Do you use a suction cup mount on your windshield to support your GPS device or smartphone while driving? Did you know several states prohibit these mounts, among other objects, from being adhered to or suspended from your windshield? In fact, they’re illegal in nearly 50% of the United States.
Surprised? It may seem harmless, but not having a clear view of what’s in front you on the road is extremely dangerous, and the placement of devices can have a big impact. While these laws are not always enforced, they are becoming more prevalent, and ignorance of the law is not an excuse for breaking the law. ProClip USA advocates for following the rules of the road in order to keep everyone safer while driving.
Most state laws say something to the effect of, “No person shall drive any motor vehicle with any sign, poster, or other nontransparent material upon the front windshield which obstructs the driver’s clear view…” A suction cup with a device is definitely a “nontransparent material” but does it obstruct the driver’s view? That depends on where it is placed, the size of it, the size of your windshield, etc. It starts to become ambiguous, but we carefully read each state law and contacted a state police or highway patrol officer to get their interpretations to provide the most accurate information possible. See below to find out your state’s laws about windshield obstruction and how suction cup windshield mounts fit into those laws.
[Infographic] The Sticky Business of Suction Cups
Suction Cup Mounts Are Illegal in These States
- Alabama [32-5-215. (a)] *
- Colorado [42-2-201. (4)] *
- Connecticut [Sec. 14-99f (b)(c)(d)] *
- Also see Subsec. (c)
- Delaware [4309. (a)] *
- Idaho [49-9-943. (a)]
- Illinois [sec. 12-503. (c)]
- Louisiana [32:361.1 (B)]
- Maine [2082. 1., 2.] *
- Montana [61-9-405. (2)(a)] *
- Nebraska [60-6,256. (1)]
- Secondary Offense: you must be pulled over for a primary offense before a citation can be written
- New Jersey [39:3-74] *
- New Mexico [66-3-846. A] *
- New York [375. 30]
- North Dakota [39-21-39. 4.]
- Oklahoma [47-12-404. C.] *
- Oregon [815.220]
- Virginia [19VAC30-70-210 5.]
- Also see: 2-1078.1
- Washington [RCW 43.37.410 (2)] *
- Washington, D.C. [731.1] *
- West Virginia 17C-15-36. (a)] *
Restrictions on Placement of the Device
Some states allow objects like GPS devices or smartphones to be mounted with a suction cup but restrict the mount to specific areas on the windshield.
- Arizona [29.959.01. 5. (a), (b), C.]
- Arkansas [37-37-304. (a)(1)(A)] *
- California [26708. (b)(3), (12)
- Must be out of airbag deployment zone as well
- Hawaii [291-21.5 (3)]
- Indiana [IC 9-19-19-3 (b)]
- Maryland [21-1104. (d)(2)(i)]
- Minnesota [169.71 (a)(2)(iv)]
- Utah [41-6a-1635. (2)(a)(b)]
- Vermont [ 23 V.S.A. 1125. (a), (b)(1)
- Wyoming [31-5-955. (a)]
- Wyoming Highway Patrol advised it’s only not an obstruction when placed above the window tint line
Restrictions on Type of Device
Other states restrict the type of device that is allowed to be mounted onto the windshield. Typically, GPS devices or other devices that display pertinent information to the driver are allowed, but they still cannot obstruct the driver’s view of the roadway. Whether or not a cell phone may be used to view navigation or vehicle information is up to the discretion of state officials as cell phones can also transmit video which is illegal for drivers to view.
- Florida [316.2952 (2)(d)]
- Michigan [257.708b. (2)(b), (3)]
- Minnesota [169.71 (a)(2)(iv)]
- New Hampshire [265:79-c V.] *
- North Carolina
States Where Suction Cup Windshield Mounts Are Legal
The remaining states fall under the legal category, but that doesn’t mean you can mount your suction cup and device anywhere on the windshield. While you aren’t limited to specific locations, the driver’s view of the road still must be clear.
- Alaska [12 AAC 04.225. (b)]
- Georgia [40-8-73. (a)]
- Iowa [321.438. 1.]
- Kansas [8-1741. (a)]
- Kentucky [189.110 (1)]
- Massachusetts [Section 9D. (1)]
- Mississippi [63-7-59. (1)]
- Missouri (no windshield obstruction law]
- Nevada [NRS 484D.435]
- Ohio [4513.24. (2) (a), (b)]
- Pennsylvania [4524. (a)]
- Rhode Island [31-23-16. (a)]
- South Carolina [56-5-5000]
- South Dakota [32-15-5]
- Tennessee [55-5-105. (c), (3)]
- Texas [Sec. 547.613. (1)]
- Wisconsin [346.88 (3)(a)-(c)] *
- See Sub. (3) (b)
*These states did not respond to our inquiries, so we interpreted their laws based on the language.
You might be asking, “why does the language of so many state windshield laws sound similar but are categorized differently?” It all comes down to how state officials and judicial bodies interpret the law. It varies across state lines and can even very between officers within the same state. Additionally, most windshield laws were added to state codes during the 1960-70s and referred to the placement of permits and other stickers. Some states acknowledge that the law has not caught up with technology and are more lenient regarding mounted devices, while other states follow these laws exclusively. The best way to stay legal and more importantly, safe, is to keep any extraneous objects off your windshield.
ProClip Mounting Solutions
It’s important to check your state laws to ensure you are not mounting your devices in any areas of your vehicle that may be prohibited. If a windshield mount is illegal in your state, alternative solutions would include a dashboard mount or console mount.
Securely mounting your phone or GPS while you drive will keep you less distracted and more focused on the road. Since ProClip phone mounts and holders are custom fit for both your vehicle and phone, there is no need to worry about damaging your vehicle or struggling to get your device secure.
We also offer adapter plates which allow you to attach your own GPS holder to one of our vehicle-specific dashboard or console mounts. Adapter plates are an easy way to transform the suction cup mount into a legal mounting option for the states that do not allow windshield mounts.
Keep yourself and others safer on the road by finding your custom mounting solution from ProClip USA!