Seat Belts

The Seat Belt Law:   G.S. 20-135.2A


Ages/Positions Covered

All drivers, front seat passengers and back seat passengers ages 16 and older must wear their seat belts. Children less than age 16 are covered by the NC child passenger safety law.

Vehicles Covered

The seat belt law applies to all passenger vehicles with capacity of <11 occupants required by federal standards to have seat belts. In general, these are cars made after 1967 and light trucks and vans made after 1971.

Restraint Required

The full restraint system provided for the seating position must be properly worn. Both the lap and shoulder belt must be properly worn even if the position is equipped with an automatic shoulder belt or air bag. Placing the shoulder belt behind the back or under the arm is not allowed.


Vehicles not required to have belts:

  • In general, these are cars made before 1968 and light trucks and vans made before 1972.
  • Professionally certified medical condition or mental phobia preventing use.
  • Rural letter carriers and newspaper carriers while performing duties.
  • A driver or passenger frequently stopping and leaving the vehicle or delivering property from the vehicle if the speed of the vehicle between stops does not exceed 20 miles per hour."
  • Vehicles with "Farm" or "Commercial" license plates while being used for agricultural purposes.


The driver of the vehicle is responsible for himself and all children less than sixteen.
Passengers ages sixteen and older are responsible for themselves.

Penalty of $25.50
$135.50 court costs
No driver license or insurance points are assessed.