Informational Guide

What States Are Radar Detectors Illegal?

You could face consequences if you use a radar detector illegally. So, what states are radar detectors illegal? We look at the in-depth rules for all states.

A radar detector alerts drivers when the police are monitoring speeds. While having the best radar detector can help you avoid a speeding ticket, you could face the consequences if you use one illegally. So, what states are radar detectors illegal? We look at the list in-depth.


In most places, having a cordless radar detector is completely legal. However, there are some areas where using one could get you in trouble. Some officials believe that using a radar detector will encourage speeding, thereby putting people in more danger. In other areas, the detectors are illegal because they are deemed distracting.

Radar Detector Rules in Each State

It’s vital to check the “What states are radar detectors illegal list” regularly to determine if laws have changed. Right not, only Virginia and Washington DC outright ban the use of radar detectors. However, other states have rules about how these tools can be used. For the most part, it is legal to use radar detectors in private vehicles.

States Where Radar Detectors Are Illegal


So, what states are illegal to have radar detectors? Here are the current laws to take note of.

Virginia/Washington DC

It’s illegal to use a radar detector in any vehicle. You can get a ticket if you are caught.


Radar detectors may not be mounted on the inside of the vehicle windshield. If you do put anything on your windshield in these states, expect to receive a ticket.

Illinois, New Jersey & New York

While radar detectors are only legal in private vehicles, commercial drivers may not use them in these states.

States Where Radar Detectors Are Legal

In all other states, using a radar detector is completely legal, whether it is a private or commercial vehicle you are driving. AAA keeps a list of radar detector laws you should reference often.

Why Use Radar Detectors Anyway?

The main benefit of using a radar detector is to avoid police speeding traps that might catch you unaware. However, you don’t want to purchase just any radar detector. Instead, evaluate the best radar detector under $300 if you are on a budget or a motorcycle radar detector for when you take a ride on your bike.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is it illegal to have a radar detector if you work in a military base?

Even if you are driving in a state where radar detection is legal, you could get in a lot of trouble using one on a military base. It is illegal to enter the base with a radar detector mounted in your vehicle.

Why is it illegal to have a radar detector in a commercial vehicle?

In some states, commercial vehicles over a certain weight may not use a radar detector. The reasoning behind these laws is to ensure that these heavy vehicles aren’t speeding and potentially causing life-threatening accidents.

How does a radar detector compare with radar jammer?

While the radar detector simply alerts occupants to the presence of speed traps, the radar jammer uses countermeasures to interfere with the radar being used. These are not legal to use and might result in a fine or prison time since you would be breaking federal laws.

Can cops tell if you are using a radar detector?

For the most part, cops can’t tell if you are using a radar detector. However, if the system is visible or your actions are unusual, you could draw suspicion.

Can I get a ticket for having a radar detector?

You will only get a ticket if you are using the radar detector in an area where it is illegal, or you are using it improperly, according to state laws.


What states are illegal for radar detectors? For the most part, these systems are legal in most states, but you want to review local guidelines before you start watching for speed traps.