TV Screen Laws

Texas Vehicle TV Laws

Usage of television sets and other signal-receiving screens and monitors in vehicles is governed by Texas Transportation Code, Section 547.611.

Are TV screens in Texas legal?

In state of Texas using TV screens in vehicles while driving is allowed as long as the screen is not visible to the driver. Television receiving device or similar equipment which is visible to the driver must not be used while driving.

This means any TV monitors should be installed at any point behind the driver, or installed in such as way that drivers aren’t able to view it. While the vehicle is parked or stopped, these devices are legal to use.

Full section of Texas telematics laws regulating the use of TV monitors in cars is below.

Texas Transportation Code, Section Sec. 547.611. – USE OF CERTAIN VIDEO EQUIPMENT AND TELEVISION RECEIVERS.

(a) A motor vehicle may be equipped with video receiving equipment, including a television, a digital video disc player, a videocassette player, or similar equipment, only if the equipment is located so that the video display is not visible from the operator’s seat unless the vehicle’s transmission is in park or the vehicle’s parking brake is applied.

(b) A motor vehicle specially designed as a mobile unit used by a licensed television station may have video receiving equipment located so that the video display is visible from the operator’s side, but the receiver may be used only when the vehicle is stopped.

(c) This section does not prohibit the use of:

(1) equipment used:

(A) exclusively for receiving digital information for commercial purposes;

(B) exclusively for a safety or law enforcement purpose, if each installation is approved by the department;

(C) in a remote television transmission truck; or

(D) exclusively for monitoring the performance of equipment installed on a vehicle used for safety purposes in connection with the operations of a natural gas, water, or electric utility; or

(2) a monitoring device that:

(A) produces an electronic display; and

(B) is used exclusively in conjunction with a mobile navigation system installed in the vehicle.

Law source (see section 547.611).

Texas laws do permit performance monitoring or navigation screens, meaning GPS devices, vehicle information displays, or parking cameras are permitted. Use of other devices is regulated by Distracted Driving laws. These laws also restrict the use of mobile phones, tablets, laptops, or other electronic devices.

To summarize, Texas vehicle TV laws prohibit using video display devices within driver’s view while vehicle is in operation. If used while driving, ensure that any such devices are placed to the rear of the driver.

Regardless of your personal opinions, watching movies, TV shows or news while driving is incredibly distracting and you can put yourself and other drivers in danger, so it’s best to avoid it.

Violating vehicle equipment laws and using monitors to display television or other video content is punishable by law. You can get a traffic citation for distracted driving or any number of other penalties and fines.

This article about Texas Vehicle TV Laws was last updated in 2019. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!