Michigan Seatbelt Law From A to Z
Driving without a seatbelt can have serious consequences—you may die or be seriously injured in a car crash. In Michigan, 38% of people who died in a car accident were not wearing a seatbelt. That’s why it’s important to buckle up.
Another not so devastating consequence of not wearing a seatbelt is getting a ticket. If you want to keep yourself safe and avoid a ticket, you should stay well informed. This guide will provide all the information about Michigan seatbelt law so you can easily comply with it.
Not wearing a seatbelt in Michigan is a primary offense which means that a police officer can pull over a vehicle only based on a driver or passenger’s failure to buckle up—there doesn’t have to be another traffic violation.
Michigan seatbelt laws differ depending on whether someone is a:
- Front-seat occupant
- Rear-seat passenger
Michigan seatbelt law states that any driver and passenger riding in the front seat must wear a properly fastened safety belt while a motor vehicle is in motion. Children under 13 shouldn’t sit in the front seat.
The Michigan seatbelt law is slightly different for backseat occupants. It states that people who are 16 and older don’t need to wear seatbelts in the back. It is highly advisable for them to buckle up, though.
The law regarding children’s safety is more strict. Check out the table below to see a brief overview of Michigan's child passenger safety law by age:
|Infants and kids under four||All children younger than four must be restrained in a forward- or rear-facing car seat in the back of the vehicle. If all the rear seats are occupied by other children, you may put your child in the front seat as long as the airbag is deactivated|
|Between four and seven||Children who are shorter than four feet and nine inches must be positioned in a car or booster seat in the back of the vehicle|
|Between eight and 15||Children aged eight to 15 must wear seatbelts both in the front and the back of the vehicle|
The Michigan seatbelt law doesn’t apply to a driver or a passenger of any of the following:
- Motor vehicle manufactured before January 1st, 1965
It also doesn’t apply to:
- A driver or a passenger who has a medical condition (confirmed by a doctor’s note) that prevents them from wearing a seatbelt
- A USPS rural mail carrier who is performing duty and needs to make frequent stops
If you fail to comply with Michigan seatbelt laws, you can expect to pay $65 for a seatbelt offense. This fine consists of the following:
- $25 for the civil fine and court costs
- $40 for justice system assessment
Breaking the child car seat laws will result in you having to pay all of the above, except for the civil fine, which can’t exceed $10.
You can dispute seatbelt citations. It is a complex procedure as you need to choose the right argument and present evidence for it.
Two ways you can contest a seatbelt ticket are as follows:
- Showing reasonable doubt—Use this argument only if the ticket was issued to you unfairly, meaning that the police officer was wrong and that you were actually wearing your seatbelt
- Building due diligence defense—Due diligence defense means that you admit to not wearing a seatbelt but have a valid reason for it. Some of the excuses you can use are:
- You were driving in reverse
- You had your seatbelt on while driving but unbuckled it when the police officer pulled you over
- Your child unbuckled the seatbelt without you noticing
- You didn’t realize your seatbelt was broken
You don’t have to fight your ticket on your own—our app will do it for you. If you sign up for DoNotPay, you’ll get a convincing appeal letter that should help you contest your citation.
DoNotPay is the world’s first robot lawyer that has the feature you need! Our Seatbelt Ticket feature can create a fully personalized appeal letter to get your ticket dismissed. After we ask you a few questions, we’ll use the information you provided to create the letter in minutes!
Appeal your ticket now by following these steps:
- Open DoNotPay and find the Seatbelt Ticket product
- Upload a picture of your seatbelt citation
- Answer several questions, such as who got the ticket—the driver, a passenger, or a kid
- Tell us which argument you wish to use
Our app will draft your letter and send it to the Michigan authorities.
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