Nowadays, just about everyone has a cellphone on them at all times, especially while in the car. Having your device within reach while driving makes it very tempting to call or text, send instant messages, or just browse the internet. Unfortunately, this takes your attention away from the road, which is where all of your focus needs to be to keep you and everyone around you safe. Depending on the state, there are different punishments if you get caught texting while driving.
Texting and Driving Fines by State
Texting and driving is illegal in every state except for Montana and for drivers under 21 in Missouri. Each state has its own set of fines and punishments.
Curious about what the rules are in your state? Check out this list of texting and driving fines.
It is a primary offensive in Alabama to text while driving. A first offense will cost you $25, the second offense is $50, and each one after that is $75. You also get two points on your license for each offense.
In Alaska, texting and driving is a class A misdemeanor criminal offense where you can spend up to a year in jail and up to $10,000 in fines for a first offense.
Drivers caught texting while driving are subject to fines between $75 and $149 for their first offense and between $150 and $250 for each reoccurrence.
If you are texting and driving in Arkansas, prepare to pay a fine of $250 for your first offense and $500 for any other offenses after that. Fines double in they involve a collision.
The minimum fine for your first texting and driving citation in California will run you at least $162. Although the base fee is $20 for a first offense and $50 for the next ones, they add on fees to fund courthouse and jail construction.
Texting and driving in Colorado is a misdemeanor traffic offense and is punishable by a $300 fine and four points on your driving record.
In Connecticut, your first offense is $200, the second is $375, and each subsequent violation is $625.
Drivers caught texting while driving in Delaware get fined $100 for their first offense with subsequent offenses falling between $200 and $300.
You can expect a citation of $30 for your first texting and driving offense in Florida. The second offense is $60 and includes a court appearance and its associated costs and three points against your license.
The first time you get caught texting and driving in Georgia, the fine is $50 and one demerit point. You can get this charge dismissed if you provide proof of buying a hands-free device. Your second fine is $100 and two demerit points, while the third fine is $150 and three demerit points.
Fines for texting and driving start at $250 in Hawaii.
With court costs in Idaho, the $75 first-offense fee becomes $131.50, a $150 second offense within three years becomes $206.50, and a $300 third offense within three years jumps to $356.50. Your license is suspended for up to 30 days if you have three offenses in three years.
There is a $75 fine for a first offense, $100 for a second offense, $125 for a third offense, and $150 for a fourth offense. Since these offenses count as moving violations, getting three in a one-year period means your license gets suspended.
The first time you receive a penalty for texting and driving, the fee is a maximum of $35.50. If you have a second violation in a five-year period, the maximum fee is $250.50. Finally, if you receive a third violation in five years, the maximum fee is $500. All texting and driving violations add four demerit points to your license.
Texting while driving is a simple misdemeanor in Iowa. The cost of this ticket is $100 plus court costs.
Kansas has a fee for texting while driving that will cost you $60 plus court costs. If you are on your learner's permit, your permit is suspended for 30 days and $250 in fines. Get a second violation, and your license is suspended for 90 days and you receive a $500 fine.
Drivers in Kentucky should expect $25 for their first texting and driving violation and $50 for each one after that. The violation also comes with three demerit points.
If you text and drive inLouisiana, the first time you get caught, the fine is $175. It jumps to $500 for each subsequent offense.
The fines for texting and driving in Mainestart at $250 for the first offense. Repeat offenders will have their license suspended for a minimum of 30 days.
Those who text and drive in Maryland receive a maximum of $83 fine for their first offense, $140 for their second, and $160 for their third.
Drivers who violate the hands-free law in Massachusettsstart with fines of $100 for their first offense, $250 and a mandatory distracted driving course for their second, and $500, an insurance surcharge, and a mandatory distracted driving course for their third.
Motorists in Michigan receive a $100 fine for their first texting and driving offense and $200 for each one after that.
Minnesota has distracted driving fines that start with $120 for the first offense and over $300 for sequential offenses. These fines include all court fees.
If you text and drive in Mississippi, you will receive a $100 texting ticket.
Missouri only imposes texting while driving rules on those who are under 21 years of age and commercial drivers. The infraction results in an $85 fine plus court costs and two license demerit points.
Montana does not have any laws against texting while driving.
Drivers who violate texting laws in Nebraska are fined $200 for their first offense, $300 for their second, and $500 for each one after that. Three demerit points are also added to their license.
The first time you get caught texting behind the wheel in Nevada you receive a $50 fine. If you get another one in the next seven years it is $100, and any more will cost you $250 each. Any offense after the first also carries the addition of four demerit points.
Violators of texting laws in New Hampshire have to pay $100 for the first offense, $250 the second time in two years, and $500 for the third offense in two years.
The first offense starts at a minimum of $200, the second is a minimum of $400, and the third is a minimum of $600 along with a possible 90-day license suspension and three motor vehicle penalty points.
New Mexico imposes a $25 for your first texting and driving fine and $50 for each subsequent offense.
To make driving safer, New York raised its fees to between $50 and $200 for your first offense, $50 to $250 for your second in 18 months, and $50 to $450 for your third in 18 months. They have up to a $93 surcharge and carry five driver violation points.
If you text and drive in North Carolina, you will receive a $100 fine along with court costs.
North Dakota has a $100 fine for texting while driving.
While texting and driving alone can't get you pulled over, if you commit a traffic violation while texting, you will receive a $150 fine. If you are under 18, you lose your license for 60 days and get a $150 fine. If it is your second offense, you lose your license for a year and receive a $300 fine.
Violating Oklahoma's texting while driving ban results in a $100 fine.
Oregon has distracted driving laws that start at a $1,000 maximum fine. The second offense in 10 years is a $2,000 maximum fine. The fine for a third offense in 10 years is between $2,000 and $2,500 and up to six months in jail.
The fee for distracted driving in Pennsylvania is $50 plus court costs and other fees.
You are fined up to $100 for texting and driving in Rhode Island.
The fee for a texting violation in South Carolina isn't allowed to exceed $25.
Texting while driving is a class 2 misdemeanor in South Dakota and carries a $122.50 fine.
The fine for your first texting violation in Tennesee can be a maximum of $50. The following incidents can be up to $100 each.
Violating the Texas texting laws result in a fine between $25 and $99 for your first offense and between $100 and $200 for any following offenses.
The first offense of Utah's texting laws brings a $100 maximum fine. Any following offenses have the potential for up to six months in jail and up to $1,000 in fines.
Violators of Vermont's texting laws will receive a fine of $100 to $200 for their first offense and between $250 and $500 for their subsequent offenses.
Texting while driving in Virginia carries a $125 fine for your first offense and $250 for any further offenses.
Cell phone violations in Washington are reported to insurance companies and start at a minimum of $136. Any additional tickets in the next five years start at $234.
West Virginia rule-breakers receive fines of $100 for their first offense, $200 for their second, and $300 plus demerit points for their third. All fees will have court costs added to them.
Fees for violating Wisconsin's texting laws range from $20 for a first offense up to $400 for repeat offenses.
Texting and driving in Wyoming brings a fine between $75 and $90.
Times Your Texting and Driving Fine May Be Higher
Keep in mind, the fines we have above are just the basic fines for getting caught texting and driving. In most states, the penalties increase if you cause a crash or injure or kill another driver due to your negligence. You'll likely get increased fines, jail time, or both.
Texting and driving through a work or school zone is another big no-no. Most states also include increased penalties if you commit this offense.
Don't Text and Drive
Texting and driving causes numerous avoidable accidents and deaths all across the country every year. Pull over to a safe spot if you absolutely need to send a text, send an email, or make a phone call. It isn't worth your life.
If you do get caught texting and driving? We may be able to help. Our traffic school courses can sometimes help you remove points from your license and dismiss tickets. You'll also learn how to be a safer driver — which will be good for you and those around you.