Cell Phone and Texting Laws

State Cell Phone 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 Laws State by State

Follow the links below to get information in your state regarding cell phone and texting laws.


New 2010 - Georgia Governor Signs Texting and Cell Phone Bills into Law

Governor Perdue has signed two new distracted driving bills into law. The bills are Senate Bill 360 and House Bill 23. Senate Bill 360, the Caleb Sorohan Act, prohibits writing, sending, or reading a text message while operating a motor vehicle. House Bill 23 prohibits teenagers 18-year-old and younger from using a wireless device while driving. To read the details of the new laws please go to Georgia Texting Law.

New 2010 - Connecticut Governor Signs Texting Bill into Law

Governor Rell has signed Senate Bill 427 into law. An operator of a motor vehicle will be ticketed if they type, send or read text messages on a hand-held mobile telephone or mobile electronic device while a vehicle is in motion. To read the details of the new law please visit the Connecticut Texting Law page.

New 2010 - Vermont Governor Signs Texting Bill into Law

Governor Douglas has signed Senate Bill 280 into law. The new Vermont Driving Law prohibits texting on a cell phone or other electronic device while driving, The new law also prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using any electronic communication devices while operating a motor vehicle. To read the details of the new law please go to the Vermont Texting Law.

New 2010 - Kansas Governor Signs Texting Bill into Law

Governor Parkinson has signed Senate Bill 300 into law. The new law prohibits the reading, writing and sending of Text messages while driving. In addition, teen drivers in Kansas are now required to wear protective equipment while operating a motor-cycle. To read the details of the new laws, please go to Kansas Texting Law.

New 2010 - Maryland Governor Signs Hand Held Cell Phone Ban into Law

The Governor of Maryland has signed Senate Bill 321 into law. The new law prohibits the use of hand held devices while operating a motor vehicle. The new cell phone laws is a secondary offense and goes into effect on October of 2010. For details please go to Maryland Cell Phone Law

New 2010 - Wisconsin Governor Signs Texting Ban into Law

The Governor of Wisconsin has signed Assembly Bill 496 into law. The new law prohibits all drivers from composing or sending an electronic text message while driving. To read the details of the new law please go to Wisconsin Texting Law.

New 2010 - Michigan Governor Signs Texting Bill into Law

On April 30th 2010 Governor Granholm signed Michigan House Bill 4394 into law. The new law prohibits all drivers from reading, writing and sending text messages while operating a motor vehicle. To read the details of the new law please go to the Michigan Texting Law.

New 2010 - Kentucky Governor Signs Cell Phone / Texting Bill into Law

On April 15th, 2010 Governor Beshear signed House Bill 415 into law. The new law prohibits drivers under the age of 18 from using a cell phone while operating a motor vehicle and it also prohibits all drivers from Texting while driving. To read the details of the new law please go to Kentucky Texting law.

New 2010 - Oklahoma Governor Signs Distracted Driving Bill into Law

Governor Henry has signed House Bill 2276 into law. The new law does not specifically ban texting or cell phone use but stipulates that "The operator of every vehicle, while driving, shall devote their full time and attention to such driving". To read the details of the new law please go to the Oklahoma Distracted Driving Law.

New 2010 - Nebraska Governor Signs Texting Bill into Law

Governor Heineman has signed Legislative Bill 945 into law. The new law prohibits drivers from using a handheld wireless communication device to read, manually type, or send a written communication while operating a motor vehicle which is in motion. To read more about the new Nebraska Text Messaging Law please go to Nebraska Texting Law.

New 2010 - Wyoming Governor Signs Texting Bill into Law

Governor Freudenthal has signed a new bill into law that prohibits writing, sending or reading text messages while operating a motor vehicle. The new law goes into effect July 1st, 2010. Read about the new Wyoming Texting Law

2010 Distracted Driving Legislation on the Move

New 2010 - Washington Governor Signs Cell Phone / Texting Bill into Law

In 2010 the State of Washington has changed their existing Cell Phone / Text messaging law to a Primary Offense. Read About the new Washington Cell Phone / Texting Law

In 2010 there are many States that have new distracted driving bills on their agenda. For a listing of 2009 / 2010 new cell phone, text messaging and hands free laws, please see our 2009-2010 New Driving Laws Page.

New 2010 - Iowa Governor Signs Texting Bill into Law

Iowa Governor Chet Culver has signed House File 2456 into law.

The new Iowa Driving Law bans all drivers in the State of Iowa from reading, writing or sending text messages or email while operating a motor vehicle. For more information please see our Iowa Text Messaging Law Page.

To read the Bill, Please go to Iowa House File 2456.

2009 / 2010 New Driving Laws

Arkansas | Colorado | Connecticut | Illinois | Maryland | Maine | New Hampshire

North Carolina | Oregon | Rhode Island | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Virginia

Washington | Wisconsin

Hands Free Device Information

What is a Hands Free Device? For information regarding Hands Free Cell Phones, Bluetooth Headsets or if you are interested in Becoming Hands Free, please visit the appropriate links highlighted in blue.

This section of the DrivingLaws.org website deals specifically with Cell Phone, Text Messaging and Hands Free Laws in the United States. Just click on your State of Interest in the far left-hand column.

Please keep in mind that laws are always changing and we do our best to stay up to date on the current and pending legislation in each state.

Text Messaging Laws

For the most part text messaging laws are straight-forward, "Text Messaging is not Allowed While Driving", although the legislation tends to be much more wordy than that. Currently 19 States have a text messaging law, the following states are included;

Alaska, Arkansas, California , Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, DC, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia

Current Cell Phone Law Information

Cell Phone laws can be confusing, mostly because their not really "Cell Phone" laws anymore, their more like an "Electronic Hand Held Device" laws, or insert name of latest distracting gadget here laws. I will refer to them Cell Phone laws in my text for simplicity's sake.

Cell Phone Laws

A simple example of a cell phone law exists in many states and is often intended for the novice driver. The law basically states that you are not allowed to talk on a cell phone while you are driving. With every cell phone law there are exceptions for emergency situations. Some states differentiate between primary and secondary enforcement laws.

A Primary Enforcement Cell Phone Law - You may be pulled over and ticketed if an officer of the law sees you using a cell phone while you are driving.

A Secondary Enforcement Cell Phone Law - You may be pulled over and ticketed only if you are observed violating another primary law such as speeding or running a stop sign.

You may also refer to these laws as a "Hand Held Ban", which may or may-not make allowances for hands free devices and often depends on your age.

The following States have a Hand Held Ban - California, Connecticut, DC, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington.

Hands Free Cell Phone Laws

In my first example of a simple cell phone law, you could not use a cell phone under any circumstance.

In States, such as California or Washington you may use a cell phone while you are driving if you have a Hands Free Device. Again, this may only be the case if you are a certain age or maintain full driver license privileges.

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