Texting while Driving Penalties Across the U.S.
|State||Ban type||Penalty||Violation points||Moving violation?|
|1st offense||2nd offense||Subsequent offense|
|Alabama||All drivers||$25 fine||$50 fine||$75 fine||2||-|
|Alaska||All drivers||Max. $10,000 fine + 1 year in prison 1, 2||Max. $10,000 fine + 1 year in prison 1, 2||Max. $10,000 fine + 1 year in prison 1, 2||-||-|
|Arkansas||All drivers||Max. $100 fine + 10 days in jail||Max. $200 fine + 20 days in jail||Max. $500 fine + 6 months in jail||-||-|
|California||All drivers||$20 base fine 3||$50 base fine 3||$50 base fine 3||None||No|
|Colorado||All drivers||$50 fine||$100 fine||$100 fine||1||-|
|Connecticut||All drivers||$100 fine||$150 fine||$200 fine||-||-|
|Delaware||All drivers||$50 fine||$100-$200 fine||$100-$200 fine||None||-|
|D.C.||All drivers||$100 fine||$100 fine||$100 fine||1||Yes|
|Florida||No ban||$30 fine + court costs||$60 fine + court costs||$60 fine + court costs||Not on 1st violation|
|Georgia||All drivers||$150 fine||$150 fine||$150 fine||-||-|
|Idaho 4||All drivers||$81.50 fine||$81.50 fine||$81.50 fine||None||No|
|Illinois||All drivers||Min. $75 fine||Min. $75 fine||Min. $75 fine||-||-|
|Indiana||All drivers||Max. $35.50 fine||Max. $250 fine 5||Max. $500 fine 5||-||-|
|Iowa||All drivers||$30 fine 6||$30 fine 6||$30 fine 6||-||No|
|Kansas||All drivers||$60 fine||$60 fine||$60 fine||-||-|
|Kentucky||All drivers||$25 fine + court costs||$50 fine + court costs||$50 fine + court costs||-||-|
|Louisiana||All drivers||Max. $175 fine||Max. $500 fine||Max. $500 fine||-||No|
|Maine||All drivers||$250-$500 fine||$250-$500 fine||$250-$500 fine||-||-|
|Maryland||All drivers||Max. $500 fine||Max. $500 fine||Max. $500 fine||Not on first offense unless contributes to an accident||-|
|Massachusetts 7,8||All drivers||$100 fine||$250 fine||$500 fine||-||-|
|Michigan||All drivers||$100 fine||$200 fine||$200 fine||-||-|
|Minnesota||All drivers||$135 fine||$135 fine||$135 fine||-||-|
|Nebraska||All drivers||$200 fine||$300 fine||$500 fine||3||-|
|Nevada||All drivers||$50 fine||$100 fine 9||$250 fine 9||-||Not for first violation|
|New Hampshire||All drivers||$100 fine||$100 fine||$100 fine||-||-|
|New Mexico||Partial ban|
|New Jersey||All drivers||$100 fine||$100 fine||$100 fine||None||-|
|New York||All drivers||Max. $235 fine||Max. $235 fine||Max. $235 fine||3||-|
|North Carolina 10||All drivers||$100 fine + court costs||$100 fine + court costs||$100 fine + court costs||None||-|
|North Dakota||All drivers||$100 fine||$100 fine||$100 fine||-||Yes|
|Ohio||All drivers||$150 fine||$150 fine||$150 fine||-||-|
|Oregon||All drivers||Max. $250 fine||Max. $250 fine||Max. $250 fine||-||-|
|Pennsylvania||All drivers||$50 fine||$50 fine||$50 fine||-||-|
|Rhode Island||All drivers||$85 fine||$100 fine||$125 fine||-||-|
|South Carolina||No ban|
|South Dakota||Partial ban|
|Tennessee||All drivers||Max. $50 fine + $10 court costs||Max. $50 fine + $10 court costs||Max. $50 fine + $10 court costs||None||No|
|Utah||All drivers||Max. $750 fine + 90 days in jail 11||Up to $1,000 fine + 6 months in jail 11||Up to $1,000 fine + 6 months in jail||-||-|
|Vermont 12||All drivers||$156 fine||$329 fine 13||$329 fine 13||2 for first offense;|
5 for subsequent offenses
|Virginia||All drivers||$20 fine||$50 fine||$50 fine||-||-|
|Washington 14||All drivers||$124 fine||$124 fine||$124 fine||None||No|
|West Virginia||All drivers||$100 fine||$200 fine||$300 fine||3 on 3rd offense||-|
|Wisconsin||All drivers||$20-$400 fine||$200 - $800 fine||$200 - $800 fine||4||-|
|Wyoming||All drivers||$75 fine||$75 fine||$75 fine||-||-|
|Cells are marked with a dash (-) when no specific information was available in the text of the actual law|
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- Even though the maximum penalty for texting while driving in Alaska is a $10,000 fine and one year in prison, Anchorage municipal prosecutor Cindy Franklin says the fine would likely only reach that amount if the driver were acting as a "menace on the road." She said that in Anchorage, if it was a first offense and the driver was not being a "menace on the road" and had a relatively clean driving history, the typical fine would likely be about $1,500, with $1,000 of that suspended. The real maximum range for this violation would likely be around $1,000, she says. Franklin noted that she has never personally seen a case of texting while driving prosecuted by her office, however
- If you get into an accident while texting and driving and injure someone, the violation becomes a felony punishable by a fine of up to $50,000 and 5 years in prison. If the injury is serious, the maximum fine jumps to $100,000. If the injury leads to the death of another person, the fine further escalates to $250,000, and the jail time increases to 20 years in prison.
- Even though the base fine is listed as $20, the state's Office of Traffic Safety reports the minimum fine for a first offense is $159, and subsequent tickets cost $279.
- Idaho's statute specifically says insurers cannot use a texting violation as a reason to increase insurance rates.
- In Indiana, the time frame for which previous offenses are considered is 5 years.
- If you cause a serious injury while texting while driving, the fine goes up to $500, or you get a 90-day suspension, or both. If it leads to death, the injury penalties double.
- A violation of the ban "shall not be a surchargeable offense," according to the state law. That means insurers can't use it to raise your rates.
- Violations for under-18 drivers can also come with a license suspension of 60 days, 180 days, or a year
- The time frame for which previous offenses are considered is 7 years.
- Statute specifically states insurers can't raise rates because of a texting violation.
- If a first- or second-time offender causes serious bodily injury while texting and driving, the third-offense penalty applies.
- For under-18 drivers, the offense also includes a 20-day recall of their license or permit.
- The time frame for which previous offenses are considered is 2 years.
- The law specifically states that "Infractions under this section shall not become part of the driver's record under RCW 46.52.101 and 46.52.120. Additionally, a finding that a person has committed a traffic infraction under this section shall not be made available to insurance companies or employers."