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Legal information regarding audio and video recording

This information should not be considered as legal advice.

Do your hidden cameras have microphones?

No, disguised audio recording devices are illegal in the US. Click here for more information about security cameras, covert cameras, and hidden spy cameras with microphones.

Is video recording legal without permission?

In general, most video only recordings are legal whether you inform the persons you are recording them or not provided their privacy isn't invaded.

Recording audio without the subject's permission is almost always illegal but it may be legal in certain situations. If your situation requires audio recording and you will be using the equipment in a legal manner, there are wired and wireless microphones available for purchase. These will function much better that the standard "built-in" microphones that are found in other cameras.

How can you know for sure if it's ok to record video or audio in your situation?

Always check with an attorney before recording to make sure it is legal where you live.

Surreptitious recording laws are separated into different categories for video and audio recording. Video Recording Most video recordings are legal with or without consent. There are very few laws which prohibit video recording of any kind, but there are laws in some areas dealing with areas of expected privacy. These include areas such as bathrooms, locker rooms, changing/dressing rooms, adult bedrooms, and other areas where a person should expect a high level of personal privacy.

The majority of the laws dealing with video recording privacy issues tend to allow surreptitious recording and monitoring of video activity under most circumstances without notification of any of the parties involved. So far, in some cases the courts have allowed video recordings of nannies, elder care employees, and other types of video recordings made with covert cameras without the subjects consent.

Audio Recording (non-hidden cameras)

Most audio recordings without consent of one or all parties are illegal.

 Recording audio is very different from video, there are definite federal and state laws prohibiting surreptitious recording and monitoring of audio conversations. These laws are taken very seriously by authorities and failure to abide by them could result in severe consequences. There are two types of defined recording situations for audio recording. They are usually referred to as "One Party Consent" and "Two Party Consent". "

One Party Consent" means that only the person doing the recording has to give consent and does not have to notify the other party or parties that the conversation is being recorded.

"Two Party Consent" means the person recording the conversation must notify all of the other parties that the recording is taking place and they must consent to the recording.

Federal Law requires "One Party Consent" for audio recording.

Here is a list of state requirements regarding audio consent: Note: Laws change constantly, please check your states current laws before engaging in recording. If you know of a change or error, please inform us.

State Laws with "One party Consent" or "Two party Consent" for audio recording

Alabama - Click Here
Alaska - Click Here
Arizona - Click Here
Arkansas - Click Here
California - Click Here
Colorado - Click Here
Connecticut - Click Here
Delaware - Click Here
District of Columbia - Click Here
Florida - Click Here
Georgia - Click Here
Hawaii - Click Here
Idaho - Click Here
Illinois - Click Here
Indiana - Click Here
Iowa - Click Here
Kansas - Click Here
Kentucky - Click Here
Louisiana - Click Here
Maine - Click Here
Maryland - Click Here
Massachusetts - Click Here
Michigan - Click Here
Minnesota - Click Here
Mississippi - Click Here
Missouri - Click Here
Montana - Click Here
Nebraska - Click Here
Nevada - Click Here
New Hampshire - Click Here
New Jersey - Click Here
New Mexico - Click Here
New York - Click Here
North Carolina - Click Here
North Dakota - Click Here
Ohio - Click Here
Oklahoma - Click Here
Oregon - Click Here
Pennsylvania - Click Here
Rhode Island - Click Here
South Carolina - Click Here
South Dakota - Click Here
Tennessee - Click Here
Texas - Click Here
Utah - Click Here
Vermont - Click Here
Virginia - Click Here
Washington - Click Here
West Virginia - Click Here
Wisconsin - Click Here
Wyoming - Click Here