Cell Phone and Texting Laws

Texting and hands free laws, penalties and fines - many states are enacting these laws to enhance safety and save lives.

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Cell Phone & Texting While Driving Laws by State

Consult the chart below for a brief description of your state's texting and driving laws. Click on the link to your state for detailed information surrounding cell phone and driving while texting laws.

State Restriction Penalty
Alabama All drivers are prohibited from texting. Fines for texting are $25 (first offense) then $50 and $75.
Alaska All drivers are banned from texting. A person who violates this new law (depending on the circumstances) would be guilty of a misdemeanor. If the driver is involved in an accident and there is a injury or death, the driver would be charged with a felony.
Arizona There is no state-wide texting ban. --
Arkansas All drivers are banned from sending text messages while driving, except in emergencies. With the exception of the law pertaining to novice drivers, all of Arkansas’s cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws.
California All California drivers are prohibited from texting. The new California driving law imposes a fine of $20 for a first-time offense and a $50 fine for each additional offense
Colorado All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.  $50 Fine plus a $6 surcharge for a first offense $100 fine plus a $6 surcharge for a second offense.
Connecticut All Connecticut drivers are prohibited from texting. If a driver is stopped for using a handheld cell phone, the fine for a first offense will be $125 and a second offense will cost $250.
DC All District of Columbia drivers are prohibited from texting. First time offenders of the law will have their fines suspended, if they submit proof that they have acquired a hands free device.
Delaware All Delaware drivers are prohibited from texting. Delaware’s handheld cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws.
Florida Florida has a limited ban on text messaging while driving. Florida's texting law is considered a "secondary law." A secondary law refers to the fact that an officer can only pull you over and issue a ticket if the officer has witnessed some other violation – for example, you ran a stop light while texting.
Georgia All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Offenders are subject to a $150 fine and one point against their driving record.
Hawaii Handheld cell phone use and texting is prohibited for all Hawaii drivers. Fines up to $200 for a first offense and $300 for a second offense in the same year.
Idaho All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Fines starting at $85.
Illinois prohibits texting while driving. Fines for violation of Illinois cell phone law start at $75.
Indiana All Indiana drivers are prohibited from texting while driving unless it is to report a "bona fide emergency."  Indiana’s cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation.
Iowa The law prohibits texting or emailing while driving. A person ticketed will face a fine of $30 (or up to $1,000 for causing a serious accident while texting). 
Kansas All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. A person ticketed under the anti-texting law will face a fine of $60.
Kentucky All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.  Text messaging fines are $25 (first offense) and then $50, plus court costs.
Louisiana All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Text messaging fines are up to $175 (first offense) and then $500.
Maine All Maine drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.  The fine for a first offense is $100 and there are increased fines for subsequent offenses.
Maryland All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Maryland’s texting law is considered “primary” law. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation. 
Massachusetts All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. First offense - $100; Second offense - $250.
Michigan All Michigan drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Fines for texting are $100 for a first offense and $200 for subsequent offenses. 
Minnesota All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. A violation of Minnesota’s anti-texting law can cost up to $300 and applies to drivers of all ages.
Mississippi Only novice drivers – drivers with an intermediate license, a temporary learning permit or a temporary driving permit – are prohibited form texting while driving. Mississippi’s novice texting laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull a novice over for the offense without having to witness some other violation.
Missouri Only novice drivers – drivers 21 or under – are prohibited form texting while driving. Missouri’s novice texting laws and CDL anti-cell phone laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull a novice over for the offense without having to witness some other violation.
Montana has no legislation regulating cell phones or texting while driving. --
Nebraska All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.  A driver who violates the texting law can be fined $200 (first offense), $300 (second offense) or $500 (for subsequent offenses) plus 3 points against the driver’s license.
Nevada All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.  Violation of the law is punishable by a fine of up to $50 for a first offense; $100 for a second offense within seven years; and $250 for a third offense within seven years.
New Hampshire All New Hampshire drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. There is a $100 fine for text messaging while driving. 
New Jersey All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. The fine for violating New Jersey’s cell phone or texting laws is $100.
New Mexico With the exception of certain local ordinances and novice drivers – drivers with learner’s permits or intermediate licenses – there is no prohibition on texting while driving in New Mexico.  New Mexico’s novice texting and cell phonr laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull a novice over for the offense without having to witness some other violation.
New York Handheld cell phone use and texting is prohibited for all New York drivers. A driver in New York who uses a cell phone to send text messages while driving in New York can be fined up to $150 plus mandatory surcharges and fees of up to $85.
North Carolina All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. North Carolina’s text messaging and cell phone laws are considered “primary” laws. A primary law means that an officer can pull you over for the offense without having to witness some other violation.
North Dakota All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. There is a $100 fine for text messaging while driving.
Ohio All drivers are banned from texting while driving. Fines for violation of the anti-texting law are up to $150 and for novice drivers, up to $300.
Oklahoma Learner permit and intermediate license holders are banned from texting while driving. Suspension or loss of license.
Oregon All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. The fine for violating Oregon’s cell phone or texting laws is $142. 
Pennsylvania All Pennsylvania drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.  The fine for violating Pennsylvania’s texting laws is $50.
All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. First offense - $85; Second offense - $100; Third and subsequent offenses - $125.
South Carolina All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. $25 fine for first time violators.
South Dakota South Dakota's new law, which takes effect July 1, 2014, bans the use of texting while driving.  Those who text and drive in South Dakota will face a fine of $100.
Tennessee All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Violation of the texting law is punishable by a fine of up to $50 plus court costs not to exceed $10.
Texas With the exception of drivers in school zones, and novice drivers, there is no state-wide prohibition on cell phone or texting while driving in Texas. --
Utah All Utah drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Under Utah’s law, someone caught texting and driving now faces up to three months in jail and up to a $750 fine.
Vermont All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Violation of the texting law is punishable by a fine of $100 for a first offense and $250 for a second and subsequent offense within a two year period 
Virginia All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving. Virginia’s texting law is a secondary law, which refers to the fact that an officer can only pull you over and issue a ticket if the officer has witnessed some other violation.
Washington All Washington drivers are prohibited from texting except under certain circumstances. Washington’s handheld cell phone and texting laws are considered “primary” laws, as is the prohibition on all cell phones for bus drivers.
West Virginia All drivers under 18 are prohibited from texting while driving. Violation of the law is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of $25 for a first offense, $50 for a second offense, and $75 for a third offense.
Wisconsin Drivers are prohibited from texting. The penalty for a first offense for violating the texting law is a fine of $20 to $400 and up to four points on the driving record of the offender.
Wyoming Drivers are prohibited from texting. The penalty for violating the texting law is a fine of up to $75.

Additional Resources

Follow the links below for more information on various driving law topics found on this site.

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