Missouri Recording Law Summary:
Missouri recording law stipulates that it is a two-party consent state. In Missouri, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record or share communications, whether they’re wire or oral, without the consent of all contributing parties. This means that in Missouri you are not legally allowed to record a wire or oral conversation you are taking part in unless all parties are in agreement. Mo. Ann. Stat. § 542.402 (West 2012).
This state does stipulate that electronic communications can be lawfully recorded or shared with the consent of at least one party, barring any criminal intentions. This applies to conversations where all contributing parties are using a cell phone, including text messages sent between cell phones. However, a Missouri appellate court determined that a conversation taking place where one party is using a cell phone and the other is using a regular wire phone is indeed protected under the wiretap law. Lee v. Lee, 967 S.W.2d 82 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998).
You may not record, obtain, share or use oral or wire conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of all contributing parties. Electronic communications cannot be recorded or shared without the consent of at least one party.
However, Missouri law does make an exception in cases where the person or people communicating are doing so in an environment where they should not be under the expectation of privacy.
If you are a third-party and require consent from the parties taking part in the conversation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that you may gain consent to make a recording by:
- Getting verbal or written consent prior to the recording being made.
- A verbal notification being played before the conversation begins. (For example: “This phone call is being recorded for quality control purposes…”).
- An audible beep tone being repeated at steady intervals during the duration of the conversation.
Mo. Ann. Stat. § 542.402: it is considered a felony offense to illegally record an oral or electronic conversation.