Are Dash Cams Legal in California?

Dash Cams Legal California

While most people have seen footage from the dash cam of a police vehicle, it’s not often that footage is released from an ordinary driver. This leads us to the question, are dash cams legal in California?

The answer to this question is yes. Dash cams are “video event recorders” that record everything going on outside of the vehicle, both audio and video, on a continuous loop. Dash cams can also record things such as how fast the driver is going, if he or she is wearing a seatbelt, the direction the vehicle is moving and the vehicle’s steering and breaking motion.  Under California law, allowing drivers to use such a recording device in a private vehicle is to encourage drivers to drive safely on the road, thus reducing accidents.

What the Law Says

While dash cams are legal in California, there are certain restrictions on their placement to ensure that it does not impede the driver’s view of the road. Personal dash cams must be:

  • Outside of the range of airbag deployment
  • In the lower right-hand corner of the windshield no larger than 7 square inches or;
  • In the lower left-hand corner of the windshield no larger than 5 square inches or;
  • In the upper center of the windshield no larger than 5 square inches

Because dash cams also record video, drivers with dash cams must post a notice in their vehicle to notify any passengers that their conversations are being recorded. All dash cams must also be able to save and store data, which belongs to the driver.

Purpose of Dash Cams

There are many reasons why a driver may want to install a dash cam in his or her personal vehicle:

  1. To monitor personal driving performance or the driving performance of a new teenage or student driver.
  2. To provide a record of police behavior should the driver be pulled over on the road
  3. To document events leading up to accidents to ensure the proper information is reported to San Diego auto insurance agencies

Prior to 2011, dash cams were not for legal use in the state of California, however with the new requirements for placement and notifying passengers of their presence, the state feels the proper precautionary measures have been taken.

Are you thinking about installing a dash cam because you have recently been in an accident and were unable to prove your case? Are you looking for affordable and trustworthy auto insurance in San Diego, CA? Reach out to American Tri-Star today and speak with one of our expert auto insurance agents at 619-325-0326. We offer affordable car insurance for San Diego drivers and can provide you with an instant quote today!