State Laws

Talking on a hand-held cellphone while driving is banned in 10 states (California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Washington, and West Virginia) and the District of Columbia.

The use of all cellphones by novice drivers is restricted in 36 states and the District of Columbia and the use of all cellphones while driving a school bus is prohibited in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

Text messaging is banned for all drivers in 39 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, novice drivers are banned from texting in 6 states (Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas) and school bus drivers are banned from text messaging in 3 states (Mississippi, Oklahoma, and Texas).

Many localities have enacted their own bans on cellphones or text messaging. In some but not all states, local jurisdictions need specific statutory authority to do so.


  1. Ban on all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers (Primary law)
  2. Ban on texting for all drivers (Primary law)
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