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Virginia Cell Phone, Texting, and Driving Laws

Can I send a text message or talk on my handheld cell phone while driving in Virginia?

Yes and no. In Virginia, it is illegal to send a text message or e-mail while driving. However, drivers are allowed to use their cell phones to make phone calls, listen to music, and get directions using a smartphone's Global Positioning System capabilities. Intermediate license holders (teen drivers) are banned from using cell phones while driving.

Can law enforcement officers pull me over for texting on my cell phone?

Yes. In Virginia, texting while driving is considered a primary offense, which means law enforcement officers can pull you over if they suspect you of texting while driving.

Do I have to give my cell phone to an officer if he asks to see it?

No. Drivers are not required to surrender their cell phones. Law enforcement officers will ask drivers pulled over for texting to see their phones in order to check the timestamps on their text. Drivers retain the right to refuse that request, and can then fight the ticket in court.

What are the fines associated with getting pulled over for texting while driving in Virginia?

The fine is $125 for the first offense and $250 for subsequent offenses.