Driving and mobile phones

To keep yourself and other road users safe your full attention is needed when driving. It is illegal to hold a mobile phone in your hand or have it resting on any part of your body, such as your lap, when driving. This applies even if you're stopped in traffic.

The phone does not need to be turned on or in use for it to be an offence.

View larger image Graphic showing illegal use of mobile phone when driving, phone on lap and phone in hand. Enlarge image
Illegal mobile phone use with phone on lap or in hand when driving

Illegal mobile phone use

Illegal mobile phone use while driving includes:

  • holding it in your hand
  • resting on any part of your body (eg. your lap or shoulder)

If you hold your phone or have it on your body, you will be fined even if you’re not operating the phone, or it’s turned off.

Additional mobile phone restrictions

Learner and P1 drivers under 25 must not use hands-free, wireless headsets or a mobile phone's loudspeaker function. If your phone is in a pocket of your clothing or a pouch you're wearing, you must not use it in any way. This includes touching it, looking at it or operating it with your voice.

Passengers of learner and P1 provisional drivers are also banned from using a mobile phone's loudspeaker function.

Find out more about learner licence mobile phone restrictions or provisional licence mobile phone restrictions when driving.

Using your mobile phone safely

While you can't hold a phone when driving, you can hold a phone when safely stopped to:

  • pay for goods and services, for example at a drive through
  • gain access to or from a road-related area, such as a car park
  • present a digital driver licence or other document to police when asked
  • get a card or money out of a phone wallet for the previous listed purposes.

You can also use your phone when safely parked. Parked means stopped with the intention of staying at that place.

If you're an open or P2 licence holder, you are also allowed to touch your mobile phone for hands-free use if, for example, the phone is in a cradle attached to the vehicle. Hands-free use can include:

  • accepting a call
  • using navigation apps
  • skipping a song
  • accepting/ending a trip as a rideshare driver.

The position of your mobile phone must not obscure the driver's view of the road.

Open and P2 licence holders can also use a phone hands-free if it's in a pocket of your clothing or a pouch you're wearing. However, you must not touch or look at the phone. It can only be operated using your voice.

Regardless of how the phone is being used safely, the driver must always maintain proper control of the vehicle and drive with due care and attention.

These mobile phone rules do not apply to CB radios or any other two-way radios.

Find out more about using your phone safely.


You can be fined $1,161 and have 4 demerit points recorded against your traffic history for using a mobile phone illegally while driving. This includes when you're stopped at traffic lights or stopped in traffic.

Double demerit points apply for second or subsequent mobile phone offences committed within 1 year after an earlier offence.

Hands-free use of a mobile phone can attract fines and demerit points for open and P2 licence holders, if the driver isn’t in proper control of the vehicle or drives without due care and attention.