Using a mobile phone while driving – General information

Drivers must not

  • make phone calls (except using a hands-free kit) or
  • otherwise use their mobile telephone in any way (except as a satellite navigation system when firmly attached inside the cabin)

at any time while driving.

This means that writing and receiving text messages, e-mails or social media messages is explicitly forbidden while driving, as is surfing the Internet. Engaging in any of these activities while driving is an offence.

Fixed hands-free kits must include a cradle that can be securely attached to the mobile phone such that the driver can operate the mobile phone with one hand without significant changes to their overall body position.

Mobile hands-free kits must be equipped with earphones, which must be connected to the mobile phone, either wirelessly or using a suitably long cable. If they are connected using a cable, the cable must not pass through the driver's field of vision. The microphone must be set up such that the driver can speak clearly into the microphone without difficulty and does not have to adjust their body position in order to do so. The driver must have a clear view at all times and the hands-free system must not restrict their movements. It must be possible to operate the mobile telephone with one hand.

Breaches of the law will be punished by a 100 Euro fixed penalty notice (Organmandat). If formal charges are issued, the relevant authority can impose a fine of up to 140 Euro.

Legal basis

Certified Translation
Last update: 1 May 2023

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology