Call Today 803.359.3301
Seat Belt Law in SC

Seat Belt Law in SC

In South Carolina, every driver and passenger of a motor vehicle must wear a fastened safety belt when the vehicle is being operated on highways and public streets within the state.  

Drivers are responsible for ensuring every occupant who is 17 years old or younger wears a seat belt or be secured in a child restraint system. However, if a passenger who is up to 17 years of age has a driver’s license, beginner’s permit, or special restricted license, drivers are not responsible if the occupant does not wear a seat belt. 

South Carolina’s seat belt law does not apply to the following: 

  • A driver or passenger who has a doctor’s note that states he cannot wear a seat belt due to medical or physical reasons 

  • Health care providers and rescue workers applying treatment to an injured or ill person in an emergency vehicle, include unrestrained injured or ill occupants 

  • Church, school, and daycare buses 

  • Public transportation, except taxi cabs 

  • U.S. mail carriers 

  • Occupants in vehicles involved in a parade 

  • An occupant in a vehicle with no more available seat belts because they are used by others 

  • A driver or occupant of a vehicle that did not originally have safety belts installed 

In 2005, South Carolina’s seat belt offense changed from a secondary law to a primary law. This means that a police officer can stop a driver if he/she has a clear and unobstructed view of either a driver or passenger not wearing a seat belt or child restraint. Previously, an officer can only cite a safety belt violation if the driver had committed another traffic violation. 

If you violate South Carolina’s seat belt law, a first offense carries a $25 fine – with no court costs. For a subsequent offense, you will face a fine of up to $50. Seat belt law violations do not result in points on your driver’s license, are not considered criminal charges, and do not affect your insurance premiums.  

If you have been cited for a traffic offense in Lexington or Columbia, SC, contact the Law Office of James R. Snell, Jr., LLC today at (803) 359-3301 to learn how our firm can help you. Schedule a free consultation today! 


Get Started Today

We're Available to Schedule Immediate, Same-Day Consultations
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
    • Please enter your email address.
      This isn't a valid email address.
    • Please make a selection.
    • Please enter a message.