Are Police Scanners Legal?

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The purchase of police scanners is at an all-time high in the United States. Many people want to avoid hefty ticket penalties and avoid interaction with traffic cops. To do this, people all over the country must buy a police scanner. Police scanners are designed to warn drivers when there is a traffic cop or police person scanning drivers traveling on the road. 

Here’s what you should know about the laws surrounding police scanners

The main factor of using a police scanner are state or local laws. Some states allow you to use a scanner in all cases. Others limit the frequencies you are allowed to access, but you can still listen to many channels. And five states completely prohibited the use of a police scanner unless you have a license from the FCC or permission from the local police. The states that require a license are Indiana, Minnesota, Florida, Kentucky, and New York. You can check this website for more in-depth information about each state’s laws.

Listening to the police or emergency communications

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In every area where there are police officers or firefighters, unique frequencies are used so emergency services can communicate with each other. Now the frequencies that first responders use differ in every area or county. But many states do not make these frequencies illegal to listen to. In fact, as a hobby, many people who have a police scanner make it a hobby of theirs. They will drive around with their scanners and watch police or firefighters as they do their job while using their scanner to listen to officers’ radios frequencies.

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If you wish to find the frequencies that police are using, it is often as easy as typing the local zip code into the scanner. And once you find out the frequency, you save and continue to use it for years as many departments don’t change their channel often. If you type “officers radios frequencies” into google, it will show you a list of the frequencies you can access according to your location. Here is a website that gives you a completely searchable list of all radio frequencies.

What to take away from this article

Be sure to know the laws regarding police scanners in your local area. And if it is illegal to use a police scanner, then don’t keep it in your car and drive around with it. If you are stopped by a cop, and they see it, they can charge you with a crime instead of just a traffic ticket.

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Are Police Scanners Legal? - Brand SpurAre Police Scanners Legal? - Brand Spur

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Are Police Scanners Legal? - Brand SpurAre Police Scanners Legal? - Brand Spur

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