Seat Belt Laws in Maryland

Maryland seat belt laws require all drivers and passengers must wear seat belts, no matter their age or location in the vehicle.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Seat belt laws in
say that the driver and all passengers must wear a seat belt. Kids must use age-appropriate restraints. You can be pulled over and ticketed for breaking this law if it’s a child in the back seat who is not belted. Drivers are responsible for—and can be ticketed for violations by—passengers younger than 16.
Studies show that people are far more likely to be injured or die in a car crash if they are not wearing a seat belt. Keep safe and buckle up!
This article compiles everything you need to know about Maryland seat belt laws so you can avoid fines and stay safe behind the wheel.

What are the seat belt laws in Maryland?

The Maryland seat belt law says that drivers and front seat passengers must wear an appropriate restraint. Children should use federally-approved restraint systems. In Maryland, drivers are held responsible for passengers under the age of 16.
Key Takeaway Everyone is legally required to wear a seat belt in Maryland, and drivers must ensure that people under 16 follow the law.

What happens if you break the seat belt laws in Maryland?

The penalty for breaking the seat belt laws in Maryland is a $50 fine, which turns into $83 including court costs. The driver must pay the fine if the person who broke the seat belt law was under the age of 16. Drivers and passengers 16 and older will be ticketed for their own offenses.
Breaking the seat belt law is considered a nonmoving violation in Maryland. This means you won’t get any points added to your record. However, it is a primary offense for a young back seat passenger to break the seat belt law in Maryland. This means that the driver can be pulled over and ticketed for breaking it.
Key Takeaway You could face an $83 fine if you or a young passenger in your vehicle breaks the seat belt law.

Could it impact my driving record?

Possibly. Maryland doesn’t assign points to your
driving record
for breaking the seat belt law. As a result, insurance companies are unlikely to increase your premium based on breaking the seat belt law once.
However, violations do get added to your driver abstract. If you break this law more than once, it will definitely cause your insurance company to be concerned—and they could bump up your rate.
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Could it impact my insurance?

It’s unlikely as Maryland law does not add points to your record for breaking a seat belt law. However, multiple violations send a bad signal to your insurance company about your risk level. Similarly, not paying your fines could lead to a problem with your credit, which could alert the insurance company. Either situation could increase your premium. Be sure to pay your fees promptly!

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