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Mobile Scanner and
[ICON: Scanner]
RADAR-Detector Laws

[Mobile Scanner & RADAR-Detectors Laws]
By Todd L. Sherman/KB4MHH

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Our THANKS to everyone for allowing us to serve you for TWENTY YEARS, now!

-Todd Sherman, Owner, MSRDL-US

INDIANA SCANNER LAW REVISED... (09/23/2019) - The scanner law for Indiana was recently revised. Click here for more info.

SOUTH DAKOTA SCANNER LAW REVISED... (02/25/2015) - South Dakota has much-improved their scanner law wording. It is now clearly obvious that scanner use is illegal only while in the commission of a felony. Click here for more info.

REVIEW OF WALMART DASHCAM... (02/12/2015) - For Xmas my girlfriend bought me one of those little $39 Pilot dash cams sold at Walmart and I wrote something of a review of it [see]. Takes a little getting used to, but considering the price, it seems to be okay. I was complaining that people on the road seem to be getting more and more nuts as the population and traffic increases, and that I was worried that I'd be involved in some accident and that some nutcase would try to blame me, or that I'd get run over by a U-Haul trailer that some idiot forgot to chain and lock and there'd be no evidence to tell the authorities what happened, afterwards. ;) So she put one under the tree for me for Xmas. Be darned if I've already caught a few interesting situations on video, so I put those up online, too. [see] :) Note, I'm not endoring anyone; and this isn't an ad. Just something I decided to do in my spare time to save some people some dash-cam-hunting troubles...just like I made this web page...to help people regarding the scanner and RD laws. I don't get paid for it. I just do it to try to help save people some trouble.

CREATED MSRDL FACEBOOK PAGE - Keeping up with the times, we've created a Facebook page to represent Mobile Scanner & RADAR-Detector Laws In The US in other online media. We've also linked that page with it's Twitter twin.

WARNING TO PHONE AP USERS! SCANNER PHONE APS USED WHILE MOBILE ARE JUST AS ILLEGAL AS A SCANNER IN THE MOBILE-SCANNER-REGULATED STATES! (05/26/2011) - Yes. You heard right. Apparently the same laws which regulate mobile scanner usage ALSO apply to phone applications that are available which allow users to monitor local police frequencies. While your phone itself is not technically a "scanner", some states see the use of the application as effectively turning the phone INTO one. If you don't have a ham license, or some form of permission slip, or some other form on exemption, be forewarned that those scanner aps COULD lead you into trouble! More Here...

NEW!!! MSRDL Twitter Page (09/19/2009) - I've created a Twitter page for the purpose of allowing users to share latest information on changing laws affecting the use of scanners and/or radar-detectors. The new Twitter page is available at http://twitter.com/MSRDL. The Twitter site can be used to report proposed legislation, abolishment of laws, etc. Confirmed reports will be reprinted here on the Mobile Scanner & RADAR Detector Laws web site with credit to the individuals making the information known.

FAQ SHEET: COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS - Please read this before you send me any e-mail, or ask me any questions! Thanks.


Biggest and most important difference between this site and other sites out there which contain LISTS of the laws is that 1) mine not only LISTS the laws, but 2) QUOTES REFERENCES. I update my site regularly. I always have the latest TEXT of the actual laws, so that you know whether a law is CURRENT or not. The other sites do not do this. You can't click on the law and read the text. They don't tell you what codebook or statute book a law comes from. For this reason, you should always keep a link to my site in your bookmarks so that you can back UP those lists with the actual laws. Heck, they probably got the information from my site in the first place. I seriously doubt there are really other people out there banging their heads to try to keep you updated on the latest laws by doing this very tedious research THEMSELVES. No, it's more likely they came here, then created thier lists using the laws I'd already researched and put in one place FOR them (and you). You don't know how old those other lists are. You don't know how often they update them.

T his site is for you. It is here for you to reference free of charge. No access fees. No gimmicks. No "catches." It is here because one guy thought it would be kind of a neat idea to share his own hard research work with others ... because it has to do with a subject common to us all as we drive about the U.S.

[ANIM: Scroll] This site is here to help those of us who wish to abide by the law to do just that. It lists the text of any STATE-LEVEL laws regarding the mobile usage of Radio-Frequency Scanners or RADAR-Detectors. If they are illegal to use in some way, you can look up the state(s) you intend to travel through and find out, now, immediately. And its all in one place. Now you don't have to find them piece-by-piece from many sites spread all about the web, spending hours at many search engines, using mounds of keywords which may or may not work for you. That being said, please note: I said you can look up the laws. I am not your personal AAA TripTik Planner Person. Please don't ask me to draw out a map to plan your trip to avoid states with anti-scanner/RD laws for you. (There is some effort required on your part, here. I've already done the hard part for you.)

The Scanner Laws subpage will be of use to people like amateur radio operators ("hams"), public service officials (police, fire, EMS, etc.), travelling news reporters, NWS-SKYWARN weather spotters, and other people who are often mobile and who may cross state lines in their travels, and who like to (or must) use a scanner in order to know what is going on around them. [NOTE: Hams using transceivers capable of monitoring public service frequencies outside of the ham bands should be aware of the existence of P.R. 91-36. This document has been out for ten years and yet, not many hams are even aware of it's existence. It is a FEDERAL-level preemption of lower-level state and local laws which regulate the reception of public service frequencies. In most cases, hams are exempted in the laws; but not always. This document makes your OOB-capable mobile transceivers legal everywhere in the U.S. It is a Memorandum, Opinion and ORDER, and it carries the same level of authority as actual law, and it must be obeyed. Note that PR 91-36 does NOT cover the use of external or portable scanners; only OOB-capable transceivers. See the "U.S. Federal Laws" subpage for more.]

The RADAR-Detector Laws subpage will be of use to most everyone who travels. We ALL use the Interstates. Many of us use radar-detectors. And we all want to know where it may be illegal to use a radar-detector so that we can be law-abiding and put them away while travelling through those states. (Right?) This particular subpage assumes that the reason you have a radar-detector is so that you can be reminded in the course of your travels that your foot might be lead because you're not paying ATTENTION; i.e., for those who are legitimitely trying to be law-abiding. In this function, the radar-detector is quite useful. I know I don't trust MY auto-pilot (noone SHOULD). So I drive manually. When you do that, it's easily possible that you could end up speeding - and not deliberately - if you're not paying attention. We have ALL done that, repeatedly. So, I know there's no question or argument, there. In these cases, yes, the radar-detector can give you one last-chance reminder to check your speedometer just to be sure. When used in this way, I am a big proponent for the use of radar-detectors. It is a legitimite use, and especially towards safety. On the other hand, this subpage is not intended to help people who intend to deliberately speed. There is a big difference between the two uses of radar-detectors, and personally, I don't support that latter one.

Just the text, mam. This site simply provides the TEXT of the laws I could find in each state, if any were found. And again - this site deals with laws regarding use while mobile - and not with general privacy monitoring laws (which just about every state has, and which is already regulated on the federal level). For the laws regarding that, please see the NF2G Scannist Pages, an excellent web site by David Stark/NF2G. Dave is a law student, and also a ham radio operator (thus, his callsign..."NF2G"). His web site specializes in federal laws regarding communications monitoring. When I get a federal-related comm question, I usually forward it his way. When you use us together, you'll always be well informed. I'd cover the federal laws, myself, but since Dave already has a site on that subject, I see no need for duplicating of information on an already crowded web, and Dave's site is quite comprehensive.

[ UPDATED! ] - I've updated my Links page to include a lot of helpful stuff for the traveller, including hotel and auto-rental reservation sites, map sites, sites relating to technical aspects of scanners and radar-detectors, online state code/statute sites (so you can check for yourself), and more. Please feel free to check it out!

Since it's sort of along the lines of what I'm trying to accomplish, here, I'm "temporarily" adding a new page to this site tracking where use of mobile phones is illegal. Whether I decide to keep it or not depends upon how much work this actually turns out to be, and whether I feel like doing that much added work. But use this to find out where use of mobile cell phones is now illegal.


    Before you send me e-mail or ask me any questions, please read this FAQ sheet, first. Thanks.
  3. The Laws
  4. Regarding Technical-Related Questions
  5. Links & Resources
  6. What's New!



Mobile Scanner & RADAR-Detector Laws In The U.S.
by Todd L. Sherman / KB4MHH
Gainesville, Alachua Co., Fla.
E-mail: mobilescannerlaws@cox.net
Page Created: (About August, 1995.)
Last updated: September 23, 2019.


All information Copyright © 1995- by Todd L. Sherman/KB4MHH.
All Rights Reserved. Except for personal use, no part of this publication
may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any
form or by any means, electronic, electrical, chemical, optical, mechanical,
photocopying, recording or otherwise without the prior written permission
of the copyright owner.

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