What You Need To Know About the Rhode Island Seatbelt Law

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Understanding the Rhode Island Seatbelt Law

Wearing a seatbelt can prevent injuries or even save your life in the event of a motor vehicle crash. Although most people understand this, nearly every state has a seatbelt law to enforce safety on its roads. Whether you are a resident or visiting, you are subject to the laws of that state.

We have prepared this guide to help you understand the Rhode Island seatbelt law and the penalties you can face—like going to court for a seatbelt ticket—in case of any violations.

What Is the Rhode Island Seatbelt Law?

In Rhode Island, failure to wear a seatbelt is a primary offense. This means that you can be pulled over and issued with a seatbelt ticket without any other traffic violations. Here is a summary of the Rhode Island seatbelt law:

  • The driver should always wear a safety belt or a shoulder harness when driving in the roadways, streets, or highways
  • Vehicle occupants who are eight years old or older must be secured using a safety belt and/or a harness system, regardless of the seating position

The children seatbelt laws in Rhode Island vary depending on the age, height, and weight of the kid as follows:

Child’s AgeSeatbelt Law
Under eight yearsA child who is less than 57 inches in height and weighs less than 80 pounds should be properly restrained in any rear sitting position
Below two yearsKids younger than two or those who weigh less than 30 pounds must be restrained in a rear-facing car seat
Two years and aboveChildren who have outgrown their rear-facing car seat by weight and height should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness up as per the manufacturer's recommendations

The only situations when a child can sit in the front passenger seat include:

  • The motor vehicle doesn’t have back seats
  • Other children are occupying all the rear seats

Keep in mind that, although children aged eight years and above can use the front seats under the RI seatbelt law, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should be at least 13 years old to ride in the front seat.

How Much Does a Seatbelt Ticket Cost in Rhode Island?

In Rhode Island, the motor vehicle driver is responsible for ensuring that children's seatbelt laws are observed. If you are found driving with a child in the front seat or having a child over eight years old without a seatbelt, you will pay a fine of $85. You can also be required to appear in court for transporting a child without a restraint system.

If the driver or an adult passenger violates the seatbelt law, it can result in a $40 fine.

Do Seatbelt Tickets Go on Your Driving Record?

Seatbelt violations in Rhode Island are categorized as non-moving violations. They are not reported to the Department of Licensing (DOL) and don’t go on your driving record.

In some states, a seatbelt ticket is a moving violation, and you should always check the state’s laws before traveling. In some cases, repeated traffic violations can affect your insurance.

How Can You Dispute Your Seatbelt Ticket?

If you are issued with a seatbelt ticket, you can contest it in the following ways:

  1. Reasonable doubt—If you believe the ticket was issued in error and you were actually wearing a seatbelt, you can go for this method
  2. Due diligence defense—If you can’t use reasonable doubt because the law enforcement officers pulled you over to confirm if you were wearing the seatbelt, you need to use due diligence defense. This means that you will need to provide valid reasons for not wearing one, for instance:
    • Having a medical condition that prevents you from wearing seatbelts—You should have official proof
    • Driving in reverse
    • Having an emergency

You should confirm the ticket’s due date and make your claim as early as possible. You can face additional consequences if you fail to pay or make an appeal on time. If you need help with your appeal, .

DoNotPay Can Appeal Your Seatbelt Ticket for You!

Do you know that you can avoid going to court or paying hefty fines for a seatbelt ticket? This is possible if you present a good argument, and the best part is—you don’t need to be a lawyer or hire one.

You can appeal your seatbelt ticket right on your phone and at your own convenience with DoNotPay. Skip the court appearances and save money now by following these steps:

  1. and search for Seatbelt Ticket
  2. Select the person who got the ticket—the driver, passenger, or child
  3. Tell us about the type of argument you want to use—are you arguing you had the seatbelt on, or did you have a valid reason for not wearing it?
  4. Provide more information about the situation and upload the photo of the ticket

Our AI-powered app will generate a personalized appeal letter and send it to the authorities in your stead.

Did you get a seatbelt ticket out of RI? Use our guides to learn about seatbelt laws in any other state and the best way to get that ticket dismissed:

New MexicoNevadaFlorida
North CarolinaPennsylvaniaMaryland
New JerseyTennesseeConnecticut
UtahSouth CarolinaMassachusetts
LouisianaIowaWest Virginia
New York StateMississippiHawaii
NebraskaNew HampshireMaine
AlaskaSouth DakotaDistrict of Columbia
North DakotaWashington State

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