In the United States, the Legality of the Dashcam Depends on the Installation Place

Before installing a dashcam in your car, you need to know whether it is legal to use the dashcam in your place of residence. Although these devices are legal in many states, two important legal issues can cause trouble.

Use the driving recorder:

  1. Is it blocking the front windshield's view?
  2. Related to electronic monitoring.

In the United States, different states deal with the two issues in different ways, so you should understand the laws in your area before you start using the dash cam.


The first legal problem with the driving recorder is that most of them are not connected to the dashboard, but are connected to the windshield through a suction cup.

However, in many parts of the United States, for GPS navigation deviceThe area covered by the windshield by equipment such as driving recorders and other equipment has clear regulations.

If the driving recorder obscures the 5-inch square on the driver’s side or the 7-inch square on the passenger’s side, it may be in great trouble. Some areas even have stricter restrictions, while other areas do not impose any restrictions. Therefore, it is best to check the laws or municipal regulations in your area to make sure everything is in order.

Another safe approach is to consult the local law enforcement agency or a lawyer with experience in the field.

In this regard, many jurisdictions provide online access to local laws and regulations.

It is forbidden to install dash cams in windshield states

In most states in the United States, it is illegal to install a dash cam or any other device on the windshield, but there are some exceptions.

The focus of this question is whether it obstructs the driver's road vision. Generally speaking, some laws are related to windshield obstacles, while other laws are designed to regulate sunscreen or stickers. Despite this, they often use vague language, which may include any obstacles.

Even if the driving recorder is installed on the dashboard instead of on the windshield, if it seems to block the driver’s view, it may be illegal.

The state laws on this matter fall into three categories:

  • States that have specific or vague bans on obstructing windshields,
  • Specify the state of the part of the windshield that can be obstructed, and
  • No mention of windshield obstruction states.
Windshield Obstacle ProhibitionAlabama,Arkansas,Connecticut,Delaware,Florida,Georgia,Idaho,Iowa,Kansas, Kentucky,Louisiana State,Massachusetts,Michigan,Mississippi, Montana,Nebraska,New Hampshire,New Jersey,Maine,New Mexico,New York state,North Dakota,Ohio,Oklahoma,Oregon,Pennsylvania,Rhode Island,South Carolina,South Dakota,Tennessee,Texas,Virginia,Washington, West Virginia,Wisconsin,Wyoming
Windshield obstacle restrictionAlaska,Arizona,California,Colorado,Hawaii,Illinois,Indiana, Maryland,Minnesota,Nevada,Utah,Vermont
No restrictions or no mentionMissouri,North Carolina
Dashcam that blocks the driver's sight
Dashcam that blocks the driver's sight

In any jurisdiction, the legality of window installation and instrument panel installation equipment may change at any time. In some states, even though it is legal to install windshields today, it may not be the case tomorrow. If anything is installed on the windshield that may obstruct the sight of the road, consult a lawyer or read relevant regulations or laws first.

Electronic monitoring issues

The driving recorder is technically a form of surveillance, so depending on where you live, you may violate electronic surveillance laws, and your area may have data protection laws.

The United States does not have a federal law on driving recorders. However, there are federal laws on secret recordings, and it may be illegal to use a dash cam if you record a conversation in a vehicle without the knowledge of all participants.

Leave a Comment