All drivers know that distracted driving, such as texting and driving or using your phone while driving can cause accidents, and is illegal in many states. But what if you have a dashboard phone mount? Let’s decode the legality of dashboard phone mounts and determine what that means for you as a driver.

What is a Dashboard Phone Mount?

A dashboard phone mount is an accessory you can use in your vehicle to securely hold your phone while you drive. These mounts provide a safe and convenient way for you to access your phone without taking your eyes off the road. With a dashboard phone mount, you can make hands-free calls, use navigation apps, and control your music.

What Are the Different Types of Dashboard Mounts?

There are different types of Dash mounts to choose from. Let’s discuss a few of them.

Vent Mounts

Dashboard mounts attach to your vehicle’s air vents on the dashboard and are compact and easy to install without damaging any parts of your vehicle. With vent mounts, you can keep your phone close by without obstructing your view of the road.

Suction Cup Mounts

Suction cup dashboard mounts can securely attach to your car’s dashboard or windshield using a suction cup. You can adjust suction cup dashboard mounts to different angles to improve your view. Some suction cup mounts are available with telescopic arms for enhanced flexibility.

Magnetic Mounts

Magnetic dashboard mounts use strong magnets to hold your phone in a secure position. You’ll need to attach a metal plate to the back of your phone case or phone for the phone to be held securely in position. Magnetic phone mounts are sleek and don’t take up much space.

CD Slot Mounts

CD slot mounts fit in your vehicle’s CD player slot, providing a stable platform for your cell phone. Using these dashboard mounts won’t damage your CD player or obstruct your view of the road.

Wireless Charging Mounts

Wireless charging phone mounts are popular because you don’t have to worry about cords getting in the way. The good thing about these chargers is you can charge your phone while it’s securely held in place. Some wireless phone mounts attach to your vehicle’s dashboard or windshield, while other wireless charging mounts fit into your cup holder or one of the air vents.

Are Dashboard Phone Mounts Illegal?

Dashboard phone mounts are generally legal in most states. However, some states have specific rules for using these phone mounts.


In California, dashboard phone mounts can be used legally as long as they don’t obstruct your view of the road, interfere with the vehicle’s controls, such as turn signals,  and you can remain in control of your vehicle.

You are allowed to mount your phone to the sides of your car’s dashboard as long as it is low-profile, meaning it doesn’t distract you from driving or get in the way of your view of the road or other cars.

North Dakota

In North Dakota, it is illegal to attach any device or item to your dashboard that obstructs your view of the road or your windshield. In this scenario, you’ll need a low-profile dashboard mount to ensure you can see the road.

New York

New York also requires dash mounts to be low profile if you choose to use them. If you’re using a windshield mount, the mount must be placed in the lower left corner. Again, the dashboard can’t obstruct your view of the road.


If you’re a resident of Florida, using a dashboard mount is not illegal. However, the mount can’t be mounted within your reach, which means you’ll need to set it up further on the passenger side, such as the passenger air vent. Remember that the mount can’t obstruct your view of the road.

You should check your local laws and regulations before using a dashboard phone mount in your vehicle. It’s important to remain compliant with these rules while maintaining your safety while operating a motor vehicle.

How to Choose the Best Dashboard Phone Mount for Your Vehicle

Choosing the best phone mount for your vehicle can be tricky, but considering these factors can help.


Make sure your phone mount is compatible with your phone. When you’re checking compatibility, check your phone’s size and model. If you can find an adjustable phone mount, you can adjust the phone mount to your phone’s size.

Mounting Type

There are different mounting types you can choose. You can purchase a mount that attaches to the car’s vent, dashboard, windshield, or CD player slot. You’ll also want to consider the layout of your vehicle to ensure ease of use.


You want a phone mount that is easy to install and remove. Some dashboard phone mounts leave sticky residue behind once you remove them. Choose a phone mount that can easily be removed in case you need to change the location of the mount.

Viewing Angle

The viewing angle is important. Try to find a phone mount that has a flexible holder that allows you to adjust it into different positions as your needs change. Make sure you choose the most comfortable view, so you aren’t straining your neck or eyes to see information.


Cables and cords can be frustrating, especially when you’re driving. Many dashboard phone mounts have cable management features that allow you to charge your phone while keeping the cables out of your way and tidy.


We can’t forget about the price! Phone mounts range in price, so if you’re trying to save a few coins, create a budget. However, you want to make sure you purchase a phone that is sturdy and reliable. Don’t forget about quality.

How Do You Use a Dashboard Phone Mount

First, you need to make sure you have the right phone mount. Once you’ve covered that, clean the surface of the area you want to place the phone mount. You need to ensure the area is clean of debris to ensure the mount will attach securely and not fall off.

Next, you’ll need to position the mount. Make sure the mount is positioned where it is convenient for you to see. A lot of drivers prefer to use a phone mount on the driver-side vent or in the center of the dashboard. Remember that some phone mounts can be adhered to your car’s windshield or air vent.

Now it’s time to secure the mount. To secure your phone mount, you will likely use suction cups, and magnetic, or vent mounts.

  • Suction cup mounts: to mount these phone mounts, firmly press the suction cup(s) against your car’s dashboard. Now you have to lock the suction in place to create a secure seal by pressing down firmly and ensuring the suction cup is completely adhered.
  • Magnetic phone mounts: attach the magnetic plate to the back of your phone. If you use a phone case, attach the plate to your phone case to ensure you don’t damage your phone. The magnetic mount is usually included with the mount. Place your phone on the magnetic surface and you’re done!
  • Vent mounts: place the mount into the air vent and adjust the grip to secure it in place. Ensure the mount is positioned so that you can clearly see the information on your phone without taking your eyes off the road, and that the weight of your phone doesn’t pull the mount from the vent.

Adjust the phone mount until it’s comfortable for you. You may have to reposition the mount a few times before you find the perfect location for it.

Things to Avoid When Using a Dashboard Phone Mount

It’s a good idea to stay on the right side of the law. No one wants tickets or to be ordered to pay expensive fines, so here is what you want to avoid when using your dashboard phone mount.

Obstruction of View

Make sure that your phone mount doesn’t obstruct your view of the road, any part of the windshield, or windows. As we previously mentioned, some states have specific laws regarding the use of dashboard phone mounts, so make sure you are compliant. You can check your local laws and regulations to make sure you’re following the law.


Avoiding distractions is a driving rule in general. However, when you’re using a phone mount, it’s a lot easier to be distracted. Although you may need to check your phone for information at times, don’t stare excessively at the phone while you’re operating a motor vehicle. If you have voice prompts you can use, use them!

Not Considering Stability

Stability is also important for your safety and the safety of other drivers. If your phone mount is not securely adhered to your vehicle’s dashboard or windshield (if permitted), the mount can detach and fall, causing you to become distracted because you’re trying to pick up the mount and your phone while driving. If the phone mount detaches from your car’s surface, find a safe place to pull over and reattach it. Unsecured phone mounts can be a distracting driving hazard.

Not Adjusting Your Phone Mount Before Driving

Before you hit the road, set up your navigation and music. You shouldn’t interact with your phone while driving, as this is a form of distracted driving. Create a playlist so your favorite tunes will keep playing while you’re driving, and you won’t have to worry about changing the song every few minutes.

What Are the Benefits of Dashboard Phone Mounts

Using a dashboard phone mount offers the following benefits:

  • Safety
  • Convenience
  • Improved navigation
  • Cost-effective


One of the most essential benefits phone mounts provide is safety. Using a phone mount allows you to safely operate a motor vehicle while using a navigation app or accepting phone calls, which allows you to reduce distractions and prevent accidents. Your phone also benefits from phone mounts because the mount keeps your phone secure by preventing it from falling and becoming damaged or stuck between the seats.


Phone mounts make it easier and safer to use some of your phone’s features while driving. If you position your phone at eye level, you can see the information on your phone without necessarily having to take your eyes off the road. Use the voice command feature on your phone to interact more with your phone without having to look away from the road.

Enhanced Navigation

Navigation is essential when you’re driving in an unfamiliar location. You can set your phone’s navigation to your destination and hear turn-by-turn information. Using a phone mount enhances navigation by allowing you to keep your eyes on the road. Even though there are voice prompts, some drivers also need a visual to see upcoming turns. Dashboard phone mounts are great because you can see upcoming turns without looking down at your phone.


Investing in a phone mount can be cost-effective. You wouldn’t purchase a new car just to get a phone mount, and you don’t have to! There is a phone mount for most phone types. Other good news is that some phone mounts can be moved, which means if you have more than one car, you can take your phone mount with you.

The Bottom Line

Dashboard phone mounts offer convenience, safety, and improved navigation. If you are considering getting a phone mount, use the tips above to help you find the perfect one. Safe travels and happy driving!