Seat Belt Laws

Illinois Seat Belt Laws

Illinois seat belt laws are described in Illinois Vehicle Code. These laws govern the use of car seat belts for adults and children. Below you can find our quick breakdown of Illinois seat belt laws for all passengers.

Seat belt laws in Illinois:

  1. In the state of Illinois, all front seat passengers must always wear a seat belt.
  2. Passengers under 16 must always wear safety belts even when seated behind driver.
  3. If driver is under 18 years of age, all passengers younger than 19 must always wear seat belts regardless of seating position.
  4. Children under 8 years old must be seated in appropriate booster seats or child safety seats.

Other seat belt regulations:

  • No seat belt is required while driving in reverse.
  • Seat belts are not required on vehicles manufactured before 1965.
  • Illinois also allows medical exemptions from seat belt laws. You will require a written statement from a licensed physician stating medical reasons why person is unable to wear a safety belt.
  • Seat belts are not required for drivers delivering packages or property who must enter and exit the vehicle frequently and are driving under 15 miles per hour.
  • Drivers under 18 are not permitted to have more than one passenger in the front seat, nor more passengers in the back seat than there are available seat safety belts.
  • Seat belt use is not required in back seat of a taxi vehicle.
  • Driver under 18 with a graduated driver’s license for the first 12 months or until the age of 18 (whichever comes first) is not permitted to drive more than one person in the vehicle who is under 20 (siblings excluded).

In Illinois violating seat belt laws is considered a primary offense. This means that even if no other violation has been observed, law enforcement officers can pull you over and issue a ticket.

However, police officers may not search or inspect driver, passengers, your vehicle or its contents solely based on this violation.

Illinois seat belt laws sources and references:

  1. Illinois Compiled Statutes, Chapter 12: Equipment of Vehicles,  Article I: General Provisions (ILCS 5/12-603.1) – Driver and passenger required to use safety belts, exceptions and penalty
  2. Illinois Vehicle Code, 625 ILCS 5/6-106.12 (Chapter 6, Article I, Sec. 6-107) – Graduated license
  3. Illinois Vehicle Code (625 ILCS 25/) – Child Passenger Protection Act

Additionally see our article about Child Passenger Safety Seat Laws for more information on requirements, regulations and penalties for child restraint systems.

Penalties

How much is a ticket for seat belt in Illinois? Not wearing a safety belt in Illinois is considered a petty offense with a $25 fine. Fines may be increased depending on each case and number of violations. Additional court costs will also apply.

Violating Child Passenger Protection Act results in a $75 fine. First time offenders can install an appropriate child restraint system and complete an instructional course, and may apply for court supervision.

Each subsequent violation of Illinois child safety seat laws carries a $200 fine, and driver is not eligible for court supervision.

Drivers under 18 with Graduated License will receive a warning for their first offense. Second offense, or another moving violation within a 2-year period, will result in a suspended license.

Important: it’s the driver’s responsibility to ensure all passengers obey Illinois seat belt laws. Anyone found violating these laws is subject to a fine and court costs.

Do you need seat belts or safety restraints?

  • Wearing a seat belt increases your chance of surviving a car crash by 45%.
  • Child safety seats reduce the risk of death by 71% for babies and 54% for toddlers.
  • Children in booster seats are 59% less likely to be injured in a car accident.

Not being properly restrained is undoubtedly dangerous. For the safety of yourself and your passengers, buckle up!

This article about Illinois Seat Belt Laws was last updated in 2018. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!