Are you interested in purchasing a dashcam, but you’re not sure what your state’s legal stance is regarding its use? Have you found yourself searching phrases like “Are dashcams legal?” or “legal placement of dashcam” on your favorite search engine? Do you want to familiarize yourself with state dashcam laws, but you’re not interested in reading through boring state statutes?
If any of this sounds familiar, then this guide is just what you’ve been looking for. Below, you will find information about dashcam laws by state. You can simply scroll down to your state or browse through the entire list if you would like to see how your state’s laws compare to other jurisdictions.
What Are Dashcam Laws?
Dashcam laws are statutory guidelines that govern the purchase and use of dashcams. Specifically, these laws answer the question, “Are dashcams legal?” while also outlining where these devices can be mounted, including other use-related information.
As you will see, dashcam laws vary from one state to the next. However, before we shift into our list of dashcam laws by state, are dashcams legal? The simple answer is yes. You can purchase, install and use a dashcam, regardless of which state you call home.
But before you click away, make sure you look over our list of dashcam laws by state so that you can follow local laws regarding their placement and usage. To keep things simple, the states are listed in alphabetical order.
In Alabama, it is illegal to place anything on the windshield of a vehicle, making suction dashcams illegal to install. However, placing a dashcam on the dashboard is legal as long as it does not obstruct the driver’s view.
Statute 13.04.225 of Alaska states that dashcams are legal as long as they don’t obstruct the driver’s view. If a dashcam is mounted on the driver’s side, the dashcam’s area must be smaller than five square inches.
For example, a device on the driver’s side that is two inches by two inches would be legal. However, a device three inches wide by three inches tall would be too large, and thus, it would be illegal.
When comparing dashcam laws by state, Arizona has some of the most specific regulations governing the placement of dashcams. The Arizona dashcam laws state that “a person shall not operate a motor vehicle with an object or material…affixed or applied on the windshield or side or rear windows…in a manner that obstructs or reduces a driver’s clear view through the windshield or side or rear windows.”
To quantify this, dashcams have to be smaller than a five-inch square if installed on the driver’s side and a seven-inch square if installed on the passenger side.
Dashboard cameras are legal in Arkansas as long as they are behind the rearview mirror and not obstructing the driver’s view. If it obstructs the driver’s view, the dashcam is deemed illegal.
California state law defines dashcams as video event recorders and exempts them from the law stating that nothing can hang on the windshield. The dashboard camera “may be mounted in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver, in a five-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver or in a five-inch square mounted to the center uppermost portion of the interior of the windshield.”
Colorado prohibits obstructing the driver’s view, which means that it’s perfectly legal to place a dashcam behind the rearview mirror or on the dashboard. The state also specifies that a dashcam can’t be mirrored or metallic, as reflective surfaces could momentarily blind a driver in the right lighting.
Connecticut prohibits placing non-transparent materials on the windshield. The law doesn’t specify dashcams, but it also doesn’t exempt dashcams from the rule. To be safe, mount a dashcam on the dashboard out of sight.
Delaware’s state law declares that “no person shall drive any vehicle upon a highway with any sign, poster or other non-transparent material upon the front windshield, side wings or side or rear window of such motor vehicle.” Therefore, in Delaware, dashcams should be mounted on the dashboard.
District of Columbia (D.C.)
Dashboard cameras are legal in Washington, D.C., but it is illegal to mount a dashcam on the windshield. D.C.’s dashcam law states that “no person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster or other non-transparent material upon the front windshield.”
Drivers must also have permission from all passengers to record audio in the car. To be safe, mount a dashcam on the dashboard and include a sticker or sign stating that the dashcam records audio.
Florida law prohibits placing any non-transparent objects on the windshield that could potentially block the driver’s view. However, there are no laws prohibiting the use of a dashcam. In fact, dashcams aren’t mentioned in the state’s laws. As long as the dashcam isn’t an obstruction, it’s legal.
Dashboard cameras are legal in Georgia, and drivers are allowed to record video and audio, as long as the permission of everyone in the vehicle is obtained first. However, installing a dashcam on the windshield instead of the dashboard would be against the Georgia dashcam laws that state “no person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster or other non-transparent material upon the front windshield.”
According to Hawaii law, a dashcam can be five to seven inches square, as long as it is also installed in the top or bottom corners of the windshield. Drivers can also install a dashcam on the dashboard or back window.
Idaho dashcam laws prohibit obstruction of the driver’s view. Since dashcams fall into the category of non-transparent materials, dashcams must be installed on the dashboard instead of the windshield.
Illinois vehicle laws don’t specifically mention dashcams or other recording devices. Therefore, as long as the dashcam doesn’t obstruct the driver’s view, drivers can install a dashcam on the windshield. If installing a dashcam on the driver’s side, make sure that it’s smaller than a five-inch square.
Indiana allows dashcams on the dashboard and on the windshield as long as the driver follows installation laws. When installing a dashcam in Indiana, the camera must be a four-inch square installed in the bottom corner on the passenger side.
Iowa law doesn’t mention dashcams specifically. Therefore, as long as the driver can see clearly, dashcams are legal. The law states that “a person shall not drive a motor vehicle equipped with a windshield, side wings or side or rear windows which do not permit clear vision.”
Dashboard cameras are legal in Kansas. As long as the dashcam doesn’t “substantially obstruct” the driver’s vision, the driver can place the dash camera on the dashboard or windshield.
There are no laws in Kentucky that prohibit or limit a dashcam’s placement. As long as the dashcam is placed reasonably and doesn’t cover or obstruct the driver’s vision, it’s legal.
Although Louisiana law does not specifically mention dashcams, it states, “no person may operate a motor vehicle with any object…affixed to the front windshield…so as to obstruct or reduce the driver’s clear view through the front windshield.” This would mean that dashcams are allowed as long as they’re placed on the dashboard and not the windshield.
Maine allows dashcams on the windshield or dashboard as long as they don’t interfere with the driver’s vision. Maine’s law has an exemption for “required or provided equipment of the vehicle,” which could apply to dashcams in trucks.
Maryland has specific requirements for dashboard camera placement. Essentially, drivers can place dashcams above the AS-1 line or higher than five inches below the top of the windshield. Drivers can also place a dashcam within a seven-inch square in the bottom corner of the windshield.
Drivers in Massachusetts cannot place a dashcam on the windshield because it counts as non-transparent material. Instead, place the camera on the dashboard. Drivers can use a side dashcam attached to the side window if the “total visible light reflectance is not more than 35%.” To keep things simple, we suggest mounting the dashcam on the dashboard.
Dashcams are legal in Michigan, but they cannot be placed on the windshield. However, the law doesn’t apply to trucks over 10,000 pounds, truck tractors, buses or trucks carrying hazardous waste.
In Minnesota, drivers must mount dashboard cameras “immediately behind, slightly above or slightly below the rearview mirror.” Dashcams count as “driver feedback and safety monitoring equipment,” making them legal.
Mississippi does not allow any objects to obstruct the driver’s view. However, there are no laws specifically restricting dashcams. Drivers should mount a dashcam on the dashboard to be safe.
Missouri is one of the few states that has no mention of obstructions to the driver’s view. This means that dashcams are legal to install and that the driver can install a dashcam wherever is most comfortable for them. To avoid obstructing vision, install the camera behind the rearview mirror or on the bottom or top of the windshield.
In Montana, the law requires drivers to have their windshields completely unobstructed. Specifically, objects, whether transparent or non-transparent, cannot “obstruct, obscure or impair the driver’s clear view.” Therefore, drivers in Montana should install their dashcams on their dashboards instead of their windshields.
Although dashboard cameras are legal in Nebraska, drivers are not allowed to install them directly on the windshield. They can install dashcams on the dashboard, but drivers must obtain permission from other cab passengers before recording audio.
Drivers in Nevada can install dashcams that are smaller than a six-inch square in the “lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver.” Drivers cannot install dashcams anywhere else on the windshield. However, you can install a dashcam on the dashboard with no restrictions.
In New Hampshire, drivers are not allowed to install a dashcam on the front windshield. However, if the car has a back camera, the driver is allowed to install a back camera that watches activity from the rear side of the car. Drivers are also allowed to install dashcams on the dashboard.
New Jersey does not allow a driver to install any non-transparent objects on the front windshield, the driver’s side window or the front passenger’s side window. When installing a dashcam, install it on the dashboard near the windshield on the passenger’s side.
New Mexico’s dashboard camera law states that “no person shall drive any motor vehicle with any…non-transparent material upon or in the front windshield, windows to the immediate right and left of the driver or in the rearmost window if the latter is used for driving visibility.” Drivers should only install dashcams on the dashboard and not on the windshield.
New York bill A5132 “provides for a 5% automobile insurance premium reduction for noncommercial passenger motor vehicles equipped with an operating dashboard camera.” Dashcams are legal and encouraged in New York because they act as a non-biased passenger and help to resolve ambiguous traffic accidents. Drivers should install a dashcam on the dashboard and not on the windshield.
North Carolina does not mention dashboard cameras or windshield obstruction in its motor vehicle laws. However, drivers should use discretion to determine the best and safest place for a dashcam. Mounting cameras on the dashboard is always a safe choice, as cameras mounted in this location are unlikely to obscure your vision.
North Dakota law states that drivers cannot install dashcams on the windshield. Drivers must have all windows cleared from any obstruction, including stickers, dashcams and posters. Thus, the best place for a dashcam in North Dakota is on the dashboard.
Ohio law does not allow drivers to install a dashcam on their windshields. All dashcams have to be installed on the dashboard or elsewhere in the car. As long as the camera doesn’t obscure any part of the windshield, it is legal to record video and audio in the cab.
You cannot install dashcams anywhere on the windshield in Oklahoma. Drivers can install dashcams on the dashboard as long as it does not obscure any part of the windshield.
According to Oregon legislation, “any material that prevents or impairs the ability to see into or out of the vehicle” is prohibited. It is illegal to place a dashcam on the windshield or on any other windows in the car. However, drivers can place a dashcam on the dashboard to record audio and capture videos.
Pennsylvania law prevents drivers from mounting a dashcam on any of the windows in the car, including the windshield. The law requires that drivers have a full view from their windshield without obstruction, but mounting a dashcam on the dashboard carries no restrictions.
In Rhode Island, dashcams are legal but cannot be mounted on the windshield. Drivers can install a dashcam on the dashboard pointing toward the road. As long as the dashcam doesn’t “obstruct the driver’s clear view,” it is legal.
South Carolina allows mounted dashcams on the dashboard, but not on the front windshield or any of the windows in the car. The driver must be able to see out of any window of the car.
Non-transparent materials are not allowed on the front windshield, side wings, side windows or rear windows of any vehicle in South Dakota. However, drivers can mount dashcams on the dashboard of the car. It is also legal to record video while driving and record audio of those in the vehicle with permission or notice.
Tennessee law requires that the driver’s view is completely unobstructed. This means that drivers cannot mount dashcams or GPS systems on the front windshield of the vehicle. Drivers can legally install a dashcam on the dashboard of the vehicle without restriction.
In Texas, a driver commits an offense “if the person operates a motor vehicle that has an object or material that is placed on or attached to the windshield or side or rear window and that obstructs or reduces the operator’s clear view.” Put simply, dashcams are legal in Texas, but they cannot adhere to the front windshield.
In Utah, drivers can mount dashboard cameras on the windshield as long as the dashcam is along the top of the windshield and doesn’t extend down further than four inches or in the lower left corner and doesn’t extend out more than four inches. Drivers can also install cameras on the back windows of the car without penalty.
Vermont law allows drivers to place dashcams in the lower right-hand windshield area as long as the device is less than four inches tall and 12 inches long. If mounted in the upper left-hand corner of the windshield, the device can be two inches high and two-and-a-half inches long.
Virginia state law prohibits a driver from placing a dashcam on the windshield but allows the driver to place it on the dashboard. As long as the driver has a clear, unobstructed view of the road, the device is allowed.
Drivers in Washington can have dashcams mounted on the dashboard to record audio and video while driving or while parked. The driver cannot mount the camera on the windshield because it could obstruct the driver’s clear view of the road.
Drivers in West Virginia are not allowed to have non-transparent materials mounted to the front windshield. There are no laws restricting the placement of a dashcam on any other windows of the car. To be safe, install a dashcam on the dashboard out of the driver’s line of sight.
In Wisconsin, dashboard cameras are legal. However, drivers cannot mount a dash camera on the windshield unless they mount it behind the rearview mirror.
The camera also cannot be mounted within the area cleaned by the normal sweep of the car’s windshield wipers. Wisconsin also does not allow anything to be placed between the driver and the windshield, making it ambiguous about where to install a dashcam. Once again, mounting the dashcam to the dashboard appears to be the simplest solution.
Wyoming allows a driver to mount a dashcam on the dashboard but not on the front windshield. As long as the dashcam does not obscure the windshield, dashcams are legal.
Finding a Great Dashcam
Now that guidance regarding the legal placement of dashcams in your state has been discussed, let’s shift our focus towards explaining how you can find a great dashcam in general. If you’ve searched for dashcams before, then you already know that there are plenty of options out there.
As a result, it can be tough to find the right technology for your driving needs because the options are endless. Find out more about our guide to the best-rated dashcams on the market and our top dashcam reviews.
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