Virginia is now a “Hands Free” State

As of January 1, 2021, Virginia is one of many “hands free” states when it comes to cell phone use behind the wheel.   Pursuant to Virginia Code Section 46.2-818.2 it is now unlawful for a driver to hold a handheld personal communications device.   If a police officer observes you holding your phone while driving, you are in violation of this statute.  Unlike the old law, there are no exceptions for using your GPS or dialing a number.  You may use all of the features of your smart phone, so long as you use them in a hands-free mode.

There are a few exceptions, one exception being that you may hold your phone if you are lawfully parked or stopped.  You can pick up your phone at a red light, but remember to put it down before you start moving. Another example is if the driver is using a handheld personal communications device to report an emergency

A violation of this section is, for a first offense, a $125.00 fine, and a second or subsequent offense a $250.00 fine.  If you violate this section in a highway work zone, it is a mandatory $250.00 fine.  As with other traffic violations, these charges carry demerit points from DMV.

WMMLegal has a number of attorneys that are experienced in criminal and traffic defense.  If you have been charged with violating the new hands-free law, call the traffic defense attorneys at Winslow, McCurry & MacCormac at (804) 423-1382 or you can email us at  We would like to help.