Are Radar Detectors Illegal? It Depends on Where You Are

Before you plunk down cash, you'll want to know, are radar detectors illegal? In the United States, the answer is generally no. But there are a few things you should know.

First of all, if you're driving a commercial vehicle over 10,000 pounds, don't even think about it. Radar detectors are illegal in these larger commercial vehicles under federal law.

If you're driving a private vehicle, you generally have little to worry about. In which states are radar detectors illegal? Only in Virginia, as well as in Washington DC and on U.S. military bases. And in Illinois, New York, and New Jersey, it's illegal to use them in any vehicle over 18,000 pounds.

There's one more rub. Minnesota and California prohibit you from attaching the device to your windshield, apparently out of concern that it will block your vision.

Now, in which foreign countries are radar detectors off-limits? As it turns out, in most of them. But we'll focus on our neighbors to the north.

If you're road tripping to Canada, be advised that you can't use your little magic box in the provinces of Newfoundland & Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, and Manitoba, in Yukon Territory, and the Northwest Territories. (You'll be fine in Alberta, British Columbia, and Saskatchewan.)

Here's a fun fact: In Norway, it's legal to own, buy, or sell radar detectors, but illegal to use them. Talk about having your cake and not eating it.

In closing, here's some information on efforts to convince the state of Virginia not to keep radar detectors illegal.

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Radar Detectors Illegal