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Cell Phone Use Policies

This page provides information and resources on usage policies for cell phones and smart phones for local government staff and elected officials in Washington State, including sample policies.


There are two primary patterns for allowing government employees to use cell phones for agency-related business. (For simplicity’s sake, we will refer to cell phones and smart phones collectively as “cell phones.”)

  • The agency can purchase cell phones and provide them to their employees for business-related use, in which case the agency should adopt a cell phone usage policy.
  • Employees can use their own cell phone for business-related purposes and request reimbursement for business-related use, in which case it is necessary to develop an appropriate policy regarding reimbursement.

Both options are considered non-taxable fringe benefits and no tax-related recordkeeping is required. See IR 2011-93, issued by the Internal Revenue Service September 14, 2011.

Examples of Cell Phone Policies

Below are some selected examples of cell phone use policies adopted by local governments in Washington.

City Policies

County Policies

Recommended Resources

For additional guidance in developing policies for the use of cell phones by government employees and officials, see the following resources:


State Auditor’s Office

Last Modified: October 31, 2023