New York State seat belt law says that you must wear a seat belt at all times in a car while driving in or riding in a car. If you are under a certain age you will need to be in the appropriate child safety seat, etc. If your driving, you need to be buckled up. There is also an interesting part in the law where it says 'one person, one seat belt.'

So this got me to thinking:

Is it legal to not wear a seat belt while traveling through New York?


Keep in mind, that you can get pulled over and get a ticket because NY is a 'Primary Enforcement State.'

The fine is $50 for the driver not buckling up, and you (as a driver) can get fined $25 to $100 for each person over the age of 16 not belted in and get banged three points on your license.

So, when can you legally NOT wear a seat belt, and you can not be ticketed?

Seat Belt Should lie across the upper thighs and be snug across the shoulder and chest to restrain your child safely in a crash. It should not rest on the stomach area or across the neck or face.
Noel Hendrickson

Here you go, this is from the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles:

  • You can be driving in a car that is from 1964 or older, they don't have seat belts
  • Emergency vehicles
  • Rural Mail carriers do not have to wear them when they are delivering the mail.
  • You do not have to wear a seat belt when you are riding in a bus that is not a school bus.
  • You can also get a medical exemption. Yep. To do that you will need to get a letter from your physician, on their letterhead and you must carry that with you at all times while you are driving.

Is it possible to get a medical exemption to not wear a seat belt in New York State?

Graphic Seatbelt Safety Campaign Launched In The UK
Getty Images

Is this something that bothers you enough that you would try to get a medical exemption for it? But let's be clear, the New York State DMV does not recommend that you ever travel in a vehicle that is equipped with seat belts and not use them.

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