Maine New Hands-Free Law

Hands-Free Mobile Device for Driving

On September 19, 2019, a new hands-free law went into effect in Maine. Don’t be confused. Maine already had a law against texting while driving and the new law does not retract the old law, it creates more prohibitions on hand-held device use for talking on the phone, and using devices for GPS, playing music and other activities.

The Basics

The new hands-free law prohibits drivers from holding their phone or device in their hand while driving.

  • If your device is mounted and you can do everything by voice, you are OK.
  • You are allowed to perform activities on a mounted device that require only one touch or swipe.
  • Reading text messages is still prohibited under the texting law, but you can use a voice-to-text application and applications that read your message to you.
  • You can talk on the phone using Bluetooth, speaker, or another hand-free method.
  • You cannot hold the phone in your hand while you talk, and you cannot type in a phone number even if the phone is mounted.
  • You can use a mounted or built-in GPS, but you cannot type in an address.
  • You are allowed to call police and other emergency services if needed.
  • You are allowed to use your device if you are pulled over, out of the way of traffic, with the car in park, but not when stopped at lights or in traffic.
  • The rules still apply when you are operating a vehicle in a parking lot, such as at the grocery store.
  • If you are under 18 or have a learner’s permit or intermediate license, you are not allowed to use a phone or handheld device.


The penalties for violating the new hands-free law are not as steep as those for texting. A first offense is a minimum fine of $50 and $250 for second or subsequent offense. Be aware that these are minimums and your actual fine may be much higher. According to the Maine State Police, “The Chief Judge set the fine amount of $230.00 for a first offense and $325.00 for a second and subsequent offense.”

If you are caught texting, you face higher fines and, for second and subsequent violations, mandatory license suspension.

If you have been hurt by a distracted driver, contact an experienced auto accident attorney in your state.

Avatar About Sandra Dalton

With a background as a paralegal, focusing on criminal defense and civil rights, Sandra Dalton launched her freelance writing career in 2000 with a weekly column on Freedom for Suite 101 and pro bono projects for individuals and organizations supporting causes close to her heart. One of her first projects was for the Police Compliant Center writing about police misconduct. Sandra’s legal writing quickly expanded to include personal injury, animal welfare, criminal defense, disability discrimination, family law and much more.