Cellular Phone Laws FAQ (18 years of age and older)

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Drivers 18 years of age or older ~ VC §23123

Are prohibited from driving a motor vehicle while using a wireless telephone unless a hands-free device is used


Emergency situations, for example: calls to law enforcement, health care provider, fire department, etc.

  • Emergency service providers operating an authorized emergency vehicle during the course of employment.
  • While operating a vehicle on private property.
  • A person operating a commercial motor truck or truck tractor (excluding pickups), implements of husbandry, farm vehicle, school bus, transit vehicle, or tow truck, if using a two-way radio operated by a “push-to-talk” feature that does not require the device to be close to the ear.

Expand/Contract Questions and Answers

  • When did the cellular phone laws take effect?

  • What if I need to use my phone during an emergency and I do not have a hands-free device?

  • What are the fines if I am convicted?

  • Will I receive a point on my driving record if I am convicted for a violation of the cellular phone law?

  • Will a conviction appear on my driving record?

  • I drive a commercial vehicle and my phone has a "push-to-talk" feature that does not require me to place the phone to my ear, will I still be required to use a hands-free device?

  • I drive a commercial pickup truck, may I use a two-way radio while driving?

  • May I use the speakerphone feature and hold the phone in my hand, but not next to my ear?

  • My car has a built-in hands-free mobile phone feature. Is this adequate or do I have to buy additional equipment?

  • Can I send a text message on my phone or Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) while driving?

  • Are passengers covered by this law?