Mutant Vehicles

The only vehicles allowed to drive during Flipside are registered and inspected art cars/mutant vehicles, vehicles for those with disabilities, and official-use vehicles. Guidelines for registering an Art Car/Mutant Vehicle may be found on this page.


Mutant Vehicle or Art Car – A vehicle which has been decorated in some artistic fashion. (Please, note that plain golf carts are not a form of artistic expression.)

Vehicles for those with disabilities – wheel chairs or carts which are used for transporting someone with a disability.

Official-use vehicles – include but are not limited to Flipside DMV licensed staff vehicles and gators, law enforcement, and emergency medical/fire response vehicles.

All other vehicles that do not fall into one of these categories will not be allowed to drive around during the event.

Important: Burning Flipside has a sound policy in effect for all mobile or non-mobile sound systems. If you are bringing a sound system, please, review the sound policy found and register your sound system before the event.

Licensing Criteria

To be eligible for a Burning Flipside Department of Mutant Vehicles Official License one must:

  1. Think about and tell us why you want to bring a mode of transportation to Burning Flipside.

    Why do you want wheels? Or spider legs? Or a hovercraft? If it is just to serve as a personal means to move you and your gang from point A to point B not on a bicycle, please, think again about your need to have a convenient mode of transportation at the event. The only vehicles to receive licenses will be those vehicles that are works of art or vehicles with a high participatory factor for Flipizens. Remember, Flipside is not too big to walk around. And, that the question to ask oneself when thinking of bringing some mode of transportation other than a bike is, “How well will this contribute to the creative and artistic and/or highly particpatory environment of Burning Flipside?”

    Modes of Transportation NOT eligible for DMV licensing–Undecorated Plain O’ Golf Cart–a non-official golf cart or gator that is not decorated, does not make a contribution to the event in any other way than as a personal means of transportation for the same few people, and/or is not being used as prop in a performance art show.

    NOTE: As per the landowner of Apache Pass, 4 wheel All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) will not be allowed on the property. This applies to mutant vehicles, vehicles for those with disabilities and official vehicles.

  2. Comply with all Department of Mutant Vehicles registration requirements, safety guidelines, deadlines, and commandments.

    Pre-event registration is highly encouraged. Avoid the long wait and lines by registering before the event. Read, understand and abide by all info on this page. You will be asked to explain you reasons for bringing a mutant vehicle, abide by all safety guidelines/protocols, and include a photo or sketch of your vehicle.

  3. Include safety designs in your consideration of operating a mutant vehicle.

    Think about how the vehicle can operate safely given its design, passenger load, and DMV Commandments and operating procedures. Every vehicle owner will have to pass a safety inspection and a safety review on-site before receiving a license. All vehicles licensed for night use will be REQUIRED to have red gels on the headlights. This will keep you from blinding your fellow walking Flipizens.

  4. Honor Yourself, Your Fellow Flipizens, and Make a Contribution to the Event by Keeping Your Commitments.

    • Don’t drive around in a plain ol’ golf cart or van.
    • Obey the 5 mph speed limit.
    • Obey the DMV Commandments (listed below).
    • Give Pedestrians and bikes the right of way.
    • Don’t drive or let anyone else drive chemically impaired.
    • Don’t steal a golf cart, gator, art carp, etc.

    If you violate these community guidelines, you’ll lose your mutant vehicle license at a minimum; your vehicle could be impounded, you could be fined by law enforcement and/or ejected from the event and or multiple/all events going forward. Owners that cannot follow our simple guidelines and requests do run the risk of not being licensed for future events. Always remember that tire pressure is a privilege, not a right.

  5. Fulfill your intent, the intent of the community, and the intent of the universe–create a vehicle or mode of transportation that adds to, contributes more to, or improves upon the creative environment, container, and energy the event fosters amongst us.

    Create a visually stimulating, mind-boggling beautiful, and/or highly participatory vehicle. Your vehicle should inspire WOWs, WHOAs, and WHATs. If this does not happen when one looks at your vehicle then you should not bring your golf cart, truck, etc. to the event.

Art Car/Mutant Vehicle registration

Does the idea of a golf cart sized carp lit up like a X-mas tree really turn you on? Are you always the first one in the hot tub before it takes off from camp headed to the ass-less chaps happy hour? Is dancing like a dervish decked out in disco friendly duds around a decibel dealing ATUPAV (All-Terrain-Uber-Party Assault Vehicle) get you off? Even if you didn’t answer “Hell, yeah!” to anyone of these questions, you’ll still find Flipside’s flotilla of art cars, mutant vehicles, and helicopters holding a special place in your heart once your dogs start barkin’ or you really got lost looking for GET LOST.

As the only non-essential vehicles allowed to cruise the grassy playa, all mutant vehicles owners will need to:

  1. register before OR on arrival to the event,
  2. undergo an on-site inspection, and
  3. submit to one-on-one on-site safety interrogation with a DMV Rep before receiving their DMV tags imparting the license to drive during the event.
  4. Keep in mind that just because you built and brought it, you will not automatically get a license. Pre-register to avoid confusion and delays at the gate.

Art car/mutant vehicle registration

The 4 easy steps to register an official art car/mutant vehicle are:

  1. Submit DMV application
  2. Submit to DMV on-site inspection
  3. Submit to DMV on-site Safety Review and sign off on DMV Safety Requirements
  4. Receive and Display DMV License (Sticker/Badge Laminate)

How & when to register your art car/mutant vehicle

Pre-event Registration

In the interest of a complete and overwhelming takeover by technology of the human race, participants bringing an art car or mutant vehicle to Burning Flipside may pre-register by

  1. Reading this entire page first, including Safety Guidelines and Commandments
  2. Email or send a link containg photos or sketches of your vehicle to:
  3. Wait patiently for the DMV response and confirmation of receipt of your application
  4. Wait patiently for further instructions on the necessary on-site inspection, safety review/sign off, and receipt of DMV license at the event

For those who can’t sit still, feel free to email questions/concerns/bribes to the DMV lead.

(NOTE: Receipt of DMV Application does not equate to a DMV license without on-site inspection and safety signoff)

Event Registration

For any participant in the throes of “X” days ’til Flipside Syndrome and are too busy with 1000 + other projects, participants bringing an art car or mutant vehicle to Burning Flipside may register at the event by:

  1. Register on the day of arrival at the event by having the PARKING crew radio for the DMV
  2. After radioing for the DMV to arrange a meet up, immediately meet the DMV representative at an arranged location at the event
  3. Fill out an application with the DMV
  4. Pass an on-site inspection with the DMV
  5. Submit to a safety review and sign off with the DMV
  6. Receive and proudly display one’s new DMV license at all times

Daytime vs. nighttime

In order to receive a nighttime permit, your vehicle must be extremely well lit up—but this does not mean blinding headlights. This is more for people to see you coming and going from any angle rather than you seeing what is in front of you. To get a permit, you must come by the DMV at night, or set up a time for a DMV staff member to visit your camp at night so we can see how luminous you are. Strive to be the vehicle with the most LEDs. All vehicles licensed for night use will be REQUIRED to have red gels on your headlights. This will keep you from blinding your fellow walking Flipizens.

IMPORTANT: Registration and Inspection hours are 9am to 12am on Thursday, 9 am – 12 am Friday and 9am – 3pm Saturday. If you arrive outside of those hours and want to register an art car please find a volunteer with a radio to contact the DMV team.


Event safety review/sign off

In the interest of ensuring the best possible event for all involved in Burning Flipside by not having any vehicle related accidents or injuries, S-A-F-E-T-Y here at DMV is always considered a priori for all involved. With this mantra in mind, any and all vehicles seeking DMV licensing must have its sponsor/driver(s) review and sign off on an on-site safety form.

Below are sample questions that will be asked during your on-site review. Do not copy these and email the DMV the answers. You must answer them at the event and sign off on all of them. Review the questions, make any modifications you think are necessary to your vehicle and be prepared to submit to the safety review.

For those in doubt about what SAFETY means at Flipside’s DMV, here is a glimpse at what you should be thinking about discussing during the DMV on-site safety sign off:

  1. Please, explain the safety considerations you have incorporated into your vehicle.
  2. How will passengers get on and off the vehicle? Most vehicular deaths at Burning Man come from people getting between vehicles and trailers they are pulling.
  3. If you plan on driving your vehicle at night, is there safe and adequate lighting on your vehicle? You must be extremely well lit and visible in order to get a night license
  4. What specific safety considerations have been made for any Flame effects? The roads at this event will pass under a working organic pecan grove. No damage to these trees will be tolerated.
  5. What specific safety considerations have been made for Sound effects? You must register your sound system.
  6. What considerations will be made to prevent unauthorized use of your mutant vehicle?
  7. Will you ensure that you and any vehicle driver will:
    • Drive at a speed of 5 MPH or less to prevent dust and/or hazardous situations
    • Give the right-of-way to pedestrians, bicycles, official and emergency vehicles
    • Follow the reasonable and applicable vehicle laws for road safety
    • Stop immediately upon being hailed by Flipside Staff member, Pyropolis Ranger, or Law Enforcement
    • Not drive while intoxicated or drive under the Influence of drugs or alcohol
    • Not drive in pedestrian walkways, pedestrian designated areas, or in the designated effigy area
    • Stop in the event of an emergency, not flee the scene of an accident, and assist anyone in need of help
    • Abide by any additional guidelines forthcoming from the AAR, LLC and the Burning Flipside staff
    • Create a clear field of vision for the mutant vehicle operator at all time
    • Use ground guides/walkers if the vehicle is large, has a limited field of vision, and/or is dangerous
    • Clearly display the Mutant Vehicle License Sticker and/or Laminate Badge
    • Abide and follow the Burning Flipside Sound Policy
    • Ensure any and all Flame Effects are operated with safety in mind at all times
    • Carry a fire extinguisher at all times
  8. In the event of heavy rain at the event, will you park your vehicle and not drive at all if instructed by any Flipside staff member or ranger to prevent damage to the road infrastructure?

  9. Are you aware that as the owner of a mutant vehicle, you are responsible for the safety and conduct of your vehicle even if you are not on board; and that you are liable for any damage it may cause regardless of who is driving?
  10. If you (or anyone operating a licensed vehicle) do not adhere to the above points at any time, do you fully understand that:
  • Your tires may be deflated,
  • Your license may be revoked,
  • Your vehicle may be impounded,
  • You may be ejected from the event and future events?

DMV commandments—how to get off (&) on art cars

  1. THOU SHALL–make every effort to decorate/create/conjure your golf cart, truck, limo, etc.
  2. THOU SHALL NOT–steal/commandeer/”borrow” official gators, official golf carts, or any other official form of transportation
  3. THOU SHALL NOT—try to get on, impede, or stop a moving art car, mutant vehicle, or helicopter
  4. THOU SHALL—dance around, wave your arms, and ask politely to get on a passing mutant vehicle:

    1. Once the mutant vehicle has come to a complete stop, (if needed) ask for assistance or hop on the vehicle in a safe, appropriate manner (Remember: be sure to thank the driver in whatever boundary approved manner y’all choose)
    2. If the mutant vehicle does not stop for whatever reason, do not attempt to run down, jump on, hog-tie, and/or flip-off the vehicle or its driver(s) (Remember: when your dogs are barkin’ on day three and it’s a seemingly long haul back to camp, you’ll wish you’d been nice : )
  5. THOU SHALL—(if they choose) wait at an approved DMV—UMO Landing Zone, practice your favorite manifestation technique religiously for 30 seconds, and finish by shaking a leg suggestively before any mutant vehicle stops to pick up you and yours (and even his or hers or Its).

  6. THOU SHALL NOT—attempt to board or attempt to get off a moving mutant vehicle
  7. THOU SHALL NOT—operate any mutant vehicle and/or its artistic additions without permission of its owner(s)/operator(s) (e.g., fire cannons, pants cannons, attractive body parts on vehicle occupants, sounds and light systems,etc…)
  8. THOU SHALL NOT—hijack, hoodwink, harass, or harangue the driver whilst they are in command and control of the mutant vehicle. Note, these helpful hints apply to occupants, too.
  9. THOU SHALL—have a good time
  10. THOU SHALL—ask politely as well as wait patiently for a mutant vehicle to come to a complete stop before disembarking from it
  11. THOU SHALL—help look out for the safety of their fellow freaks, aliens, and even passer-bys at all times
  12. THOU SHALL—report any safety issues, violations, and/or problems to the Pyropolis Rangers immediately