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

Seat belt tickets can increase car insurance rates by up to 3%. However, it depends on where you live, your driving record, and how many violations you've had in the past. In some states, a seat belt ticket is considered a moving violation.

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UPDATED: May 19, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 19, 2022Fact Checked

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 seat belt ticket affect car insurance? It really depends on where you live, what your driving record is like, and how many violations you have in the past.

What is a seat belt ticket?

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. The good news is that it is still possible to find cheap car insurance by shopping around.

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 with a seat belt ticket.

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Do seatbelt tickets affect car insurance?

In some cases, seat belt tickets cost more than just the fine.

Seatbelt tickets may affect insurance. A seatbelt ticket is basically a small, or minor infraction. Because of this, the ticket will not have a dramatic effect on a driver’s auto insurance. It is likely that the ticket will raise rates by less than 4%.

If you do get a seat belt ticket, there are some different ways you can handle it:

  • Pay your fine and any car insurance increases that come with it
  • Pay your fine and try to offset the auto insurance increase by attending a defensive driving class
  • Dispute the ticket in court
  • Hire an attorney to handle the situation

What you choose to do will depend on your situation. Definitely check with your car insurance company to see if your rates will be affected and if there is anything you can do to keep your rates low.

What are 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 car 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 three 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.

What kind of tickets affect your car insurance?

Out of the factors affecting car insurance rates, your driving record is the biggest.

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
American Family$2,693.61$3,722.75$4,330.24$3,025.74
State Farm$2,821.18$3,396.01$3,636.80$3,186.01
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 SR-22 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.

Do seatbelt laws differ from state to state?

Does a seatbelt ticket give you points? How much is a no seatbelt ticket? Is a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt a moving violation?

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

Also, you should know, if you live in a city or state that uses speed cameras to issue tickets, you could be receive a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt if caught on camera.

Each state creates its own set of laws and regulations around driving and car insurance, including seatbelt regulations as listed by the IIHS.

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.

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 North Carolina, New Jersey, Florida, Illinois, and Louisiana? 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. Although, similar to other tickets, your seatbelt ticket will come with a cost.

Kentucky, North Carolina, Utah, and Wyoming mandate that a citation issued for non-compliance with 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.

What are the seat belt laws for passengers?

Does the driver or the passenger get the seat belt ticket?

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.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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