As temperatures remain unbearably cold outside, you might be tempted to start and warm up your car before heading to the store to pick up milk, bread, eggs, and other wintry doomsday accessories.

And in doing so, you’re breaking the law (at least in Missouri and Illinois).

That’s right. Starting your car and leaving it unattended for any period of time--even in your own driveway--is 100 percent illegal in the state of Illinois and Missouri. Iowa on the other hand? Have at it.

The reason is simple: leaving a car running and unattended might catch the eye of a would be car thief or even a curious child. It’s merely a safety precaution and it’s certainly not unique to Illinois and Missouri. In fact, according to the EPA, Anti-Idling regulations are applicable in 30 states and Washington D.C. So even Texans can’t do it when the temperatures drop all the way into the mid 60s. Sorry, Texas.

In both Missouri and Illinois, living this life of crime could get you a ticket upwards of $100.

If you HAVE to warm up your car before driving off, your best bet is to invest in an auto-start system. That is perfectly legal.

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