Portable GPS units in California
November 28, 2007 9:44 AM   Subscribe

California residents, how do you mount portable GPS units to your car?

I'm going to LA for a week in December and intend to bring my Tomtom, but I've read that in California it's illegal to mount anything to the windshield or side windows while driving. So, where do people mount their GPS units in California? Suggestions for the best types of mounts would be highly appreciated. I'm looking at the Nav-Mat right now--it's basically a large beanbag with an anti-skid base and a smooth piece of plastic for you to stick the GPS' suction cup.
posted by reformedjerk to Travel & Transportation around California (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Most people suction cup their portable gps to the windshield here. I've never heard of someone getting a ticket because of it.
posted by foodgeek at 9:48 AM on November 28, 2007

As long as you mount it in a place that doesn't block your vision, it should be fine. I and thousands of other Bay Area residents have a FasTrak unit mounted to the windshield under the rear view mirror and that's where we're told to put it.
posted by junesix at 9:55 AM on November 28, 2007

It is technically illegal, but I've been doing it for more than a year, as has everyone else on the road. Never heard of anyone getting a ticket for it.
posted by ikkyu2 at 9:57 AM on November 28, 2007

I live in Illinois, and I suction-cup my GPS (Garmin nuvi) to my windshield. Oddly enough everyone else I know mounts their GPS on the dashboard.

My GPS came with an adhesive disc that I could use to mount it on my dash if I wanted to. Basically you just stick the disc onto the dash and then use the suction cup to stick the GPS onto the disc. Otherwise the dash isn't flat and smooth enough for the suction cup to work.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:03 AM on November 28, 2007

Ditto everyone else; I suction-cup mine to the windshield in the lower left corner, as far down as I can.

It's very unlikely that the cops will pull you over for it. They might pull you over for something else and cite you for it as well, but them's the breaks. I've never run into trouble.

(In LA, fwiw.)
posted by fuzzbean at 10:06 AM on November 28, 2007

Best answer: You're allowed to mount things on "5-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest the driver". The suction cup should easily fit in this space.
posted by mr_roboto at 10:10 AM on November 28, 2007

Nthing everyone does it anyway.
posted by k8t at 11:31 AM on November 28, 2007

I'm paranoid and got a bean bag mount. It's very stable and does not slide around at all. One bonus is that it doesn't leave suction cup circles on my windshield which would potentially alert thieves that there might be a GPS inside the car.

But, if you're just going to be visiting, I'd just use the suction cup you already have.
posted by zsazsa at 11:44 AM on November 28, 2007

I have a similar adapter to the Nav Mat which came with my Garmin motorcycle GPSR. It sits on my dash, out of my direct line of vision, works great for me and has never caused any issues with the local (Bay Area) constabulary.
posted by beetsuits at 11:53 AM on November 28, 2007

I have a jelly sticky pad that I put on the dash. Then I put the suction cup on that. I got mine at Office Depot for about 3 bucks. Cheap and it works fine.

I'm in San Diego and I generally don't see them mounted on windshields.
posted by 26.2 at 11:53 PM on November 28, 2007

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