Are you interested in learning the unmarked police car laws by state? If that is the case, then you are at the right place because there will be a lot to cover on this topic where we are going to elaborate more in detail when it comes to these laws and inform you on these laws.
Doing the proper research online is always a good idea when it comes to learning more about the laws in your state. Remember that the US is made out of 50 states and all of these states have different laws to some degree.
So, if you are from Oklahoma and drive through Texas and you go to New Mexico, you might come across different types of road laws. In some states, there might be no unmarked police cars, while in some states, there could be unmarked police cars. Every state has different laws concerning these issues. But it is up to you to learn them and comply with the law. And we are going to help you out.
First, we are going to learn what is a police car and the types of police cars that are most often used in the US. Then we will go through the models of vehicles used by law enforcement agencies.
This is crucial to know because you should know which cars are cop cars and which vehicles aren’t cop cars. After that, we are going to cover the unmarked police car laws by state and go through all of the states and learn more about the specific laws. So, if you want to learn more, follow along.
What Is A Police Car
Now before we dive into the unmarked police car laws by state, let’s take a look at what is a police car in general. I bet that there are a ton of people who want to learn more about the basics of what is a police car and we will cover that right now. If you want you can jump to the unmarked police car laws by state. If not, keep up with us for a bit.
Nevertheless, police cars, also known as cop cars or police interceptors are vehicles that are used by the police for transportation while on patrol.
Nowadays times have changed and going on foot makes no sense for the police. Unless they are patrolling near their station. And this is why police cars are essential.
And honestly, these cars are one of the most widely used prop in the history of cinema. This is why we love them. Who knows how many of these cars were crushed while making movies. If you saw the Blues Brothers movie, you are probably aware of the scene when the two main characters jump from a bridge with a cop car and the car survives the jump.
Well, it actually means that every cop car is beefed up in comparison to the standard version of this specific vehicle. These cars, especially in the US are made for heavy-duty use and are able to withstand a lot of beating before they eventually break down. So, a ton of people after them and want to purchase one. Especially if it’s a Crown Vic. And they can be found for dirt cheap.
Types Of Police Cars
Now since we covered the main characteristics of a police car and learned that these cars are considerably stronger in design in comparison to their standard versions. Let’s now learn more about the types of cop cars that are out there.
There are two different types that we are interested in and in the next chapters, we are going to cover them. After that, we will focus on the unmarked police car laws by state. So, let’s get started.
The first type of cars that we are going to cover before we dive into the unmarked police car laws by state is the marked police cars. So, what are marked police cars?
Well, as their name implies, these are vehicles that have police markings on them. All the cars are painted in a color scheme that resembles the concept of a police car.
Namely, the vehicle is painted in black and white. Some panels are painted black while some of them are painted white. This is the classic police car paint scheme used from the beginning of the 20th century.
Even though, this isn’t always the case. There are patrol cars that can be painted in white, black, or even blue in some cases.
The most important aspect of a police car is the stickers. The stickers might simply say “Sheriff”, or “Police” and also the name of the county where this vehicle serves as well as the number of the car.
Also, on top of a marked patrol car, there are flashers installed on the roof that flash in blue and red colors when active.
Also, inside the car, there is a separation between the rear seat and the front seats. This is the case because in some cases, there are people who are busted, and in order for the police officers to feel safe, there is protection that separates the police officers from the people who are under custody.
And lastly, there is the front crash bar that is designed to protect the front end of the car and also the searchlight which is mounted next to the driver’s rearview mirror. But what about the unmarked police car laws by state? We will get to that in a moment.
Now before we dive into the unmarked police car laws by state, let’s take a look at the second type of police vehicle that is really important to us in this article. And this is the unmarked police vehicle. So, what is an unmarked police vehicle?
Well, an unmarked police vehicle is a type of police car that is lacking the main distinguishing characteristics that will make us list it in the police vehicle category.
For example, these police vehicles have a rather uncommon paint color. They are more likely to resemble a standard vehicle than a police car. Most of these vehicles come in light blue or silver color which is really uncommon for a marked police car.
In addition to this, these vehicles are lacking any decals and stickers that most marked police vehicles have. They are simply blank.
Also, these unmarked vehicles lack flashers on the roof. They need to have flashers, but their flashers are hidden. Usually behind the front grille of the car or they are inside of the car. And when the police officer is engaging, they will place the flasher on top of the roof. Also, a lot of these cars have tinted windows and you cannot see anything inside.
But one thing that these vehicles have in common with the standard cop cars from the looks perspective is the searchlight. Almost all of them include a searchlight. Overall, that’s all that you need to know when it comes to unmarked cars. But what about the unmarked police car laws by state? More on that, we are going to cover in a bit after we learn which are the most common police cars used in the US.
Most Common Police Cars Used
Now before we dive into learning the unmarked police car laws by state, let’s take a look at the most common police cars used out there. Knowing the cars will help you determine that you are being pulled over by a legit police officer. Even though this isn’t always the case and there could be some uncommon vehicles used as police interceptors. So, beware of this. Anyway, let’s cover the most common ones.
Unmarked Police Car Laws By State, Make And Model #1: Ford Crown Victoria
Now before we cover the unmarked police car laws by state, let’s cover the most common police car that you are going to see out there. Whether marked or unmarked. And this model is the Ford Crown Victoria.
The Crown Vic as many people know is a legendary vehicle that has been with us since the early 90s. But what most people connect with the Crown Vic name is the second generation of this model that was introduced in 1998 and was produced until 2011 when it was discontinued.
This behemoth is a body-on-frame chassis car. In fact, it was the last body-on-frame sedan produced by Ford before its discontinuation. It was based on the famous Panther platform.
What is interesting about the Crown Vic is that this model even discontinued 10 years ago, still serves in some states. There are still a lot of Crown Vics out there. And what is good is that you can purchase one of these at the surplus auctions.
Especially the unmarked ones, which are in really good condition in most cases. And for a really good deal. About $3,000 to $4,000. But what about the unmarked police car laws by state? We will get to that in a moment.
Unmarked Police Car Laws By State, Make And Model #2: Dodge Charger
The second model that we are going to cover before we dive into the unmarked police car laws by state is the Dodge Charger. The Charger is the car that replaced the Crown Vic.
This 4-door sedan is probably one of the best cop cars ever produced. It serves with the force since its inception in 2006.
What makes the Charger so special and so useful is its presence on the road. Which is perfect for a police car if you are asking me. Even after these long years, it is still one of the most common police cars in the US.
Unmarked Police Car Laws By State, Make And Model #3: Chevy Caprice
The next most commonly used PPV that we are going to cover before we learn more about the unmarked police car laws by state is the Chevy Caprice.
This model is a GM product and is known as the Holden Caprice in the Australian market. In fact, this model was imported here in the US and then put into service by the authorities.
The Caprice is a big 4-door sedan, quite similar to the Charger that is perfect for police duty. This model was used up until 2017 when it was replaced and slowly these models are discontinued one by one.
What is good though, is that you can also get one of these models at some state surplus auctions for a good deal and drive an unmarked former police car.
Unmarked Police Car Laws By State, Make And Model #4: Ford Taurus
Another fairly common PPV that we are going to cover before we learn more about the unmarked police car laws by state is the Ford Taurus.
The Taurus is another big bulky 4-door full-size sedan. And along with the Charger, currently are the backbone of the US police. This model comes as a standard with a 3.5L V6 engine that is producing about 365hp which is a really peppy engine.
Sadly, though, the production of this model ended up in 2019 when Ford discontinued the production of all sedan vehicles in the US. But what about the unmarked police car laws by state? We will get to that in a moment after we cover the other models used as police vehicles.
Unmarked Police Car Laws By State, Make And Model #5: Other Models
Before we cover the unmarked police car laws by state, let’s cover the other models that are widely used as police vehicles.
Nowadays, the need for PPV sedans is slowly coming to an end. And the sedans are greatly replaced by SUVs. Namely, the Chevy Suburban, Chevy Tahoe, Chevy Equinox, Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, Ford Escape, Dodge Durango, and Jeep Cherokee.
All these vehicles are used as marked and unmarked police vehicles and what is common is that all of them are SUVs. So, you can see where we are heading on. But what about the unmarked police car laws by state? More on that we are going to cover next.
Unmarked Police Car Laws By State
Now let’s start discussing more about the unmarked police car laws by state. Also, known as an undercover cop car, or ghost cop car laws. Let’s learn more about the laws in each state in the US and how they are tackling this problem.
Just take this information with a grain of salt since things have probably changed over the years and our sources may not be quite correct by then, always double-check and consider checking out different sources and make a proper conclusion. But anyway, here are the unmarked police car laws by state, we will cover them alphabetically.
Unmarked Police Car Laws By State – Section 1
Now let’s see our first list of unmarked police car laws by state. Let’s start with Alabama, in Alabama, you can get pulled over by police in an unmarked vehicle.
In Alaska on the other hand, only in emergency situations, you can get pulled over by an unmarked car.
Arizona and Arkansas are states where you can also get pulled over by an unmarked police car.
In California, you will highly likely not get pulled over by an unmarked vehicle when it comes to routine controls.
In Colorado, you can get pulled over by both marked and unmarked police vehicles. On the other hand in Connecticut, you will highly likely not get pulled over by unmarked cars, except when it comes to public safety.
Let’s say you are in Delaware, in this state, it is a rare occasion to be pulled down by unmarked cars since they are often used by detectives. But there is still a chance that you can get pulled over by an unmarked vehicle.
In the district of Columbia, you cannot get pulled over by unmarked vehicles. Since these unmarked vehicles are not used to enforce traffic laws.
In Florida, you can get pulled over by unmarked police cars. On the other hand in Georgia, these cars are not used for traffic duty and there is a low chance that an unmarked car will pull you over.
In Hawaii, you can get pulled over by both marked and unmarked vehicles. Some policemen even use their personal cars for patrol duty.
In Idaho on the other hand, police are not using unmarked vehicles for routine traffic control.
Illinois, on the other hand, is very strict and they can use unmarked vehicles including motorcycles to patrol and make controls. In Indiana, a police officer can use unmarked vehicles.
Unmarked Police Car Laws By State – Section 2
Now let’s cover the unmarked police car laws by state for the next set of states on our list.
Iowa allows unmarked vehicles to do patrols, and Kansas also allows unmarked cars but their vehicles have shields on them, so you know that they are a patrol.
In Kentucky, you can get pulled over from an unmarked car if they use sirens. In Louisiana, you can get pulled over by an unmarked car.
Also, in Maine, you can get pulled over by an unmarked car. In Maryland, you can get pulled over by an unmarked car if they use sirens and lights. Massachusetts, you can also get pulled over by an unmarked car.
In Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, and Montana, you can get pulled over by unmarked cars. Meanwhile, in Minnesota, they can also pull you over but they have shields on the doors.
In Nebraska, Nevada, and New Hampshire it is also allowed for police to pull you over in unmarked cars.
In New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York, it is highly unlikely that you will get pulled over by an unmarked car. Only in some circumstances only.
In North Carolina and North Dakota, it is also less frequent that you will get pulled over by an unmarked vehicle. But it is not that unlikely.
In Ohio on the other hand, law enforcement officers have to use marked cars for traffic controls. But still, undercover officers can pull you over if you do something bad.
In Oklahoma, it is allowed to use unmarked vehicles. In Oregon, they have to have special permission to do this. And in Pennsylvania police can operate unmarked only for exceptions.
Unmarked Police Car Laws By State – Section 3
Now let’s cover the third section of unmarked police car laws by state. In Rhode Island only a police officer in uniform can make stops with an unmarked car, in south Carolina using unmarked cars is rare for traffic control.
In South Dakota and Tennessee, there are no limitations on using unmarked cars. While in Texas only a police officer in uniform can pull over suspects with an unmarked car of course.
In Utah, Vermont, and Virginia, police officers can use unmarked cars to make stops and traffic control.
Also, in Washington police do not use unmarked vehicles for stops and traffic control. In West Virginia police might use unmarked cars for this purpose. In Wisconsin, they also can use unmarked cars but with flashers. And in Wyoming, unmarked cars can be used in emergency situations, with flashers of course.
Conclusion On Unmarked Police Car Laws By State
In this article, we have covered quite a bit when it comes to the unmarked police car laws by state. First, we learned the basics of police cars and the two different types, marked and unmarked.
Then we have covered the unmarked police car laws by state. We learned the law for each of the 50 states.
F.A.Q To Unmarked Police Car Laws By State
Now let’s answer some frequently asked questions.
What Cars Do Cops Drive
Most often they drive Ford Taurus or Dodge Chargers. But they can also be seen in a Chevy Tahoe, or a Ford Explorer. It really depends on the county which cars are used for this purpose.
Are Unmarked Police Cars Legal
Yes, they are legal in most states. Some states require them to put police emblems on the doors though. Namely Kansas.
Can You Buy Police Cars
Yes, you can buy a police car. There are auctions across the country on government surplus vehicles and you can get one for yourself if you want to. But stripped off from the police equipment.
Can Unmarked Police Pull You Over
Yes, an unmarked car can pull you over. In most cases, the police officer who wants to pull you over will activate the flashers and will signal you to come to a stop.
Can A Sheriff Pull You Over
Yes, he can pull you over. If a sheriff cannot pull you over who will? Every marked police car can pull you over it doesn’t matter if it’s the sheriff or a deputy.