Margaret Huntley Last Updated On: February 8, 2024

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Does a Seatbelt Ticket Affect Insurance?

Will a Seatbelt Ticket Raise Insurance

If you are not wearing a seat belt is viewed as a moving violation (like a speeding ticket) within your state there could be an increase in rates because many insurers factor moves into the rates they charge.

Not only do seatbelts keep you safe in the event of an accident, but they can also prevent you from getting a ticket. 

In all states except for New Hampshire, you are required by law to wear a seatbelt in a moving vehicle. Even in New Hampshire, minors under the age of 18 still need to be wearing a seatbelt.

If caught not wearing a seatbelt, an officer can issue you a ticket. Though the consequences of this type of ticket are minor compared to that of other violations, there is reason enough to take precautions. But does a seatbelt ticket raise your insurance? We’ll get into that and more, below. 

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Understanding Conditional Violations

Seatbelt tickets are a conditional violation. This means that an officer cannot pull you over simply because you are not wearing a seatbelt. 

Instead, you will be pulled over for something else, such as running a red light, and then you can be issued a seatbelt ticket if the officer notices you were not wearing one. The initial violation will typically cost more in fines and in insurance rates, but the seatbelt ticket is still an added nuisance. 

Variations Between States

The laws surrounding seatbelt tickets vary from state to state. The rules around tickets depend on the state you’re in, not necessarily your home state. 

Some states classify seatbelt tickets as non-moving violations. In these cases, seatbelt tickets are treated similarly to how parking tickets are. They involve a fine, and so long as that fine is paid on time without issue, it will not affect your insurance premiums. 

The following is a list of states that currently classify seatbelt tickets as a non-moving violation (but keep in mind, these laws are subject to change):

  • Alabama
  • Arizona
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Nevada
  • New jersey
  • New York
  • North Carolina
  • Utah
  • Wyoming

In other states, seatbelt tickets are classified as moving violations and are therefore treated more seriously. Other moving violations include speeding or running a red light. The more moving violations on your driving record, the more that your insurance rates will increase. 

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Does A Seatbelt Ticket Go On Your Record or The Passenger?

Depending on the state, if a passenger is not wearing a seatbelt, the ticket may or may not be issued to them. If the passenger is a minor, then the driver will always receive the ticket. But if the passenger is an adult, it may or may not go to the driver.

If you receive tickets for seat belts it will be noted as a driving violation on your record. Insurance companies look at your driving history or vehicle records to assess the risk of taking you on insurance.

Be sure to read up on the laws in your state to understand how seatbelt tickets are handled.

Does A Seatbelt Ticket Raise Your Insurance?

The short answer is that it depends on the state. But it’s better to play it safe and wear your seatbelt at all times—it might just save your life.

A seatbelt ticket alone can only spike your monthly premiums by three percent at most. That said, states that consider a seatbelt ticket to be a moving violation treat the violation more seriously. The ticket could include demerit points on your record, which will affect insurance rates. They may also come with additional court fees.

The following three states are known for treating seatbelt violations more seriously compared to other states:

  • California
  • Connecticut
  • Massachusetts

If you live in or are driving through these three states, be sure to wear your seatbelt to avoid tickets. 

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How Long Does A Seatbelt Ticket Stay On Your Record?

Usually, a seatbelt violation is recorded visible on the driving records for a period of up to three years. What you need to do is practice safe driving and keep your record free of violations so that you don’t have any future changes to the cost of your car insurance.

Other Traffic Violations That Affect Insurance

Seatbelt tickets have somewhat minor consequences in terms of your insurance policy, especially compared to other violations. Here are some traffic violations, aside from seatbelt tickets, that are important to avoid in order to save on insurance. 
  • Speeding 
  • Driving without insurance 
  • Failure to yield 
  • At-fault accident 
  • Running a red light 
  • Running a stop sign
  • DUI
At the end of the day, the best way to save on insurance is to practice safe driving.

Margaret Huntley Margaret Huntley is a creative writing and philosophy student at Western University. She has been working as a freelance writer for over two years and has written about everything from insurance, to poker, to health and wellness for international businesses.

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