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A comprehensive guide to GPS tracking laws by state

Do you want to implement GPS tracking in your company or personal vehicle? In most cases, you can install GPS transportation or employee tracking devices in any vehicle you own. There are limitations, however, to what you can do to others’ vehicles. Understanding GPS tracking laws by state, along with the applicable federal statutes, is essential for legally and ethically using trackers. 

Keep reading to learn more about legal GPS tracking, including details on all relevant state and federal GPS tracking laws.

Are the laws on GPS tracking the same in every state? 

There are two categories of GPS tracking laws: federal and state. Federal GPS tracking laws apply across the entire U.S., while state-specific laws only pertain to people within state borders. 

In the U.S., it’s always legal to put a GPS tracker on a vehicle you own. It doesn’t matter whether you drive it yourself, or if it’s a fleet vehicle driven by an employee or contractor. Using a GPS to track a vehicle that doesn’t belong to you, though, is not typically legal. Depending on the state, doing so may be considered stalking.  

GPS tracking is a relatively new and evolving technology. There are several federal court cases directly pertaining to its legality on a federal level, including these pivotal decisions:

Another significant federal law related to GPS transportation tracking is the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate. It requires commercial truck drivers to have ELDs installed in their vehicles to comply with hours of service (HOS) regulations. 

ELDs monitor vehicles in real-time, recording date, time, location information, engine hours, vehicle miles and identification information. Some carriers also legally choose to incorporate ELD information into their overall fleet GPS tracking system to optimize operations. 

Why are GPS tracking laws in place? 

Most people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, and many worry about their location being tracked without their knowledge or consent. Additionally, GPS location data in the hands of a stalker or abuser can present a real physical risk. GPS tracking laws are in place to ensure that the technology isn’t abused. 

While federal GPS tracking laws establish general guidelines, many states have also chosen to codify GPS tracking laws. In most cases, these laws provide additional protections for stalking victims or prevent unauthorized tracking by law enforcement.

GPS tracking laws by each state

While most states don’t have laws specifically about GPS tracking, the topic often falls under surveillance-related statutes. Here’s a breakdown of these codes state by state. 


According to Alabama code 13A-11-32, intentionally engaging in surveillance when trespassing in private places is illegal.


Under Alaska code SCS CSHB 64(STA), installing a device to observe, record or photograph someone’s residence, vehicle or workplace without consent constitutes second-degree stalking.


Arizona code 13-2923 makes it illegal to use an electronic or GPS device to continuously surveil a person for over 12 hours without authorization.


No GPS or digital surveillance laws found.


California penal code 637.7 prohibits using an electronic tracking device to determine the location or movement of a person. This law does not apply to a vehicle’s owner, lessor or lessee or law enforcement. 


Vonnie’s law, or Colorado C.R.S. 18-3-602, makes it illegal to use electronic surveillance to record a person’s movements. It also prohibits allowing a stalker to access the information simultaneously or shortly thereafter. 


Under Connecticut’s Public Act 21-56 concerning online harassment, it’s illegal to repeatedly use GPS tracking to cause someone to fear for their physical safety. 


Delaware’s criminal code title 11 chapter 5 considers it a misdemeanor to install a vehicle tracker without the owner’s, lessor’s or lessee’s consent. There are some exceptions for law enforcement officers and legal guardians of children. 


Under Florida Title 934.425, installing a tracking device on another person’s vehicle without consent will result in a fine. There are many exceptions, however, for parents, caregivers, law enforcement officers and certain business entities.


No GPS or digital surveillance laws found.


Hawaii’s H.R.S 803-41 and H.R.S. 803-42 prohibit the intentional use of mobile tracking without consent. Exceptions are made for search warrants or other court ordered circumstances.


Idaho Code 18-6702 prohibits the interception and disclosure of wire, electronic or oral communications, including digitally from a tracking device. 


Under Illinois statute 720 ILCS 65/12-7.3, placing a tracking device on a person or their property may be illegal. It’s considered stalking if it transmits a threat of immediate or future bodily harm. 


There are no GPS tracking laws in Indiana yet, but that will change if Senate Bill 83 is passed.


Iowa Code 708.11A prohibits placing a GPS tracker on another person or object without a legitimate purpose or consent. 


No GPS or digital surveillance laws found.


No GPS or digital surveillance laws found.


Louisiana law R.S. 14:323 prohibits using a tracker to determine a person’s location or movement without consent. 


Maine criminal code 17-A M.R.S., 210-A prohibits activities related to stalking. This includes acts or devices that directly or indirectly follow, monitor, track, observe, surveil, threaten or harass another person. 


According to Maryland 3-802, using a device to pinpoint or track someone’s location without knowledge or consent constitutes criminal stalking.


Massachusetts criminal harrassment law ALM GL. 265-43A prohibits using trackers to conduct willful, malicious acts resulting in emotional distress.


Michigan statute MCLS 750.5392 prohibits placing trackers on motor vehicles without the owner’s or lessee’s knowledge or consent. 


Per Minnesota statute 626A.35, tracking the movement of a person or object without court order or consent is prohibited.


The Mississippi stalking law 97-3-107 prohibits cyberstalking. The act isdefined as using any electronic communications to threaten, terrify or harass. 


Per Missouri law 455.095, it’s illegal to digitally track anyone without consent, unless the individual’s determined legally indigent.


Montana house bill 603, requires even law enforcement to obtain a probable cause warrant before tracking someone’s location. 


According to Nebraska 86-2,103, district courts may issue warrants or orders to install a tracking device within the jurisdiction.


No GPS or digital surveillance laws found.

New Hampshire

Under New Hampshire statute 644-A:4, it’s illegal to place a tracker on a person or their property without consent.

New Jersey

No GPS or digital surveillance laws found.

New Mexico

Per New Mexico 30-3A-3, it’s a misdemeanor to use any device to follow, monitor or surveil a specific individual as part of a pattern of conduct that threatens death, bodily harm, sexual assault, confinement or restraint.

New York

Under NY CLS Penal 120:45, the unauthorized tracking of someone’s movements or locations with electronic devices is considered stalking.

North Carolina

Per NCGS 14-196.3, using an electronic device to track someone’s location without consent is considered cyberstalking.

North Dakota

The stalking law in North Dakota, N.D. Cent. Code 12.1-17-07.1, addresses the unauthorized tracking of a person’s movements or location. It includes GPS or other devices that would cause someone to feel frightened, intimidated or harassed with no legitimate purpose.


Ohio section 2903.211, the state’s menacing by stalking law, addresses conduct that leads someone to fear they’ll be harmed. Harm includes emotional distress to a victim or family member, and may be inflicted via electronic means.


Per Oklahoma Statutes Title 21-1173, unlawful following includes tracking via GPS without a person’s consent.


Oregon statute 163.715 states that it’s a crime to affix a GPS device to a vehicle without the owner’s consent. 


Pennsylvania’s Title 18 Subchapter D regarding mobile tracking allows investigative or law enforcement officers to track vehicles for 90 days following a court order. 

Rhode Island

According to Rhode Island Gen. Laws. 11-69-1, it’s a criminal offense to place a tracker on a vehicle without consent.  

South Carolina

Under South Carolina Bill 3213, it’s unlawful for individuals or law enforcement to use a GPS tracking device without consent.

South Dakota

South Dakota Codified Laws 23A-35-4.3 requires a search warrant for law enforcement to use tracking devices.


Tennessee Code Ann. 39-13-606 makes it illegal for an individual to install, conceal or otherwise place a mobile tracking device in a motor vehicle without the consent of all owners or lessees of the vehicle. 


In Texas, Penal Code 16.06 makes it unlawful for any individual to place a tracking device in a motor vehicle with some exceptions. These include consent from the owner or lessee, or as part of a criminal investigation. 


Utah Code 76-9-408 makes it illegal to install a tracker on a vehicle owned or leased by another person. It’s fine, however, with permission of the owner or lessee of the vehicle.


In Vermont’s Electronic Communication Privacy Act 8101, GPS location data falls under protected user information. It can thus only be accessed with the specific consent of the lawful user or by law officers with a warrant. 


Per Virginia Code 18.2-60.5, it’s unlawful to use a tracker through deceptive means to track people without consent. 


In Washington state, RCW 9A.90.130 prohibits using an electronic location tracker if doing so would cause reasonable fear. 

West Virginia

West Virgina Code 61-3-50 states that it is illegal to use GPS devices to discover another person’s whereabouts without consent. The first offense counts as a misdemeanor, while the second offense is an automatic felony. 


Wisconsin Statute 940.315 makes it a misdemeanor to place GPS trackers on vehicles owned or leased by another person. It’s also illegal to intentionally obtain information on a person’s movement or location generated by a GPS placed without consent. 


As part of Wyoming Stat. 6-2-506, it’s illegal to use electronic, digital or GPS devices to surveil someone without authorization. 

GPS tracking for transportation companies

GPS tracking laws protect citizens’ privacy and prevent illegal stalking. Understanding relevant GPS tracking laws, like knowing your state’s dashcam laws, is important for fleet managers to operate legally. 


Can a company legally track your location?

Yes, companies can legally track your location in certain circumstances, such as when you have agreed to share your location data or when required for legitimate business purposes. However, there are privacy laws and regulations that govern how companies can collect and use location data.

Who can take off a GPS tracker?

Some GPS trackers are easy to remove, while others are hardwired into vehicles. Auto repair and diesel mechanics can usually remove GPS trackers.

Can my boss watch me on camera all day?

In most cases, your boss can legally monitor you with security cameras while you are at work, as this is generally considered an acceptable way for employers to protect their property and ensure workplace safety. However, there may be limits on continuous monitoring or cameras in areas where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms or changing rooms.

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