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Using a radar detector

Police officer holding a radar gun

It’s legal to use a radar detector in all states except Virginia and also the District of Columbia.

An exception is the use of radar detectors on military bases in every state. Military installations say it’s a no-no and the gate guard will tell you to put it away, even if the state that the base is in permits a radar detector to be used.

Also, commercial drivers are held to different standards than private drivers. Federal law prohibits commercial vehicles from using radar detectors, so don’t try to outsmart the cops with a radar detector if you’re driving a commercial vehicle -- or else you’ll be met with a hefty fine.

And, while you may not receive a ticket for having a radar detector, in several states if you mount the detector on your windshield, it may be against the law as an obstruction of the driver’s view and could result in a ticket.

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