Driving Instruction

What Is the Hands-free Driving Law in Virginia?

October 26, 2022

If you’re a Virginia driver, you need to know about the new Virginia cell phone law. This law applies on all public roads and work zones, with different fines depending on circumstances. In this article, we look closely at the new driving law in Virginia and how it must be interpreted to be on the safe side.


Read on and find out what you need to do to avoid a fine and demerit points.


The Virginia Cell Phone Law Explained

According to the latest 2021 hands-free law in Virginia, it is illegal to hold your cell phone while driving. This means you cannot hold it to your ear, read your email, text, or even look at a text while driving. This law still applies while waiting at a red light, which is considered an active roadway.


However, you are allowed to talk on your phone if you use a Bluetooth-enabled device or wired earphones. Keep in mind that anyone driving a vehicle is not allowed to have an earphone in both ears, which may prevent you from hearing surrounding sounds. You can also mount your phone and use voice commands and a speaker phone to talk. 


The main point here is that you should always have your hands free to drive your vehicle and your eyes on the road. There are some exceptions to this law, like in the case of an emergency or for emergency operators in Department of Transport vehicles.


Make sure you are up to date on new driving laws in Virginia so you can be safe and know what not to do.


Penalties for Breaking The Hands-free Virginia Law



If you’re caught using a phone while driving, a ticket is inevitable. First offenders will receive a $125 fine. If you hold a phone in your hand in a work zone or are a second offender, you will receive a fine totaling $250. 


However, a “talking on the phone while driving” ticket cost can escalate to a $2,500 fine if you’re charged with reckless driving. If the officer feels that you were putting others and/or property in danger, it can earn you 12 months in jail, six demerit points, and a six-month license suspension in addition to the fine.

Demerit Points

Breaking these driving laws in Virginia will also get you some demerit points. The minimum number of demerit points the department of motor vehicles (DMV) in Virginia will give you is three points, but they could give you up to six. The maximum points you can accumulate before you get into serious trouble is 12 points in 12 months or 18 points in 24 months.


If you aren’t sure whether you have demerit points on your license, you can visit Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles website to find out.


Ways to Remove or Reduce Demerit Points

Demerit points will stay on your driver's license for 24 months.


The DMV of Virginia adds one safe driving point to your driver's license each year, but only if you didn't commit any traffic violation that year. If you want a faster way to take care of points on your license, you can get a full five points from the DMV if you attend a driver improvement clinic at a DMV-approved driving school like Colonial Driving School.


The maximum safe driving points you can accumulate on your license is five points. Get yourself a clean slate and earn safe driving points by staying on the right side of the law.


Stay on the Safe Side With Colonial Driving School

Anyone who needs a license can learn how to drive safely and defensively by taking a driver’s education class. At Colonial Driving School, we offer DMV-approved driver’s ed for adults and teenagers


Once you have your license, however, you can easily rack up a large number of demerit points if you’re not careful. If you’ve accumulated demerit points that you want (or need) to remove, driving improvement clinics help drivers remove demerits and receive positive driving points. 


As one of the top driving schools in Richmond, VA, Colonial Driving School offers affordable driving instruction, from private driving lessons to online courses. Whether you need to obtain a license or improve your driving skills, we have a service for you.


To learn more about our services, call 804-526-2197.