Dash cams have almost become an indispensable accessory for most vehicles today. These cameras aid the process of driving. They also make the ownership of a vehicle rather smooth by documenting the entire journey and capturing crucial moments. However, there are several rules applicable on its usage that differ from state to state. This article will explore the legality of dashcams in different states of the United States of America.
Note- information provided on here does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Rather, all information available on this site is for general informational purposes only.
Are Dash Cams Legal in the US?
Yes. Dash cams are legal in all U.S. States. While most states do not permit the driver to mount a dash cam on the vehicle’s winshield, all permit a dash cam installed on the dashboard. Let’s now look at the legality of dash cams specific to every US state.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Alabama?
It is illegal to mount a suction-mounted dash cam on the windshield of a vehicle in Alabama. No dash cam, GPS device or smart phone may be installed in the windshield. It may however be allowed for a driver to mount a camera on the dashboard of the vehicle as long as it causes no obstruction to the view.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Alaska?
Yes, Alaska allows drivers to use a dash cam. This means that all drivers are permitted to choose a suitable dash cam and mount it in their vehicles. Two things must be considered in this regard. The device must be positioned correctly in a way that it does not obstruct the driver’s view. The dash cam is also required to be smaller than 5 or 7 inches, depending on the side of the vehicle it is mounted to.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Arizona?
Arizona also allows the usage of dash cams. Drivers are allowed to install dash cams and record footage. There are however a few windshield regulations that must be complied with and it must be ensured that the dash cam is not placed in a dangerous position, in order to avoid the obstruction of view. The dashcam must also meet certain size regulations. If mounted to the left side of the car window, it cannot be more than 5×5 inches, and if mounted on the right side, it cannot be more than 7×7 inches. If the driver is found to be in violation of these regulations, they may be fined.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Arkansas?
Yes. The state prohibits the driving of a vehicle where the driver’s visibility is obstructed. It however does not have any law prohibiting the installation and usage of dash cams. As long as the mounting does not obstruct the view, it is legal to use a device such as a dash cam.
Is Dash Cam Legal in California?
Dash cams are legal in California but there are a few regulations that must be obeyed. A dashcam may not be more than 7 square inches if it is mounted in the lower right-hand corner of the windshield or more than 5 square inches if it is placed in the upper center of the windshield. In case a dashcam records both audio and video, it is mandatory for the driver to inform the passengers that audio is also being recorded. Dash cams must be able to store data and this recorded data is legally the property of the driver.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Colorado?
Dash cams are legal in Colorado. The mounting of such a device must be done carefully so as to avoid getting ticketed by an officer. However even in the case of wrongly mounted dashcam, an officer can only fine the driver and not take away the dashcam. Furthermore, it is important to ensure the dash cam is not mirrored or metallic, as such a device can cause momentary distraction for the driver in some lighting conditions.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Connecticut?
Yes. Mounting a dashcam is legal in Connecticut as long as it is positioned correctly and does not cause any obstruction to the driver’s view. Connecticut falls mong the list of states that require drivers to seek permission before recording passengers with the dashcam.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Delaware?
While windshield obstruction is prohibited, there is no law prohibiting the installation and usage of dash cams in Delaware.
Dash Cam Legal in Florida?
Yes, it is allowed to mount and use a dash cam in Florida. However, there are two laws that must be obeyed. The camera must not be placed in a position in the drivers’ line of sight that it obstructs the front and side view of the vehicle.
There are also certain wiretapping laws applicable in this state due to which the collection of audio footage is strictly prohibited without the prior permission of the person being recorded.
Dash Cam Legal in Georgia?
Yes. With the exception of certain restrictions applicable on the positioning of dash cams, there is no law that prohibits the installation of dash cams in the state of Georgia.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Hawaii?
Yes, there is no law banning the use of dashcams in Hawaii. Several dash cam users have also reported receiving extremely kind behaviour from most policemen and citizens after informing them that they are being recorded. This suggests that the state has adopted an extremely positive attitude towards the installation of dashcams.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Idaho?
Yes. The Idaho code says that no person is allowed to drive a vehicle with any device that obstructs the windshield (front-view), side-view or rear windows of the driver. However, the usage of dash cams is legal.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Illinois?
It is legal to use dash cams in Illinois. But they must be placed in a manner in which the driver’s view is not obstructed. Dash cam footage will also be admissible in court only as long as the person recorded in the footage has complete information about being recorded.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Indiana?
Yes, dash cams are legal in Indiana as long as they do not obstruct the driver’s view. Indiana restricts the mounting of dashcams to a four-inch corner on the passenger side of the windshield.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Iowa?
There is no law prohibiting dashcams in Iowa. Hence the mounting and usage of dashcams is legal in this state. It must however be ensured that the driver’s view is not blocked by the dashcam.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Kansas?
Yes. Dash cams are legal in Kansas but there are some restrictions that apply when it comes to windshield obstructions.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Kentucky?
Kentucky has imposed laws prohibiting windshield obstructions altogether but there are no laws banning the usage of dash cams in the state. It just forbids dash cam installed on windshields.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Louisiana?
In Louisiana, the law does not specifically prohibit the usage of dash cams. However, it does state that, “no person may operate a motor vehicle with any object or material that obstructs or reduces the driver’s clear view through the windshield.” A dash cam installed in a way that obstructs the driver’s vision can thus be considered a violation.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Maine?
Yes. The installation and usage of dashcams in permitted in Maine. However, they must not be mounted in a manner that it allows the clear view of the windshield. In case, the view has been obstructed, the driver might be pulled over and handed a ticket.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Maryland?
Yes. It is completely safe and legal to use a dashcam in Maryland. The dash cam must be either installed above the AS-1 line or 5 inches below the windshield top. Drivers are even allowed to record on-duty police officers. Many Maryland drivers use dashcams to protect their rights in the event of an accident or false claim.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Massachusetts?
Yes, Dash cams are legal in Massachusetts. However, the state has very strict laws when it comes to wire-tapping and consent-recording. Hence, it is suggested that drivers record video footage only with the passenger’s permission and avoid recording audio footage.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Michigan?
There is no law that prohibits citizens from using dash cams in Michigan. The closest restriction that can be considered in this context is that drivers are banned from using any device that blocks their view. Particularly, the driver cannot mount the dash cam on the windshield. This is not applicable to trucks over 10,000 pounds, or those carrying hazardous materials.
Interestingly a driver need not seek the consent of the passenger as long as he/she is a part of the conversation. However, a problem arises when the driver is not in the car and the passengers’ conversation gets recorded without the driver being a part of it. Such a recording is considered to be “eavesdropping” in Michigan and may lead to a high fine and also possible prison time.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Minnesota?
Yes, it is legal to install a dash cam in the state of Minnesota. However, the camera must be mounted on the windshield – either on top of the rear-view mirror or directly below the mirror. Placing a dashcam on the dashboard of a car is considered to be an obstruction to the driver’s view and hence an illegal act.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Mississippi?
There is no law prohibiting the usage of dash cams in the state of Mississippi.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Missouri?
Yes, it is completely legal to use dash cams in Missouri and there are no restrictions applicable on the position of mounting or installation.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Montana?
Yes. Dash cams are legal in Montana and their use is protected by the law. The only restriction applicable is on the recording of private property. Montana prevents the recording of private property with hidden device (without consent) or with malicious intent.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Nebraska?
Yes, dash cams are legal in Nebraska as long as they are positioned correctly and not obstructing the driver’s view.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Nevada?
Yes. Dashcams are legal in Nevada. But if it is a private or an in-person conversation, one party must be made aware of being recorded. In addition, it must be ensured that the windshield and windows are unobstructed.
Are Dash Cams Legal in New Hampshire?
Yes. Dashcams are legal in New Hampshire but a person being recorded must be informed about this. The dash cam cannot be mounted on the front windshield. It can be installed either on the dashboard or the rear windshield.
Are Dash Cams Legal in New Jersey?
Yes. It is legal to use dash cams in New Jersey. Dash Cams must be placed correctly so that the driver can view the screen while driving – preferably near the windshield, on the passenger side dashboard. The popularity of dashcams in this state has been increasing rapidly. It is also legal to use dashcam recordings in the court of law.
Are Dash Cams Legal in New Mexico?
Yes. There is no law prohibiting the use of dash cams in New Mexico. However, the device must be placed correctly, without causing any obstruction to the driver’s view.
Are Dash Cams Legal in New York?
Yes. Based on current laws, it is legal to use a dash cam in New York. The state also encourages drivers to install the device in their vehicle. In fact, a driver who has a dash cam installed in her/his vehicle is qualifies for a 5% premium discount (New York Bill A5132). Windshield obstructions are however illegal and therefore, prohibited.
Are Dash Cams Legal in North Carolina?
Yes, dash cams are legal in North Carolina. Trucks and law enforcement bodies have been using dash cams regularly. The use of such cameras by the civilian population is however, still low. There are certain safety laws in the state that must be followed. North Carolina is a one-party consent state. This means that the driver need not seek the permission of the passenger before recording them as long as the driver himself/herself is a party to the conversation. Since the dashcam is mounted on the windshield, it must be ensured that the device does not obstruct the driver’s view.
Are Dash Cams Legal in North Dakota?
Yes, but North Dakota is one of the states that have prohibited windshield obstructions altogether. This does not mean that dash cams are also banned. The usage of dashcams is legal in the state as long as they are mounted correctly.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Ohio?
Yes, it is legal to use a dash cam in the state of Ohio. There are two constraints that are applicable – the dash cam should not be positioned in a manner that it interferes with the driver’s ability to concentrate. It is also illegal to intercept or record a person’s conversation if the driver is not a party to it.
Recording footage of public environments and even of on-duty policemen (without interrupting their activities) is allowed.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Oklahoma?
Yes, it is legal to use a dashcam in Oklahoma as long as the driver’s view is not obstructed.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Oregon?
Yes. There is no law prohibiting the usage of cameras in vehicles in Oregon. Hence, it is permissible to use a dash cam in this state. However, it may be considered an illegal act if the dash cams are placed on the vehicle windows in a manner that the windows are blocked. Windshields also fall into this category of objects that cannot be obstructed in a manner that it affects the driver’s ability to view into or outside the vehicle.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Pennsylvania?
Yes. It is legal to use a dash cam in Pennsylvania. There are however a few things that must be kept in mind. The dash cam must not obstruct the driver’s view. In addition, it must be ensured that there is no screen displaying video that is placed in a manner that it is visible to the driver. Hence, it is suggested that the dashcam is placed in the right side of the windshield and is small enough in size to not catch the driver’s attention. Any activity that is not in line with the above-mentioned guidelines will be considered distracting and unsafe for the driver and therefore an illegal act.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Rhode Island?
Yes. It is completely legal to use a dash cam in Rhode Island. Recording footage in public places also does not evoke any questions or restrictions on privacy. The dash cam must however, be positioned correctly and not obstructing the driver’s view of the roads.
Are Dash Cams Legal in South Carolina?
Yes, it is legal to use a dash cam in South Carolina and law enforcement even encourages the usage of these devices. Footage recorded by a dash cam is considered to be a public record in this state. However, wrong mounting or an obstructed windshield could lead to the driver receiving a ticket from the traffic police.
Are Dash Cams Legal in South Dakota?
Yes. Windshield obstruction is completely prohibited in South Dakota but it is legal to install and use dash cams. Consent of the people being recorded inside the vehicle is necessary.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Tennessee?
Yes. There is no law that forbids the installation and use of dash cams in Tennessee if it is positioned correctly and not obstructing the driver’s view. It is absolutely legal to record dash cam footage and the footage can be used as official evidence in case of a mishap on the road.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Texas?
Yes, one can lawfully use a dashcam in the state of Texas. However, a few restrictions must be kept in mind.
The dashcam must not be placed in the windshield, side window or rear window in a manner that obstructs the driver’s clear vision.
The passenger must be informed that they are being recorded. Private audio footage must only be recorded if the driver is a part of that conversation. It is recommended that cameras are muted to avoid the illegal recording of audio footage.
The dashcam should also not be placed in a way that it obstructs the easy and safe deployment of airbags.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Utah?
Yes. Dashcams are legal in Utah as long as they do not block the driver’s view and are positioned correctly in the vehicle. The dash cam can be mounted along the top or lower-left corner of the windshield, as long as it is not longer than 4inches. The driver is also free to install dash cams on the back windows.
Are Dash Cams in Vermont?
Yes, it is legal to have a dash cam in Vermont. It must however be ensured that the camera does not obstruct the driver’s vision. Dash cams are very common in the state and dashcam footage is considered to be an official record even by the police and insurance companies.
Many companies also regularly use dashboard cameras to protect themselves from fraudulent claims and to monitor the outdoor behaviour of their employees.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Virginia?
Yes, Dash cams are legal in Virginia. Dashcam footage is also permitted as official evidence. Since dashcams are still a relatively new phenomenon in Virginia, a lot of laws are yet to be placed on dashcams. As of now, the only restriction that exists is on the correct mounting of dashcams so as to avoid blocking the driver’s views from the front windows, rear window and the windshield.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Washington?
Yes. There is no law forbidding drivers from using dash cams in their vehicles. According to the Washington State Law, drivers are allowed to mount dashcams on the windshield but it should not obstruct more than 5 inches on the driver’s side and seven inches on the passenger’s side. No non-transparent material is allowed on the windshield. Mounting a dash cam on the windshield might therefore be considered illegal.
Using dash cam footage as evidence is permissible in the court of law but recorded conversations are not. Passengers must also be informed that they are being recorded.
Are Dash Cams Legal in West Virginia?
Yes, dash cams are allowed in West Virginia. There are not too many legal specifications and using dashcams does not fall under wiretapping. However, it is recommended to record audio footage only with the passenger’s consent. This state does not permit the presence of non-transparent materials on the windshield, side wings, side or rear windows so as to prevent the obstruction of the driver’s view.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Wisconsin?
Yes. It is legal to install and use dash cams in Wisconsin. But the state prohibits the blocking of the front windshield by any device which might obstruct the driver’s view. It should be mounted behind the rearview mirror. The dash cam should not occupy more than 5 inches of the windshield on the driver’s side and 7 inches in front of the passenger’s side. The electronic surveillance laws in the state also require that the passenger is aware of a recording device in the vehicle and has given his/her consent to be recorded.
Are Dash Cams Legal in Wyoming?
Yes. Dash cams are allowed in Wyoming if they are positioned correctly, causing no impairment or blockage to the driver’s vision. Dashcam videos are very commonly used by the police and law enforcement agencies in this state.
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