If you’re considering installing security cameras on your property in California, you may be wondering if you need a permit to do so. The answer is that it depends on where the cameras are located and what they’re being used for. In general, however, most security cameras fall under the state’s “one party consent” law, which means you don’t need a permit as long as the cameras are not recording audio.
There are some exceptions to this rule, however. If you’re planning to install security cameras in a place where people have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as a bathroom or dressing room, then you will need a permit. Additionally, if you’re using the cameras for commercial purposes, such as monitoring employees or customers, then you will also need to obtain a permit.
Installing security cameras can be a great way to deter crime and keep your property safe. Just be sure to check the local laws before you start installation to ensure that you’re in compliance.
Frequently Asked Question
Do I need a permit to install security cameras in California?
Can a tenant install a security camera in California?
Can you record someone in your home California?
Are ring doorbells legal in California?
Can a landlord put cameras outside the house in California?
Can I sue someone for video recording me without my permission?
Do I need a license to install security cameras in California? California requires a state contractors’ license to install surveillance equipment on public property. Licensed contractors like Security 101 carry liability insurance and warranty all installations.29 Apr 2021 
All tenants are permitted to install cameras throughout their homes, be they hidden or visible. That doesn’t mean, however, that tenants aren’t held to certain standards when installing their cameras. A tenant’s cameras cannot peek into another person’s home.12 Aug 2021 
California is a “two-party consent” state which means permission must be granted from all parties in order to make a recording lawful. Typically, this law applies to “confidential communication” such as a private phone call or private conversation.17 May 2018 
As the federal laws outline, you should have no legal issues in using a Ring doorbell, or another similar device, as long as it is recording a public area with no expectation of privacy. In California, there are more specific recording and privacy laws in place. 
Landlords also cannot use cameras to monitor a tenant’s private life. A landlord can install a security camera outside an apartment door. However, if the camera angle allows a full view of the apartment when the door opens, it violates the tenant’s right to privacy.13 June 2020 
In most states where taping someone who hasn’t consented to the recording is illegal, the recorded person can sue the individual doing the recording. Damages are available to a person who wins such a civil lawsuit. 
It turns out that you DO need a permit to install security cameras in California! Who would have thought? I guess the state really is concerned about our safety. I’m just glad I did my research before going ahead and installing those cameras. Thanks for reading and be sure to get your permits before starting your own surveillance system!