Virginia Text Messaging and Cell Phone Laws

Except for novice drivers, there is no prohibition on cell phone use while driving in Virginia. However, all Virginia drivers are prohibited from texting.

Cell Phone Use

There is no handheld cell phone prohibition for drivers except that novice drivers in Virginia - drivers under age 18 – are prohibited from using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) while driving.

Texting Laws

All drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.

Bus Drivers

School bus drivers are prohibited form using cell phones (handheld or hands-free) and as with all Virginia drivers, school bus drivers are prohibited from texting while driving.


Virginia’s school bus and novice cell phone bans 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. 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 – for example, you ran a stop light while texting.

Read more about Virginia’s distracted driving laws.

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