Seat Belt Laws in the USA

 
 

Everyone would agree that protecting lives with seat belts is at least as important as a broken tail light or littering. Yet, while virtually every state has primary laws that allow law enforcement officers to stop and ticket a violator for having a broken tail light or for tossing trash out the window, not all states have primary laws for seat belt use.

Failure to buckle up contributes to more fatalities than any other single traffic safety-related behavior. Despite terrible traffic problems such as aggressive driving, increasing seat belt use is still the single most effective thing we can do to save lives and reduce injuries on our roadways.

The information present in this article and following table should only be used as a guide.

Specific questions should be directed to a qualified attorney licensed in your state. Nothing in this summary should be construed as legal advice.

Seat Belt Laws by State
Click on the name of the state to access relevant statutory authority.

State

Required

Primary or
Secondary?

Authority

Alabama

Yes, required for those 15 and older in the front seat.

Primary

Alabama Code §32-5B-4.

Alaska

Yes, required for those 16 and older in all seats.

Primary

Alaska 28 A.A.C. 05.095.

Arizona

Yes, required for all in the front seat, and those under the age of 16 in other seats.

Secondary

Arizona Revised Statute §28-909.

Arkansas

Yes, required for front seat passengers.

Secondary

Arkansas Code §27-37-707.

California

Yes, required for those passengers 16 and older in all seats.

Primary

California Vehicle Code, Division 12, Chapter 5, Article 3, Section 27315.

Colorado

Yes, required for the driver and front seat passengers.

Secondary

Colorado Revised Statute §42-4-237.

Connecticut

Yes, required for front seat passengers 7 and older.

Primary

Connecticut C.G.S. Title 14, Chapter 246, §14-100a.

Delaware

Yes, required for those 16 and older in all seats.

Primary

Delaware Code Title 21, Chapter 48, Subchapter XI, §4802.

District of Columbia

Yes, required for those 16 and older in all seats.

Primary

D.C

Florida

Yes, required for those under 18 for all seats.  Also required for passengers in the front seat over 18.

Secondary

Florida Statute Title XXIII §316.614.

Georgia

Yes, required for those 6-17 in all seats.  Also required for those in the front seat over 18.

Primary

Georgia Code Title 40, Chapter 8, Article 1, §40-8-76.

Hawaii

Yes, required for those 8-17 in all seats.  Also required for those in the front seat over 15.

Primary

Hawaii H.R.S. Volume 5, Chapter 291, Part IV, § 291-11.6.

Idaho

Yes, required for all passengers over the age of 7.

Secondary

Idaho Statutes Title 49, Chapter 6, § 49-666.

Illinois

Yes, required for those over 16 in the front seat.  Also, if the driver is younger than 18, all other passengers under 18 must wear seat belts.

Primary

Illinois

Indiana

Yes, required for those 16 and older in all seats.

Primary

Indiana Code Title 9, Article 19, Chapter 7, § 9-19-7-1.

Iowa

Yes, required for those 11 and older in all seats

Primary

Iowa

Kansas

Yes, required for those 14-17 in all seats.  Also required for those over 18 for front seats.

Secondary

Kansas Statute Chapter 8, Article 15, § 8-1598.

Kentucky

Yes, required for all seats if person is more than 40 inches tall.

Primary

Kentucky K.R.S. Title XVI, Chapter 189, § 285.

Louisiana

Yes, 13+ years in front seat.

Primary

Louisiana Statute Title 32, Chapter 1, Part IV, Subpart G, § 190.

Maine

Yes, children under the age of 8 must be in child restraint system; all others must be in seatbelt.

Primary, effective 04/2008

Maine M.R.S. Title 29-A, Chapter 19, Subchapter I, § 2081.

Maryland

Yes, required for those 16 and older for front seats.

Primary

Maryland Code Transportation Section, Title 21, Subtitle 13, § 21-1306.

Massachusetts

Yes, required for those 12 and older in all seats.

Secondary

General Laws of Massachusetts Part I, Title XIV, Chapter 90, § 7.

Michigan

Yes, required for those over 4 in the front seat.  Also required for those 4-15 in all seats.

Primary

Michigan Compiled Laws Chapter VI, § 257.658.

Minnesota

Yes, required for all in the front seat.  Also required in the back seat for those 3-10.

Secondary

Minnesota Statute Chapter 169, § 169.974.

Mississippi

Yes, required for those 4-7 in all seats.  Also required for those 8 and older for front seats.

Primary

Mississippi Code Title 63, Chapter 7, § 63-7-64.

Missouri

Yes, required for those 16 and older for front seats.

Secondary

Missouri M.R.S. Title XIX, Chapter 302, § 302.020.

Montana

Yes, required for those 6 and older in all seats.

Secondary

Montana Code Annotated Title 61, Chapter 9, Part 4, § 61-9-417.

Nebraska

Yes, required for those 18 and older for front seats.

Secondary

Nebraska Statutes Chapter 60, Article 6, § 60-6, 279.

Nevada

Yes, required for those 6 and older in all seats.

Secondary

Nevada N.R.S. Title 43, Chapter 486, § 486.231.

New Hampshire

Not required

 

New Hampshire

New Jersey

Yes, required for those 7 and younger and ore than 80 pounds, 8-17 in all seats, and 18 and over for the front seats.

Primary

New Jersey Statutes Title 39, Subtitle 1, Chapter 3, Article 3, § 39:3-76.7.

New Mexico

Yes, required for those 18 and over in all seats.

Primary

New Mexico Statutes Chapter 66, Article 7, Part 4, § 66-7-356.

New York

Yes, required for those 16 and over for front seats.

Primary

N.Y. Consolidated Laws Chapter 71, Title III, Article 9, § 381.

North Carolina

Yes, required for those 16 and over in all seats.

Primary; law is secondary in the rear seats.

N.C. General Statutes Chapter 20, Article 3, § 20-140.4.

North Dakota

Yes, required for those 18 and over for front seats.

Secondary

N.D. Century Code Title 39, Chapter 39-10.2, §39-10.2-06.

Ohio

Yes, required for those 4-14 in all seats, and 15 and older for front seats.

Secondary

Ohio Revised Code Title XLV, Chapter 4511, § 4511.53.

Oklahoma

Yes, required for those 13 and older for front seats.

Primary

Oklahoma Statutes Title 47, § 47-12-609.

Oregon

Yes, required for those 16 and over in all seats.

Primary

Oregon O.R.S. Volume 17, Title 59, Chapter 814, § 814.269.

Pennsylvania

Yes, required for those 8-17 in all seats and for those 18 and over for front seats.

Secondary

PA 75 Pa. Code Chapter 35 § 3525.

Rhode Island

Yes, required for those 13 and over in all seats.

Secondary

R.I. General Laws Title 31, Chapter 10.1, § 31-10.1-4.

South Carolina

Yes, required for those over 6 in the front seats and over 6 in the rear seats with a shoulder belt.

Primary

S.C. Code of Laws Title 56, Chapter 5, Article 29, § 56-5-3660.

South Dakota

Yes, required for those 18 and older for front seats.

Secondary

S.D. Codified Laws Title 32, § 32-20-4.

Tennessee

Yes, required for those 16 and older for front seats.

Primary

Tennessee Code Title 55, Chapter 9, Part 3, § 55-9-302 (a).

Texas

Yes, required for those 4 and younger and 36 inches or more, required for 5-16 in all seats, and required for those over 17 for front seats.

Primary

Texas Statutes Transportation Code Title 7, Subtitle G, Chapter 661, § 661.003.

Utah

Yes, required for those 16 and over in all seats.

Secondary

Utah Code Title 41, Chapter 6a, § 41-6a-1505.

Vermont

Yes, required for those 16 and over in all seats.

Secondary

Vermont Statutes Title 23, Chapter 13, Subchapter 14, Article 2, § 1256.

Virginia

Yes, required for those 16 and over for front seats.

Secondary

Code of Virginia Title 46.2, Subtitle II, Chapter 8, Article 13, § 46.2-910.

Washington

Yes, required for all occupants 16 years and older.

Primary

Revised Code of Washington Title 46, Chapter 46.37, § 46.37.530.

West Virginia

Yes, required of all 8 years and older in front seat and 8-17 in all other seats.

Secondary

West Virginia Code Chapter 17C, Article 15, § 17C-15-44.

Wisconsin

Yes, required of all occupants 8 years of age and older.

Secondary

Wisconsin Statutes Chapter 347, § 347.48.

Wyoming

Yes, required of all driver and passenger and all passengers under 12.

Secondary

Wyoming Statutes Title 31, Chapter 5, Article 1, § 31-5-1402.

If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a defective bicycle, please contact us.  We will help you find a product liability attorney near you who can help you recover the financial compensation to which you are entitled.