Cellphone Driving Laws

Cellphone driving laws vary by state. States like California and New York have strict cellphone driving laws, while states including Colorado and Iowa's cellphone driving laws are more lenient.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State...

Full Bio →

Written by

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses...

Full Bio →

Reviewed byJoel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: Jun 5, 2020

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We partner with top insurance providers. This doesn't influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • Most of the states in the U.S. have laws concerning cell phone usage while driving
  • Countless accidents are caused each year when people talk on their phones or text while driving
  • Laws are constantly changing, so it is best to avoid using your phone in the car, even if your state does not currently have a law concerning cell phone usage

State laws vary when it comes to driving while using a cell phone. While some states have completely banned talking on a cell phone while driving, others allow hands-free devices like earphones or Bluetooth.

In addition, many states are beginning to ban texting while driving and research shows drivers who don’t talk or text while driving are safer drivers and less likely to get into an accident than someone who is distracted.

Looking for online car insurance quotes and information? Use our free search tool by entering your zip code to shop for car insurance rates today!

States That Have a Handheld Cell Phone Ban

More and more states are completely banning handheld cell phone use while driving.

This restriction includes even holding your phone away from your face while talking. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the states that have implemented this ban include:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Georgia (under 18 only)
  • Illinois (work or school zone only)
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts (depending on local jurisdiction)
  • Michigan (depending on local jurisdiction)
  • Nevada
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico (depending on local jurisdiction)
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio (depending on local jurisdiction)
  • Oklahoma (permit holders only)
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania (depending on local jurisdiction)
  • Texas (school zones only)
  • Washington

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

States That Do Not Allow Cell Phones While Driving

Some states do not allow cell phone use at all, even with a hands-free option. Usually, this is restricted to younger drivers, but it is becoming more and more common.

Which states have banned all cellphone use while driving? States that have some type of restriction on hands-free cell phone usage include:

  • Alabama (between 16 and 17 years of age and six months or less of driving experience)
  • Arizona (drivers of school buses only)
  • Arkansas (drivers of school buses and drivers under 18 years of age)
  • California (school bus driver and drivers under 18 years of age)
  • Colorado (drivers under 18)
  • Connecticut (school bus driver and drivers under 18 years of age)
  • Delaware (school bus driver and drivers less than 18 years of age)
  • Washington, D.C. (school bus driver and drivers with a learner’s permit)
  • Georgia (school bus driver and drivers under 18 years of age)
  • Illinois (school bus driver and drivers less than 19 years of age)
  • Indiana (any drivers under the age of 18)
  • Iowa (learner’s permit holders)
  • Kansas (learner’s permit holders)
  • Kentucky (school bus drivers and drivers under 18 years of age)
  • Louisiana (drivers of school buses, drivers under 18 years of age)
  • Maine (learner’s permit holders)
  • Maryland (drivers of school buses and learner’s permit holders)
  • Massachusetts (school and passenger bus drivers and drivers younger than 18 years of age)
  • Minnesota (drivers of school buses and provisional license holders)
  • Mississippi (drivers of school buses)
  • Nebraska (learner’s permit holders)
  • New Jersey (drivers of school buses and learner’s permit holders)
  • New Mexico (learners permit holders)
  • North Carolina (drivers of school buses and drivers younger than 18 years of age)
  • North Dakota (drivers younger than 18 years of age)
  • Oklahoma (school bus and public transit drivers)
  • Oregon (drivers younger than 18 years of age)
  • Rhode Island (drivers of school buses and drivers younger than 18 years of age)
  • Tennessee (drivers of school buses and learner’s permit holders)
  • Texas (all bus drivers and drivers younger than 18 years of age)
  • Vermont (any drivers younger than 18 years of age)
  • Virginia (drivers of school buses and any drivers under 18 years of age)
  • Washington (learner’s permit holders)
  • West Virginia (drivers younger than 18 years of age)

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Texting While Driving

Finally, texting while driving has become a major issue in law enforcement and a reason why there are more accidents on the road than ever before.

Distracted drivers who text are taking their eyes off the road for an extended period of time.

They are, therefore, getting into more accidents and causing more fatalities than ever before. In an effort to combat these problems, more than 30 states now have a law when it comes to texting and driving:

  • Alaska (any drivers)
  • Arkansas (any drivers)
  • California (any drivers)
  • Colorado (any drivers)
  • Connecticut (any drivers)
  • Delaware (any drivers)
  • Washington, D.C. (any drivers)
  • Georgia (any drivers)
  • Illinois (any drivers)
  • Indiana (any drivers)
  • Iowa (any drivers)
  • Kansas (any drivers)
  • Kentucky (any drivers)
  • Louisiana (any drivers)
  • Maine (any drivers)
  • Maryland (any drivers)
  • Massachusetts (any drivers)
  • Michigan (any drivers)
  • Minnesota (any drivers)
  • Mississippi (permit holders only)
  • Missouri (drivers 21 years old or younger)
  • Nebraska (any drivers)
  • Nevada (any drivers)
  • New Hampshire (any drivers)
  • New Jersey (any drivers)
  • New York (any drivers)
  • North Carolina (any drivers)
  • North Dakota (any drivers)
  • Oklahoma (permit holders and school bus and public transit drivers)
  • Oregon (any drivers)
  • Rhode Island (any drivers)
  • Tennessee (any drivers)
  • Texas (drivers in school zones, new license holders, bus drivers with children under age 17 as passengers)
  • Utah (any drivers)
  • Vermont (any drivers)
  • Virginia (any drivers)
  • Washington (any drivers)
  • West Virginia (drivers younger than 18 years of age)
  • Wisconsin (any drivers)
  • Wyoming (any drivers)

It is important to check with your state to see if there have been any recent changes to the law regarding cell phone use in the car.

As a general rule, it is always better not to use your cell phone while driving, and if you must make or take a call, pull over to the side of the road.

Are you trying to find car insurance rates online? Use this simple tool below by entering your zip code to receive rates from multiple companies!

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save!

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption