America has had a long, complicated history with hitchhiking dating back before the automobile. Decades ago, it was an acceptable form of travel with neither driver nor passenger worrying about their own safety or criminality.
Like most other aspects of life, things have changed substantially since then.
Maybe you’re considering travel by hitching yourself, or perhaps you’ve thought about picking someone up hitching while traveling on the interstate. Either way, you’re probably wondering whether or not hitchhiking is legal.
Except for national parks, there are no federal laws in the United States that restrict the ability to hitchhike. However, each state has hitchhiking laws that may restrict or outright ban the practice. As of 2021, hitchhiking is only illegal in Delaware, Idaho, Nevada, New Jersey, and Utah.
With that being said, the specific laws in each state can be unfriendly to would-be hitchhikers. I’ve compiled a list of hitchhiking laws for every US state. Let’s dig in and see what the rules are across America.