Seat Belt Laws in Tennessee

Tennessee seat belt laws require all drivers and front seat passengers to wear seat belts. Children must be belted at all times.
Written by Bonnie Stinson
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
Seat belt laws in
say that all front seat passengers and drivers must wear a seat belt. Children must use appropriate restraints like car seats. Adults in the back seat are not legally required to wear seat belts in Tennessee. Drivers are responsible for—and can be ticketed for violations by—passengers under the age of 16.

What are the seat belt laws in Tennessee?

The Tennessee seat belt law says that drivers and front seat passengers must wear an appropriate restraint. This applies to children and adults. In the back seat, it’s legal for adult passengers to go without seat belts. In Tennessee, drivers are held responsible for the safety of passengers under 16 but those over 16 are responsible for themselves.
Key Takeaway Everyone in the front seat—and all passengers 17 or younger—must wear a seat belt in Tennessee.

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

The penalty for breaking the seat belt laws in Tennessee is $25 for the first offense. You must pay $50 for repeat offenses. It is considered a nonmoving violation and won’t add points to your record.
Because it’s a primary offense to break the Tennessee seat belt law, you can be pulled over and ticketed for breaking the seat belt law. The driver must pay the ticket if the unbelted passenger is under the age of 16.
Key Takeaway You could be fined $25 for breaking the seat belt law in Tennessee.

Could it impact my driving record?

Possibly. Tennessee doesn’t assign
driver's license points
to your record for breaking the seat belt law. Insurance companies are unlikely to increase your premium based on a single seat belt violation. However, violations are added to your
Tennessee driving record
, and too many violations will definitely cause your insurance company to look twice.
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Could it impact my insurance?

It’s unlikely as Tennessee law doesn’t add points to your record for breaking an adult seat belt law. However, accruing multiple violations or not paying your fines could lead to a situation where the insurance company is alerted. This could increase your premium.

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