Distracted Driving

Junior Driver's use of Portable Electronic Devices

A person under 18 years of age shall not use any portable electronic device while operating a moving motor vehicle in a place open temporarily or permanently to public or general circulation of vehicles.

In addition, a person under 18 years of age shall not use any portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway, including while the vehicle is stationary.

Handheld Use of Portable Electronic Device Prohibited

Hands-free use means the use of a portable electronic device without use of either hand by employing an internal feature of, or an attachment to, the device.

Use of handheld portable electronic device prohibited.

  • A person shall not use a portable electronic device while operating a moving motor vehicle in a place open temporarily or permanently to public or general circulation of vehicles.
  • In addition, a person shall not use a portable electronic device while operating a motor vehicle on a public highway in Vermont, including while the vehicle is stationary.

Texting

Texting means the reading or the manual composing or sending of electronic communications, including text messages, instant messages, or e-mails, using a portable electronic device as defined above, but shall not be construed to include use. Use of a global positioning or navigation system shall be governed by section V.S.A. 23 1095b.

What are the penalties for violating Vermont’s texting law?

  Junior Driver's License Driver's License
Texting (1st Offense)
  • $100 + surcharge & 15% = $156.00
  • assessed 2 points
  • 30 day recall of license/permit
  • $100 + surcharge & 15% = $156.00
  • assessed 2 points
Texting (2nd/Subsequent Adjudication in 2-Year Period)
  • $250 + surcharge & 15% = $329.00
  • assessed 5 points
  • 30 day recall of license/permit
  • $250 + surcharge & 15% = $329.00
  • assessed 5 points
Use of Portable Electronic Device (other than texting)
  • $100 + surcharge & 15% = $156.00
  • assessed 2 points
not a violation for this age group

Did you know... if you are driving 70 mph, you’re traveling 100 feet per second. While writing just a 3 second text message, you can go the length of a football field without looking at the road... and that is scary. Check your reaction time by trying The New York Times Gauging Your Distraction interactive feature, but pay attention to their warning: Regardless of your results, experts say, you should not attempt to text when driving.

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Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles
120 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05603-0001

Monday-Friday: 7:45am-4:30pm
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