3 Reasons Why You Need a Dashcam in Maryland

Dashboard cameras, known colloquially as “dashcams,” record video when you turn on your car, or when there’s movement near your car. Many Maryland drivers use dashcams to protect their rights and prevent liability in the event of an auto collision, an encounter with law enforcement, or another incident on the road.

Below, we explore Maryland’s dashcam laws and offer three important reasons why you should consider adopting the technology.

An Overview of Maryland’s Dashcam Laws

If you choose to protect yourself by installing a dashcam in your car, you need to know some important facts about Maryland’s dashcam laws. Here are the basics:

  • In Maryland, dashcam laws are governed by the state’s wiretapping and electronic surveillance laws. The use of a dashcam is generally legal if it is not used to surreptitiously record conversations or other private interactions. In other words, Maryland is a one-party consent state, which means that at least one person involved in a conversation must give consent to being recorded.
  • Under Maryland law, it is legal to use a dashcam to record video of traffic and other public interactions. However, it is illegal to use a dashcam to record audio of a conversation without the consent of all parties involved. Violations of the state’s wiretapping and electronic surveillance laws can result in civil liability, criminal charges, and even imprisonment.
  • It is important to note that while dashcams can be useful tool for capturing evidence in the event of an auto collision or other incident on the road, drivers should always use them responsibly and in compliance with applicable laws. If you plan to use a dashcam in Maryland, be sure to familiarize yourself with the state’s wiretapping and electronic surveillance laws to ensure that you are using it legally.

Reasons Maryland Drivers Should Consider Getting a Dashcam

1. To Verify Your Side in a Car Accident Dispute

No driver wants to admit fault after a car wreck only to see their insurance premiums rise. This is especially true if the liable party caused injury or damages to passengers, pedestrians, other drivers, or personal property.

Dashcams provide a factual, unbiased account of what really occurred. This is useful when another driver is lying about the events that unfolded or when there are no witnesses to help determine fault.

Unfortunately, not all dashcams will capture video clearly enough to serve as evidence in a trial or even with your insurance company. Consider a high-end dashcam for the best possible footage. They are equipped with premium features, including:

  • Audio recording
  • Night vision
  • Time-lapse video
  • Front and rear-facing coverage
  • High-definition and a wide-angle video

Some dashcams even have sensors that track the speed, velocity, and impact force of vehicles in auto accidents. While these features can certainly be useful, it is important to know when they can legally be used.

As mentioned above, in Maryland, it is illegal to unknowingly record passengers in your car without their prior consent. However, it is perfectly legal to record activities on streets and in parking areas.

Be mindful that your dashcam footage could be used to incriminate you, so your driving habits may determine whether you want one in your vehicle. If you were involved in an auto collision, it is unlawful to intentionally delete footage of the accident from your camera.

2. To Protect Yourself Against Law Enforcement

Police and civilian encounters have made headlines recently, causing many drivers to worry about their safety and rights should a police officer pull them over.

While recording unknowing passengers inside your vehicle is illegal in Maryland, you can record on-duty police officers. Bear in mind that an officer could pull you over for a dashcam violation. While it is legal to install a dashcam in Maryland, your dashcam cannot obstruct your vision.

While most windshield-mounted dashcams are small enough to not serve as a hazard, you may consider a dashcam that mounts from other areas of your vehicle, such as the rearview mirror.

3. To Keep Your Car Safe When It Is Parked

The streets are not the only place where dashcams come in handy. Your vehicle can sustain damage when it is parked as well.

Dashcams are equipped with motion detectors that begin recording when movement is sensed near your vehicle. This feature can help you keep a record of someone:

  • Backing into your car
  • Hitting your car when parking
  • Intentionally damaging your car

Some insurance companies offer discounts to drivers who use dashcams. Be sure to ask yours about a discount if you already own or plan to buy a dashcam.

Is It Legal To Have a Dashcam in Maryland?

If you are driving in Maryland, you might be wondering if it is legal to have a dashboard camera. Many insurance companies now offer discounts to users who agree to install a camera in their car that records the events of an auto accident, so it is important to make sure it is legal in your state. The laws and regulations relating to dashboard cameras vary from state to state. In Maryland it is legal to have a dashboard camera provided it does not obstruct the view through your windshield. In Maryland, dashcam footage is also legally admissible in court and can be used in order to help make the determination of liability in a car wreck.

If you have been in a car collision, and either have dashcam footage or have knowledge of dashcam footage that would confirm your account of events, it is important to talk to an experienced Maryland auto wreck attorney as soon as possible so that they can take the necessary actions to obtain the footage and ensure that the correct determination of liability is made. If you would like to talk to an auto accident injury attorney about your claim, you are welcome to reach to the Law Offices of Larry B. Litt to schedule a free personalized consultation.

Possible Legal Issues When It Comes to Dashcams

When it comes to having a dashcam there are several things to consider. First, dashcam footage can be very helpful in deciding liability in an auto accident, however, whether that will be helpful for you depends entirely on the footage that was captured and whether you were at fault for the accident. If you accidentally capture incriminating footage that would work against you, attempting to dispose of it, alter it, or change it could result in additional legal charges against you. Additionally, even in situations where you were not at fault for causing the car wreck, the footage may capture details that allow your overall compensation to be reduced. However, in general, if you are not at fault for an auto wreck the benefits of having a dashcam far outweigh the costs.

Expediting the Determination of Liability

There are several things that you can do to expedite and streamline the determination of liability in an accident collision. Most of these things involve collecting evidence at the scene, which you can do if you are physically able. It is a good idea to take thorough phots and video of all damage as well as of the scene of the auto crash. It is also important to get the names and contact information of any witnesses to the collision, and to make a note of any security cameras that may have recorded it. Ask any other drivers involved if they have dashcams. If you become aware that another involved driver (especially the at-fault driver) has a dashcam it is important to let your attorney know as soon as possible so that they can subpoena the footage.

Legal Placement of Your Dashcam in Maryland

Mount your dashcam according to state laws. Use your dashcam legally by knowing your region’s requirements. It is a good idea to recheck laws frequently, as they can and do change.

States who take issue with dashcams do so in the interest of safety. Any windshield-mounted devices should not limit a driver’s vision.

Rough guidelines of dashcam placement:

Every state is different. Laws are updated regularly. Below is not a hard and fast rule, but merely a general idea. The best way to avoid the police is to check your current laws before installing a dashcam in your vehicle. Regularly look to see if any rules have changed.

Middle or Driver’s side of the windshield:

  • Do not block more than five square inches
  • Do not install within the airbag deployment zone.

Passenger side of the windshield:

  • Do not block more than seven square inches
  • Do not install within the airbag deployment zone

Legal Tip: Footage collected from a dashcam found to obscure your view may not be legally admissible. Mount recording devices according to state laws. Before traveling out of state, be sure to check the laws of the states you will be driving through. Stay out of trouble by staying in compliance. A fun road trip is a legal road trip.


If you or a loved one has been injured in a car collision you should contact a law firm with experienced dashcam attorneys. You deserve and need compensation for your car accident. Call us today whether you have dashcam footage of the accident or not, we can help you prove your version of events. The law offices of Larry B. Litt offers a free auto accident consultation and are available 24/7/365 @ 443-844-1528.