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Tina, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 33167
Experience:  JD, BBA Over 25 years legal and business experience.
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Is it legal (in Texas) to use a GPS tracking device on a co-owned

Customer Question

Is it legal (in Texas) to use a GPS tracking device on a co-owned vehicle with permission from one of the parties?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.

Hello and welcome.

I am sorry to hear of your difficult situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service. First, I have some questions for you so I can determine what information to provide you.

Is the vehicle jointly owned and consent is obtained by one of the owners but is being used to monitor the location of the non-consenting owner?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

The vehicle is in both of our names and I would like to monitor his location. He would be non-consenting or aware of the tracker.

Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.

I see. Thank you for clarifying that, Melissa.

Under the law, it is technically not lawful to install a GPS device without the consent of the owner. Since you are a co-owner, this is a gray area, since there is an affirmative defense any allegation of wrongdoing that you had provided your consent as a co-owner of the vehicle.

The specific circumstances you cite have not been decided by a TX court yet, so there is some risk of criminal prosecution if you do install the device and your spouse ultimately reports it to the police. If the vehicle were only in your name, there would typically be little to no risk, but since it is co-owned by your husband, there is some risk of criminal prosecution if he were to report the device to the police.

To protect yourself, you could hire a licensed private investigator to place the device. Since you would not be the one placing it, you could normally avoid criminal prosecution.

Here are two links that provide a) a summary of the state of current law, and b) citation to the relevant TX code for your review:

I hope this helps clarify the situation for you.

It has been my pleasure to assist you. Kindly remember to rate my answer when our communication is completed so I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. If you feel the need to provide a low rating, please stop and reply to me via the REPLY or CONTINUE CONVERSATION button with whatever issue or clarification you may need. I will be happy to continue further and assist you until I am able to explain your concern to your satisfaction. Please also remember that I cannot control whether the law is favorable to you or not, so please don’t shoot the messenger. Thank you and all the best to you in 2013.


Please feel free to bookmark the following link so you can request me to answer any future legal questions you may have:

Expert:  Tina replied 4 years ago.
Hello again Melissa,
I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer was helpful in clarifying your understanding of the law even though it may not have resulted in the outcome you were hoping it would.
Is there anything else I can assist you with?
If you do not require further legal information at this time, please feel free to bookmark my profile so you can request me when you do have another question. Here is a link to my profile:
Thank you very much and all the best to you in 2013.