Some states even require a federally-approved restraint system (properly installed jump seats and seat belts). Other states specify that the bed needs to be covered.

Certain states or towns may only allow you to ride in the bed of a pickup truck during certain situations, such as during farm work or a parade. Other places may limit how fast the truck can go or how far it can drive with passengers in the bed. Certain states even specify that all the regular seats must be occupied before passengers can begin to pile into the back.

Can I put seats in the bed of a truck?

You can install anything you want in the bed of your truck, and it may even be legal to haul passengers back there. The BedRyder company used to build jump seats with federally-approved restraint systems that Power Nation TV claimed were legal in all fifty states—back in 2019.

The above video made waves in 2019. Obviously, many Twitter users didn’t know that it is legal to put passengers in the bed of your pickup truck in most states.

The laws around installing seats in your truck may have changed since Power Nation TV wrote it up. In addition, the BedRyder company has since gone out of business. So definitely double-check the law before investing in jump seats.

Which states allow seats in the bed of a truck?

Twenty states have no laws limiting riding in the bed of a pickup truck: AL, AK, AZ, DE, ID, IL, IN, IA, KY, MN, MS, MT, NH, ND, OK, SD, VT, WA, WV, and WY–according to Every other state limits when and how you can ride in the back of a truck.

This pickup truck has been modified with BedRyder jump seats and seat belts to transport passengers in its bed, legally.
Pickup truck bed jump seats | BedRyder

If you do not live in any of the above states, you will want to check out our article on which states allow seats in the bed of a truck for the details on your local laws. Check out BedRyder’s original pitch on ABC’s Shark Tank show in the video below: