Everything You Need to Know About Missouris’ Texting and Driving Laws

Texting and driving laws in Missouri only apply to drivers under 21 and commercial truck drivers.
Written by Brittni Brinn
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Jan 10, 2023
In Missouri, texting and driving laws only apply to drivers under 21 years of age and commercial truck drivers. A texting and driving citation carries a $200 fine and will add two points onto your driver’s license.
As one of the two states without a comprehensive law against texting and driving, Missouri can be a dangerous place to drive. In 2017, 21,058 car accidents occurred as a result of distracted driving in Missouri—which is why the state is considering implementing stricter laws around texting while driving.
At this time, only drivers under 21 and commercial truck drivers have to worry about texting and driving laws in Missouri. However, drivers over 21 can be charged with careless and imprudent driving for texting behind the wheel. 
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What are the texting and driving laws in Missouri?

The law in Missouri defines distracted driving as “changing the radio, eating, talking, or texting” while you’re on the road. This definition leaves a lot to be desired, as it doesn’t mention video calling or using social media while driving. Drivers who check or use their phones while driving are three times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Other states have a more involved definition of distracted driving that can help you avoid distractions while driving. The three categories of distraction that are of most concern include:
  • Visual distractions: Whenever you take your eyes off the road ahead of you to look at something else, you are visually distracted.
  • Manual distractions: Whenever you use your hands or feet for something other than steering, stopping, or powering your vehicle, you are manually distracted.
  • Cognitive distractions: Whenever you take your mind off of driving your vehicle, you are cognitively distracted.
Being aware of when you are distracted can help you refocus on your driving. If you need to, you can turn off your phone or set it to “do not disturb” so you’re not tempted to use it while driving. If you need to text or message someone, you always have the option of safely pulling over and stopping before you look at your phone.

What are the penalties for texting and driving in Missouri?

Texting and driving laws in Missouri only apply to drivers under 21 and truckers with CDLs. A citation for texting and driving comes with a $200 fine and two points on your driving record.
For a quick reference, you can look at the following chart:
Driver type
Points on license
Under 21 years old
Two points
Commercial truck driver
Two points
It’s important to keep in mind that although drivers over 21 cannot be cited for texting and driving, you can still be charged with careless and imprudent driving if you are driving while distracted—especially if you cause an accident.
Breaking the texting and driving law will add two points to your driving record. If you hit eight points in the span of 18 months, your license will be suspended for 30 days.

Are there exceptions to Missouri’s texting and driving law?

There are some cases where you are allowed to use your phone when you’re behind the wheel. You can use your phone in the following situations:
  • If you’re lawfully parked or stopped
  • Reporting a crime or calling 911
  • If you’re a law enforcement officer or other emergency personnel
If you have to take a call or respond to a message, pull over. Even if it’s just to check something or quickly clear your notifications, you should never look at your phone while driving.

Are there special texting and driving rules for young drivers?

Drivers under the age of 21 must follow Missouri’s texting and driving law. If you get a ticket for texting and driving, you’ll have to pay a fine of $200. Two points will be added to your driving record as well.
Key Takeaway In Missouri, the texting and driving law only applies to drivers under 21 and commercial truck drivers. However, distracted driving can get you a careless and imprudent driving charge, no matter your age.

Can texting and driving raise my insurance rates?

Texting and driving charges can have a significant impact on your insurance. The average driver in Missouri pays $1,347 on their car insurance. After a texting and driving citation, the average rate jumps to $1,536. That $190 increase represents a 14% hike in your insurance rates.
You can avoid texting and driving citations by turning off your phone, setting it to “do not disturb” while driving, or using the hands-free features. It’s worth pulling over if you need to use your phone—in addition to keeping everyone safe, it will also save you money on your insurance.

How to find affordable car insurance in Missouri

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