West Virginia Text Messaging and Cell Phone Laws
West Virginia does not ban text messaging or cell phones for drivers, except for those under the age of 18.
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With the exception novice drivers, there is no state-wide prohibition on cell phone or texting while driving in West Virginia
Texting and Cell Phone Laws
Novice drivers – drivers with learner’s or intermediate permits -- are prohibited from texting or using cell phones while driving in West Virginia.
West Virginia has a graduated, three-step process for teens to get a license. Teens who are at least 15 years old (and meet the other requirements, such as completing a written driving test and getting the consent of their parent or guardian) may get a level one instruction permit. As in many states, this learner's permit allows the teen to drive under the direct supervision of a licensed adult. A teen under the age of 18 with a level one instruction permit may not use a wireless communications device while operating a vehicle, except to call 9-1-1. There are no exceptions for hands-free devices. 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.
Once a teen reaches the age of 16 and meets the other requirements of the law, such as passing a driver's education course or logging a minimum number of hours behind the wheel, he or she can apply for a level two intermediate driver's license. Drivers under the age of 18 with a level two intermediate driver's license are also prohibited from using a wireless communications device while operating a vehicle, except to call 9-1-1. The fines for violating the law are as outlined above. In addition, teens with a level two intermediate driver's license who violate the ban must complete an approved driver improvement course.
Teens who are at least 17 years old and meet the other legal requirements are eligible for a level three license. These drivers are no longer subject to the ban on wireless communications while operating a vehicle.
Follow the links below for more information regarding driving laws in West Virginia.