Cell Phone Driving Laws in the United States

Updated: 01/21/2014


Alabama

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Back to the Top


Alaska

  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Back to the Top


Arizona

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for school bus drivers (Primary law)

Back to the Top


Arkansas

  • Handheld ban for drivers age 18-20 years old (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Secondary law)
  • Ban on cell phone use while driving in a school zone or in a highway construction zone (Secondary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Arkansas defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


California

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Secondary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: California defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Colorado

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Colorado defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Connecticut

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Connecticut defines novice drivers as those under the age of 18 or with a learner's permit.

Back to the Top


Delaware

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Delaware defines novice drivers as those with a learner's permit or intermediate license holders.

Back to the Top


Florida

  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Secondary law)

Back to the Top


Georgia

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Georgia defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Hawaii

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Hawaii defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Idaho

  • Ban on texting for all drivers(Primary law)
  • Idaho has a "Distraction in/on Vehicle (List)" attribute as part of its Contributing Circumstances element, and officers are supposed to list the distractions in the narrative

Back to the Top


Illinois

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on cell phone use while driving in a school zone or in a highway construction zone

Note: Illinois defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 19.

Back to the Top


Indiana

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Indiana defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Iowa

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Secondary law)

Note: Iowa defines novice drivers as all drivers with a restricted or intermediate license.

Back to the Top


Kansas

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Kansas defines novice drivers as all drivers with a learner's permit or intermediate license.

Back to the Top


Kentucky

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Preemption Law prohibits localities from enacting distracted driving bans

Note: Kentucky defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Louisiana

  • Handheld ban for drivers with a learner's permit or intermediate license regardless of age
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law for drivers under 18)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on cell phone use while driving through a school zone during posted hours (Primary law)
  • Preemption Law prohibits localities from enacting distracted driving bans

Note: Louisiana defines novice drivers as those drivers within their 1st year of licensure.

Back to the Top


Maine

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Maine has passed a law making it against the law to drive while distracted in the state

Note: Maine defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Maryland

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Secondary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Maryland defines novice drivers as those under the age of 18 with a learner's permit or provisional license.

Back to the Top


Massachusetts

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Massachusetts defines novice drivers as those under the age of 18 with a learner's permit or provisional license.

Back to the Top


Michigan

  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands free) for novice drivers (Primary law)

Back to the Top


Minnesota

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Minnesota defines novice drivers as those under the age of 18 with a learner's permit or provisional license.

Back to the Top


Mississippi

  • Texting & driving banned for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Preemption Law prohibits localities from enacting distracted driving bans

Note: Mississippi defines novice drivers as those with a learner's permit or provisional license.

Back to the Top


Missouri

  • Ban on texting for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Commercial drivers banned from texting or using handheld cell phones (Primary law).

Note: Missouri defines novice drivers as those age 21 and under.

Back to the Top


Montana

  • No current bans for distracted driving

Back to the Top


Nebraska

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Secondary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Secondary law)

Note: Nebraska defines novice drivers as those under the age of 18 with a learner's permit or provisional license.

Back to the Top


Nevada

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Preemption Law prohibits localities from enacting distracted driving bans

Back to the Top


New Hampshire

  • Handheld cell phone use banned for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Drivers under the age of 18 banned from all mobile phone use (Primary law)

Back to the Top


New Jersey

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: New Jersey defines novice drivers as those with a permit or provisional license.

Back to the Top


New Mexico

  • Handheld ban for all in-state vehicles
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) (Primary law)

Back to the Top


New York

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Back to the Top


North Carolina

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: North Carolina defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


North Dakota

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: North Carolina defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Ohio

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Secondary law)

Back to the Top


Oklahoma

  • Handheld ban for drivers with a learner's permit or intermediate license (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for drivers with a learner's permit or intermediate license (Primary law)
  • Preemption Law prohibits localities from enacting distracted driving bans

Back to the Top


Oregon

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Oregon defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Pennsylvania

  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Back to the Top


Rhode Island

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Rhode Island defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


South Carolina

  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • South Carolina has a Distracted/Inattention attribute under Contributing Factors

Back to the Top


South Dakota

  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Secondary law)
  • Drivers under age 18 with restricted/learners licenses banned from using handheld wireless communications devices (Secondary law)

Back to the Top


Tennessee

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Tennessee defines novice drivers as all drivers with a learner's permit or intermediate license.

Back to the Top


Texas

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Texas has banned the use of hand-held phones and texting in school zones

Note: In Texas bus driver laws pertain to bus drivers with passengers age 17 and under. Novice drivers are defined as all drivers at the intermediate stage, first 12 months.

Back to the Top


Utah

  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Utah's law defines careless driving as committing a moving violation (other than speeding) while distracted by use of a handheld cell phone or other activities not related to driving

Back to the Top


Vermont

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Vermont defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Virginia

  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law; Secondary for novice drivers)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Secondary law)

Note: Virginia defines novice drivers as all drivers under the age of 18.

Back to the Top


Washington

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Washington defines novice drivers as those with a learner's permit or in the intermediate state.

Back to the Top


Washington, D.C.

  • Handheld ban for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for bus drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary)

Note: D.C. defines novice drivers as those with a learner's permit.

Back to the Top


West Virginia

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Handheld ban for all drivers(Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers(Primary law)

Note: West Virginia defines novice drivers as all drivers under 18 with a learner's permit or intermediate license.

Back to the Top


Wisconsin

  • Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)

Note: Wisconsin defines novice drivers are those with a learner's permit or intermediate license.

Back to the Top


Wyoming

  • Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
  • Ban on cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)

Back to the Top


Federal Cell Phone Laws

As of 10/21/2010, there is a federal law banning texting for all commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators (for a definition of a CMV, visit our main cell phone car accident page). Electronic device restrictions have also been placed on train operators. However, as these federal laws must be enforced on state and local levels, penalities may vary from state to state.

Learn more about the laws in your state.

Free Case Review
First Name
Last Name
ZIP
Phone
Email
Briefly describe your injuries