Will my insurance rates increase after a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®https://res.cloudinary.com/quotellc/image/upload/insurance-site-images/ciccom-live/41b5e36b-joel-ohman.jpg

UPDATED: Aug 7, 2019

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory in all 50 states
  • Being ticketed for not wearing your seatbelt can increase your premiums
  • Depending on where you live, you can be ticketed if your passengers are not wearing their seatbelts

If you are wondering if getting a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt will increase your rates the answer is a resounding maybe! It really depends on where you live, what your driving record is like, and how many violations you have in the past.

Regardless of where you live, it is the law for the driver and any front seat passengers to be wearing a seatbelt when you drive.

In some states, the driver of the vehicle receives a ticket if he (or she) or their passenger is not wearing the seat belt. In other states, the passenger is ticketed. If you passenger is your minor child, you will be receiving the ticket!

However, whether or not your ticket equates to points on your license is not the same in every state. In some states, such as Minnesota, you pay a fine but it doesn’t count as a driving violation.

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Do all cars have to have seatbelts?

Cars made after 1963 are required to have a seatbelt. Also, any cars that are sold must have proper working seatbelts or the seller or dealer can be considered liable.

Passengers in school buses, mass transit, waste management, or emergency vehicles are not required to wear a seatbelt. Drivers of postal vehicles or motorcycles are also exempt from using a seatbelt.

You are also exempt from wearing a seatbelt if you have a physician or physical therapist’s note explaining that you are unable to wear a seatbelt due to a medical or mental condition.

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What circumstances will cause my insurance rates to increase?

The biggest factor in this scenario is your car insurance company. Some car insurance companies don’t increase your rates for a single seatbelt violation while others do. What’s more, some insurance companies will increase your rates exponentially the very first time while others only raise it a few dollars a month.

If you have a number of traffic violations, then you are just adding fuel to the fire. Your insurance company will have already determined that you are a high-risk driver and this will just prove their point.

If you have multiple violations, then you can expect your insurance rates to keep increasing. In some states it takes up to 3 years for those violations to be removed from your driving report, so keep that in mind!

Even if you don’t have medical coverage on your insurance policy, they will consider the possibility that one day you will add this coverage and you aren’t safe when you drive. The good news is that if you don’t have any future violations then your rates will lower fairly quickly if you do see an increase.

What other violations will affect my car insurance rates?


There are a number of violations that will affect your rates universally and some that only affect your rates in certain states. For example, speeding is reported on your driving record in every state. However, running a red light isn’t. For example, you will receive a fine in North Carolina but no points.

Other things, such as causing a car accident, are violations that will affect your insurance rates. Your rates will increase even further if you cause a costly accident. The more money your insurance company has to pay because of your accident, the more your insurance rates will increase.

Interestingly, a DUI may or may not cause your rates to increase, it depends on whether your state has a program to keep the points off of your license.

If your state doesn’t require an SR22 form, your rate may never increase. Understanding the driving laws in your state will help you to better understand how your driving will affect your car insurance rates.

What states do not consider a seatbelt violation as a moving violation?

There are many states that do not consider a seatbelt violation to be a moving violation. Some of the states which consider it to be a non-moving violation are listed in the following section.

For example, according to the Alabama state legislature, the violation will not be added to your driving record. Arizona follows the same thinking and for further explanation, you can refer to the Arizona state government’s website.

Delaware will not place a citation for failing to wear a seatbelt on your driving record, nor will the state of Minnesota.

Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, and Missouri also consider a seatbelt infraction to be a non-moving violation. Kentucky, North Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming mandate that a citation issued for non-compliance of a seatbelt shouldn’t be added to individual driving records and points are not to be assessed.

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What states consider a seatbelt violation as a moving violation?

Some of the states do feel a seatbelt violation is a moving violation. For instance, the state of Connecticut not only considers failure to use a seatbelt as a moving violation but will also add points to your license in addition to charging the driver and passengers a fine.

The state of Massachusetts also states that failing to use a safety restraint will be considered a moving violation and be added to your driving record.

Laws for Passengers

As stated above, this will vary from state to state. In some states, the driver is held responsible for all of the passenger, regardless of their age.

On the other hand, there are some states where passengers over the age of 18 are responsible for themselves.

In such states, if a passenger is ticketed for not wearing a seat belt, nothing goes on the driver’s record.

The passenger may be charged with a violation and have points added to his license under certain circumstances. In such a case, insurance rates could certainly be adversely affected. In addition, any passengers under the age of 18 are ultimately the responsibility of the driver, regardless of the state where you live.

So yes, if your underage passengers receive a ticket for not wearing a seat belt, the ticket actually goes to you as a driver. Your car insurance rates will be affected depending on whether or not your state sees this as a moving violation.

Play it safe and always buckle up. If happen to see your premiums increase, it might be a good time for you to consider checking the rates from other companies. You can do this quickly and easily with the free quote tool.

Enter your zip code below to compare quotes among three to four different car insurance companies!

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