North Dakota Seatbelt Law Explained
Car crashes are the main cause of death for the first three decades of Americans’ lives. Buckling up reduces the risk of fatal car accidents, but not all drivers in the U.S. use this safety measure. In North Dakota, approximately 84% of drivers and passengers wear seatbelts—well below the national rate of 91%.
To get familiar with the North Dakota seatbelt law, make sure you read this quick guide.
According to the seatbelt law in North Dakota, a driver may not operate a motor vehicle carrying fewer than 11 passengers unless each of the front seat occupants is wearing a safety belt. This regulation does not apply to drivers who:
- Operate vehicles that are not originally manufactured with seatbelts
- Run farm vehicles
- Work as rural mail carriers
- Have a medical or physical disability that makes proper restraint in a safety belt impossible
Child seatbelt laws in North Dakota state that children:
- Under the age of eight must be properly secured in a child restraint—either a car seat or a booster seat—regardless of where they sit in the car
- Younger than eight, but at least 4′ 9″ tall, may use a seatbelt
- Between eight and 17 must be properly secured in a seatbelt or child restraint
North Dakota is a state with secondary enforcement—a police officer doesn’t have the authority to pull you over and issue a citation for not wearing a seatbelt. You can still be fined for this violation if you’re stopped for another reason.
One exception to this rule are underage drivers and passengers. State law allows officers to cite you if anyone in your car—including you—is under the age of 18 and not buckled up properly.
The penalty for not wearing a seatbelt is $20 if you and your passengers are over 18. Passengers and drivers that are under the age of 18 will need to pay a $25 fine.
Underage drivers will also get one point on their license for violating the seatbelt law in ND.
If you get a seatbelt ticket in the Peace Garden State, these are your options:
- Paying the fine
- Ignoring the fine
- Fighting the ticket
Paying a ticket is seen as an admission of guilt in North Dakota, but ignoring it will lead to additional penalties (for example, a license suspension).
If you believe you didn’t deserve to be fined, you have the option to fight the ticket. Keep in mind that the court can dismiss your ticket only if you have credible arguments. Take a look at the table below to find out what are your options:
|Mounting a due diligence defense||This means that you’ll plead guilty but offer a credible justification for your inability to use a seatbelt or properly fasten a kid (for example, a medical condition)|
|Creating reasonable doubt||If you choose reasonable doubt, you’re indicating that you or your passengers were properly restrained and that the police officer issued a ticket unfairly. Keep in mind that you’ll need strong evidence to back up your claim in this instance|
No matter what method you use to dispute your ticket, make sure you do it within 15 days of getting one. You don’t have to go through this process alone or spend money on a lawyer. Signing up for DoNotPay is the easiest and most cost-effective option.
Disputing a ticket doesn’t have to be a hassle. If you choose our service, you will get a personalized and convincing appeal letter in minutes. We’ll also send it to the relevant authorities, so you don’t have to worry about mailing it yourself.
Here’s what you need to do to initiate the process:
- Log in to your DoNotPay account using any web browser
- Enter Seatbelt Ticket into the search bar to find this feature
- Take a photo of your ticket and upload it
- Provide us with info about:
- Who got the ticket
- When the violation occurred
- Which type of argument you would like to choose
As soon as you complete all four steps and submit your answers, our app will:
- Analyze all the info you provided in the questionnaire
- Draft a custom appeal letter
If you are planning to visit other U.S. states in the near future, you should get familiar with their seatbelt laws. You can check them out in the table below:
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