A Breakdown of the New Mexico Seatbelt Laws

Dispute Seatbelt Tickets A Breakdown of the New Mexico Seatbelt Laws

The Ultimate Guide to the New Mexico Seatbelt Laws

Data from the New Mexico Department of Health shows that injuries from car crashes are the leading cause of death in the population aged one to 24. What can prevent more fatal injuries during car accidents is the proper use of seatbelts. That is why it’s important to understand and obey the New Mexico seatbelt laws. Besides increasing your safety, you will also avoid hefty fines and keep your driving record intact.

In this guide, we will answer your top questions about the NM seatbelt laws such as :

An Overview of the New Mexico Seatbelt Law

New Mexico has a primary seatbelt law that requires all passengers and drivers to have their seatbelts on—regardless of the seating position. Police officers have the authority to stop you for not wearing a seatbelt and issue a citation.


Certain people are exempt from the law, for instance:

  • People with special medical conditions
  • Rural letter carriers on official duty
  • Drivers or passengers in authorized emergency vehicles, public transport vehicles, and school buses

What Do the Mexico Seatbelt Laws Say About Children?

Child passenger safety laws specify the correct restraint device based on your child’s age and size. Under the Mexico seatbelt laws, you are required to properly restrain minors below 18 in federally approved restraint devices or seatbelts as follows:

Age/Weight Child Restraint Device
Up to one year Rear-facing child passenger restraint systems secured in the rear seats
  • One year to four years—regardless of their weight
  • Less than 40 pounds regardless of age
Rear-facing or forward-facing restraint devices
  • Five to six years regardless of weight
  • Less than 60 pounds regardless of age
Appropriate child restraint device or booster seat
Seven to 12 years Seatbelts, if they fit properly, or a child passenger restraint system

If a vehicle doesn’t have rear seats, children can be restrained in the front seat after you deactivate the passenger-side airbag. Even though the New Mexico seatbelt laws don’t require it, children should ride in the rear seats at least until they’re 13.

What Is the Fine for Not Wearing a Seatbelt in New Mexico?

The driver is required to ensure all passengers, including children, are properly secured before driving the motor vehicle. Violating the New Mexico seatbelt law or child car seat laws results in a $25 fine for the first offense. Subsequent violations have higher penalties.

Do Seatbelt Tickets Go on Your Driving Record in New Mexico?

New Mexico uses a driving record point system to monitor drivers’ behavior. If you are found using an incorrect child restraint system or none at all, you will get two points on your driving record. Accumulating points can result in license suspension and also affect your insurance premiums.

The number of points accumulated affects the duration of your license suspension as follows:

  • Seven to ten points in one year—The license is suspended for up to three months
  • Twelve or more points in one year—You can get your license suspended for a full year

Unfortunately, you cannot take defensive driving courses in New Mexico to reduce the number of points. The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department will clear them automatically after 12 months.

What To Do if You Get a Seatbelt Ticket

Every traffic offense, including moving violations, results in a penalty. When you receive a seatbelt ticket, you have the following options:

  • Pay the ticket costs and accept the repercussions, for example, two points on your record
  • Ignore the ticket and risk additional penalties and license suspension
  • Dispute the ticket and possibly get it dismissed

How To Dispute a Seatbelt Ticket

If the ticket was issued unfairly, you can dispute it in a traffic court by using one of the following approaches:

  1. Reasonable doubt—Plead not guilty and provide a believable reason why the officer concluded that you had not buckled up. You can only use this method if the officer did not stop you to confirm
  2. Due diligence defense—Plead guilty but provide a justifiable cause for unbuckling—for instance, you were driving in reverse

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Use DoNotPay if You Need Help With Contesting a Seatbelt Ticket

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  • Who got the ticket? It could be the driver, passenger, or a child
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  2. Upload a photo of your ticket
  3. Answer a few questions

Every state has its own seatbelt laws, with the exception of New Hampshire that has children’s seatbelt laws only.

Travel stress-free by learning the seatbelt laws in all states:

Georgia Nevada Florida
Texas Pennsylvania Maryland
Michigan Arizona Illinois
Indiana Delaware Massachusetts
Kansas Tennessee Connecticut
California South Dakota Colorado
Utah Rhode Island Louisiana
District of Columbia Mississippi North Carolina
Oregon Wisconsin Vermont
Alabama Minnesota Kentucky
Idaho Arkansas Ohio
Virginia Iowa Oklahoma
North Dakota Wyoming Hawaii
Nebraska Washington State Maine
West Virginia Montana Missouri
Alaska New York State South Carolina
New Jersey

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