upcoming vacation to Florida East Coast Question about FL scanner in car law

maxxkatt

Maxx Katt, once upon time artist.
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Aug 21, 2020
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Atlanta, Georgia
Found the below information on legality of scanners in cars in Florida. I have a SDS100 and magnetic roof mount antenna. It appears that I may be illegal when I cross the Georgia-Florida state line.

Is this really enforced? What do you guys in Florida do about this law?

Thanks

*************

Here is the quote from Monitoring Times web site.

If you�re visiting Florida this summer as millions of Americas do each year, bring your sunscreen and your scanner, just leave the power cord and outside antennas at home. Because scanning radios are legal in Florida so long as they are not connected to external power or antennas, even in your car. That�s the opinion of the Office of the Attorney General of the State which in 1974 was asked to interpret the law which has changed very little in almost thirty years.

The Florida statute which regulates such radios is FS � 843.16 which is listed under the obstruction of justice chapter of the title on crimes. It prohibits the installation of radios in motor vehicles and businesses, which can be used to listen to police or law enforcement officers. What is interesting about the law and its interpretation since 1974 is the fact that the radio must be installed in order to be illegal and installation requires an external power source and antenna.
 

JimD56

KO9JAD/Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic
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Power - Cigarette Lighter Plug or batteries is fine, NOT Hard wired.
Antenna - Just use the included antenna, Florida is primarily 700-900mhz Trunked anyway. FHP is encrypted statewide.
 

W4KRR

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Coconut Creek, FL
The law has since been modified to make it even more restrictive. They added "or transport" to the language. So technically even if you transport a non operating scanner in the trunk of your car you are breaking the law. And, apparently, if you purchase a scanner through mail order, then UPS or the USPS or FedEx is breaking the law by delivering it to you. Still, having a valid amateur radio license exempts you from the law. (As does having a valid press pass or operating an emergency vehicle).
 

Canelo56

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Found the below information on legality of scanners in cars in Florida. I have a SDS100 and magnetic roof mount antenna. It appears that I may be illegal when I cross the Georgia-Florida state line.

Is this really enforced? What do you guys in Florida do about this law?

Thanks

*************

Here is the quote from Monitoring Times web site.

If you�re visiting Florida this summer as millions of Americas do each year, bring your sunscreen and your scanner, just leave the power cord and outside antennas at home. Because scanning radios are legal in Florida so long as they are not connected to external power or antennas, even in your car. That�s the opinion of the Office of the Attorney General of the State which in 1974 was asked to interpret the law which has changed very little in almost thirty years.

The Florida statute which regulates such radios is FS � 843.16 which is listed under the obstruction of justice chapter of the title on crimes. It prohibits the installation of radios in motor vehicles and businesses, which can be used to listen to police or law enforcement officers. What is interesting about the law and its interpretation since 1974 is the fact that the radio must be installed in order to be illegal and installation requires an external power source and antenna.
There is absolutely no law in Florida that say you cannot have a scanner in your car or any vehicle !!!! What it does say is you cannot transmit period .
 

mitbr

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This question comes up every once in awhile. I have lived in Florida for 30 years always have my scanner running in my car, been pulled over many times never had any problems. Of course the law does exist as mentioned above just don't see it as a problem. I wouldn't worry about it unless your committing a crime!!
Tim :cool:
 

N4KVE

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PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
My friend was once pulled over in Ft. Myers with a scanner in his car. He was given a ticket, & the PD confiscated the scanner. When he showed up in court, he pled guilty, and asked the judge for his scanner to be returned. It was, & he then got his ham radio license so this wouldn’t happen again. But now with most radio coms being encrypted, they’re almost useless.
 

Citywide173

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There is absolutely no law in Florida that say you cannot have a scanner in your car or any vehicle !!!! What it does say is you cannot transmit period .
The statute is pretty clear and the word receiving ≠ transmitting where I come from.

A person, firm, or corporation may not install or transport in any motor vehicle or business establishment, except an emergency vehicle or crime watch vehicle as herein defined or a place established by municipal, county, state, or federal authority for governmental purposes, any frequency modulation radio receiving equipment so adjusted or tuned as to receive messages or signals on frequencies assigned by the Federal Communications Commission to police or law enforcement officers or fire rescue personnel of any city or county of the state or to the state or any of its agencies.
 

JimD56

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In Florida, the bigger law or statute is that Scanners are considered an OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE. It's not just about the electronics or receiving or transmitting. Plenty of case law, but what do I know, I am only a former LEO and now a Fire Lieutenant/Paramedic and Licensed Ham in the state.
 

belvdr

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This question comes up every once in awhile. I have lived in Florida for 30 years always have my scanner running in my car, been pulled over many times never had any problems. Of course the law does exist as mentioned above just don't see it as a problem. I wouldn't worry about it unless your committing a crime!!
Tim :cool:
It says you can have it in a crime watch vehicle. So, if you're committing a crime, you're obviously watching it, so.... LOL
 

JimD56

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Just to clear up...It's a 1st Degree Misdeanmor just to possess the scanner. However, it elevates to a Felony Obstruction of Justice charge should the vehicle be used in the commission of any crime. DUI charge YES automatic additional felony charge if you have a scanner, Reckless Driving YES additional automatic felony charge if you have a scanner. Robbing a bank, drive from your murder scene, etc. and so on...
 

Citywide173

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If you are a First Responder with a badge and ID from "anywhere" no LEO in the state will give you a problem.
I can attest to this. The officer that I was speaking to was more interested in how far I could hear after he asked if I was "on the job" (my words, not his)
 

vagrant

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California
Is there a Wiki page, or something, that lists countries and or states in the U.S. that notes where scanner use is legal or not, or whatever stipulations there may be if use is allowed? I did not find something after a cursory review.
 
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