Seat Belt Laws in Montana

Drivers and passengers are required to wear seat belts in Montana and can be fined $20 for failing to do so.
Written by Tom Hindle
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Under the Montana Seat Belt Act, the driver and all passengers must wear a seat belt while in a vehicle.
Children under six or weighing less than 60 pounds must be strapped into an approved child safety system, though they should switch to seat belts once old enough.
Violating the Montana seat belt law could lead to fines, legal trouble, and even increased
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What are the seat belt laws in Montana?

Montana seat belt laws state that the driver and all passengers in the vehicle should be wearing a seat belt at all times. Children younger than six years old or weighing less than 60 pounds don’t have to wear a seat belt but should be strapped into a child safety system.
Right now, Montana doesn’t have a "primary" seat belt law. That means you can’t be pulled over for not having a seat belt on. But if you’re stopped for any other reason, you can be penalized if you or one of your passengers isn’t wearing one.
Vehicles exempt from the law include buses, cars manufactured before federal seat belt laws came into place, and vehicles that stop frequently. Medical exemptions are also taken under consideration, though they have to be validated by a doctor’s note.
Key Takeaway The driver and passengers in a vehicle must wear a seat belt (or be secured in an age-appropriate child safety restraint) at all times.

What happens if you break the seat-belt laws in Montana?

In Montana, failing to wear a seat belt is counted as a moving violation and can lead to a fine of $20. Rules are more stringent if you fail to buckle up any minors still in booster seats or car safety seats—for that, you might pay as much as $100.
Remember that the driver is ultimately responsible for all passengers in the vehicle, so make sure everyone is safely secured!

Could it impact my driving record?

It likely won’t. Though a $20 fine is annoying, breaking a seat belt law won’t accrue any
driver's license points
That said, minor infractions can add up and a violation of any law will be noted for law enforcement and insurers to see. The more blemishes you have on your driving record, the more high risk you are in the eyes of insurance providers.
It’s best to play it safe and follow the law. Seat belts save lives.

Could it impact my insurance?

Breaking a seat belt law alone probably won’t hurt your insurance premiums. It’s a minor violation and something insurers don’t worry about too much in a vacuum.
Still, although a violation won’t lead to any demerit points, insurers can see it on your driver abstract. And if those tiny errors continue to add up, you could be in store for a premium hike when it comes time to renew your insurance.
Also be aware that you should pay off your fines quickly, as poor credit can make insurance companies raise your premiums in some states.

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