DMV FAQ (Mutant Vehicle Owner’s Handbook)

2024 Mutant Vehicle Owner's Handbook
2024 Mutant Vehicle Owner’s Handbook
























This web page is both the Department of Mutant Vehicles Frequently Asked Questions page and the Mutant Vehicle Owners Handbook and Event Operation Guide. Below, you will find the answers to most of the commonly asked questions regarding bringing a Mutant Vehicle to Burning Man.

This FAQ/HANDBOOK is updated every year with the latest information regarding rules and requirements that Mutant Vehicle teams must follow when bringing and operating their vehicle at the event.


This is the 2024 edition of the Mutant Vehicle Owner’s Handbook, REQUIRED READING for all Mutant Vehicle owners.

This Handbook outlines information every Mutant Vehicle owner needs to know and understand.  We will update the Handbook regularly until two weeks before the event.  When the final version of the Handbook is published, download it and bring a printed or electronic copy to Burning Man for reference.



The Criteria for vehicles eligible to be invited and licensed as a Mutant Vehicle are covered in depth on the Mutant Vehicle Criteria And Licensing Page

To apply to bring a Mutant Vehicle to Burning Man you must fill out an application.  Registration for Mutant Vehicles is open from mid-February until mid-April each year.

After you have read and understood all of the Mutant Vehicle Crieria, you will need to  go to the Questionnaire site for this year’s exact registration dates and to fill out a Mutant Vehicle application.

Mutant Vehicle Application Review

Once you have filled out a Mutant Vehicle Registration form, the DMV will review your application and notify you once we have come to a consensus as to whether and how well your vehicle meets the Mutant Vehicle Criteria and if it is invited to Burning Man.

The DMV Review Process is as follows:

  1. Registration Period
    The Mutant Vehicle Registration period will begin in late February/Early March and registration will be open until mid-April.  As we consistently receive more applications than our number of invites, the DMV will not accept late applications.
  2. Application Review
  • The DMV will begin reviewing applications in mid-March. The DMV Volunteers meet in Review Teams in groups of up to 25 for 2-hour review sessions and consider each vehicle application within the context of all the qualified applications we have received.  The Review Sessions take place every few days until the DMV has reached its limit of the number of vehicles it can invite for the year.
  • The Application Reviews consist of three rounds.  In each round, the DMV Review Teams will focus on selecting and the vehicles that most clearly meet or exceed the Mutant Vehicle criteria. Any vehicles which meet the criteria but to a lesser degree will be moved to a subsequent round.  We expect that approximately 50% of our Mutant Vehicle invites will come in the first round.  Another 25% in the second round and the final 25% in the 3rd round.
  • The Review Teams will read the application, review the vehicle design images and/or photographs, discuss the vehicle’s merits or concerns then come to a consensus as to whether and how well the vehicle meets the Mutant Vehicle Criteria and whether the vehicle should be invited for this year.
    • If the consensus of the review team is that the vehicle clearly meets/exceeds the MV criteria, the Mutant Vehicle will be invited in the current round.
    • If the consensus of the review team is that the vehicle clearly does NOT meet the MV criteria, the vehicle owner will be notified that their vehicle is not invited.
    • If the Review Team cannot reach a consensus, or there are concerns as to how well the vehicle meets the criteria, the vehicle will be moved to the next round and considered during that subsequent round.
    • If the Review Team feels an application is missing information that they need to make an informed decision, such as more information on the vehicle’s mutation or detailed photos or design images, we will contact the Mutant Vehicle owner and give them an opportunity to provide that information.
  • Once the DMV has reached the limit of the vehicles it can invite for the year, the owners of any remaining outstanding Mutant Vehicle applications will be notified that they will not be invited for the year.  With the three-round system, ALL vehicle applications will have been reviewed at least once before we reach this point.  Our goal is to make sure we are considering ALL of the vehicle applications submitted every year.


Receiving an invite to bring your vehicle to the playa does not guarantee a license. Many vehicles are given the benefit of the doubt based on their description and design image and are invited for inspection, but that does not mean they will pass the final review. Actual licenses are granted in Black Rock City if, and ONLY if, you pass the on-playa inspection.

Be sure that the vehicle you bring for inspection is a well-executed representation of the intent you described in your application.

[Avoid this mistake]


If your Mutant Vehicle is invited, you will receive a Mutant Vehicle Invite email from “” with your name, the vehicle name, and your vehicle registration number (M24-####). You need this letter to start your on-playa registration process, and if you are towing your Mutant Vehicle into Black Rock City, you will need to provide this letter to the Gate staff for them to allow you to bring your vehicle into the event..

Do NOT forget your Mutant Vehicle Invite email.  We suggest printing out your letter and storing it with your Burning Man ticket!

If you do not have a copy of your Mutant Vehicle Invite email, please get in touch with the DMV immediately at


All vehicles driven (as opposed to those on trailers or towed) into Black Rock City require a “Vehicle Pass”. The Vehicle Pass system reduces the number of vehicles entering BRC by increasing the number of participants per vehicle.


  • If you drive your Mutant into Black Rock City, it needs a Vehicle Pass.
  • Vehicles on trailers and those being towed into the event do not need a Vehicle Pass as long as the tow vehicle has one.
  • If you do not have a Vehicle Pass, it can be purchased via the OMG Sale.  You do not need to purchase a ticket at the OMG sale to purchase a Vehicle Pass.


NOTE: The name of these passes has changed this year from Work Access Passes (WAPs) to Setup Access Passes (SAPs).

If you requested Setup Access Passes (SAPs) for assembling your Mutant Vehicle on-playa in your application, you should receive a confirmation email from the DMV noting whether you were granted SAPs, how many, and for which days. These emails are sent out around the second week in June each year.

Please note: You may not have received as many SAPs as you requested, and they may be for different dates. Everyone permitted to enter BRC before the event’s official start MUST be working on their project(s), so your request may have been adjusted.

The SAP confirmation email from us is NOT your official Setup Access Pass. The actual barcode passes are sent separately from Burning Man no later than the second week of August. The DMV will email all SAP recipients when the final SAPs are sent.

You will receive one uniquely coded pass for each person.  You may distribute these within your group as you see fit, but as the registered Mutant Vehicle owner, you are responsible for the conduct of anyone admitted with your SAPs. Do NOT duplicate them or give them to other groups.

Once your SAPs are sent out you will be able to access them here:

If you do not yet have a login, you can use the “Forgot Password” link to create one and access your SAPs.

You will NOT be admitted to the city before the gate opens unless you have a valid SAP. If you have a SAP, do not show up at the gate before the date listed on the pass, or you will be turned away.  SAPs are good from the date listed forward (for example: if you have a SAP dated for Tuesday, pre-event, it is good from that date or any date after that prior to the gate opening).

When you come to the gate, every person in your vehicle needs a valid Setup Access Pass and Burning Man paper ticket. You can pick up any tickets held in WILL CALL before you reach the gate.


While the DMV will begin operation at 1:00 PM on Saturday pre-event for participants with Setup Access Passes, no driving is allowed prior to the EVENT START on Sunday other than driving to and from the DMV (with your DMV invite letter on board) for the licensing process.  The BLM is adamant that no general cruising is allowed until the event starts at 6:00 PM Sunday.


Setup Access Passes (SAPs) are for your Mutant Vehicle assembly crew and/or Camp infrastructure team to build your Mutant Vehicle and set up camp. They are *not* meant for a carpool or rideshare. They are *not* meant to be used for financial gain.

Burning Man has found instances where folks sold Setup Access Passes. When we find these instances, THE ENTIRE CAMP OR MUTANT VEHICLE TEAM EARLY ADMISSION PASSES ARE VOIDED. Also, ANY PLACEMENT FOR THAT TEAM WILL BE CANCELLED.


If you have Setup Access Passes but are not with a placed camp, you may ONLY camp in open camping outside of the blue flags before gate opening.

Camp outside the blue-flagged zones to avoid reserved zones and then having to relocate your camp. Choose space for those physically present – not for friends arriving after the Gate opens. Holding space for anyone not present or without their own SAP is strictly prohibited.



Setting up in open camping before Gate opens is okay for mutant vehicles who are in Black Rock City early with SAPs and who are not part of placed camps, including theme camps, villages, and mutant vehicle camps. Please do not camp on blocks within blue flags as those delineate reserved camping. If you have trouble determining where open camping is, please find event staff with a radio for Placement. Grabbing larger swaths of land for your friends without SAPs is not permitted. Please only take as much space as you need for yourself and grow organically as others from your camp arrive. Do not section off open areas with caution tape or other materials. Talk to incoming neighbors about the space you’ll need for your friends and work together to ensure everyone gets what they need.

Guess what? LAND GRABBING IS NOT COOL! Please keep Black Rock City open for other open campers and for people who don’t have the privilege of being in BRC before the gates open!

The Placement Team will monitor open camping for people who land grab and may ask to see your SAPs to verify who issued them. Should we find people from Mutant Vehicle teams land grabbing or misusing SAPs, they will be escalated to the DMV and may affect your standing with Placement and the DMV.


Each year the DMV receives multiple requests from MV Owners for assistance/use of BRC Heavy Equipment (Fork Lifts, Cranes) in assembling their vehicles on-playa.

The Heavy Equipment at BRC is first and foremost dedicated to the building of the Man, the Man Base, funded art installations, and BRC infrastructure.  The Heavy Equipment and Transport (HEaT) team has limited ability to assist Mutant Vehicle owners and theme camps with their needs. (Note that in years past, HEaT volunteers have worked on their days off to help camps and MV owners with their equipment needs.)


 If you need heavy equipment assistance, your very first recourse should be to work with other camps/MV owners to coordinate shared resources among multiple groups.  The ePlaya is a great resource to work with other MVs/camps to pool resources.

If you still would like to request assistance from HEaT, please understand that while they will ATTEMPT to assist, they may not have the time to do so.

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CONTACT HEaT DIRECTLY.  To request assistance, please go to the following link and fill out a HEaT Assistance Request Form:

The DMV will contact you regarding your request.


You’ve built your great MV and brought it to the playa a few times, and you thought you would bring it again this year, but then…things happen.  For whatever reason, you decide it’s time to part with old Bessie (or Clyde, or “The Thing from 40,000 Fathoms”).  If you haven’t applied to bring your Mutant Vehicle this year, there really isn’t anything you will need to do beforehand, but if you’ve already applied and your Mutant Vehicle has been invited to come to this year’s Burning Man, what do you do?

DON’T PANIC. The DMV can assist.

First, it’s important to remember that your Mutant Vehicle invitation or any Setup Access Passes that you may have been allotted are not directly transferable to a new owner.  The original application includes an agreement between you and Burning Man. While the invites are not transferable, in cases where the original applicant can’t attend or sells a vehicle after applying, we will allow new owners or others to apply to bring the same mutant vehicle to the playa. We will then review their application and consider both the vehicle history and the new responsible party’s history (if any) and then confirm whether we will offer a new invite.

The reason behind some of the bureaucracy is we’ve had some situations where folks have tried to skirt some aspect of the system (renting MVs; being denied a license because of past on-playa behavior, then saying they sold the vehicle to another person to circumvent that denial).

A final thing you should be aware of is that there are some things you should NOT include in any ad you post to sell your vehicle:

  1. Pictures from the Burning Man event (the intellectual property team will be contacting you fairly quickly).
  2. Any indication that your vehicle is already or automatically invited.  You also cannot indicate that Early Admission is included, (The DMV will need to reassess Early Admission for the new owners after receiving their application).

That said, yes, we can help facilitate another person bringing the vehicle if you end up selling it. Once you have sold it, you will need to send us the person’s name and email, and we will deactivate your current invitation and send them the information on how to submit a replacement application in their name. So, the first thing you should really do is email us at We’ll help walk you through the process.



The three steps for getting your Mutant Vehicle licensed to drive in Black Rock City are as follows:

  1. Day License inspection at DMV *
  2. Night License Inspection at DMV *
  3. Flame Effects Inspection at FAST  (for MVs with Flame Effects)

* If your vehicle has a ZipLine invite, it can have both inspections at once, during either day or night.



(not to scale)


The DMV inspection area is located on the open playa, approximately 100 feet from the corner of the Esplanade and the 1:00 side of the Center Camp Keyhole. When you arrive, a Greeter will meet you and direct you into an inspection lane.


Bring your vehicle to the DMV when it is 100% READY to be inspected, not “almost done.” This includes Mutation, Lights, Flame Effects, Walkers, etc. Due to the large number of vehicles we need to inspect, the DMV does not have the time to review vehicles twice. The DMV will not offer a “second chance” to make changes if your vehicle is incomplete when you arrive for inspection.

The person registering the Mutant Vehicle must bring a valid Driver’s License or other Government-issued photo ID to be able to register and receive their MV License.


The DMV hours for 2024 beginning Saturday, August 24th

SATURDAY 1:00 pm  – 10:30 pm
SUNDAY 1:00 pm  – 10:30 pm
MONDAY 1:00 pm  – 10:30 pm
TUESDAY 11:30 am  – 10:30 pm
WEDNESDAY 11:30 am  – 10:30 pm

THURSDAY 3:30 pm  –  8:30 pm
FRIDAY 3:30 pm  –  8:30 pm

SATURDAY 11:30 am  –  2:30 pm

NOTE:  Saturday – Monday the DMV will open 11:30 am – 1:00 pm for ACCESSIBILITY VEHICLES ONLY.


Licenses are a 12″ x  3″ bumper sticker to be placed on the rear left side (MANDATORY).

If your vehicle is approved for a day and night license, you will need a 12″ by 6″ space for two stickers ON THE LOWER LEFT-HAND SIDE OF THE REAR OF YOUR VEHICLE.


For all vehicles except those invited for ZIP-LINE, your FIRST visit to the DMV MUST be during daylight hours to complete all paperwork, inspection, and photography. We will not do night inspections for vehicles that have not been inspected during the day.  This is true, EVEN IF YOU ARE ONLY APPLYING FOR A NIGHT LICENSE.


All vehicles applying for a night license must return to the DMV after dark to demonstrate their radical night illumination.  For night inspection, please arrive at the DMV early enough before closing to allow your vehicle to be inspected. The DMV will close the line when we estimate the number of remaining vehicles will take us the amount of time until closing to inspect.


ZipLine inspection is based on the history of each vehicle, and Mutant Vehicles included in ZipLine will be sent an additional invite email prior to the event notifying them of their status.
ZipLine approved Vehicles can come for their inspection during either EITHER Day or Night and will be inspected for both day and night licenses at the same time.


Important details for MV’s with Flame Effects

All flame effect burners or discharge points must be above head height. This is at least 10 feet above the highest point a person can stand on or around the vehicle. This allows plenty of height above heads and a little extra in case the wind presses it down a bit.

Use of Flame Effects within the City

The use of Flame Effects within the City streets can present a greater risk than they do on the open playa. As your mutant Vehicle passes into the City and you are driving in the narrow streets you are in a new set of risks. The flames that were well overhead height in on the open playa are now at face height or even below folks standing on scaffolds, fabric, and banners can blow into the path of your flames and you are only inches away from other vehicles as you pass. Does any of that sound dangerous? Well, it is! Please if your mutant vehicle has puffers, please think twice about using them as you pass through the city. If your MV has a steady flame be aware of the wind blowing flammables into the flames and your proximity to things you are alongside. Any unsafe behavior of any kind will not be permitted and may affect your ability to register your MV in the future.


If your Mutant Vehicle has Flame Effects (FE), it must be inspected and approved BEFORE you can operate it within Black Rock City. The Fire Art Safety Team (FAST) conducts FE inspections for mutant vehicles in a separate area adjacent to the DMV Inspection Lanes.

You must receive your Mutant Vehicle License from the DMV first, before going to the FAST area for FE inspection and licensing.

FE inspectors are available from 2:00 pm-6:00 pm, Saturday 08/24 through Friday 08/30.

For questions or concerns regarding Flame Effects, please email:


If your Mutant Vehicle is equipped with ANY type of Laser Effect (LE), it must be inspected BEFORE you can operate the LE within Black Rock City.

The Laser Art Safety Team (L.A.S.T.) will contact all vehicles that applied with lasers and will arrange to inspect your vehicle by appointment.

For laser-related questions, email L.A.S.T. at


Any vehicle 13 feet wide or more OR 25 feet or longer will be designated Playa Only/Limited City Use.

While a “Playa Only/LCU” vehicle MAY drive in the city proper, it can ONLY drive on the shortest route between its camp and the open playa without turning. No other cruising or driving of these vehicles is allowed within the city.

For example, if you are parking your vehicle along the “I” street, you would be allowed to drive from 10:00 or 2:00 (whichever was closest) along “I” to your camp. and back the same way….unless you couldn’t turn the vehicle around, so then you would be able to go along “I” the same original direction until you hit the playa.



Once your Mutant Vehicle is ready for operation, your first stop is the DMV.  If a Ranger or law enforcement officer sees you driving without a Mutant or Accessibility License, and you are not obviously on your way to the DMV for inspection, you will be directed back to your campsite and risk ejection of your vehicle.  If your vehicle is not ready for inspection, or you have been inspected and did not pass,…leave it parked.


Failure to follow BRC’s driving protocol may result in any or all of the following;

  • Revocation of your Mutant Vehicle license
  • Ejection of the vehicle from the event
  • Fines
  • Ejection of the vehicle’s owner from the event without a refund
  • Denial of future Mutant Vehicle Licensing


The decision of whether or not to invite and/or grant a license for a Mutant Vehicle to operate at Burning Man is within the sole discretion of the Black Rock City DMV, and it may revoke any issued license for any reason. You agreed to obey BRC driving rules when you originally applied for your license; you will sign the agreement again when you get your license.

Here is a reminder of some of our core driving policies:.

  • Be sober while driving: If you are caught driving your vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then you can be arrested and charged with driving under the influence on federal property. You do not want to find yourself in this situation! Be sober while driving!
  • Obey the speed limit: The maximum speed limit in Black Rock City is 5 MPH on all city streets AND the open playa.
  • No driving during whiteouts: If you are in your vehicle and away from your camp during a whiteout, stop where you are and wait for the whiteout to clear.
  • Turn down your sound system while driving on city streets:
    Be respectful and turn your music down while in the city… especially at night and/or in quiet areas (e.g. Kidsville). See MUTANT VEHICLE SOUND POLICY



  • Boarding is permitted only at full stop and NEVER between Vehicle and Trailer
  • Mutant Vehicle Operators should ensure their vehicle is at a full stop before allowing participants to board or exit, and not while it is in motion.


All vehicle levels (floors, decks, walkways, etc) that are located 84 inches or more above the playa surface should have guardrails around their perimeter. These guardrails should be located at a height of 36-48 inches above the floor surface. Allowances may be made for ingress and egress zones no more than 36″ wide


All Mutant Vehicles that have trailers of any kind must have a barrier in place that prevents any person from intentionally or unintentionally entering the space between the trailer and the tow vehicle (or between one trailer and the next trailer).  This barrier must have a minimum height of no more than 12 inches from the playa surface and a maximum height that is EITHER equal to the maximum height of the Mutant vehicle (for very low vehicles) OR no less than 36 inches above the playa surface.  The barrier must be in place before the vehicle moves and must remain in place when the vehicle is in motion. Regardless of how they are constructed, trailer barriers must be strong and secure enough to block the passage of people trying to walk (or unintentionally walk) through the hitch area.

No vehicle or trailer ingress or egress location (door, ramp, steps or other entrance) may be located in the space between the trailer and tow vehicle (or between two trailers), unless provisions are in place that will prevent the motion of the vehicle while passengers are loading and unloading. No ingress/egress from second levels (eg. ladders, stairs) is permitted to be in the space between a trailer and tow vehicle (or between 2 trailers) at any time.  At all times after sunset, the space between the trailer and the tow vehicle and between one trailer and the next trailer must be self-illuminated and must discourage any person from intentionally or unintentionally entering the space.

Examples of valid trailer barriers



NOTE:  Trailers with barriers that are deemed insufficient to block passage into the hitch area will not be licensed by the DMV.


Mutant Vehicles may not carry extra liquid fuel for the safety of passengers and crews. Portable gas cans are not to be carried on Mutant Vehicles unless the vehicle is traveling between the fueling station and camp.


Li-ion batteries are very efficient, lightweight, and reliable – well, until they aren’t. Li-ion batteries are also known to have thermal runaway effects that can be highly dangerous.

For Mutant Vehicles using Li-ion batteries, the operator should be aware of the following:

  • Locate the batteries in an accessible place, away from passengers
  • Examine your batteries every day; if any deformation occurs, contact the Black Rock Rangers to ask Emergency Services (ESD) for assistance.  You can flag down any Ranger or staff with a Radio to call for ESD assistance.
  • Batteries may rapidly go into a thermal runaway; this is often preceded by a loud “POP” followed by a noxious smoke – have people move away rapidly (fire drill)
  • A battery in thermal runaway may shoot high-temperature flames and even have projectiles – evacuation distance should be at least 100’ or more
  • Batteries in thermal runaway will continue to push other cells into thermal runaway

ESD (Emergency Services) will attempt to cool the battery if it has not gone into full deflagration. If possible to remove a damaged battery safely, ESD will contain the damaged battery and provide for disposal according to safe practices regarding these types of incidents.

Things that can cause a battery to go into thermal runaway:

  • Excessive heat (160 F may cause this to occur)
  • Overcharging
  • Excessive discharging
  • Any crushing or puncture of the battery envelope

Li-ion batteries are very safe, but they can become very unsafe under certain circumstances, as described above. A damaged battery can be managed safely by trained personnel. A battery in a thermal runaway is a very hostile and dangerous situation – it is most important to move away from the battery when the “pop” or smoke is identified.


As Black Rock City is a pedestrian city, all vehicles must yield to pedestrian traffic. To do this safely, vehicles that are large, long, or where the driver does not have a clear view of the front and back of the vehicle, must have walkers and/or spotters when the vehicle is in motion. The walkers and/or spotters must have direct communication with the driver and be in a position where they can stop participants from entering dangerous areas around a vehicle while it is in motion.

The number of walkers and spotters required varies per vehicle and must ensure safe navigation. The walkers and/or spotters must have identifying markings or attire that associate them with their vehicle. Examples of markings/attire include reflective safety vests, brightly colored or reflective hats, brightly colored or reflective bandanas, and brightly colored or reflective shirts.

A video surveillance system cannot be substituted in place of walkers. Walkers or spotters cannot replace a trailer barrier.


Mutant Vehicles may not be driven on pedestrian-only streets, including the Esplanade, the Promenades at 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00, inside the Great Circle (the circle around the man), and any area specifically marked “Pedestrian Only”. A final Black Rock City map with designated no-driving areas will be included on the back of the Mutant Vehicle Agreement form you will sign when you arrive at the DMV.


The ban on driving on A street is being lifted this year, along with removing Rod’s Ring Road, to better flow traffic into Center Camp Plaza.
Both A and B streets will flow into the plaza. C will flow into the Center Camp neighborhood at 6:00, but not directly into the plaza.  Driving has been allowed on B Street for most years. Authorized vehicles can drive and enter on the 6:00 and 12:00 sides.

That being said, BRC is a pedestrian and bicycle city. While A is no longer limited to just pedestrians and bicycles, so authorized vehicles displaying driving permit stickers, must take care when operating on ANY BRC street.

Mutant Vehicles are welcome to operate in Center Camp unless there is significant congestion or if the vehicle is so large as to be licensed “for open playa only”.  Indeed, there will be a special Mutant Vehicle dock on the 3:00 side of the Center Camp Canopy so that Mutant Vehicles can bring their sound and light shows to the plaza.

There is no driving on the Esplanade street and on the 15-foot-wide Community Paths between F and K at 3:45, 4:15, 4:45, 5:15, 6:45, 7:15, 7:45, and 8:15.




Great Circle
The Great Circle is the ring that circles the Man 400 feet from the center of the Man Pavilion, also marked by the lantern poles on the 3:00, 6:00, 9:00, and 12:00 promenades. This area is off-limits to Mutant Vehicles.  Please make sure to stay OUTSIDE of the Great Circle.

NOTE: Accessibility Vehicles are allowed within the Great Circle but MUST enter through the promenade entrances.


Below are the Black Rock Rangers’ guidelines for Mutant Vehicle perimeters during the Man and Temple Burns and other large Burn events.

Before the Man and Temple burns, the Rangers place orange stanchions, or the “Orange Line”,  that mark the outer perimeter for Mutant Vehicles.

Most returning Mutant Vehicle teams already know how and where to place yourselves, and we thank you for being such wonderful Burners!  This is to help formalize that knowledge, assist new MVs, and make it easier to determine a safe minimum distance for your MV.

The closest safe viewing zone around the Man/Temple/Other Burn is reserved for participants only.  From the participant perimeter, as established by the Artists or Perimeter Rangers, it is approximately 90 feet deep.

However, the Promenades around the Man and Temple at 3:00, 6:00. 9:00 and 12:00 are fire lanes, and for emergency vehicle access only.  They are to remain clear of both participants and MV’s before and during the burn event.

Each Mutant Vehicle has their own perimeter line, according to their size (and guidance from the BLM).  These lines can be roughly determined by the number of steps, or paces, from the participant perimeter line out to MV space.

We call these the PACE LINES

  • The 40 PACE LINE (120 ft) is the perimeter line for small (cart-sized) MV’s.
  • The 50 PACE LINE (150 ft) is for medium (car-sized) MV’s.
  • The 70 PACE LINE (210 ft) is for large (truck-sized) MV’s.
  • The 100 PACE LINE (300 ft) is for the largest (bus-sized) MV’s.

The only exception to the above guidelines are for small, cart-sized Accessibility Vehicles, whose seated participants cannot see over standing participants.  They may park at the rear of the participant crowd that is sitting on the playa, but may not group together in a way that might create a barrier.



The average human stride, or pace, is about two to three feet long. By becoming a human yardstick, you can walk off distances yourself. 50 feet would be about 20-25 paces, and 100 feet about 40-50 paces.

From the participant perimeter, walk the appropriate number of paces for your MV size, and you will be about where, at minimum, you may place your MV.

As more participants and MV’s arrive, and it becomes too difficult to walk off the paces, surrounding MV’s may provide a rough guide for placing your MV.

Please be mindful of the view of those around you when you place your Mutant Vehicle.

Also, please keep clear participant and MV through-paths between your MV and the MVs around you, especially along the Orange Line. The pathways should be wide enough for an emergency vehicle to pass through.

Ranger teams are available to help manage the through paths and to assist with Mutant Vehicle placement concerns.


Every large Burn event has falling embers, usually between 12:00 and 3:00.  These embers can, and have, set an MV on fire.

If your MV is capable of catching fire from a heavy ember, place it away from where the prevailing winds might carry those embers.

If an ember falls on your MV, watch and protect it, and do not leave it unattended.  If possible, and without endangering participants, move it out of the way staying within the 5-mph speed limit.


A mutant vehicle in the shape of a trumpet at Burning Man 2022.

A Mutant Vehicle Sound Policy We Can All Understand and Live With


Face it; nobody comes to Burning Man for the peace ‘n quiet. Nobody!
We all have earplugs at the tippy-top of our packing lists because we know that BRC is a noisy place… and for many of us that is a key component of the attraction. That said, there’s also the expectation that some activities and some locations will be less noisy than others. As a community, we know that there needs to be a place for large-scale Mutant Vehicle sound & big dance clubs. However, there must also be a place for yoga classes, guided meditation workshops, karaoke, and piano bars.

For many years the Department of Mutant Vehicles has had a sound policy that was difficult to understand; it described various levels of sound amplification based on amplifier wattage and referred to system loudness in decibels (a unit of measurement of sound pressure that uses a logarithmic scale and isn’t widely understood). The policy was not well written; compliance was poor; it wasn’t well enforced, and, speaking frankly, we’ve had some bad behavior that spoiled it for everybody else.

The goal for the Department of Mutant Vehicles Sound Policy is to have a well-defined and easy-to-understand set of guidelines that work equally well for Mutant Vehicle owners and the greater BRC community.

As a community, we need to work together to keep sound at desirable levels. This means that everyone involved is personally responsible for how they affect everyone else’s experience.

Sound Policy

TL;DR version

  • DO play music while parked in your camp in compliance with Black Rock City’s Sound Policy. 
  • DO play music as loud as you want while in motion on the open playa.
  • DO Play as loud and as long as you want within the DMZ. 
  • Do NOT play amplified music while driving in the city streets between 2:00 am and 10:00 am. 
  • Always be considerate of camps, art installations and their activities, especially near the Esplanade. Turn down your sound if other activities are already in progress.
  • Limit your stationary time (with music on) at art installations to 3 hours.
  • Respect the Temple Burn.

The Policy

  1. City Street QuietHours:
    1. Yep, you read that right; Mutant Vehicles are not permitted to use amplified sound while driving through the streets of Black Rock City between the hours of 2:00 am and 10:00 am. This is perhaps the most significant change from past sound policies.
    2. During QuietHours, if an MV has left its designated camp area and is en route to another location or parked within the city streets, the sound system must be off (“Off” is defined as; inaudible from outside the vehicle) until the MV returns to its camp or has entered the open playa and is at least 100 yards/meters from Esplanade. The QuietHours apply to all circular & radial streets, keyholes, plazas, and center camp.
    3. Acoustic music (un-amplified human voices, acoustic musical instruments, etc.) on moving MV’s is permitted during QuietHours.
    4. Between 10 am and 2 am, amplified sound is permitted within the city streets, but you should always be mindful of where you are located, how loud your sound is, and how it may be affecting others around you.
  2. A Mutant Vehicle may use amplified sound while parked within its placed MV camp or placed theme camp:
    1. MVs make great sound stages, karaoke bars, and discotheques. As long as you are within the boundaries of a Mutant Vehicle camp or Theme Camp area that was assigned to you by the Placement team or within a placed camp that has invited you to park in their camp, you may use your MV’s sound system as if it were a stationary installation in your camp. As with all stationary sound, you will be expected to comply with Black Rock City’s sound policy.
  3. You can play music (yes, even loud music) almost everywhere on the open playa. Some limitations apply:
    1. Mutant Vehicles may use amplified sound at any time of the day or night, without restriction on sound levels, in nearly all areas of the inner playa (the space within bound by the Esplanade and Temple) and outer playa (the space beyond the Temple, 2:00, and 10:00).
        1. MVs may play amplified sound for no longer than 3 hours while parked in any one location. When parked at or near an art installation, you must ask the artist for consent prior to playing amplified sound.
        2. MV operators & owners must be aware of the general nature of an art installation (e.g. if it’s meant to be a quiet, introspective project) and of any programming that may be taking place at the artwork before they approach, park, and/or play their own music at the installation.
        3. MVs must be respectful when passing and/or parking near The Temple, The Man, and at/near all art installations on the open playa.
        4. MVs must be respectful when using amplified sound within 100 yards of Esplanade and within 100 yards of the 2:00 and 10:00 radial streets unless agreed upon in partnership with camps facing those streets.
  4. As LOUD and as long* as you want! (*up to 12 hours):
      1. The Department of Mutant Vehicles has established a Deep-Playa Music Zone (“DMZ”) where Mutant Vehicles using large sound systems can park and party in the deep playa for extended periods of time. The zone is 5,340 feet from The Man between the 10:30 and 11:15 clock positions. The DMZ allows for a stay of up to 12 hours, and it provides sanitary stations and Emergency Medical Services. At just over 22 acres (960,698 sqft!) in area, the DMZ is large enough to support multiple large mutant vehicles simultaneously. Furthermore, there are NO volume or sound pressure limits in the DMZ (note, however, that speakers must be oriented to point away from the city).
        Go for it!
  5. Policy Violations: 
      1. A single violation of any of the above policies could result in the immediate revocation of the Mutant Vehicle’s current DMV license, and the MV will need to return to its camp location and remain parked there for the duration of the Burning Man event. A subsequent infraction could result in the Mutant Vehicle being ejected from Black Rock City. Violations may affect future MV registration.
  6. NO Mutant Vehicle sound at Temple Burn:
    1. Mutant Vehicles must turn off their sound systems upon arrival at the Temple burn perimeter.  Any use of amplified sound at the Temple Burn could result in the forfeiture of DMV licensing at future Burning Man events. Please don’t do it!
  7. Enforcement:
    1. The Mutant Vehicle Sound Policy will be enforced by members of the DMV Council, members of the Placement Department, and the Black Rock Rangers. Members of each of these teams are authorized to issue warnings, revoke vehicle licenses, and/or request that a vehicle be ejected from the event site. Ejections will be processed by the Black Rock Rangers.


The DMV receives a lot of feedback yearly from Black Rock Citizens about Mutant Vehicles. An ongoing concern is that Mutant Vehicles are often perceived as ‘exclusive’.  We’ve heard several stories about someone seeing a Mutant Vehicle in deep playa and asking for a ride, only to be told “sorry, this is a private party,” or something to that effect.

We recognize that not all Mutant Vehicles are designed to carry passengers, but for those that do, we encourage you to share your vehicles with others and give rides to those that need or ask.  This is a great way to meet people and a wonderful show of community. Proper etiquette should be followed; we hope you will make your vehicle available for all participants to ride your vehicle as long as it is safe and reasonable.

Please See the Mutant Vehicle Transport (MVT) program below and consider taking part.

Crowdfunding  and “Perks”

To better align with the Principles that guide our community, we no longer support using “Thank You Cruises” or other on-playa-delivered perks as crowdfunding rewards.

We recognize that many Mutant Vehicles are large, ongoing endeavors that require a lot of time and resources to bring to the playa each year.  While we strongly encourage you to engage with your immediate community through fundraising events to bring your Mutant Vehicle to Burning Man, perk-based fundraising efforts, including those on sites like GoFundMe and Indiegogo, have a higher likelihood of crossing into the “Doing it Wrong” territory.

While the difference between doing it right and doing it wrong can sometimes be a gray area, Burners will be the first to let you know when you’re veering into doing it wrong territory. It may backfire on you if the community feels you’re trading special access for donations or otherwise “selling off” pieces of the Black Rock City experience. The general agreement among our community is that perks that equate to resources, such as e-bikes, shelter, food, or tickets, go against the Principles of Decommodification and Radical Self-Reliance, and perk experiences that exclude the general population of Black Rock City, such as a private night on a Mutant Vehicle or private party, is doing it wrong and against the Principle of Radical Inclusion.

Fundraising perks done right often look like things like custom t-shirts or stickers with your MV logo, art prints, necklaces, or a personalized thank-you note from the Mutant Vehicle crew. These types of rewards are meant as a token of appreciation rather than an exchange of a donation for an object or resource of equal monetary value.

We should also note that, as stated in the Ticket Terms and Conditions, Burning Man Tickets and/or Vehicle passes may not be included as rewards as part of any fundraiser. The terms on the back of the ticket state:


We understand that fundraising is an arduous endeavor. To strike a balance between respecting the Ten Principles and allowing room for MV owners to fundraise for their projects, we encourage MV Teams to submit their fundraisers to the Burning Man “Support a Project” page. Projects included in our “Support a Project” page may receive additional exposure by mentions and highlights in our Jackrabbit Speaks newsletters.


Mutant Vehicle Transport Logo

“Random rides to random places, on playa time”

This year we are updating the program formerly known as B.A.I.T (Burn Area Imprecise Transit) to better accommodate Burners and Mutant Vehicle teams.  The New Program is simply Mutant Vehicle Transport (MVT) and is designed to promote an interactive culture between participants and mutant vehicles. 

Our mission is to promote ADVENTURE, COOPERATION, and CONSENT related to riding Mutant Vehicles. MVT is an opportunity for you to share your art—your Mutant Vehicles—with the other citizens of our loved city.

As a Mutant Vehicle operator, your contributions to Black Rock City make us the most creative volunteer public recreation system on the planet! We want to connect as many citizens as possible of BRC with Mutant Vehicles through the Mutant Vehicle Transport program.

How it works: 

There will be shaded and seated stops in the following places: Along the Esplanade (the Playa side) near 2:00, 4:00, 7:30, and 10:00, and at the Man, Temple, the DMV, the DMZ, the deep playa portos, and at 2:00 & G. Participants interested in a ride will be waiting at these stops. At any time, Monday through Friday, any Mutant Vehicle can swing by these stops as they drive around the playa and pick up waiting participants. There is no advanced sign-up. You decide when and where you participate. There are no official routes or timetables.

The stops will be clearly labeled as Mutant Vehicle Transport stops and will look like this:


Mutant Vehicle Transport Stop

How we’re getting the word out to participants: 

We’ll be promoting the MVT program to a wide audience with entries into the Spark Plug, the Jackrabbit Speaks, the survival guide, the WHAT WHERE WHEN guide, and Public Service Announcements on Burning Man Information Radio (BMIR) throughout the event.

Mutant Vehicle Transport Q&A

  • Q: Is Mutant Vehicle Transport mandatory?
    • A: No, however, it is encouraged
  • Q: Do I have the right to refuse boarding?
    • A: Yes if someone is visibly too intoxicated or being rude. On that note, you can also ask someone to disembark if they become too intoxicated or are harassing or rude
  • Q: Can I bring people from my own camp with me?
    • A: Of Course, but remember to save an ample amount of space to take on riders.
  • Q: How long do I have to stay at each stop?
    • A: Please wait a couple of minutes at each stop. Also, feel free to let anyone who may be around, standing around, or milling about know that you are there to give rides and that they are welcome to join.
  • Q: How will riders know that I want to pick them up?
    • A: Just stop at a stop and call out to any participants sitting or standing around.
  • Q: What if I’m full?
    • A: If your vehicle is full, please continue to stop briefly if someone is standing at the stop and let them know you are full. Hopefully, if that happens, there will be someone behind you who has more room.
  • Q: Will anybody from the DMV be at the stops?
    • A: There will not be anyone taking count or checking up on you. There may be DMV folks that want to take a ride so they might be there. They may or may not identify who they are. DMV people like to have fun, too!
  • Q: When do I have to sign up for Mutant Vehicle Transport?
    • A: There is no sign-up (that’s right, NO SIGN-UP!). We encourage any and all MVs to pick up riders whenever they are near a stop.


If you serve food or alcohol to the public from your Mutant Vehicle, you may need a permit from the state of Nevada. Please visit the following website for more information:

It is a misdemeanor to serve alcoholic beverages to anyone under 21 years old in Nevada.  The law applies if the alcohol is gifted or sold.  Law Enforcement has been known to use sting operations. Know the laws about serving people alcohol and follow them, or you may end up being fined or arrested.


Thanks for taking the time to read this and understanding all of the rules for Mutant Vehicles.

If you have any questions about any of the material above, please contact the DMV at:


Mutant Vehicle Criteria and Licensing

Looking for info about Accessibility Vehicles? Go here.

Why do Mutant Vehicles need to be licensed?

Burning Man’s permit from the BLM stipulates that all participant and staff vehicles driven at the event must be licensed by Burning Man.  The Department of Mutant Vehicles is the department responsible for licensing Mutant Vehicles and Accessibilty vehicles at the event.

How many Mutant Vehicles do you invite each year?

With 80,000 participants, mainly on foot and bicycle, roaming the streets and open playa in and around Black Rock City while intermingling with Staff, Mutant, Accessibility and Law Enforcement vehicles, there is a threshold where having more than a certain number of vehicles driving would be a safety hazard.  To address these safety concerns in consult with the BLM, the target for the number of Mutant Vehicles licensed to drive at the event is 650 or fewer.  To meet that goal, we limit the number of vehicles the DMV invites each year to 800. This number takes into consideration that we have a very consistent 21% “no-show” rate among invited Mutant Vehicles so the number of vehicles we end up licensing falls under the 650-vehicle threhold.

How do you get a Mutant Vehicle license?

  • Create or plan a Vehicle that meets the DMV’s Mutant Vehicle Criteria (below).
  • Fill out a Mutant Vehicle Application through our online application form. All Mutant Vehicles must apply through this form to be considered for on playa licensing (you can’t just show up at the event with your vehicle and get licensed).
  • If your vehicle is invited, Bring your Mutant Vehicle to the DMV at Black Rock City for final vehicle inspection. Final inspection and licensing are required before you can drive your vehicle at the event.

Mutant Vehicle Criteria

To be eligible for a Mutant Vehicle license, you must satisfy ALL of the following criteria:

There are five main points the DMV considers when reviewing your vehicle.

1. Level of Mutation / Visual Presentation

    • Mutate or create your vehicle to the point that it is not recognizable as a street or stock vehicle. A radically mutated vehicle will not resemble or represent a car, truck, golf cart, or any other readily identifiable street or stock vehicle. In most cases, little or none of the base vehicle should be visible.
    • Beyond just changing, covering, or hiding the base vehicle (if any), the mutation should aim to be visually compelling, providing “wow factor” for the other participants of Black Rock City. When a person sees this vehicle, their reaction should be “Wow! Look at that!”
    • General Considerations:
      • If a vehicle maintains its stock form (i.e. it keeps the shape of a bus, golf cart, or street vehicle), it may not be sufficiently mutated to meet the Mutant Vehicle Criteria.
      • A vehicle that has primarily been covered with fabric, fur, or other material, without also significantly changing the vehicle shape may not be sufficiently mutated to meet the Mutant Vehicle Criteria.
      • A vehicle that is primarily stripped to the engine and/or frame may not be sufficiently mutated to meet the Mutant Vehicle Criteria.
      • For visual examples of vehicles that applied but did not meet Mutant Vehicle Criteria, please see:
        DMV GALLERY.
      • Consideration may be given to vehicles that are presented outside of their normal context.
      • The DMV will be looking to invite a balance of different types of vehicles on the playa: large-scale sound vehicles, flame effects focused vehicles, small artistic vehicles, large transport vehicles, highly participatory vehicles, etc.
      • We are dedicated to licensing vehicles from projects of all budget levels, not just the most expensively built ones.
      • We primarily look for vehicles that meet the criteria above AND demonstrate good execution of their design concept.
      • We also consider the originality of a vehicle. There are already quite a number of bar-cars, furniture cars, and boats, for example, and the DMV may choose only to invite some of the vehicles that are similar or identical in design. The same applies to groups of identical vehicles, ie, fleets, herds or swarms of similarly designed vehicles.

2. Interactivity

    • Provide an interactive experience for participants of Black Rock City. Interactivity is defined as an opportunity for any BRC citizen to participate in some activity offered by your vehicle. The theme and/or size of the vehicle is what’s considered here. Do you entertain a crowd? Does your vehicle have room for riders? Does your vehicle provide a service to the community? Does it include an interactive element?
    • Interactive aspects alone are not a replacement for the Mutation Criteria above, but are considered more like  “extra credit”.

3. Safety

    • The safe operation of a Mutant Vehicle at the event is the Registrant’s responsibility. Depending on the size and style of your vehicle, some or all of the following may apply:
      • The vehicle must be able to maintain a steady speed of five MPH (the speed limit in Black Rock City) or less.
      • The brakes must be in good working order.
      • The vehicle should have sturdy side railings and stair railings. There should be no sharp or protruding objects.
      • Having a fire extinguisher and First Aid kit on board is highly recommended.
      • The vehicle should have a safe access area and procedures for loading and unloading passengers.
      • For safety requirements of lasers mounted on Mutant Vehicles, please see Mounted Lasers.
      • Vehicles with trailers must have Trailer Barriers protecting the space between the vehicle and the trailer.  For details on trailer safety requirements, please see the section on safety below.
    • Important notes
      • The DMV does not do Safety Inspections.  There are specialized teams that do Fire Effect and Laser Inspections for Mutant Vehicles.
      • The DMV may decline a license to a vehicle if there is a demonstrable safety concern such as sharp objects that protrude from a vehicle or some other dangerous aspect to the vehicle.

4. Lighting

    • There are two fundamental requirements for Mutant Vehicle night illumination.
      1. SAFETY: First and foremost, people need to be able to see you and you need to be able to see them. The vehicle must include front head lights and the front, rear, AND sides must be lit. All vehicle extremities must be lit. Any trailer hitch or dangerous area of the vehicle must be lit. Anywhere someone would walk, step, or climb on your vehicle should be lit, especially stairs and ladders.
      2. RADICAL ILLUMINATION: The visual presentation of your vehicle should be at least as stimulating at night as it is during the day,  if not even more so. This can be accomplished in two ways:
        •  You are showcasing a well-crafted mutant vehicle that is already worthy of a day license.  Flame effects alone are not sufficient to qualify for night licensing.
        • The lighting itself is the “art” (such as the Death Star)
    • In either case, the vehicle should be easily seen from all sides from some distance away.

5. Sound

    • There is a Sound Policy for Mutant Vehicles. It is important that you know it. Please go here to review the policy. All vehicles driving in Black Rock City must follow the sound policy.

What is NOT Considered a Mutant Vehicle?

  • The following are not considered Mutant Vehicles:
    • Vehicles only stripped to the frame and engine.
    • Street/stock vehicles with minimal changes or temporary decorations.
    • Vehicles that too strongly resemble the original form or where too much of the base vehicle is unmutated and still visible. For example:  A fur-covered golf cart or street vehicle that keeps its original shape.
    • Vehicles that may be unusual but are stock/mass-produced (military, industrial or foreign-made vehicles).  Examples of this that have previously applied include an MK 48, Swamp Buggies and Tuk-Tuks
    • Low riders, classic cars, custom cars, monster trucks, dune buggies, rat rods, and hot rods (there are other venues for these vehicles to be appreciated)
    • Burning Man does not permit vehicles that resemble emergency services vehicles, including any vehicles decorated with red, blue, or amber rotating/flashing lights or vehicles with sirens. During an emergency, participants MUST be able to differentiate between an actual emergency vehicle and a Mutant Vehicle or other vehicles.

In addition to the above criteria, you must also:

  • Describe the motivation for creating your Mutant Vehicle
    Why did you make this vehicle?  What was your motivation/intent?
    NOTE: If the convenience of personal transportation is your primary goal, please rethink your intent. A primary factor driving your urge to drive should be the sharing of your creation with the rest of the community.
  • Comply with all DMV application guidelines and deadlines
    Mutant Vehicle pre-registration is mandatory. You will be asked to include photos or design sketches of your vehicle, describe the safety considerations you are making, give detailed information about the mutations to the vehicle.
  • Agree to Adhere to Black Rock City vehicle/driving protocols
    You will be asked in advance to honor the event’s driving guidelines.  Black Rock City has a few simple driving guidelines. If you violate these community guidelines, you’ll lose the privilege of driving your Mutant Vehicle at Burning Man. In addition, you and your vehicle may also be removed from the event, and you can be fined by law enforcement. Furthermore, owners that cannot follow our simple rules run the risk of not being licensed in subsequent years.

Mutant Vehicle Application Review

Once you have filled out a Mutant Vehicle Registration form, the DMV will review your application and notify you once we have reached a consensus on whether and how well your vehicle meets the Mutant Vehicle Criteria and whether it is invited to Burning Man.

For more details on the DMV Review process, please see the DMV FAQ/MUTANT VEHICLE OWNER’S HANDBOOK

Mutant Vehicle Licenses

Mutant Vehicle licenses are issued by the DMV on-playa. All licensed Mutant Vehicles will be given a Day and/or a Night license. Licenses will also be designated for Street or Playa driving, based on the size of the vehicle (see more below). Day or Night designation is based on many factors, including what purpose the vehicle serves, lighting, and how it is implemented.

Standard/Playa-Only Licenses

  • A Standard Mutant Vehicle License allows a Mutant Vehicle to operate on city streets (with the exception of pedestrian-designated streets) and on the open playa of Black Rock City. To be eligible for a Street License:
    1. The vehicle must be less than 13 feet in width, and less than 45′ in length,
    2. The vehicle must be able to safely navigate a right turn on a typical BRC intersection while remaining within one lane of the street.
    3. Operators must be able to safely monitor all segments of the vehicle while in operation.
  • A Playa-Only/City Restricted License allows a Mutant Vehicle to operate PRIMARILY on the open playa of Black Rock City. Mutant Vehicles with a Playa-Only License may NOT be operated on BRC streets except on their way to the playa from their camp (using the most direct entry).  Playa-Only vehicles may require walkers/spotters.

Day/Night Licenses

  • DAY licenses allow Mutant Vehicles to move around Black Rock City during the daytime.
  • NIGHT licenses allow Mutant Vehicles to move around Black Rock City at night. To receive a night license, Mutant Vehicles must be FULLY and RADICALLY illuminated (see above).
  • Some vehicles may receive both a DAY and a NIGHT license.

Trailer Licenses

Trailer licenses are required for any trailers that are attached to Mutant Vehicles. These are licensed separately from the Vehicle.

Flame Effects

Flame Effects

Mutant Vehicles that incorporate flame effects must include flame effects information in their Mutant Vehicle application and also must be inspected on-playa and be granted a Flame Effects license from the Fire Arts Safety Team before the flame effects can be operated.

Important details for MV’s with Flame Effects

In order to protect your passengers from danger, the height of the first point of fire must be at least 10-feet above the last place a person could possibly stand on your vehicle. This allows plenty of height above heads and a little extra in case the wind presses it down a bit. This rule has been in place all along and this year we are going to be strict with this rule. Please take action to correct this pre-event if your MV flame effect is lower than 10-feet.

Use of Flame Effects within the City

The use of Flame Effects within the City streets can present a greater risk than they do on the open playa. As your mutant Vehicle passes into the City and you are driving in the narrow streets you are in a new set of risks. The flames that were well overhead height in on the open playa are now at face height or even below folks standing on scaffolds, fabric, and banners can blow into the path of your flames and you are only inches away from other vehicles as you pass. Any of that sound dangerous? Well, it is! Please if your mutant vehicle has puffers please think twice about using them as you pass through the city. If your MV has a steady flame be aware of the wind blowing flammables into the flames and your proximity to things you are alongside. Any unsafe behavior of any kind will not be permitted and may affect your ability to register your MV in the future.

Questions about Mutant Vehicle flame effects should be sent to

Additional driving guidelines, walker requirements and trailer safety

In addition to adhering to the driving rules indicated above, Mutant Vehicles must:

  • Create a clear field of vision for the operator
  • Have a safe access area and procedures for loading and unloading passengers
  • Clearly display the Mutant Vehicle license in a location specified by the DMV
  • Have ground guides (walkers) if the vehicle is large, has a limited field of vision or can be dangerous to pedestrians.

Trailer Safety and Barriers

Mutant Vehicles with trailers may have blind spots between the vehicle and the trailer, so must include a barrier against boarding in this zone:

This barrier must have a minimum height of no more than 12 inches from the playa surface and a maximum height that is either equal to the maximum height of the Mutant Vehicle (this is intended to accommodate very low vehicles) OR no less than 36 inches above the playa surface. The barrier must be in place before the vehicle moves and must remain in place at all times when the vehicle is in motion.

Examples of valid trailer barriers:


NOTE:  The above link shows just some examples.  Regardless of how they are constructed, trailer barriers must be strong and secure enough to block passage of people trying to walk through the hitch area.  Trailers with barriers that are deemed insufficient to block passage will not be licensed by the DMV.

Walker Requirements

For vehicles that are large or in instances where the driver does not have a clear view of the front and back of the vehicle, walkers/spotters must be used at all times when the vehicle is in motion. The number of walkers required will vary based on the size and type of vehicle, but must be a sufficient number of people to ensure safe navigation.The walkers must have some type of markings or attire that will identify them as walkers for that particular vehicle.

Examples of markings/attire include:

  • Reflective safety vests
  • Brightly colored or reflective hats
  • Brightly colored or reflective bandannas
  • Brightly colored or reflective shirts

NOTE: A video surveillance system cannot be substituted for walkers.  At night Walkers must have flashlights for visibility and to be able to direct vehicles.

A Note on Mutant Vehicles and the Community

Over the years there has been a lot of discussions regarding the perception of Mutant Vehicles as ‘exclusive”.  We’ve heard a number of stories about someone walking in deep playa, seeing a Mutant Vehicle, and asking for a ride, only to be told “sorry, this is a private party,” or something to that effect. While we know that the vast majority of Mutant Vehicles are inclusive and do provide rides whenever possible (the DMV gets very few direct complaints about this type of incident), we want to be clear on the following:

In the spirit of Radical Inclusion, Participation, and Gifting the DMV strongly encourages and asks Mutant Vehicle owners to share their Vehicles with others and give rides to those that need or ask whenever possible. This is also a great way to meet people and a wonderful show of our community. Proper etiquette should be followed;  if your Mutant Vehicle is designed to carry passengers we ask that you consider offering rides on your vehicle whenever possible and as long it would not be dangerous to do so (prospective passenger being inebriated or belligerent, for example).

A great way to participate and share your Mutant Vehicle is to participate in the MUTANT VEHICLE TRANSPORT (MVT) Program.

To Register Your Vehicle

Mutant Vehicle Registration for Burning Man is open from mid-February until mid-April each year.

After you have read and understood all of the above sections, go to the Questionnaire site for this year’s exact registration dates and to fill out a Mutant Vehicle application.

If you have additional questions you can contact the DMV by emailing