Electronic device laws

Comprehensive laws addressing electronic devices, rather than those addressing only talking or texting on cellphones, appear to be more effective. Read more on our main distracted driving page.

This material has been prepared for general information purposes only. It is not guaranteed to be current and should be independently verified. Do not rely on it when considering how a law may apply to your circumstances.

February 2024

State Does the law prohibit holding an electronic device? What type of use does the electronic device law prohibit? For which non-commercial drivers does the law prohibit hand-held calls? How does the electronic device law define allowable hands-free use? How does the electronic device law address use at temporary stops? Is there a total ban on electronic devices for novice drivers?
Alabama yesFootnote 1 writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internetFootnote 1 all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except a single swipe or tap to activate or deactivate feature or function while the device is mounted to the vehicle does not apply when vehicle parked on shoulder yes, all 16-year-old drivers and 17-year-old drivers who have held an intermediate license for fewer than 6 months
Alaska no writing or reading; specifically applies to text message none device allowed if used for voice communication or reading caller identification information not addressed no
Arizona yes writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internet all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle stopped for red light or for train at railroad grade crossing yes, all learner’s permit holders and intermediate license holders until they have been licensed for 6 months or turn 18, whichever occurs first
Arkansas no writing or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and social media; does not apply to reading, selecting or entering number or name for purpose of making call drivers ages 18-20; drivers in school and work zonesFootnote 2 not defined does not apply when vehicle parked to side of or off road in location where it may safely remain stationary (texting); not addressed (hand-held calls) yes, drivers younger than 18
California only while using device not defined all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except a single swipe or tap to activate or deactivate feature or function while the device is mounted to the vehicle not addressed yes, drivers younger than 18
Colorado no writing or sending; specifically applies to text messages none not defined does not apply when vehicle at rest on shoulder or lawfully parked yes, drivers younger than 18
Connecticut noFootnote 3 writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messagesFootnote 3 all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle parked on side of road or shoulder where it may safely remain stationary yes, drivers younger than 18
Delaware no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages and email all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function not directly addressed; law prohibits use when vehicle in motion yes, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
District of Columbia noFootnote 4 writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and emailFootnote 4 all drivers device allowed if equipped with hands-free accessory not addressed yes, learner’s permit holders and drivers younger than 18
Florida no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and email drivers in school crossing zones, school zones or work zones device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle is stationary no
Georgia yesFootnote 5 writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internetFootnote 5 all drivers device allowed if voice-operated does not apply when lawfully parked no
Hawaii yes not defined all drivers not defined does not apply when vehicle parked on side of road in safe location with engine off yes, drivers younger than 18
Idaho only while using device not defined all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except through one-touch access to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked or parked on side of or off road in location where it may legally remain stationary no
Illinois only while using device specifically applies to social media all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or hands-free (texting and hand-held calls) or without use of either hand except a single push to activate or deactivate feature or function (school zones) does not apply when vehicle stopped due to normal traffic obstructed and vehicle in neutral or park or vehicle parked on shoulder yes, drivers younger than 19 who hold a learner’s permit or intermediate license
Indiana yes not defined all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or hands-free not addressed yes, drivers younger than 21
Iowa no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email, internet and social media; does not apply to reading, selecting or entering number or name for purpose of making call none device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle stopped away from travel portion of roadway yes, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders, except when using device through permanently installed vehicle equipment
Kansas no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and email; does not apply to reading, selecting or entering number or name for purpose of making call none device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle stopped away from travel portion of roadway yes, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
Kentucky no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and email; does not apply to reading, selecting or entering number or name for purpose of making call none not defined not directly addressed; law prohibits use when vehicle in motion on travel portion of roadway yes, drivers younger than 18
Louisiana no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and social media; does not apply to reading, selecting or entering number or name for purpose of making call learner’s permit and intermediate license holders ages 18 and older; drivers in school zones not defined (texting); device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function (hand-held calls for learner’s permit holders ages 18 and older and drivers in school zones) not addressed (texting); does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked (hand-held calls) yes, drivers younger than 18; for the first year, drivers issued first driver’s license
Maine no writing or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and emailFootnote 6 all drivers device allowed if operated without use of either hand except a single swipe, tap, or push to activate or deactivate feature or function while the device is mounted to the vehicle does not apply when vehicle parked on side of or off road in location where it may safely remain stationary yes, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
Maryland no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages and email all drivers not defined (texting); device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to initiate or terminate a call or turn device on or off (hand-held calls, except for learner's permit and intermediate license holders ages 18 and older) not directly addressed; law prohibits texting when vehicle on travel portion of roadway; law prohibits hand-held calls when vehicle in motion yes, drivers younger than 18
Massachusetts yes reading; specifically applies to text all drivers device allowed if operated without use of either hand except a single swipe or tap to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle stopped away from travel portion of roadway yes, drivers younger than 18
Michigan yes writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages and social media all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except a single touch to activate or deactivate feature or function or if using device when integrated into vehicle does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked noFootnote 7
Minnesota no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internet all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except a single touch to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle lawfully stopped in location not designed or ordinarily used for travel and not obstructing traffic yes, learner’s permit holders younger than 18 and all intermediate license holders
Mississippi no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and social media none device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function not directly addressed; law prohibits use when vehicle in motion no
Missouri yes writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email, internet and social media all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except a single swipe or tap to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked or stopped no
Montana no none none not applicable not applicable no
Nebraska no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internet none device allowed if hands-free not directly addressed; law prohibits use when vehicle in motion yes, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
Nevada no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internet all drivers not defined (texting); device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function (hand-held calls) not addressed no
New Hampshire no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to internet all drivers device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked on side of or off road in location where it remains stationary yes, drivers younger than 18
New Jersey only while using device sending; specifically applies to text messages all drivers device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function not directly addressed; law prohibits use when vehicle in motion yes, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
New Mexico no writing or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internet none device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle parked on side of or off road in location where it may safely remain stationary yes, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
New York only while using device writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internet all drivers not defined (texting); device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function (hand-held calls) not directly addressed; law prohibits use when vehicle in motion no
North Carolina no writing or reading; specifically applies to text messages and email none device allowed if voice-operated does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked or stopped yes, drivers younger than 18
North Dakota no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internet; does not apply to reading, selecting, or entering number or name for purpose of making call none device allowed if voice-operated or hands-free does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked yes, drivers younger than 18
Ohio no not defined all drivers, unless device held near driver’s ear device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except a single swipe or tap to activate or deactivate feature or function or if using device when integrated into vehicle does not apply when vehicle stopped at traffic signal outside travel lane, or due to emergency or road closure yes, drivers younger than 18
Oklahoma no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and email learner’s permit and intermediate license holders device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function or if using device when integrated into vehicle (texting) or without use of either hand (hand-held calls) not directly addressed; law prohibits use when vehicle in motion no
Oregon yes specifically applies to text messages, email and internet all drivers device allowed if operated without use of either hand except a single swipe or tap to activate or deactivate feature or functionFootnote 8 does not apply when vehicle safely stopped to side or off road, in designated parking space, or in roadway to conduct construction or utility maintenance work yes, drivers younger than 18
Pennsylvania no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, and email; does not apply to reading, selecting or entering number or name for purpose of making call none not defined not directly addressed; law prohibits use when vehicle in motion no
Rhode Island no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and email all drivers, if device held near driver’s ear device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle parked on side of or off road in location where it may safely remain stationary (texting); law prohibits use when vehicle in motion (hand-held calls) yes, drivers younger than 18
South Carolina no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and email none device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked or stopped no
South Dakota no specifically applies to social media; does not apply to reading, selecting or entering number or name for purpose of making call and using device for the call none device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked yes, learner's permit and intermediate license holders
Tennessee yes writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internet all drivers device allowed if operated without use of either hand except a single swipe or tap to activate or deactivate feature or function while the device is mounted to the vehicle does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked or stopped or when driver lawfully leaves vehicle standing yes, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
Texas no writing, sending or reading drivers operating within school crossing zones or on school property for which a school crossing zone has been designated device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle stopped yes, drivers younger than 18
Utah no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email and internet noneFootnote 9 device allowed if voice-operated, without use of either hand, or if integrated into vehicle not addressed yes, drivers younger than 18
Vermont yes writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and email all drivers not defined (texting); device allowed if operated without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate hands-free use while the device is mounted to the vehicle or through internal feature without holding the device (hand-held calls) does not apply when vehicle parked on side of or off road in location where it may safely remain stationary yes, drivers younger than 18
Virginia yes not defined all drivers not defined does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked or stopped no
Washington yes writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and email all drivers device allowed without use of either hand except through minimal use of finger to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle parked on side of or off road in location where it may safely remain stationary yes, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
West Virginia yes writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages, email, internet and social media all drivers device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except through swipe or single touch to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked yes, drivers younger than 18
Wisconsin no writing or sending; specifically applies to text messages and emailFootnote 10 drivers in work zones, utility work areas, or emergency or roadside response areas when workers are present device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function not directly addressed; law prohibits use when vehicle in motion yes, learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
Wyoming no writing, sending or reading; specifically applies to text messages, instant messages and email; does not apply to reading, selecting, or entering number or name for purpose of making call none device allowed if voice-operated or without use of either hand except to activate or deactivate feature or function does not apply when vehicle lawfully parked no