Vehicle Rules and Protocols

This section covers everything you need to know about operating vehicles at Burning Man.

Vehicle Rules and Protocols

No Driving

Generally speaking, there is no participant driving of motor vehicles at Burning Man, other than when you arrive and drive to your camp and then when you leave. Black Rock City is designed for pedestrians and bicycles. Movement of powered vehicles during Burning Man is extremely limited.  For getting around the playa you should plan to walk, or bring a bicycle, or one of the other allowed types of personal transportation vehicles.

Below are the rules for what vehicles are allowed to drive at Burning Man, what vehicles are NOT allowed to drive. and the specific rules for the operation of movement of powered vehicles during the event.

Powered Vehicles Allowed to Drive in Black Rock City

A powered or motorized vehicle is defined as a conveyance powered by ANY type of motor/drive system, including (but not limited to) wheeled, tracked, or hovering systems, powered by electric, gas or other fuel, i.e. anything that is not solely human powered. All motorized vehicles must remain parked and stationary for the duration of the Burning Man event, with the following exceptions:

 

 

Licensed Mutant Vehicles

The only Mutant Vehicles allowed to enter Black Rock City are those that have received an email from the DMV inviting the vehicle to go through final inspection on the playa for a Mutant Vehicle license. For more on these see the DMV page.

Licensed Vehicles for People with Disabilities

If you have a physical disability, you should be able to receive a disabled license from the DMV. Pre-registration is preferred whenever possible. Please go here to find out more about vehicles and transportation for those with disabilities.

Staff, Emergency, and Law Enforcement Agency Vehicles

These vehicles are crucial to the safety and operation of our event.

Allowed Personal Transportation Vehicles (PTVs)

Personal Transportation Vehicles are single person powered vehicles.

Electric Bicycles

In terms of powered bicycles, we allow eBikes that conform to the Nevada state law on what is classified as an electric bicycle.  The Department of Mutant Vehicles does not require registration or licensing for anything fitting these criteria.

Electric bicycles as defined by Nevada state law may operate during the event without any sort of license.  That definition is as follows:

    1. “Electric bicycle” means a device upon which a person may ride, having two or three wheels, or every such device generally recognized as a bicycle that has fully operable pedals and is propelled by a small electric engine which produces not more than 1 gross brake horsepower and which produces not more than 750 watts final output, and:
    2. Is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground but is not a tractor; and
    3. Powered solely by such a small electric engine, is capable of a maximum speed of not more than 20 miles per hour on a flat surface while carrying an operator who weighs 170 pounds.
    4. The term does not include a moped.

NOTE:  Due to a significant amount of complaints and injuries related to other types of vehicles previously permitted, Burning Man is reviewing what vehicle types will be allowed without licensing for future events. We will update this page when the vehicle policy has been updated.  If you have questions in the meantime, please email dmv@burningman.org.

Wind-Powered Vehicles

Certain types of wind-powered vehicles are allowed within Black Rock City limits. Registration and licensing of these vehicles is not required; however, these vehicles are subject to all of the BRC driving rules listed above. Drivers are encouraged to decorate their crafts.

Wind-powered vehicles allowed in Black Rock City must have the following characteristics:

  • An effective mechanical braking system
  • A pivoting mast
  • An effective mechanical braking system
  • A pivoting mast
  • Weight of no more than 50 pounds; an additional 30-50 pounds should be allowed for small trailers (in general, the vehicle should be easily hoisted above the head of the operator)
  • Operational only while operator is standing
Wind-Powered Vehicles NOT Allowed in Black Rock City 
  • Vehicles with a fixed mast
  • Vehicles in which the operator is sitting or reclining
  • Three-wheeled “land yachts”
  • Kite sailing vehicles (powered by a high-flying kite rather than attached to a mast

These vehicles may be brought to the Black Rock Airport and may be stored and operated there.

Powered Vehicles Not Allowed to Enter Black Rock City

Any powered vehicle (other than the vehicle you drive to the event in) that is not listed above, may not be brought into Black Rock City.  If you attempt to bring it to Burning Man you will be required to leave it at the Gate in an unsupervised lot, or take it off-playa before you enter the event. Be aware that operating these vehicles at Burning Man can result in your vehicle being ejected from the event, and you being fined by law enforcement and/or ejected from the event.

Towed or Trailered Vehicles

Towed, trailered or mounted secondary vehicles without invite letter such as Motorcycles or ATVs or other off-road vehicles are not allowed. For example: sometime people travel with motorcycles or small ATVs in or on their RVs for local transportation.  The Gate will not allow these vehicles into the event.

Mutant Vehicles not preregistered and with an invitation letter 

The only unlicensed Mutant Vehicles driving on the playa should be the ones en route to the DMV for inspection. It is possible that a Mutant Vehicle that has been invited to Black Rock City will not actually qualify for a license upon DMV inspection. In this instance, the Mutant Vehicle must remain parked at your camp for the duration of the event.

Driving Rules In Black Rock City

Anyone driving at Burning Man must adhere to all BRC driving rules. These include:

  • Only drive vehicles licensed or allowed to drive in Black Rock City
  • Abide by all applicable federal and Nevada state laws, including all open container laws (no open containers within reach of the driver)
  • Drive at a speed of 5 mph or less (less in hazardous situations such as tight crowds)
  • Give the right of way to pedestrians, bicycles, and emergency services vehicles
  • Follow the reasonable and applicable vehicle laws for road safety
  • Stop immediately upon being hailed by any BRC Staff member, Black Rock Ranger, or law enforcement officer
  • No driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • No driving on pedestrian-designated streets (see your map for details)
  • No driving during whiteouts or rainy conditions
  • No driving on wet or freshly-watered roads
  • Any additional guidelines set forth by Burning Man
  • Obey sound policies


Additional Driving Guidelines for Mutant Vehicles

See the Mutant Vehicle Criteria and Licensing Page

Enforcement

Due to an increase in vehicles, population, and dust, it is imperative that all participants adhere to these rules and guidelines. If you cannot follow these rules, your vehicle may be ejected from the event, and you may be subject to a fine by law enforcement, or ejection from the event.

Policy Changes

As with any Burning Man policy, changes may occur. Any changes to BRC vehicle protocols will be communicated via appropriate methods, including the Jack Rabbit Speaks Newsletter, burningman.org, and the DMV announce list before the event, or BMIR, Playa Info, and posted notices at the DMV during the event.

Next Page: Vehicle Sound Policy