Tennessee Cell Phone Law

Tennessee Cell Phone Law

We all know the old adage, practice makes perfect. Well, it is time to practice driving your car without touching your phone. Put it away, out of reach the second you place your vehicle in drive. The law, often referred to as Hands Free Tennessee, was put into place to reduce the number of deaths on the state’s roads and interstates resulting from distracted drivers.

Nashville driver 2nd Avenue
Tennessee Hands Free Driving Law

Tennessee Penalty for Using Your Phone While Driving

As of July 1, 2019 phone use will be a Class C misdemeanor, a moving violation, and you will be subject to a fine and court costs. Tennessee law enforcement officers will be out enforcing this law.

Driver Phone Use

Our attorneys have read the entire contents of the law and it is not a simple prohibition of cell phone use while driving. The law is clear that you cannot hold it in your hand or support it with any part of your body while driving. This goes beyond just talking, texting, Googling, getting directions, or reading Facebook. The days of live video broadcasting from inside a moving vehicle are gone. No selfies, playing Candy Crush, taking pictures, or recording the scenery while rolling down the road are allowed any longer. This of course applies to all drivers whether they are residents, tourists, and those just passing through our state.

There are exceptions to this prohibition. They are very specific. If you mount the phone on the dashboard or other place inside the vehicle then it can be used, however, it cannot block your line of sight. GPS, Google Maps, Waze, and other directional apps are allowed.

Hands Free in Tennessee

If you go totally hands free, then you can talk on the phone. Talking on your Apple Watch is permitted as well. Activating or deactivating an Apple Watch with a single tap or finger swipe is also allowed, but you still must remain hands free.

Cell Phone Usage for Under 18

If you are under 18, you cannot use the phone for any purpose while driving. Parents need to be aware of this because they certainly do not want to cause their young driver children to get a ticket.

Penalties and Fines

First Time getting busted is going to cost you a moving violation and a fine of $50.00 plus court costs. You can get out of paying this if you elect to complete a driver education class.

If you are on the phone and you are involved in an accident, it will cost you at least $100.00 plus court costs. Same goes for your third ticket.

If you get busted in a school zone, construction zone, or where there are transportation workers present, you can expect a $200.00 fine. Ordering your Starbucks Coffee can wait.

Emergency Calls

If you have a bonafide emergency, then the use of the phone is allowed. An emergency is defined as an occurrence that threatens human life, health or property. Being stuck in traffic and calling your boss would not be such an emergency.

If you find yourself driving down the road and you have to use the phone, then pull over and lawfully park. Stopping in the breakdown lane on the highway is NOT lawfully parking. Neither is parking in a bike lane. To lawfully park, you need to be off the roadway.

Former Tennessee State University Employee Indicted for Federal Student Loan Fraud : Nashville

Former Tennessee State University Employee Indicted for Federal Student Loan Fraud : Nashville


Press Release from the Department of Justice, US Attorney’s Office, Middle District of TN on 6/4/19.

Department of Justice

Article by Attorney DJ Rausa, Marshall & Associates

A trusted student loan adviser, within the school, was indicted for stealing student loans from those attending school and for taking out student loans fraudulently by using the identity of the unsuspected. I am can imagine the surprise, worry and devastation that this would cause a student.

Tennessee State University Student Loan Charges

Importance of Students Researching Financial Aid Balances

I have been practicing Student Loan Law since 2014, but this is a new one on me. The Student Loan System has its problems, but now, it is even more important for a student to check their financial aid and balance that account against their tuition costs every semester, much like a check book.

This is a very good habit to get into because it will keep a student loan borrower up to date on the cost of each semester. It will also provide a good understanding of the cost of the degree being pursued. It will ensure that the student loan money being borrowed is being used in furtherance of that education and enable a student to get a clear picture of what type of salary is going to be needed to address the total debt burden after graduating.

How to Request Student Loan Report

I am often asked by my clients, “How do I get this report? ”

You can obtain your student loan report from the US Department of Education by utilizing this link.

Student Loan Report Data Online

This report will provide detailed information regarding all your Federal Student Loans. It will give the student loan borrower the loan amount, the balance of all Federal Loans, the interest rates, the payment status, the information of the servicer, and the type of loan that was made.

This information is critical to review not only when a student loan borrower is in school, but also after graduation when payment on the loans are due. While formulating a plan to manage student loan debt, checks and balances need to be made to eliminate surprises.

At Marshall & Associates, our Student Loan Attorneys will review this report with you to ensure it is accurate.