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Are Dash Cams Legal?

While dashcams undoubtedly make driving safer, navigating the dashcam laws between different states can be confusing. In this article, I’ll provide an overview of the specific dashcam laws in each state.

Dash Cam Laws By State Including Restrictions. 

Alabama

Alabama prohibits any electronic devices being installed on the windscreen that might obstruct the driver’s view, including dashcams. Dashboard-mounted dash cams are perfectly legal in Alabama. However, state law prohibits video recording if trespassing on private property.

All passengers must consent to have audio recorded via a dashcam. Keep this in mind if you are a rideshare driver. We have a separate post for best dash cams for rideshare drivers

Alaska

Dashcams are legal in Alaska but cannot obstruct the driver’s view of the windscreen. Mount the device on the dashboard instead. The screen must be smaller than five inches if close to the driver. 

Arizona

Dashcams mounted on the windshield are prohibited in Arizona, but placing the device on the dashboard is legal. Screen size is limited to five inches if the dashcam is next to the driver. Passengers should be informed of audio recording. 

Arkansas

Dashcams can be used legally in Arkansas provided they don’t impede the driver’s view. Behind the rearview mirror or on the dashboard are good positions. Alert passengers to audio recording dashcams. 

California

Cop car and Hollywood sign

Dashcams and radar detectors are prohibited in California if they obstruct the driver’s view. If mounted on the dash or next to the rearview mirror, they are legal. All passengers must provide consent for any audio recording.

Any dashcam used must be capable of storing footage. Dashcam screens are restricted to five inches if mounted near the rearview mirror and seven inches when installed on the driver’s right-hand side. If you are worried if your dash cam is legal, you can purchase a review view mirror dashcam. This will keep you clear from the law. 

Colorado

Dashcams are legal in Colorado as long as they avoid impeding the driver’s view. Dashcams made from reflective materials are illegal in case sunlight blinds the driver. Passengers must be informed of any audio recording.

Connecticut

Connecticut prohibits any dash cams that obstruct the driver’s view, so mount on the dashboard instead. All passengers must give consent before any audio recordings. 

Delaware

Dashcams are legal in Delaware if they aren’t mounted on the windshield. Install them on the dashboard. The same goes for radar detectors. Make passengers aware of audio recording devices.

Florida

In Florida, dashcams and radar detectors must be positioned out of the driver’s line of sight. Avoid the windscreen and install devices on the dashboard. Consent for audio recording must be obtained from all passengers.

Georgia

Dashcams and radar detectors must not be mounted on the windscreen in Georgia. Dashboard-mounted devices are legal. All passengers must give consent for audio recording. If you are looking for a dash cam on a budget see this post

Hawaii

Hawaii’s dashcam laws are quite relaxed. Devices can be mounted in the corners of the windshield or on the dashboard. Screen size must be between five and seven inches. If you are recording in Hawaii maybe what you might need is a dash cam that can capture high quality images. Learn the difference between 30fps & 60fps? 

Idaho

Dashcams used in Idaho must not impede the driver’s view and should be confined to the dashboard. Radar detectors must follow the same restrictions. Notify passengers of devices that record audio.

Illinois

Illinois prohibits dash cams from being mounted in places that obstruct the driver’s view. All passengers must give consent for audio recordings. Devices placed close to the driver must have a screen size under five inches. There are some dashcams you can buy that are discreet because they don’t have screens. This makes it easier to mount with little to zero obstruction and you can view video playback on your phone. Here are some of these dashcams.

Indiana

Dashcams can only be used in Indiana if they’re positioned on the passenger side in the bottom corner of the windscreen. Screens can be no larger than four inches. Radar detectors are also allowed.

Iowa

If a dashcam’s position doesn’t impede the driver’s view of the road, it’s legal in Iowa. Mount devices on the dashboard just to be safe. Radar detectors are also legal if abiding by the same rules.

Kansas

Dashcams can be mounted anywhere in the cockpit as long as the driver’s view isn’t impeded. Passengers should be notified if a device records audio.

Kentucky

Kentucky’s dashcam legislation is fairly relaxed as long as installed devices don’t affect the driver’s view of the road. Mounting dash cams via suction cups on the windshield is allowed, within reason. Truckers don’t have to worry about this state when passing by. See our top dash cams for trucks. 

Louisiana

Dashcams and other electronic devices cannot be placed on the windscreen in Louisiana in case they obstruct the driver’s view. Dashboard-mounted devices are allowed, as are radar detectors. Passengers must be notified of any audio recording equipment and must provide consent.

Maine

Dashcams can be either windscreen or dashboard-mounted in Maine if they don’t impede the driver’s vision. Make passengers aware of any audio recording devices. Radar detectors must follow the same obstruction guidelines.

Maryland

Maryland’s legislation allows dashcams to be windscreen-mounted as long as they are installed within the top five inches of the windshield or the bottom seven inches of the windscreen’s corners. Consent must be given by all occupants for audio recording. Radar detectors are also allowed.

Massachusetts

Windshield-mounted dash cams are prohibited in Massachusetts, but dashboard-mounted devices are allowed. All passengers must consent to both audio and video recording inside the car. 

Michigan

Michigan law allows dashcams and radar detectors that aren’t mounted on the windshield. This prevents a driver’s view from being impeded.

Consent for audio recording is not necessary if the driver is present, but is classed as eavesdropping if the device is left recording while the driver is away. Use a mute button to avoid this caveat while still protecting your vehicle.

Minnesota

Interestingly, Minnesota’s dashcam legislation considers dashboard-mounted devices illegal as they can obstruct the driver’s view. Instead, devices must be installed behind or around the rearview mirror. Radar detectors can also be used.

Mississippi

As long as the dashcam doesn’t impede the driver’s view, there are no specific laws about device position in Mississippi. The dashboard is the safest place. The same applies to radar detectors. Notify passengers of any audio recording devices.

Missouri

Dashcams and radar detectors can be installed anywhere in Missouri vehicles, but common sense should be employed to avoid impeding your view of the road. Make passengers aware if you record audio. See one of the best dash cams we have reviewed. The viofo a129.

Montana

Any dash cams used in Montana must not be mounted on the windshield. Dashboard-mounted devices are fine. State law also prohibits the recording of private property without consent. Consent must also be obtained from all passengers before recording audio.

Nebraska

Nebraska prohibits any dashcams or radar detectors that are mounted on the windscreen. All devices must be installed on the dashboard. All occupants of the vehicle must also give consent for audio recording.

Nevada

Any vehicle using a dashcam in Nevada must install them either on the dashboard or in the bottom six inches of the passenger’s corner of the windscreen. This also applies to radar detectors. At least one consenting party is needed for recording audio.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire prohibits dashcams and radar detectors that are mounted on the front windscreen. The dashboard is a suitable alternative. Rear cameras are allowed on the rear windscreen. Consent must be obtained from all passengers if audio is being recorded.

New Jersey

Windscreen-mounted dash cams are illegal in New Jersey as they obstruct the driver’s view. Dashboard-mounted devices are legal, and the driver must be able to see the screen. Radar detectors can be used but must also follow these restrictions. But this doesn’t apply to motorcycles.

New Mexico

Drivers in New Mexico can only install dash cams and radar detectors on the dashboard. Devices mounted on the windscreen are deemed to impede the driver’s vision. Make passengers aware of audio recording devices.

New York

Dashcams are actively encouraged in New York as long as they’re mounted on the dashboard and not the windshield. At least one party must consent to any audio recording.

North Carolina

As long as they aren’t positioned anywhere that could impede the driver’s vision, dashcams are legal in North Carolina. For audio recording, at least one party must give consent. This includes the driver, who must be present in the vehicle.

North Dakota

Dashcams and radar detectors must not be mounted on the windscreen in North Dakota. The dashboard is a legal position. One party, including the driver, must be aware of any audio recording.

Ohio

Ohio legislation prohibits the use of windscreen-mounted dashcams, but the dashboard is a legal alternative. The driver must be present and party to any audio recording inside the car.

Oklahoma

Windscreen-mounted dash cams are illegal in Oklahoma, so any devices must be mounted on the dashboard. One party must consent to in-car audio recording, including the driver.

Oregon

Dashcams and radar detectors used in Oregon cannot impede the view into or out of a vehicle, so the dashboard is the best place. Obtain consent for audio recording.

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania state law prohibits mounting dashcams to the windscreen. Any devices used must not feature a video screen that could distract the driver. These restrictions also apply to radar detectors. Consent is required from all occupants when recording audio.

Rhode Island

Windscreen-mounted dash cams are prohibited in Rhode Island, so devices must be mounted on the dashboard without obstructing the driver’s sight. 

South Carolina

South Carolina state law deems windscreen-mounted dash cams or radar detectors to be illegal. The dashboard is an approved place for these devices. Notify passengers of audio recording.

South Dakota

Windscreen-mounted devices are prohibited in South Dakota, including dash cams or radar detectors. Devices mounted on the dashboard are legal. Passengers must give consent or be notified of any audio recording.

Tennessee

Electronic devices like dashcams and radar detectors must not be installed on windscreens in Tennessee. Dashboard-mounted devices are completely legal, including radar detectors. Notify occupants if you record audio.

Texas

Texas state laws prohibit any dash cams that are mounted on the windscreen. The dashboard is a suitable place as long as it doesn’t impede the airbags. Consent must be given by all occupants regarding audio recordings.

Utah

Dashcams can be mounted on the dashboard or windshield in Utah. However, windscreen-mounted devices must be positioned within the top four inches of the windscreen or more than four inches past the corner of the screen on the driver’s side.

Cameras may also be positioned on the rear window. 

Vermont

Vermont legislation allows dash cams that are installed on the corner of the windscreen on the passenger side or in the upper corner of the driver’s side. In the latter position, the device must be smaller than 2 ½ inches wide and 2 inches tall. The dashboard is also suitable.

There are no laws governing audio recording. 

Virginia

Windshield-mounted dashcams are already illegal in Virginia despite dashcam legislation being relatively new. This applies to both the front and rear windows. Dashcams may be installed on the dashboard. Virginia is the only state where radar detectors are illegal.

Washington

Washington’s dashcam law can be slightly confusing. Windscreens are prohibited from having any non-transparent devices on the windscreen that impede the driver’s view. But you are allowed to mount a dashcam on the lower part of the windshield – taking up no more than five inches on the driver’s side or seven inches on the passenger side.

To avoid running afoul of the regulations, mount your dashcam on the dashboard. 

Washington DC

Dashcams mounted on the windshield are prohibited in Washington DC, so use the dashboard instead. Each passenger must also provide consent for audio recording inside the car. 

West Virginia

Any devices that obstruct the driver’s view through the windscreen or rear window are illegal in West Virginia. Mount dashcams and radar detectors on the dashboard to comply with these laws. It’s a good idea to make passengers aware of any audio recording equipment.

Wisconsin

Windscreen-mounted dash cams that interfere with the driver’s view are prohibited in Wisconsin. That said, mounting devices behind the rearview mirror is allowed. Any devices must not be placed within the arc of the windscreen wipers. To be safe, use the dashboard instead.

All occupants must give consent for both audio and video recording within the vehicle. 

Wyoming

Wyoming regulations allow dash cams to be mounted on the dashboard but not the windshield. 

FAQs

Why are dash cameras illegal?

Dashcams are not illegal to use in the United States, but they are subject to laws that restrict where they can be placed in a vehicle. Most states allow dash cams to be mounted on the dashboard.

Does having a dashcam lower your insurance?

Using a dashcam doesn’t currently appear to reduce your insurance premiums with any of the major providers in the U.S.

Are dash cameras an invasion of privacy?

Dashcams can be considered to invade privacy if consent is not given by passengers. This mainly applies to devices that record audio within the cab. Always notify your passengers of the dashcam and ask for their consent.

camera recording sign

Conclusion

That covers all of the dashcam laws for each state. Dashcams are legal in every state but are subject to the restrictions listed here. Radar detectors are also legal in every state apart from Virginia. Still not sure if it is worth it to get a dash cam? See this article with the pros and cons of having a dash cam. Still searching for more? See all of our posts regarding dashcams here.

William
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