State Radar Detector and Laser Jammer Laws
Confused on what the laws are concerning the laws are in your state regarding the use of a radar detector or laser jammer?
A radar detector is a driver's best friend. The advantages that it gives a smart and responsible driver cannot be overstated, but most people are wary because they're unsure of the device's legality.
The US's fractured state regulations compound this problem, especially for long-distance drivers.
It's true, something legal in one state could very well garner you a fine or even serious jail time in another.
But there's no reason to fear these amazing gadgets! As in most things, the best solution is education.
Here's the thing - most folks have nothing to worry about!
However, two areas on the East Coast strictly prohibit radar detectors: the state of
Virginia and Washington D.C.
The law varies from state to state, but
radar detectors are generally
legal in private vehicles under the Communications Act of 1934
. It's a
pretty dry read, so we've put together this helpful guide full of
straight answers states' stances on detectors and jammers.
After all, you wouldn't be buying a radar detector if you didn't like to get things done quickly!
Communications Act of 1934 made owning a radar detector legal and
it against the law for authorities to destroy the device
now that it is
considered personal property.
No way around it - if you're caught with a radar detector in either place, you will be ticketed.
How will they know you have a radar detector?
Because the patrolmen are all using radar detector detectors and unless you have a radar detector that is stealth to the Spectre RDD, they'll know you're breaking the law.
Military Bases: The Exception to the Rule
Even in a state where radar detectors are 100% perfectly legal, it's still against the law for you to enter a military installation with one visibly mounted to the sun visor or windshield.
Don't worry, you won't be fined or jailed for having a radar detector - you'll simply be asked to remove it until you leave the base. If you refuse to turn the device off and store it out of sight, you will not be granted admittance to the military grounds.
Heavy Vehicle, Heavy Fine
Under U.S. federal law, it's illegal for any and all commercial vehicles over 18,000 pounds to operate a radar detector. In the following states, state law expands that to commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds:
Therefore if you're a professional driver who wants protection, you would want to select a
stealth radar detector.
- New York
- New Jersey
Yikes! Windshield Mounting Laws.
It's perfectly legal to own and operate a radar detector in the states of California and Minnesota, but if you have one mounted to your windshield you will be ticketed!
How's that, you ask?
Both states have laws against affixing anything to your windshield that an officer could consider an obstruction of a driver's vision.
That means cellular phone clips, GPS holders, cartoon cats with suction cups on their feet, and especially radar detectors! If you're going to use such a device in one of these states, try and clip it to your sun visor instead or consider the BlendMount Mirror Mounting System.
Federal Radar Jammers Laws
In the United States, radar jammers are illegal under federal law Using a radar jammer could lead to you being charged with a felony, fined, and sent to jail in every single state.
Federal Laser Jammer Laws
Laser jammers, on the other hand, aren't specifically banned. Radar jammers get jammed up with FCC regulations because they send out unregulated radio waves, but laser jammers don't cause nearly the same disruption to police equipment because they emit only a beam of light.
Sounds like a technicality? It is.
Laser jammers haven't yet been banned by federal law but there are several states which have rallied against its use. The following states have laws in place against the use or ownership of a laser jammer:
- South Carolina
- Washington D.C.
Legality in Canada
Canada is not as radar detector-friendly as the United States of America. In fact, the only provinces where a radar detector is legal are:
- British Columbia
All other territories frown upon the use of the device so much that police officers are authorized to confiscate your radar detector whether it is operational or not. Authorities in Quebec may even penalize you up to $500 CAD for possessing a radar detector before confiscation.
It should also be noted that radar jammers are illegal all throughout Canada just like they are in the United States.
About Radar Roy
This site is owned and managed by "Radar Roy," a retired police officer and certified traffic radar instructor, who is considered a leading expert in the speed counter measurement industry.
To learn more about Roy, read his radar detector reviews or download his free radar detector eBook click here.
Dash Mounted Radar Detectors, Accessories, Mounting Systems: These products come with our 30-day money back guarantee provided that they are returned in
resalable condition. This requires that all parts, accessories, warranty
cards and packaging are returned.
Installed Products: Any radar detector/laser jammer product that requires installation is exempt from our 30-day return policy if the product is removed from the packaging and/or if the buyer installs
and/or attempts to install the product on a vehicle it becomes a
This exception includes all laser jammers, installed radar detectors, and the Veil Stealth Coating.