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Laws Regulating Cellphone Use in Cars Vary by State

In the last few years, many states have passed laws about how drivers can use cellphones while in their cars. Each state’s laws are slightly different. Here’s a general overview of what you need to know about cellphone use in cars.

  • Handheld Cell Phones: Nine states, Washington D.C. and the Virgin Islands prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones while driving. 
  • All Cell Phone Use: No state bans all cell phone use for all drivers, but many prohibit cell phone use by novice drivers and school bus drivers.
  • Text Messaging: 34 states, Washington D.C. and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers. Three states restrict school bus drivers from texting while driving.

Some states such as Maine, New Hampshire and Utah treat cell phone use and texting as part of a larger distracted driving issue. In Utah, cellphone use is an offense only if a driver is also committing some other moving violation (other than speeding).

Learn more about the laws in your state and find a full list of cellphone use laws in all states.