Question: With the upcoming new hands free law that is effective Aug. 1, can a teen who is under 18 years old and has a driver’s permit or provisional driver’s license use their phone in hands-free mode?

Answer: The new hands-free law does not change anything for teens under age 18 with a driver’s permit or provisional driver’s license. They can't make or answer calls while driving (hand-held or hands-free). They can use their phone in hands-free mode in the following situations:

  • Using their phone as a GPS device, but only in hands-free or voice-activated mode. They must set their destination before driving. They can’t hold their phone at any time.
  • Listening to music or podcasts in hands-free or voice-activated mode is OK, but hand-held scrolling through playlists or channels is not allowed under the law.

Teens under age 18 are allowed to use the phone in either hand-held or hands-free mode for emergency situations only.

Learn more about the law and frequently asked questions (FAQs) at HandsFreeMN.org.

Send your questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota to trooper@duluthnews.com or Sgt. Neil Dickenson – Minnesota State Patrol at 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN 55811.