Distracted Driving

Illinois Distracted Driving Laws

Illinois distracted driving laws prohibit drivers from using cell phones for calling or texting while driving. Mobile phone use while driving is allowed only for drivers over age 19, and only in hands-free mode.

Illinois Distracted Driving laws summary:

These are the current Illinois distracted driving laws:

  1. drivers under 19 may not use a phone in any way while driving
  2. mobile phones may only be used in hands-free mode, or with a wireless earpiece

Young drivers under 19 are completely prohibited from using cell phones while driving in Illinois. For young or novice drivers, wireless headsets, phones mounted on dashboards, or other hands-free uses are also illegal. Only exceptions are in case of emergencies.

Using a cell phone on speaker mode but still holding it in your hand is still not considered legal. Illinois distracted driving laws do not only cover making phone calls, but also texting or other uses of mobile or other devices.

Only time when Illinois drivers may use phones without hands-free mode while driving is to report an emergency situation to authorities, or while vehicle is completely stopped due to traffic conditions.


Breaking distracted driving laws in Illinois is considered a traffic offense, for which the first violation carries a fine of $75. Second violation has a $100 fine, $125 for third, and $150 for each subsequent offense.

Additional surcharges, fees, or driver license penalty points may also be applied. Each local jurisdiction may have different penalties for distracted driving.

Furthermore, causing an accident which results in injury while breaking Illinois distracted driving laws is considered “Aggravated use of electronic communication device”, carrying much harsher fines and penalties.

References and sources:

  1. Office of the Illinois Secretary of State – Distracted driving
  2. Illinois Compiled Statutes (625 ILCS 5/12-610.2) РElectronic communication devices

Calling or texting while driving has been proven to be very unsafe. Illinois laws are very specific and do not permit drivers using any electronic devices without a hands-free mode.

Basic headsets or phone holders which allow hands free communication cost less than violating the law even once.

This article about Illinois Distracted Driving Laws was last updated in 2024. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!