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Seat Belt Ticket Costs – How Can Cops Tell If You’re Not Wearing A Seatbelt?

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The money for ticket due to not wearing a seat belt, is never in the budget. So, if you’ve been caught and pulled over for violating your state’s seat belt laws, then chances are, you’re a bit upset with yourself for not buckling up. While seat belts keep us all safe, there are those times that we all just don’t buckle up, hoping to get away with the infraction. So, what are seat belt ticket costs and how can cops tell if you’re not wearing your seatbelt? We have the details and information you need! 

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Does A Seatbelt Ticket Go On Your Insurance?

OK- so you want to know the cost of seat belt tickets in your state. Before we give you average costs in some states, we want to address the car insurance aspect of receiving a seatbelt violation. There’s no doubt that you are going to have to pay the ticket. Soon, after, the consequences of your at-fault violation for not wearing a seatbelt, may raise your vehicle insurance rates by a bit. Nevertheless, keep in mind that your seat belt violation may affect your vehicle insurance in different ways. The following states consider a seat belt infraction as a “non-moving violation”: 

  1. Wyoming 
  2. Utah 
  3. Nevada 
  4. North Carolina 
  5. Minnesota 
  6. Missouri 
  7. Kentucky 
  8. Michigan 
  9. Delaware 
  10. Indiana 
  11. Alabama 
  12. Arizona

This means that these states listed above, place a seatbelt violation in the same category as a parking ticket.  But it’s important to note that state laws may change, as legislators change just as rules. Therefore, you as a driver and a vehicle owner must keep abreast of the seat belt laws in your state. 

If you receive a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt in a state that considers the violation a “moving violation”, then it is possible for you to see a hike in your car insurance. “Non-moving violations” will generally not affect your vehicle insurance. The only way to know, is to contact our vehicle insurance company and get a solid answer.  

Whether it’s a deemed non-moving violation or a moving violation, a seatbelt ticket is considered a minor infraction. I you ever get that ticket in addition to another violation (speeding for example), you may get a lecture from a judge, should you have to appear in front of one. This is the point in which many drivers who get tickets for either speeding or a seatbelt violation, will contact a lawyer to see what he or she can do about the ticket. 

If your insurance rises and is affected by your seatbelt ticket, then the ticket itself will typically cause no more than a two to a three percent increase in your vehicle insurance rates. For example, if you pay $600 for your vehicle insurance, and you get a seat belt ticket, then you may see an uptick of $615 in the next bill due. But isn’t a price hike of any amount for not wearing a seatbelt- a reason to buckle up? 

Have you recently been pulled over for a DUI? Then you may see as much as a 20% or even a 30% hike in your vehicle insurance rate. And for those DUI infractions, you come out of pocket for a lawyer, fees and fines. 

Seat Belt Ticket Costs – The Ticket When You Didn’t “Click It” 

“Click it or ticket” … how many times have we all heard that message? If there was a dollar given to you for each time you heard or seen that kind of advertisement, you would be able to pay for your seatbelt ticket. In the eyes of the law, there is never a good reason not to buckle up. So, if you are pulled over for not wearing a seatbelt and you try to work a sympathy angle, you’re just wasting your time. 

The “Click it or Ticket” initiative is one of the most successful ones created by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It exists to remind all vehicle drivers to buckle that seat belt, once entered into the vehicle. But is the cost of these seat belt tickets if you are caught and pulled over for not wearing your seat belt? Of course, the price varies by state- but the money you spend on a ticket, is always too much to pay and is never in the budget. While some state penalties really “throw the book” at drivers, other states don’t really punish drivers too harshly for not wearing a seatbelt. 


Just About All States Mandate Seat Belt Usage 

According to data posted on the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute website, with the exception of the state of New Hampshire, all states as well as the District of Columbia mandate that all adult front-seat occupants use seat belts. This means that the driver as well as the front-seat passenger have to be buckled up on the car.  There are thirty-four states including the District of Columbia, that have primary enforcement.

What’s the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Enforcement for Seat Belts? 

Primary enforcement for a seat belt, is enforcement that allows law enforcement agents or a police officer to pull over, stop and ticket a vehicle driver, if that driver observes the seat belt violation. This means, that the only violation you have to have, is that of a seat belt. Yes, in some states, you can be pulled over just for not wearing your seat belt. 

A secondary enforcement violation, is when a law enforcement agent or a police officer pulls you over for some other violation, then adds not wearing a seat belt to your list of violation. So, let’s say you were speeding down the street, or running a stop sign. The officer will make you aware of that stop sign or speeding violation, ticket you for that violation, then add not wearing a seat belt to the ticket you receive. At the time of this post, New Hampshire is the only state in the union, that does not require adult drivers to wear a seat belt. Even though it’s not law, we certainly hope that New Hampshire residents DO wear a seat belt! 

How Can Cops Tell If You're Not Wearing A Seatbelt?

While a police officer will not divulge all of his or her secrets for being able to tell if drivers are wearing a seat belt or not, there is one sure way officers can tell if there is no seat belt usage:  if officers don’t see the strap above your left shoulder, then you’re not wearing your seatbelt. Yes, cops can even see though tinted windows. So, just buckle up! 

State Penalty Amounts Cost All Kinds Of Money! 

Your family members in Ohio will pay a different amount for a seat belt ticket compared to your ticket in California. So, if you get caught driving without being buckled up, just prepare to fork over some cash, regardless of it being a little or a big amount. Just the frustration of getting pulled over is enough for some drivers to have a bad day. Did you get caught not wearing your seat belt in Wisconsin? Then the base fine is $10. There may be other fees attached to this fine; so, keep that in mind. Were you pulled over in California without your seat belt? Then prepare to fork over $162. This a base fine, which may not include additional penalties and fees for not wearing your belt. Let’s take a look at some states and the base fine for not wearing a seat belt. 


  1. Alabama, Primary Enforcement-$25
  2. Alaska, Primary Enforcement- $15 ($25 actual)
  3. Arizona, Secondary Enforcement- $10 ($37.20 actual)
  4. Arkansas, Primary Enforcement- $25
  5. California, Primary Enforcement- $20 ($162 actual) $50 second offense ($190 actual)
  6. Colorado, Secondary Enforcement, (Mountain View is a Primary Enforcement)- $71
  7. Connecticut, Primary Enforcement- $92
  8. Delaware, Primary Enforcement- $25
  9. District of Columbia, Primary Enforcement – $50 
  10. Florida, Primary Enforcement- $30 ($116 actual)
  11. Illinois, Primary Enforcement – $164 minimum fine
  12. Indiana, Primary Enforcement- $25
  13. Michigan, Primary Enforcement – $25 ($65 actual)
  14. Montana, Secondary Enforcement- $20
  15. Nebraska, Secondary Enforcement – $25
  16. New Mexico, Primary Enforcement – $25
  17. New York, Primary Enforcement, $50 ($135 actual after surcharges
  18. North Carolina, Primary Enforcement, Secondary for back seat- $179 for front seat; $10 for rear seat
  19. Ohio, Secondary Enforcement – $30 for driver; $20 for passenger
  20. Oklahoma, Primary Enforcement – $20
  21. Pennsylvania, Secondary Enforcement – $10
  22. Utah, Primary Enforcement – $45
  23. Wisconsin, Primary Enforcement – $10 
  24. Wyoming, Secondary Enforcement – $25 for driver; $10 for passenger

Click here to learn more and check out additional states!  You can also click here to learn more from the Governors Highway Safety Administration. 


Please Buckle Up! 

You’re heard it time and time again… “click it or ticket”, and “buckle up”,” buckle up, America” … Seat belt ticket costs vary from state to state, and are never convenient to pay. We know you know the importance of wearing a seatbelt, but we want to offer some benefits of buckling up, as you begin your day, or prepare for a day of errands. Check out some advantages of using the belt! 

  1. You’re heard it before, but it is true: seat belts do save lives! 
  2. A seatbelt keeps you keeps you in your seat, upon impact. If you hit another car or another vehicle hits you, your chances of going through the windshield, or being thrown loose in the vehicle, are nonexistent. Lots of drivers just don’t realize the G-forces that are created during impacts. Those forces can place tremendous strain on the body, resulting in more injuries when seat belts aren’t worn.
  3. Did you know that your seatbelt is designed to work with your airbag? While airbags are designed to you stay in place, your seatbelt works in unison with that airbag. If you chose not to wear your seatbelt, then your airbag system isn’t effective. 
  4. You won’t get pulled over and have to pay those annoying fines. 
  5. You won’t have to pay those price hikes on your auto insurance policy.
  6. Buckle Up! It’s just the safe and healthy thing to do. 

So, before you get into the car, make it a habit of buckling up. Those seat belt ticket costs are not convenient to receive at any cost. You’re worth a seat belt and there is never a good reason not to wear one! So… BUCKLE UP! 




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