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