Maybe your radio is broken, you're driving in a limited radio area, you don't want to listen to what your passengers are, or maybe your phone isn't syncing up with your car.

Whatever the reason you decide to put on your earphones, earbuds, headphones, or the like while driving, you know you're complying with hands-free laws which are pretty much everywhere according to the Find Law website.

The tricky part is that there are no federal guidelines about earbuds and their counterparts while driving according to Find Law so it's up to you to understand what you're allowed to do and not do and where.

Screaming Woman with Earbuds Driving a Car

In some states it's completely illegal, in other states you must have at least one ear free but even that comes with stipulations, and in other states there are no laws against wearing any of those devices according to Forbes.

Let's start with the easiest law. In Alaska, Washington, California, Minnesota, Louisiana, Maryland, and Virgina it's illegal, always, period.

Now let's talk about the states where it's legal and illegal according to Find Law.


Arizona: It's illegal for anyone driving for a licensed childcare facility for the school district.

Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island: You can only use one earbud or the like if you're on the phone with the other ear free.

Illinois, New York, Ohio: You can wear one earbud or the like anytime you want but must have one ear free.

Massachusetts: You can only use one earbud or the like if you're listening to a GPS device with the other ear free.

Meanwhile, according to Forbes, if you don't see your state listed above then it's legal to wear them in both ears. However, if a law enforcement official thinks they're interfering with safe driving you can be pulled over for distracted driving for example.

If you're wearing them while speeding, if you cause an accident, or any myriad of things that could easily be an extra fine or more according to Find Law.

The Best Movies to Watch on Tubi Right Now

The ad-supported streaming service has an improved library full of classic films you can watch at home right now for free.

The 12 Saddest Episodes in Comedy Shows

Sad stuff always hits harder when you were expecting something funny.

Gallery Credit: Emma Stefansky

More From KSSM-FM