Is Your State "One-party" or "All-party?"

In some states, only one party to a conversation has to consent for a recording to be legal, while in other states, both parties have to consent unless one of several exceptions to the law is present, such as anticipation that a crime is going to be committed or use by law enforcement, says William Sullivan, DO, JD, FACEP, an emergency physician at University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago and a practicing attorney in Frankfort, IL.

Unauthorized recording of oral communications is considered a felony in many states, while other states allow audio recordings if one party to the conversation consents to the recording, Sullivan explains.

• "One-party" consent states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Washington, DC, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

• "All-party" consent states are California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and Washington.

• Vermont has passed no law specifically addressing this.


For more information, see:

• National Conference of State Legislatures. Website: