Are Radar Detectors Legal in California

Wondering are radar detectors legal in California? We've unlocked the answer.

In the following sections, we will explore not only the legality of radar detectors in the Golden State but also highlight any restrictions and exceptions you should be aware of. We'll expand the scope to examine where these devices are considered illegal across the United States.

For those looking to equip their vehicles with this technology, we provide practical tips on how to install a radar detector properly.

Let's dive into the specifics.

What this article covers:

Radar detectors are legal in California for private vehicles. Based on our observations, this means drivers can use radar detectors in their cars without facing legal penalties.

That said, these devices must not be mounted on the windshield as it could obstruct the driver's view. California law prohibits the placement of any object on the windshield, which may impair the driver's vision.

Therefore, users must find alternative locations in their vehicles for their radar detectors.

Restrictions and Exceptions

While radar detectors are legal in California for private vehicles, there are notable restrictions. Our research indicates that commercial vehicles over 10,000 pounds are prohibited from using radar detectors.

is a radar detector illegal in california

In What States Are Radar Detectors Illegal?

Radar detectors are illegal in all vehicles in Virginia and Washington D.C. Drivers caught using radar detectors in these regions can face significant fines and confiscation of the device.


For more, we cover a range of topics relevant to the use and legality of radar detectors across different states in the United States, including what states are radar detectors illegal, focusing on the legal landscape surrounding these devices.

Additionally, we provide specific guidance on the legality of radar detectors in certain states, like are radar detectors legal in Texas, are radar detectors legal in NY, and are radar detectors legal in Florida.

How to Install a Radar Detector

Installing your brand-new Escort radar detector correctly is crucial for optimal performance and compliance with legal regulations. Proper installation not only ensures maximum effectiveness but also helps avoid potential legal issues.

california radar detector law

Choosing The Right Location

Selecting the right location for your radar detector is the first critical step. The ideal location is on the lower section of the windshield or on the dashboard, ensuring it does not obstruct your view.

It should not be placed too low where the hood of the car can block signals, nor should it be directly in the driver's line of sight, as this could violate state laws, particularly in California.

The internal GPS and sensors in the device function best when they have minimal obstructions to the signals they are trying to detect.

Moreover, consider ease of access. The driver should be able to reach the detector easily for turning it on and off, adjusting settings, or reading alerts without being distracted from the road.

Mounting The Detector

Mounting your radar detector securely is essential to prevent it from falling while driving and to maintain the correct angle for detecting signals.

Use a mounting kit for a secure fit. These reduce vibration and create stability.

Before mounting, clean the area with an alcohol wipe to remove any dirt or oils that could prevent a secure bond.

Make sure that the device is level with the road, as this is the optimal position for detecting signals from both ahead and behind your vehicle.

Connecting To Power

Our findings show that most radar detectors come with a power cord that plugs into the vehicle's cigarette lighter or power outlet.

Route the power cord from the detector to the power outlet in a way that keeps it out of the driver's way, using cable clips if necessary to secure the cord along the dashboard edge or center console. This prevents any interference with driving controls and maintains the cleanliness of the vehicle's interior.

radar detector legal in California

Consider hard-wiring the device to the vehicle's power supply if you prefer a cleaner look and do not want to occupy the cigarette lighter.

Testing And Adjusting Settings

Once installed, test the radar detector to ensure it's working correctly and adjust the settings according to your needs.

Power on the device and drive in areas where you know radar signals are present to ensure it detects them correctly. Adjust the volume and brightness settings to ensure they are at comfortable levels for driving conditions.

Best Radar Detectors

ESCORT Redline 360c

Our product, the ESCORT Redline 360c, stands out as a superior choice for California drivers. It offers extreme detection range and 360° directional awareness, ensuring drivers are well-informed of their surroundings without breaking any state laws.

The Redline 360c is not just any radar detector; it is the epitome of innovation and performance. Designed for the driver who demands the best, it offers 100% true stealth operation and unrivaled detection range, making it the top-performing detector in the market.

ESCORT MAXcam 360c a

We present the ESCORT MAXcam 360c,  designed for use where legal, providing drivers with advanced alert systems. It combines a high-performance radar detector with a dash cam to offer comprehensive road awareness.

The MAXcam 360c represents a leap forward in driver safety technology. It not only alerts you to radar and laser threats but also records your drive, offering a complete driver alert system.


Understanding are radar detectors legal in California leads to a broader appreciation of driving laws and equipment usage.

We've covered the legality and specific restrictions surrounding radar detectors in California, the states where these devices are illegal, and provided comprehensive guides on selecting the proper radar mounting location, connecting the power, and adjusting settings for your radar detector.

So why wait? Choose Escort Radar. Our advanced technology provides for clarity, safety, and peace of mind, all within the bounds of the law.

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