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States Where You Can't Pump Your Own Gas

States Where You Can't Pump Your Own Gas
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Fueling Up Across America

When it comes to gassing up your vehicle in the United States, the regulations vary. While in the majority of states, self-service at gas stations is allowed, there are a few exceptions that have held firm to a different model. Some states, such as New Jersey and Oregon, abide by laws that prevent drivers from pumping their own gas, citing a mix of reasons ranging from health and safety considerations to the preservation of full-service jobs.

Key findings from the data include:

  • Out of the 50 states studied, only one state, New Jersey, completely prohibits self-service at gas stations. This has been the case since 1949 under the Retail Gasoline Dispensing Safety Act. Any infringements of this law could result in a fine ranging from $50 to $500, depending on the frequency of offenses.
  • Oregon holds a unique stance within its legislation. While it shares New Jersey's perspective on self-service, there are exceptions in rural areas with populations under 40,000 residents. The legality of self-service in these counties varies and has been allowed since 2018, primarily to accommodate the needs of residents in smaller towns.
  • The remaining 48 states, including bustling regions such as New York, California, and Texas, allow self-service at gas stations. This reflects the widespread acceptance and reliance on self-service fuel stations for their convenience.
  • Temporary changes have taken place due to specific circumstances. For instance, during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic from March to May 2020, Oregon lifted its ban on self-service gas stations as part of its efforts to curb virus transmission.
  • Given the rarity of full-service mandates, consumers in states like New Jersey may experience slightly higher gas prices due to the costs associated with maintaining full-service operations. However, residents seem unperturbed, enjoying the attendant-served benefits provided.

By State

Full Data Set

Frequently Asked Questions

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