Home » Wyoming DMV Driver’s Handbook – Part 6

Wyoming DMV Driver’s Handbook – Part 6


Table of contents

Safety laws/issues

Safety belt law

Under Wyoming law, a safety belt (seat belt) must be worn by all occupants of the vehicle, including the driver. It’s the driver’s responsibility to see that the law is obeyed. Children must be properly restrained in appropriate child-restraint systems.

Safety belts should be worn properly. The lap belt should be drawn snugly across the hip bones. It should never be worn across the stomach or soft part of the abdomen. The shoulder strap should be loose enough to allow the driver to reach important controls. The shoulder strap should not be worn alone.

Persons not required to wear a safety belt include anyone:

• with a written statement from a physician that it is not advisable for the person to wear a safety belt for physical or medical reasons;
• in any passenger vehicle not required to be equipped with safety belts under federal law;
• who is a U.S. postal service worker performing duties as a postal carrier;
• properly secured in a child safety restraint system;
• occupying a front seat in a vehicle in which all operable safety restraints are being used by the driver or passengers.

Child restraints



Child who has not reached his/her ninth birthday.
• Appliesto all drivers.
• Applies to privately owned, leased or rented non-commercial passenger vehicles.
• Child must be secured in vehicle seat other than front seat except in vehicles with one row of seats, or if all safety belts are in use by other child passengers.
• Child in rear-facing infant seat shall not be placed in front of an active airbag.
• Child must be properly secured in restraint and i must be properly installed, both as per manufacturer’s instructions.
• Restraint must conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213 for child and restraint systems.
• Applies to residents and non-residents.
Primary Offense. Non-use or misuse are reasonable suspicion for stopping a vehicle to investigate a suspected violation.


• Maximum $60.00 fine for first offense. Fine shall be waived by the court upon receipt of proof of purchase, lease, or other acquisition of an approved restraint after the offense occurred.
• Maximum $110.00 fine for second and subsequent offenses.


• Child within age requirement if the lap and shoulder belt fit properly across the collarbone, chest and hips of child and does no pose danger to neck, face or abdominal area in crash or sudden stop.
• Physician’s signed statement, carried in the car, certifying that the child should no be secured in a child restraint system.
Vehicles that were not equipped with safety belts at time of manufacture. (Passenger vehicles before MY1967/Vans & trucks before MY1972).
• Emergency, and law enforcement vehicles.
• School buses including private or church, used to transport children as well as buses or other vehicles used for public transportation manufactured without seat belts.
• The driver is rendering aid or assistance to the child, parent, or guardian. (Effective 2-17-2005)

Who can help in your area?

Safe Kids Albany
Safe Kids Campbell
Safe Kids Converse
Safe Kids Fremont
Safe Kids Hot Springs
Safe Kids Jonhson
Safe Kids Laramie
Safe Kids Lincoln
Safe Kids Park
Safe Kids Platte
Safe Kids Sheridan
Safe Kids Sublette
Safe Kids Sweetwater
Safe Kids Teton
Safe Kids Uinta
Safe Kids Washakie

Safe Kids Central WY

Safe Kids Wyoming 800-992-GROW(4769)
Call for local Safe Kids Chapter numbers.

Additional copies:

WYDOT Highway Safety
5300 Bishop Blvd.
Cheyenne, WY 82009-3340


Look at weight and height limits of the belt-positioning booster which provides protection for child over 40 pounds. Review individual instructions for booster.

For most, look at vehicle seat:
– if head resta available, use low back belt-positioning booster and adjust head rest to middle of child’s head behind the ears.

  • if no head rest on vehicle seat, use high back belt positioning booster to provide head protection.
  • Look at vehicle seate belt, if lap and shoulder belt available, then use booster seat but if lap belt, only available, other options must be considered.


Keep back and buttocks against vehicle seat back.

Keep the shoulder belt on the shoulder resting snugly over the chest and lap belt low across the hip/upper thigh.

Keep knees completely bent over the edge of the vehicle seat.

Keep feet flat on the floor, and able to stay comfortably seated this way for the entire trip.

Provided by Fed Highway Safety Grant Funds

The Driver License Compact

Wyoming is a member of the Driver License Compact. The compact provides guidelines for greater cooperation among states in driver license issues, and provides a one license, one record concept. All states except Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Tennessee and Wisconsin are currently members.

How alcohol and drugs affect you and your ability to drive

Alcohol the major cause of crashes

Driving while under the influence of alcohol is the major cause of ALMOST HALF of the crashes in which someone is killed. Nationwide, nearly 25,000 persons die each year because of drivers who have been drinking.

Alcohol is a drug that slows the activity of the brain and spinal cord. When alcohol enters the stomach, it goes directly into the blood and to all parts of the body, including the brain. Its effect is to put the brain to sleep when taken in sufficient amounts.

Alcohol directly affects a person’s ability to drive. If a person drinks increasing amounts of alcohol, the amount of alcohol in the blood will rise accordingly, and the degree of impairment and the intensity of the effect will rise rapidly.

The amount or concentration of alcohol in the blood is known as Blood Alcohol Concentration or BAC. Three factors influence a person’s BAC:

•the amount of alcohol consumed;
•the period of time over which the alcohol was con-sumed; and
•the person’s body weight.

Effects of the amount of alcohol

Pure ethyl alcohol is a colorless liquid that looks like water but has a burning taste. It mixes readily with other liquids. Its strength is reduced by the amount of water or mix used. Beer usually contains about 5 percent alcohol, wines 12 or 20 percent, and hard liquors, such as whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, brandy, etc., about 40 to 50 percent. Therefore, 12 ounces of beer, three to five ounces of wine, and one and one-half ounces of 86 proof hard liquor each have about one-half ounce of alcohol.

Effects of time

When alcohol reaches the stomach, it is absorbed di-rectly into the blood stream. As more and more alcohol is absorbed, the percentage of alcohol in the blood gets higher and higher.

A person may feel the effects of alcohol shortly after starting to drink. The effects will increase with the passage of time since it takes 30 to 40 minutes to totally absorb the alcohol contained in a single drink.

While food or milk in the stomach does slow absorption, two hours later it won’t matter if you had been drinking on a full stomach or not. If two persons of equal weight drink the same amount they will have about the same BAC at the end of that two-hour period. TIME IS THE ONLY SIGNIFICANT FACTOR IN REDUCING BAC LEVELS.

Approximately 90 percent of the alcohol in your body is eliminated by the liver. It is eliminated at a constant rate and this rate is about the same for all persons, about one drink per hour. It CANNOT be eliminated any faster. SHOWERING, DRINKING COFFEE OR EXERCISING IN AN EFFORT TO SOBER UP ARE USELESS. Only TIME can do the job.

Effects of body weight

Heavier people do have more blood and body fluids which dilute a given amount of alcohol more than a light person’s blood and fluids. Therefore if a heavy person and a light person drink the same amount of alcohol, the heavy person will likely have a lower BAC.

Drunkenness is not always apparent

A BAC of 0.02 percent is considered low and most persons are not significantly affected by alcohol at this level. On the other hand, a BAC of 0.08 percent is considered to be high, and people at this level are impaired mentally and physically whether or not they show it.

Many people think that drunkenness is determined by outward signs. They have in mind individuals who stagger, slobber or put lamp shades on their heads. However there are individuals who regularly drink to relatively high BACs that do not show any of the outward signs. Even though they are able to compensate and cover up their drunkenness, they still increase their chances of being in a crash, if they drive with a BAC of 0.02 per-cent or higher. As a person’s BAC rises, their ability to judge and make accurate decisions in traffic become more and more impaired, regardless of whether they appear to be impaired.

Effects on decision-making

Alcohol seriously impairs the ability to drive safely because the ability to IDENTIFY, PREDICT, DECIDE and EX-ECUTE is seriously reduced.

• IDENTIFY: Senses such as vision, hearing, and body position are reduced, and therefore a person’s ability to detect hazards in a pattern of traffic is seriously affected. Impaired drivers tend to fix their vision on a particular object and not see others. The ability to detect persons and vehicles to the side is almost completely lost. Hearing is reduced, as is the ability to judge distances. Drivers with a high BAC may also lose their sense of body position, and with increasing impairment, they may fade across the center line, wander from lane to lane and even run off the road.
• PREDICT: Effective drivers predict what other drivers might do to cause them problems, and driving under the influence of alcohol, with the ability to see, hear, and feel body position impaired, makes such predictions difficult, if not impossible.
• DECIDE: The ability to make good decisions in critical situations is also vitally important to safe driving, and that ability is seriously affected when it is based on faulty senses, faulty judgments and poor predictions. Couple this with the false sense of confidence and lack of good judgment that alcohol provides, and you can see how very likely it is that the impaired driver will make bad decisions in critical driving situations.
• EXECUTE: In demonstrations using driving simulators, test subjects often turn left when they think they are turning right. They jam on the accelerator when they think they are applying the brakes. This happens even though the people being tested may be sober by outward appearances and legal definition. Even if they execute correctly, they do so much slower. Because of this reduced ability to execute, a drinking driver, traveling at 55 mph, will drive an additional 32 feet or more before he can apply the brakes. Even at lower speeds, this added two-fifths of a second can be the difference between crashing and not crashing.

Other factors

There are several other factors that influence a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle safely when drinking. These factors help explain why people behave differently when affected by alcohol, and why some drivers show greater impairment than others with the same BAC.

• DRIVING EXPERIENCE: Alcohol affects the inexperienced driver more than the experienced driver. The poor or inexperienced driver will become a much worse driver quicker when drinking, and even small amounts of alcohol are likely to increase the number of errors dramatically.
• DRINKING EXPERIENCE: The same can be said of less experienced drinkers. Beginning drinkers will often show greater impairment and be less able to drive after drinking than a person who is a more experienced drinker.
• DRIVING CONDITIONS: Unusual weather, lighting and road conditions make driving more difficult and call for a higher level of performance, while drinking only reduces a person’s ability to perform. The drink-ing driver will not be able to lift his performance level.
• MENTAL STATE: A person who is tired, angry, anxious, emotionally upset, or even elated, may already be impaired as a driver. The good driver will compensate for these conditions, but alcohol reduces the ability to do so. In fact, anger and alcohol have been found to be one of the most dangerous combinations.

Simply put, alcohol makes it much more difficult for people to control themselves.

Drinking and driving — Is it worth it?

If you are placed under arrest for driving under the influence, a chemical test or tests to determine your BAC may result. Under the Implied Consent law, driv-ers are deemed to have given their consent to such tests whenever driving on a public street or highway.

• If you REFUSE to take the required test or tests, your driver license and driving privileges will be suspended for six to 18 months, and you may be subject to criminal penalties.
• If you submit to the required test or tests and your BAC is 0.08 percent or more, your driver license and driving privileges will be suspended for 90 days and you may be subject to criminal penalties.
• And while a BAC of 0.08 percent or more may result in a conviction, you may also be convicted of DWUI with a BAC of 0.05 percent and other supporting evidence.

It’s your decision

We would suggest you seriously consider planning ahead so that you do not have to drive after you have been drinking.

Other drugs

Most of the common drugs (diet, sleeping, allergy, tranquilizers) affect at least one of the major skills you need as a driver. Drivers need to know how drugs affect their ability to Identify, Predict, Decide and Execute.

Diet and “stay-awake” pills, known as “pep pills,” “uppers” and “speed,” give drivers a false feeling of alertness and often increase self-confidence, which may lead to excessive risk-taking. Some drivers try to drive longer by taking “stay-awake” pills. However these drugs keep drivers from realizing how tired they are and that they therefore do not have the ability to identify critical objects and make quick decisions. Attempts to stay awake with drugs can cause additional problems.
Sleeping pills are intended to relax and help persons sleep. They can make thinking difficult, affect emotions and cause sleepiness. They can affect all of the driving IPDE skills for several hours.
• Allergy pills and cold remedies: These pills can contain a variety of antihistamines, bromides, codeine and alcohol. They can cause a person to become sleepy and impair a person’s ability to think clearly.
Tranquilizers: These pills are intended to help a person calm down. The drugs cause a person to become less alert and sleepy. They also make think-ing difficult and affect emotions. The pills can affect alertness, attention, judgment and reactions. The effects may last for several hours.
Mind-altering drugs: Marijuana, LSD, heroin and similar drugs are illegal. They are often impure and may vary in strength. These drugs often affect a person’s mood, vision, reaction and ability to judge time and space. They tend to make users indifferent to or even unaware of their surroundings. The total effects are often unpredictable. Anyone under the influence of these drugs must not attempt to drive a motor vehicle.

Be cautious of new medicines. Do not drive until you are certain that they will not impair your driving. You should know that Driving While Under the Influence of any controlled drug is not legal. You may be charged and convicted of DWUI.

Ask your doctor about what effects any drugs he pre-scribes might have on your driving.

Read the label carefully before you buy or use any over-the-counter or non-prescription drug.


Alien: any person who is not a citizen of the United States of America.

Authorized Emergency Vehicles: fire, police or ambulance vehicles or others approved by statute.

Bicycle: any vehicle powered solely by human power, upon which any person may ride, having two (2) tandem wheels, except scooters and similar devices. Legally classified as vehicles, bicycles can be ridden on all public roads in Wyoming. While not legally required, a properly fitted and Consumer Product Safety Certified bicycle helmet is highly recommended for protection against serious head injury or death.

Blind Spot: the area near the right and left rear corners of the vehicle which cannot be seen through rearview mirrors. The driver must turn his/her head to view these areas.

Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC): the amount of alcohol in the bloodstream.

Brakes: device used to stop the vehicle.

Critical Object: any person, vehicle, animal or anything else that could cause a driver to slow down, speed up or turn.

Crosswalk: a place where people may legally cross the street or highway. The crosswalk may or may not be marked. If there are no markings, a crosswalk is considered to be where imaginary lines would connect the sidewalks on each side of the street or highway.

Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT): the state agency responsible for the licensing of drivers in Wyoming.
WYDOT’s address is:
5300 Bishop Blvd., Cheyenne, WY 82009-3340.

Driving While Under the Influence (DWUI): the operation of a vehicle by a person who is under the influence of alcohol or who is under the influence of a controlled substance.

Emancipated Minor: a person at least 17 years of age who is or was married, is in the military service of the United States, or who has been emancipated by the district court. Emancipated minors may have this status put on their Wyoming licenses by making application to the department and paying the required fee.

Gap in Traffic: an opening or space between vehicles in traffic that is large enough for a vehicle to enter safely.

Helmet: protective headgear.

Hydroplaning: when a vehicle’s tires ride on a thin film of water instead of the road.

Intersection: the area where highways or streets join or cross each other.

Lane: a section of roadway for a single line of vehicles.

Median: a barrier of grass, concrete or other material separating two roadways, such as the area between the two roadways on an Interstate highway. It is not legal to ride over, across or on the median.

Merging Traffic: a situation where two moving lanes of traffic come together, such as an entrance ramp on an interstate.

Moped: a vehicle equipped with two or three wheels, foot pedals to allow propulsion by human power, an automatic transmission and a motor with cylinder capacity not exceeding 50 cubic centimeters, producing no more than two-brake horsepower, whose motor is capable of propelling the vehicle at a maximum speed of no more than 30 miles per hour on a level road surface.

Motorcycle: a motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider, and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground but which may have a sidecar to transport a single passenger. For the purpose of registration and titling, “motorcycle” includes motorized bicycles, scooters and recreational vehicles primarily designed for off-road use and de-signed to be ridden astride upon a seat or saddle and to travel on four wheels, but excludes mopeds and off-road three-wheel recreational vehicles.

Motor Vehicle: every vehicle which is self-propelled by some power source other than muscular power and used on public highways for transporting persons or property or both. This includes motorcycles and mopeds.

Moving Violation: an act of control or lack of control by the driver of a motor vehicle while the vehicle is in motion, that results in a conviction, including a conviction for driving in violation of the restriction for corrective lenses and/or outside mirrors.

Multipurpose Vehicle: a vehicle having an identifying number, having at least four wheels, weighing 300 to 3,000 pounds and having a permanent upright seat at least 24 inches from the ground. The vehicle must be registered and plated to be operated on streets and high-ways, but may NOT be operated on interstate highways and is subject to slow-moving vehicle requirements. The holder of any class of driver license may drive a multipurpose vehicle. Drivers who currently hold a “motorcycle” class license with an “R” restriction for an “ATV vehicle only” will not be renewed with this class and restriction, as an ATV is considered a multipurpose vehicle and does not require the “M” or “R” on the license.

No-Zone: an area on either side or directly behind a heavy vehicle in which another vehicle is not visible to the driver.

Off-Road Recreational Vehicle: a recreational vehicle primarily designed for off-road use which is 50 inches or less in width, has an unladen weight of 900 pounds or less and is designed to be ridden astride upon a seat or saddle and to travel on at least 3 low pressure tires.

A “low pressure tire” is a pneumatic tire at least six 6 inches in width, designed for use on wheels with a rim diameter of 12 inches or less and having a manufacturer’s recommended operating pressure of 10 pounds per square inch or less; any unlicensed motorcycle which has an unladen weight of six 600 pounds or less and is designed to be ridden off road with the operator astride upon a seat or saddle and travels on two 2 tires; and any multi-wheeled motorized vehicle not required by law to be licensed and is designed for cross-country travel on or over land, sand, ice or other natural terrain and which has an unladen weight of more than 900 pounds.

Wherever practicable, off-road recreational vehicles shall only be operated off the main traveled portion of the roadway. Crossings of main traveled roadways shall be made at right angles to the roadway or as nearly so as practicable, but, in any case, yielding the right of way to all traffic in the main traveled roadway. If the operator is a minor, or if a minor is a rider, they shall be operated in accordance with all Wyoming helmet laws and be operated only by a person who possesses a valid driver license with a motorcycle endorsement.

Pedestrian Vehicle: any self-propelled conveyance designed, manufactured and intended for the exclusive use of persons with a physical disability. In no case shall a pedestrian vehicle exceed 48 inches in width.

Reinstatement Fee: the fee required to reinstate a per-son’s driver license and/or driving privilege before a suspension or revocation can be lifted and the privilege to drive restored.

Resident: any person who is gainfully employed or engages in any trade, profession or occupation within this state and owns, leases or rents a place of residence or otherwise lives within Wyoming for the purpose of employment or remains in the jurisdiction for a period of 120 days or more; OR any person who is registered to vote in Wyoming; OR any person who has applied for public assistance from Wyoming; OR any person hold-ing a valid Wyoming resident hunting or fishing license.

Revocation: termination of a person’s privilege to drive.

Roadway: that portion of a street or highway ordinarily used for driving.

Shoulder: that portion of the road beside the traveled highway. It may be either hard surfaced or gravel. It is used by stopped vehicles and helps provide proper drainage of the highway.

Space Cushion: the space that isolates your vehicle from other vehicles; a cushion of space ahead, behind and to the side of your vehicle.

Suspension: the TEMPORARY REMOVAL of a person’s privilege to drive. The license may be returned after a specified period of time, and/or after certain requirements have been met.

Total Stopping Distance: the distance a vehicle travels before it comes to a complete stop. It includes the complete distance traveled while deciding to stop, then reacting, and finally after brakes are then applied.

Traffic signals

Red light

You must stop behind the crosswalks or stop line. You can turn right at a RED light unless there is a sign that prohibits the turn. You may turn RIGHT only after STOPPING AND YIELDING to persons and other vehicles. You may also, after stopping and yielding, turn left from a one-way street onto a one-way street.

Amber light

If possible, you MUST stop before entering the intersection. If you can-not stop safely, you should carefully go through the intersection.

Green light

You may enter the intersection when the way is clear. You MUST yield the right of way to other vehicles and persons already in the intersection.

Flashing red light

You must come to a complete stop before entering the intersection. This light has the same meaning as a “STOP” sign.

Flashing amber light

You must use caution. This light warns of a dangerous intersection or location.

Turn arrows

1. A RED arrow prohibits turning in the direction of the arrow. It is used to remind drivers that they must turn in the direction the arrow is pointing when the light turns green.

2. An AMBER arrow may appear after a GREEN arrow and warns you to clear the intersection.

3. A GREEN arrow means that you may turn in the direction shown by the ar-row without stopping if the way is clear.

You MUST yield the right of way to persons and other traffic within the intersection.

Above all else, drive safely

Welcome to the latest edition of Wyoming’s Rules of the Road driver’s manual. This book has been revised to include some of the most recent changes enacted by the Wyoming State Legislature effective July 1, 2014.

You will find information on how to obtain a driver license or ID card, the penalties for drinking and driving, requirements for insurance, what to do in the case of a crash, rules for driving on streets, highways, and railroad crossings, and other driving related subjects. You will also find information on other driver services offered by the Wyoming Department of Transportation.

Safe driving involves obeying traffic rules and regulations, being courteous on the road, driving defensively and making sure that you and your passengers wear a seat belt.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact Driver Services at (307) 777-4800 or 4810, or write to WYDOT at Wyoming Department of Transportation, Driver Services, 5300 Bishop Boulevard, Cheyenne, WY 82009-3340.

Also, visit the website at www.dot.state.wy.us!

Traffic signs

The shapes and color of signs have meaning. If fading light, fog, rain, snow or darkness makes it difficult to see the letters, you should still know what to look for or what to do.

Pavement markings provide the driver with important information about the proper position of vehicles on the roadway.

Regulatory signs

These signs tell you what to do. You must always obey them.


Rectangular signs regulate traffic and direct the driver’s speed and direction.

Octagon (eight sides)

This shape is reserved for stop signs. You must come to a complete stop.

Triangle pointing down

This shape requires that you yield the right of way to cross traffic or to merging traffic.

Warning signs

Warning signs alert you to conditions ahead. They are usually diamond shaped and warn you about road hazards, construction sites, schools or other situations which require your special attention. While most warning signs are yellow, construction and maintenance warning signs are orange.


These signs are yellow with black letters. They warn of a possible danger ahead.


This sign warns of a school zone ahead or marks a school crossing. The absolute speed limit in a school zone is 20 mph.


Pennant-shaped signs are located at the beginning of a no-passing zone.


A round sign warns of a railroad crossing ahead. Instead, a stop line or an “X” with the letters “RR” may be painted on the pavement before a crossing. Or any combination of the above may warn of an upcoming railroad crossing.


Construction signs have black lettering on an orange back-ground. They warn motorists of temporarily dangerous or unusual conditions on construction or maintenance projects.

Emergency Notification Sign

The ENS (Emergency Notification Sign) is for those emergencies that would require stopping train traffic due to an obstruction on the tracks, or any other problem at the cross-ing like if the lights or gates are not working properly.

Guide signs

Guide signs are very helpful. They tell you where you are, what road you are on and how to get where you want to go. Most guide signs are rectangular. However, guide signs for county roads and route markers on freeways are different in shape. The type of information given determines the color of the sign.

Source: the WY DOT Driver’s Manual, Produced by: the Driver Services Program and Public Affairs Office of the Wyoming Department of Transportation – August 2017.