Is Not Wearing a Seatbelt a Moving Violation?
With so many existing traffic laws and violations, learning about all of them can be demanding and time-consuming. Is not wearing a seatbelt a moving violation? Will it increase the number of demerit points on your record? In this article, DoNotPay provides the information you need to stay on the right side of the law.
To better understand what kind of violation not wearing a seatbelt is, you need to get acquainted with the basics of traffic offenses. Depending on whether the vehicle is in motion, traffic violations are divided into two categories:
- Moving violations—occur when the vehicle in motion violates the traffic law
- Non-moving violations—refer to parking offenses and faulty equipment
If you violate a traffic law while your vehicle is in motion, that’s a moving violation—so not wearing a seatbelt while driving should be a moving violation as well, right? Unfortunately, the situation is not black and white.
States have different approaches to this issue. In most states, not wearing a seatbelt is not considered a moving violation, while in some—such as New Mexico—all seatbelt offenses are viewed as such. The confusion doesn’t end there because most states have completely different regulations when it comes to child seatbelt laws and consider child seatbelt and safety seat offenses as moving violations.
To stay on the safe side and avoid getting a traffic citation, you should get familiar with the seatbelt laws and regulations in your state:
There are many consequences of not wearing a seatbelt, some of which are serious and far-reaching. Other repercussions include legal penalties, such as:
- Paying a fine
- Getting demerit points added to your license
- Having your insurance rates increased
- Going to court
- Ending up in jail after failing to pay the ticket (in some states)
Check the table below to learn who has to wear the seatbelt in different states:
|States||Seats That Need To Have a Buckled Seatbelt||Age of the Passengers Who Have To Wear a Seatbelt|
|Alaska, California, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming||All||All|
|New York||Less than 16|
|New Hampshire||Less than 18|
|Arizona, Missouri||Between eight and 15|
|Ohio||Between eight and 14|
|Georgia||Between six and 17|
|Kansas||Between 14 and 17|
|Pennsylvania, West Virginia||Between eight and 17|
|Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota||Front||All|
|Arizona||Eight or above|
|Florida||Six or above|
|Ohio||15 or above|
|Georgia, Kansas, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, West Virginia||18 or above|
|Missouri, New York||16 or above|
There are several ways to go about a seatbelt ticket:
- Ignore it—The chances are that the officer got your name or other details wrong, making the ticket invalid
- Fix your seatbelt—The law allows you to fix your seatbelt and present the receipt at court
- Request a trial—This will give you time to plan your next steps, which could be:
- Missing the trial—It will take a while to reschedule the trial if you don’t show up at court, giving you more time to prepare
- Showing up to trial and pleading not guilty—You can win the trial instantly if the officer that issued the ticket doesn’t show up. No prosecutor—no ticket
- Showing up and bringing a witness—The witness mustn’t be biased (someone obviously close to you) and must prepare a solid statement to help you win the case
You can get the ticket dismissed if you can:
- Create reasonable doubt
- Raise a due diligence defense
To create reasonable doubt, you need to provide a rock-solid reason why the officer might not have noticed your seatbelt, which could be:
- The color of the seatbelt matched your clothes
- You took your seatbelt off when you were pulled over so you could reach for something in your vehicle—for example, you reached for your bag to get the ID
If you want to raise a due diligence defense, you need to prepare a statement about:
- Why you were unbuckled
- How you tried to avoid being unbuckled
You can also try to persuade the court that you believed you were wearing your seatbelt at the time of the offense.
Preparing evidence and a believable statement for the court typically takes a lot of time and energy. You can avoid this entire procedure by requesting a trial by written declaration—a type of trial that does not require you to be present—and DoNotPay can help you prepare your case! Sign up to save time and appeal your seatbelt ticket the simple way!
Did you receive a seatbelt ticket but have trouble building your case to dispute it? You don’t have to do it by yourself—DoNotPay can help! The process takes only a few minutes of your time if you follow these steps:
- Access DoNotPay
- Search Seatbelt Ticket
- Provide details about your ticket:
- Who received it
- What your argument is
- Attach a photo of your ticket and additional evidence if you have any
After you complete all steps, our app will automatically generate your appeal letter in a matter of minutes and mail it to the authorities!
Once you complete the task at hand, you don’t have to stop there—we offer a myriad of products that can relieve you of the stress that comes with dealing with admin and legal hurdles.
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