Laws | Windshield Law and the GPS Receiver

Strephon_Alkhalikoi's picture

While every effort was made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of this FAQ, the state and provincial/territorial agencies providing the laws, the author of this FAQ, and POI Factory cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions which may occur in this FAQ. This FAQ is not a substitute for legal advice and the opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author.

There seems to be a lot of confusion as to which states or provinces/territories allow a GPS receiver to be mounted to a windshield and which do not. There have been various claims that say all states allow such mounting to only select states permitting. A lot of the confusion is due to selective enforcement of the law, such as in the example case here, where a New Jersey driver was pulled over for a non-existent infraction and fined by the officer for having the GPS mounted. It was because of the example case that I set out to determine what the law actually says regarding windshield placement of a GPS. The results are rather surprising in that 28 US states and 6 Canadian provinces or territories do not permit the GPS to be mounted on the windshield.

For the list below, the results are determined based upon the letter of the law in each state or province as well as the doctrine of "everything which is not forbidden is allowed."

Should a link below not function properly, it is likely that the site has disabled direct linking. In that case, it will be necessary to manually search the host site using the number of the statute or law in question.

Yes - GPS receivers can be mounted on the windshield. This is either through being specifically mentioned as being exempt from a regulation, or through the law not specifically mentioning GPS receivers at all while mentioning other items as being prohibited. See the appropriate law for details.

Yes (Limited) - As "Yes" above, but the law limits the location where the receiver may be mounted, usually at the bottom of the windshield in a 5" square on the driver's side or a 7" square on the passenger's side. See the appropriate law for details.

No - GPS receivers may not be mounted on the windshield. This is generally because of a mention of "non-transparent material" not being allowed on the windshield. A GPS mount would fall under this definition. See the appropriate law for details.

United States
Alabama: No, 32-5-215
Alaska: Yes, 28.35.161
Arizona: Yes (Limited), 28-959.01
Arkansas: No, 27-37-302
California: Yes (Limited), 26708
Colorado: Yes, 42-4-201
Connecticut: No[1], 14-99f
Delaware: No, 21-4309
District of Columbia: No[2], 50-1731.04
Florida: Yes, 316.2952
Georgia: No, 40-8-73
Hawaii: Yes (Limited), 291-21.5
Idaho: No, 49-943
Illinois: Yes, 625 ILCS 5
Indiana: Yes (Limited)[3], 9-19-19-3
Iowa: No, 321.438
Kansas: No, 8-1741
Kentucky: No, 189.110
Louisiana: No, 361.1
Maine: Yes[4], 1916
Maryland: Yes (Limited)[5], 21-1104
Massachusetts: Yes, I-XIV-90-9D
Michigan: Yes, 257.708b
Minnesota: Yes (Limited)[6], 169.71
Mississippi: Yes, 63-7-59
Missouri: Yes, 307.173
Montana: No, 61-9-405
Nebraska: No, 60-6,256
Nevada: Yes (Limited)[7], 484D.435
New Hampshire: Yes, 266:58a
New Jersey: No, 39:3-74
New Mexico: No, 66-3.846
New York: Yes, 375
North Carolina: Yes, 20-127
North Dakota: No, 39-21-39
Ohio: Yes[8], 4513.24
Oklahoma: No, 47-12-404
Oregon: No, 815.220
Pennsylvania: No, 4524
Rhode Island: No, 31-23-16
South Carolina: No, 56-5-5000
South Dakota: No, 32-15-5
Tennessee: Yes, 55-4-249
Texas: No, 547.613
Utah: Yes (Limited)[9], 41-6a-1635
Vermont: Yes, 1242
Virginia: No, 46.2-1054
Washington: No, 46.37.410
West Virginia: No, 17C-15-36
Wisconsin: No, 346.88(3)
Wyoming: No, 31-5-955

Alberta: Yes, 115.3(1)
British Columbia: No, 308/2009(4)
Manitoba: Yes, 57(3)
New Brunswick: No, 238(1)
Newfoundland and Labrador: Yes, 32
Northwest Territories: Yes, 58
Nova Scotia: No, 184(4)
Nunavut: Yes, 58
Ontario: No, 73(1)
Prince Edward Island: No, 138(1)
Québec: No, III-5-59
Saskatchewan: Yes, 64
Yukon: Yes, 24

[1] Connecticut has a litmus test, stating that there must be a more than hypothetical possibility of the item blocking the field of vision.
[2] DC prohibits all electronic devices unless a hands-free accessory is equipped.
[3] 4" square, lower passenger side corner.
[4] An example of "everything which is not forbidden is allowed." No mention in the statutes regarding anything on the window, other than reflective tinting. Thus allowed.
[5] 7" square, lower corner, driver or passenger side not specified.
[6] Must be on the bottom of the windshield, but not limited to the corners.
[7] 6" square, lower passenger side corner.
[8] Enacted 6/29/2011.
[9] Top edge of windshield or lower left corner, 3" x 4" rectangle.