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How Much Is a Seatbelt Ticket in My State?

Seatbelt laws are designed to prevent passengers from being thrown from the car or sustaining injuries during an accident. Across the country — with the exception of New Hampshire — front-seat occupants are required to wear a seatbelt. There are also seatbelt laws for adult rear-seat passengers in 32 states and the District of Columbia. Most states also have child seatbelt laws, for which offenses are treated as moving violations. Seatbelt laws can vary from state to state so it’s important to know if not wearing a seatbelt is considered a moving violation. If it is, you’ll get points on your license and possibly a rate hike. Keep reading to learn more about seatbelt tickets and fines in your state.

How Much Can You Expect To Pay For a Seatbelt Ticket?

The cost of a seatbelt ticket depends on your state, which can either be a primary enforcement state or a secondary enforcement state. In a primary enforcement state, a police officer may stop and ticket you for not wearing your seatbelt. In a secondary enforcement state, a police officer can only fine you for not wearing a seatbelt after pulling you over for a separate moving violation like speeding or failing to yield. Fees can range from $10 (in Arizona) to $162 (in California). Fines and penalties also depend on if you are the driver or passenger, your age and if there is an unbelted minor in the car.

Seatbelt laws are designed to prevent drivers and passengers from being thrown from the car or sustaining injuries during an accident.

How Much Is a Seatbelt Ticket - State-by-State

State

Fine for Primary Enforcement State

Fine for Secondary Enforcement State

Alabama

$25

 

Alaska

$15

 

Arkansas

$25

 

Arizona

 

$10

California

$162

 

Colorado

 

$71

Connecticut

$92 if over 18

$120 if under 18

 

District of Columbia

$50

 

Delaware

$25

 

Florida

$30

 

Georgia

$15

 

Hawaii

$112

 

Idaho

 

$10

Illinois

$25

 

Indiana

$25

 

Iowa

$127.50

 

Kansas

$30

 

Kentucky

$25

 

Louisiana

$25

 

Maine

$50

 

Maryland

$83

 

Massachusetts

 

$25

Michigan

$25

 

Minnesota

$25 

 

Mississippi

$25

 

Missouri

 

$50 driver

$10 passenger

Montana

 

$20

Nebraska

 

$25

New Jersey

$46

 

New Mexico

$25

 

New York

$50

 

Nevada

 

$25

North Carolina

$25.50 

 

North Dakota

 

$20

Ohio

 

$30 driver

$20 passenger

Oklahoma

$20

 

Oregon

$130

 

Pennsylvania

 

$10

Rhode Island

$40

 

South Carolina

$25

 

South Dakota

 

$25

Tennessee

$30

 

Texas

$50 driver or passenger

 

Utah

$45

 

Vermont

 

$25

Virginia

 

$25

Washington

$124

 

West Virginia

$25

 

Wisconsin

$10

 

Wyoming

 

$25 driver

$10 passenger

Who Gets Fined For Not Wearing a Seatbelt?

If a driver is caught not wearing a seatbelt, they will be fined, but what happens if a passenger is not wearing a seatbelt? In almost every state, drivers are responsible for ensuring passengers are wearing a seatbelt according to local laws. Depending on your state's law, passengers over 18 or — in some states, 16 — may be fined for not wearing a seatbelt. In other states, both the passenger and the driver may be fined for a passenger without a seatbelt. The laws can vary from state to state. For example, Alabama drivers can be fined for all passengers not wearing seatbelts except for adults with a driver’s license.

In some states, not wearing a seatbelt is a moving violation, and you might get points on your driving record and a hike in car insurance.

In the following states, drivers are responsible and will be fined for any passengers not wearing a seatbelt, regardless of age:

  • Connecticut
  • District of Columbia
  • Hawaii
  • Delaware
  • Rhode Island
  • Texas
  • Vermont
  • Wyoming

Drivers will always be fined for minors not wearing a seatbelt since children need to be properly restrained in the car at all times.  All 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have separate child seatbelt laws. Specific laws vary greatly from state to state, so check with your state regarding its specific seatbelt laws.

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Not Wearing a Seatbelt a Moving Violation in Your State

State

Moving Violation

Alabama

No

Alaska

No

Arkansas

No

Arizona

No

California

Yes

Colorado

No

Connecticut

No

District of Columbia

Yes

Delaware

No

Florida

No

Georgia

Yes

Hawaii

No

Idaho

No

Illinois

No

Indiana

Yes

Iowa

No

Kansas

No

Kentucky

No

Louisiana

Yes

Maine

Yes

Maryland

No

Massachusetts

Yes

Michigan

No

Minnesota

No

Mississippi

No

Missouri

No

Montana

No

Nebraska

No

New Jersey

No

New Mexico

Yes

New York

No

Nevada

No

New Hampshire

No

New Jersey

No

North Carolina

No

North Dakota

No

Ohio

No

Oklahoma

No

Oregon

No

Pennsylvania

No

Rhode Island

No

South Carolina

No

South Dakota

No

Tennessee

No

Texas

No

Utah

No

Vermont

No

Virginia

No

Washington

No

West Virginia

No

Wisconsin

Yes

Wyoming

No

There are also seatbelt laws for adult rear-seat passengers in 32 states and the District of Columbia.

FAQs

Will you get points on your record if you receive a seatbelt ticket?

It depends on the state you are in. In some states, not wearing a seatbelt is a moving violation, and you might get points on your driving record.

Is a seatbelt ticket considered a moving violation?

In most states, not wearing a seatbelt as an adult isn't considered a moving violation. However, there are exceptions, like New Mexico, where seatbelt offenses are considered a moving violation.

Is it illegal if my dog isn’t wearing a seatbelt?

So far, only three states have seatbelt laws for dogs that require them to wear a seatbelt in the car: Hawaii, Rhode Island and New Jersey.

Key Takeaways

  • Wearing your seatbelt in a car reduces your risk of critical injury by 45%, and lowers it by 60% in a small truck.
  • As the driver of the vehicle, you are responsible for all occupants of your vehicle.
  • Primary enforcement seat belt laws allow law enforcement officers to stop vehicles if a driver or passenger is not wearing a seat belt.

Not Wearing a Seatbelt Can Impact Your Car Insurance

If you’ve noticed the “Click It or Ticket” campaign, you’ll know that not wearing a seatbelt can result in fines and — depending on your state — can affect your car insurance rates. Additionally, the risk of sustaining fatal injuries increases when you’re not wearing a seatbelt. Don’t let a seatbelt violation result in a spike in your car insurance premium. SmartFinancial can help you lower your costs by giving you side-by-side car insurance comparisons. Just enter your zip code below and answer a few brief questions to get hundreds of quotes in your area today.

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