Will a seat belt ticket affect insurance? [Expert Advice]

Seat belt tickets may affect insurance by up to 3%. However, it depends on where you live, your driving record, and how many violations you've had in the past.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State...

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UPDATED: Jul 2, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Wearing a seatbelt is mandatory in most states
  • Seat belt ticket may affect insurance by up to 3% but could be more if you have additional violations on your driving record
  • Depending on where you live, you can be ticketed if your passengers are not wearing their seatbelts

Will a seatbelt ticket raise my insurance? It really depends on where you live, what your driving record is like, and how many violations you have in the past.

It is the law for the driver and any front-seat passengers to be wearing a seatbelt when you drive, except in New Hampshire. There is no seatbelt law in New Hampshire.

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 your 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.

If you are wondering if getting a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt will increase your rates the answer is a resounding maybe! Since companies charge different rates if you have a seatbelt violation, it’s important to compare multiple quotes to get the best deal. Enter your zip code above for FREE online car insurance quotes today!

Car Insurance Costs After a Seatbelt Ticket

The biggest factor in this scenario is your car insurance company. Some car insurance companies do not 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.

How much does insurance go up after a ticket?

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.

The amount your rates increase will depend on your insurance company and the state you live in. If you have multiple violations, then you can expect your insurance rates to keep increasing.

How long does a seatbelt violation stay on your record? In some states it takes up to 3 years for those violations to be removed from your driving report, so keep that in mind! 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.

How can I get my seat belt ticket dismissed? Sometimes it may be possible to get your seatbelt ticket dismissed. That would be up to the state you are in. You may be allowed to take a driving course to have the ticket removed.

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What kind of tickets affects your insurance?

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.

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.

This table will show you the average annual rates for drivers based on their driving history.

Average Annual Car Insurance Rates by Driving History
CompaniesAverage Rates With a Clean RecordAverage Rates With 1 AccidentAverage Rates With 1 DUIAverage Rates With 1 Speeding Violation
USAA$1,933.68$2,516.24$3,506.03$2,193.25
Geico$2,145.96$3,192.77$4,875.87$2,645.43
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
Nationwide$2,746.18$3,396.95$4,543.20$3,113.68
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
Progressive$3,393.09$4,777.04$3,969.65$4,002.28
Travelers$3,447.69$4,289.74$5,741.40$4,260.80
Farmers$3,460.60$4,518.73$4,718.75$4,079.01
Allstate$3,819.90$4,987.68$6,260.73$4,483.51
Liberty Mutual$4,774.30$6,204.78$7,613.48$5,701.26
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You can see that just one ticket can increase your rates significantly. You can also see that companies do not raise rates the same for an infraction.

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.

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Seatbelt Laws Differ State to State

Does a seatbelt ticket give you points? That all depends on where you are. Some states consider a seatbelt violation to be a moving violation and some do not.

Each state creates its own set of laws and regulations around driving and car insurance, including these AAA.com listed seatbelt regulations.

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.
This video explains the difference between moving and non-moving violations in Florida.

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.

Does a seatbelt ticket affect insurance in NC, NJ, FL, IL, and LA? In these states, a seatbelt ticket is considered a non-moving violation and does not assess points to your license. There would be no or minimal change in your car insurance.

Is a seatbelt ticket a moving violation in Georgia? No, it is not. Georgia, 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.

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.

California is a state that usually has different driving laws and regulations but does a seatbelt ticket affect insurance in CA? Does a seatbelt ticket go on your record in California? Yes, California also considers a seatbelt offense a moving violation. This will lead to higher car insurance rates.

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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 passengers, 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.

Do all cars have to have seatbelts?

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) accident statistics show that wearing a seatbelt greatly increases your chance of surviving a major accident.

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.

Play it safe and always buckle up. Wearing a seatbelt protects your body and your money.

If you happen to see your rates increase, it might be a good time for you to consider checking the rates from other companies. Each company will charge rates differently so you must compare quotes to get the best deal.

You can do this quickly and easily with the free quote tool. Enter your zip code below to compare quotes from three to four different car insurance companies after a seatbelt ticket.

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