Texting and Driving Laws, Explained

This is a guide on texting and driving laws. Texting while driving is considered distracted driving in many states. It can lead to a ticket, a car accident, or even death.
Written by Cheryl Knight
Reviewed by Carrie Adkins
Lawmakers in every state except Montana have enacted laws concerning texting and driving.
Texting while driving pulls your attention away from the road and leads to preventable accidents. In order to stop the practice of texting and driving, local law enforcement issues citations, fines, and even jail time in extreme cases.
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about the penalties for texting and driving by state, as well as some apps that can prevent you from texting and driving.
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Texting while driving laws by state

The dangers of texting and driving have led to many states enacting laws either partially or totally prohibiting the act. You might have some confusion as to the texting and driving laws in your state. The table below shows the laws and penalties in various states when it comes to texting and driving:
State
Cell phone handheld use ban
Text messaging while driving ban
Penalties for cell phone use and texting while driving (as of October 2021)
Alabama
No
All drivers (Primary)
First offense: $25 fine; second offense: $50 fine; subsequent offenses: $75 fine
Alaska
Yes
All drivers
Class A Misdemeanor, up to $10,000 fine and one year in prison
Arizona
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: $75-$149; subsequent offenses: $150-$250
California
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: $20 base fine plus surcharge; subsequent offenses: fine of $50 plus surcharge
Colorado
No
All drivers
First offense: class 2 misdemeanor and fine of $300 and $50 for minors; subsequent offenses for minors: fine of $100
Connecticut
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
Fine of up to $125 fine
Delaware
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: $100 fine; subsequent offenses: $200-$300 fine
D.C.
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: $50 fine; subsequent offenses: $100-$200 fine
Florida
No
All drivers
First offense: $30 base fine plus surcharge; subsequent offenses: $60 fine plus surcharge
Georgia
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
$50 fine first-time offense, $100 second, $150 subsequent
Hawaii
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
$250 fine
Idaho
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
$75 fine first-time offense, $150 second, $300 subsequent, plus court costs
Illinois
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: $75; second offense: $100; subsequent offenses: $125
Indiana
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
Fine of up to $500
Iowa
No
All drivers
Fine of $30; fine of $50 for drivers under 18
Kansas
No
All drivers
Fine of $60
Kentucky
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: fine of $25; subsequent offenses: fine of $50
Lousiana
Learner or Intermediate License (regardless of age). Drivers in school zones (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: fine of $175; subsequent offenses: fine of $500
Maine
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
Fine of at least $250, and possible license suspension
Maryland
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: fine of $75; Second offense: fine of $125, subsequent offenses: fine of $175
Massachusetts
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: fine of $100; second offense: fine of $250; subsequent offenses: fine of $500
Michigan
No
All drivers
First offense: $100 fine; subsequent offenses: fine of $200
Minnesota
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: fine of $50; subsequent offenses: fine of $275, plus surcharge
Mississippi
No
All drivers
Fine of $100, $500 for learner drivers and bus drivers
Missouri
No
Drivers under 21
Fine of $200 for drivers under 21
Montana
No
No ban
No penalty
Nebraska
No
All drivers
First offense: fine of up to $200; second offense: fine of $300; subsequent offenses: fine of $500
Nevada
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: fine of $50; second offense within seven years: fine of $100; subsequent offenses within seven years: fine of $150
New Hampshire
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: fine of $100; subsequent offenses: fine of $250; subsequent offenses within twenty-four months: fine of $500
New Jersey
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: fine of up to $400; subsequent offenses: fine of up to $600
New Mexico
No
All drivers
First offense: $25 fine; subsequent offenses: $50 fine
New York
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: $50-100 fine; second offense within eighteen months: $50-$200 fine; subsequent offenses: $50-$400 fine
North Carolina
No
All drivers
Fine of $100
North Dakota
No
All drivers
$25 for drivers under eighteen
Northern Mariana Islands
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
Fines from $300-$500
Ohio
No
All drivers
First offense: $150 fine and sixty-day license suspension; penalty doubles for second offense
Oklahoma
Learner or Intermediate (Primary)
All drivers
Potentially a $100 fine
Oregon
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
First offense: fines up to $1,000; second offense: up to $2,000 fine; subsequent offenses within ten years: charged with misdemeanor, up to $2,500 in fines, and six months in jail
Pennsylvania
No
All drivers
Fine of $50, plus surcharge
Puerto Rico
Yes (Primary)
All drivers
Fine of $50
MORE: How different types of car accidents affect your insurance rates

Apps that help prevent texting while driving

In order to prevent texting while driving, you can download apps to you or your teen's mobile device. These apps work by either shutting down a device's ability to text altogether or by notifying a parent when teens do use a device while driving.
Texting and driving can lead to an accident, causing damage, injury, and possibly death, which is why it is important that you refrain from the practice.
Most states across the U.S. now outlaw
cell phone use
or texting while driving, giving out fines and other penalties to offenders. If you have trouble not texting while driving, use one of the available apps mentioned above to curtail the activity.
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