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Cell Phone Ordinances

One in five crashes involves driver distraction. Drivers who use cell phones in their vehicles have a higher risk of collision than drivers who don't, whether holding the phone or using a hands-free device.

Although Texas has no statewide law banning the use of cell phones while driving for all drivers, many local areas prohibit or limit the use of cell phones while driving. Specific limitations are listed below.

We urge you to drive now and talk later. If you must make a phone call, pull over. Otherwise, wait until you reach your destination to use the phone.

Cell Phone Prohibitions

  • Drivers with learner's permits are prohibited from using handheld cell phones in the first six months of driving.
  • Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from using wireless communications devices.
  • School bus operators are prohibited from using cell phones while driving if children are present.
  • In school zones, all drivers are prohibited from texting and using handheld devices while driving.
  • Local restrictions: Since 2009, more than 60 cities have adopted one or more of the three types of cell phone ordinances listed below. These cities include:
  • Alamo
  • Alice
  • Amarillo
  • Aransas Pass
  • Argyle
  • Arlington
  • Austin
  • Bedford
  • Bee Cave
  • Bellaire
  • Brownsville
  • Buda
  • Canyon
  • Conroe
  • Converse
  • Corpus Christi
  • Deer Park
  • Denton
  • Edinburg
  • El Paso
  • Farmers Branch
  • Galveston
  • Grand Prairie
  • Groesbeck
  • Harlingen
  • Helotes
  • Jacksonville
  • Kyle
  • Laguna Vista
  • Lake Dallas
  • Lakeway
  • Laredo
  • Little Elm
  • Magnolia
  • Maypearl
  • McAllen
  • Meadowlakes
  • Midland
  • Mission
  • Missouri City
  • Mount Vernon
  • Nacogdoches
  • New Braunfels
  • Palmview
  • Pampa
  • Penitas
  • Richwood
  • Rowlett
  • San Angelo
  • San Antonio
  • San Juan
  • San Marcos
  • Schertz
  • Shoreacres
  • Sinton
  • Snyder
  • Stephenville
  • Sweetwater
  • Tomball
  • Universal City
  • Watauga
  • Westlake Hills
  • West University Place
  • Wimberly

Note: Since cell phone ordinances may be adopted by cities at any time, the list above may not be comprehensive. Cities that adopt cell phone ordinances may contact the TxDOT Traffic Operations Division and request to be added to the list.

Fines and Cell Phone Ordinance Types

Fines range from $200 to $500.

There are three types of cell phone ordinances:

  • Ban on all uses of wireless communications devices while driving.
  • Ban on texting while driving.
  • Ban on texting and other manual uses of wireless communication devices while driving.