The Illinois House wants to bar people from sending or reading text messages while driving.
The House approved the ban 89-27 Wednesday. It now goes to the Senate.
Supporters say texting is a dangerous distraction for drivers. They note that a safety task force for the secretary of state has recommended barring drivers from texting.
Under the legislation, a violation would be a traffic offense like running a stoplight.
That means a texting offense would count toward the three violations that would result in a driver losing his license. Critics of the proposal say that's too harsh.
Illinois already bars teenagers from using cell phones while driving but has no restrictions on texting.
California recently approved a texting-while-driving ban.