Dash Cam Legality By State You Need To Know

Getting a dash cam is actually a great thing to do. But before buying a dash cam, Dash Cam Legality By State will help you which one you should buy.

Such a device could save your time and prevent stressing over some legal issues. But buying and installing a dash cam is not only about finding the right model in the price range most convenient for you.

Dash cams are perfectly legal in many countries and from one jurisdiction to another, particularly, within the United States. But if you do not conduct proper research on dashboard camera laws, you can end up with a piece of useless metal, which you may have spent some good money on.

The problem of the legality of dash cams is related to two points, obstructing your view through your windshield and use of electronic surveillance.

These issues are dealt with differently from one country to another and can differ within the jurisdiction of the same country, like the example of the US demonstrates.

So it is exceptionally important to make sure that installing a dash cam in your state is legal.

Let’s examine the reasons for the restrictions of dash cam and legal placement of dash cam one by one.

Dash Cam Legality By State do deep research on police dash cam laws by state, Washington state dash cam laws, Arizona dash cam laws, are dash cameras legal in dc, are dash cameras legal in Florida and many more.

As we already mentioned, issues with dash cams arise from either their mounting on your windshield obstructing your view and use of surveillance.

View Obstructions

With dash cams, the legality of obstructed views is related to the fact that most of the modern dash cams are attached to the windshield of the vehicle instead of the dashboard. While some of them may offer optional mounts, you won’t be able to install a windshield dash cam to your dashboard.

A lot of jurisdictions restrict the level of the windshield’s obstruction by electronic devices like GPS units or dash cameras.

In most jurisdictions with such restrictions, if your camera obscures more than a 5-inch square on the driver’s side or 7-inch square on the passenger’s side, you could be at least fined for use of a big dash cam. Obviously, some areas have other restrictions while others do not specify any rules at all.

Checking such small specifics is a necessity. You can do so by contacting your local law enforcement or a lawyer with experience in the field, but the best way to get the most reliable information is to go to the law enforcement office.

Today, you can easily find the required information as many jurisdictions provide you with online access to local laws.

In the United States, mounting a windshield dash cam is illegal throughout most of the states, but there are some exceptions.

Keep in mind that the law focuses more on the fact of obstruction and not the way you mount a device, so you can get pulled over even if you use a dashboard dash cam obstructing your view.

Now, let’s see what status dash cams have in different states:

First of all, let’s have a look at states where the use of dash cams are prohibited;

Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington DC, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming Has to not disrupt visibility Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Nevada Specific limits on installation California, Florida, Minnesota, Ohio No restrictions Massachusetts, Missouri, Tennessee.

As per the locals of New Jersey, dash cams are NOT prohibited or illegal there. Though it must be positioned in a way that it does not block your view and may not display ongoing video while driving.

By the way, you shouldn’t just check on the legal status of dash cams and forget about it.

Keep Dash Cam Legality By State on your mind and follow them. The restrictions can be changed the very next day you verified the legality of such devices, so keep an eye on them.

Electronic Surveillance

Technically, dash cams are a form of surveillance, but the way the law views dash cams in that regard will actually depend on the state and country you live in.

There may be some more specific data protection laws in your area. An example of this is Switzerland, where dash cams are prohibited for this reason.

In other countries, including the US, there are no specific laws rendering dash cams illegal by means of electronic surveillance. However, in some cases, that only applies to video footage.

In the United States, there are laws restricting surreptitious audio recordings. That means that recording, for instance, conversations in your vehicle without the knowledge of the participants is illegal.

But if you alert your passengers that your dash cam captures their conversations and they do not object, you should have zero problems with the law. Besides, getting a dash cam with no microphones or simply muting them is another way to avoid issues with the legality of audio.

The key point is that you should and have to check on the legality of dash cams in your area regardless of where you live.

Check for both general restrictions and more specific codes. That way, you will avoid facing legal issues, which may actually be much more serious than you can imagine.

Keep track of your local laws and you won’t run into problems!

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6 thoughts on “Dash Cam Legality By State You Need To Know”

  1. I live in Indiana, I gave my SD card from my dashcam to a girl who got hit by a hit and run driver, she gave it to the police for evidence, they called to see if they could keep it for evidence, i said yes. Then they called back for my birth date. Can they use my dash cam be used against me in anything other then the hit and run? Like speeding or other things?

    • Absolutely they can. Dash cams are not less than a double-edged sword. Even if you install it for your own safety or recording any of your driving moments, it can be used against you.
      For instance, if you are texting someone while driving, crossing speed limit, or drinking beverages or by any misfortune if you hit any vehicle or a person, it’ll be recorded to your dashcam.
      And, until you delete the recordings from your SD card, it will remain saved.
      So, let’s put it this way, that you’ve lent your SD card to one of your friend who is framed by a hit and run case and she has hunches that your dashcam might have clips of that day which prove her innocence as your car was there that day.
      In that case, you can’t fool yourself thinking that the police will just go through that particular recording, they will wreak havoc to your SD card and check each and every clipping with their cat-eye.
      If they find anything fishy in your dashcam SD card and it proves that you were doing that, then they won’t be sticking on to that hit and run case only. They will use your SD card against you and sadly you have no authority to overpower their action.
      Long story short, filter your SD card always after keeping your required clippings aside. Mostly don’t forget to delete the clippings where you’re guilty of any case.

  2. I want to use a dash cam to help me identify possible accidents that I might have. If it is small and doesn’t obstruct my view, can I use it in Georgia ?

  3. Steve, you are absolutly wrong for recommending deletion of data in any case. If for instance you have recorded video of the time of a traffic offense and you make it known to a police officer or other government official in the process of your defense, you cannot delete the footage if you determine that the video evidence may not benefit you. Doing so can be used against you by the opposition’s attorney or by the DA as tampering with evidence. DO NOT delete evidence of traffic accidents. If you happen to record an accident and you are in the wrong, the best solution is to make no allusion to the presence of the dash cam and hope that the police or other gov officials do not notice the presence of the cam.
    On the other hand, if you want to delete every day data, go ahead. In fact make a habit of keeping addition sd cards available. If you decide to move or share use of the camera to someone else or to another vehicle, simply swap the SD card and move along. You have not deleted any data and you are sure to not have offending information on the device if/when another person decides to surrender YOUR data for their supposed benefit.

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