It is critical to always wear a seat belt when driving and traveling. In the case of an accident, these restraints greatly minimize the risk of mortality by preventing car occupants from being flung around the vehicle or onto the road. If you are driving in Texas, you must be informed of the state’s seat belt requirements and must adhere to them. Failure to comply may not only increase your chances of suffering serious injuries in an accident, but you may also face penalties and have difficulties getting compensation for your injuries. Follow this article to get all the essential information on Texas seat belt laws!


dmv texas seat belt laws
What are the DMV Texas seat belt laws


1. Why should you follow the Texas seat belt laws?

Seat belts are critical safety equipment for not only drivers but also other passengers in the car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), over half of all fatal car accidents included persons who were not wearing seat belts. Experts estimate that between 2000 and 2022, these restraint devices saved more than 500,276 lives.

Car accident injuries might be significantly more serious if you are not wearing a seat belt. During a collision, unrestrained drivers and passengers might be flung around within the car. The collision can sometimes propel individuals out of the car, resulting in serious and frequently deadly injuries.

These injuries might include any of the following.

  • Roughness on the road
  • Bones broken and shattered
  • TBI (traumatic brain injury)
  • Internal organ dysfunction and hemorrhage
  • Paralysis caused by spinal cord damage
  • Injuries to the face


Seat belts, similarly, are the first and final line of protection for children and teenagers who are old enough to use them. There is nothing to keep a child from flying against the dashboard, or worse, out a window and outside the car, if he or she is not wearing a seat belt. Children and adults alike should wear seat belts at all times when driving, or risk harsh penalties if discovered without one.

Thus, wearing seat belts is a requirement while you are on the TX road as well as for those going to obtain the Texas Driver’s License and Texas Driver’s Learner’s Permit. Remember to compliance the Texas seatbelt law to avoid danger as well as enforcement. 

>> Read more: Ultimate Texas Driver’s License Study Guide for DMV Learners


2. What are the Texas seat belt laws?


2.1. Children’s seat belt laws

Seat belts are not intended to safeguard little children. Children are required by law to be restrained in an adequate child restraint system that fulfills federal requirements. What is acceptable depends on the child’s size and physique; in fact, correctly utilized booster seats might rescue up to 70% of children who died while unrestrained.


texas seat belt laws for children
Texas seat belt laws for children


The general Texas seat belt laws for children include: 

  • Infants and toddlers should use a rear-facing car seat until at least 2 years old or too large for the seat.
  • Children over 2 years old may ride in forward-facing seats.
  • Children between 4 and 8 years old can use a booster seat.
  • Children under 8 years old and less than 4 feet 9 inches tall must be properly secured in a child passenger safety seat system.
  • Children under the age of 13 should be restrained in the back seat
  • Each child under 17 years old must use a safety seat or seat belt.


In addition, always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for what seat to use at what age and size, as well as how to properly install the car seat. In addition, the car seat manufacturer may have additional requirements that must be followed.


Moreover, the rear seat is safer for all youngsters since the passenger airbag’s explosive strength can kill a child. According to The National Safety Council, children in rear-facing restraints should not travel in the front seat if the vehicle has an active passenger-side airbag.


2.2. Adult seat belt laws 

Texas seat belt requirements are more stringent than those in several other states. If occupying a seat with a safety belt, the driver and all passengers, regardless of age or seating position, must use a seat belt. Each seat belt violation can result in a fine of $25 to $250, plus court fees.

Wearing a seat belt may be difficult, inconvenient, or impossible in some situations, such as for medical reasons or for postal employees delivering mail. As a result, there are several exceptions to the legislation.

The exception can be included: 

  • For medical reasons when a seat belt is impractical or hurtful. You need a physician’s note detailing your name, date, and medical reason.
  • Postal workers.
  • Solid waste truck workers.
  • Certain commercial farm vehicle operators.
  • Newspaper delivery workers.
  • Utility workers.

Specifically, if you are a passenger in a historic vehicle that does not have seat belts, you may be exempt as well, depending on the speed you are going at and the age of the vehicle. Look up your local county to learn what the law says about safety belts.


3. How to wear a seat belt safely?

Seat belts include a lap and a shoulder strap, and both must be worn to provide the most protection in a collision. Seat belts are most effective when they do the following:

  • Flat seat belt position – which implies they don’t contain any curves or twists
  • Firm seat belt position  – any slack should be removed
  • Behind your hips position – firmly securing your bodyweight

In the event of a collision, improperly worn seat belts can result in neck, chest, and abdominal injuries.


texas seat belt laws
improperly worn seat belts can result in neck, chest, and abdominal injuries


4. FAQs about Texas seat belt laws


4.1. Can I sit in the back seat without any seat belt in Texas?

Seat belts are required for all drivers and passengers in Texas. Make sure the seatbelt fits tightly across the hips and not across the stomach.


4.2. At which age can passengers not wear a seat belt in Texas?

A kid under the age of 17 who is not required to be secured in a child passenger safety seat system under Section 545.412(a) may ride in the vehicle without being secured by a safety belt, provided the child is occupying a seat with a safety belt.


>> Read more: Complete DMV Texas Learner’s Permit Guide for Starters


4.3. Who will be responsible if passengers not wearing a seat belt when traveling?

It is the adult passenger’s obligation (not the driver’s) to ensure that they are wearing their seatbelt. Children under the age of 14 who are traveling in the back of a car with proper restraints must wear seat belts.


4.4. In Texas, how much weight do you need to be to sit in the front seat?

Although Texas law does not mandate it, the National Safety Council suggests that a kid be at least 4’9″ tall, weigh at least 80 pounds, and be at least 12 years old before sitting in the front seat.


4.5. In Texas, how much does a ticket for a child without a car seat cost?

Unless they are higher than four feet and nine inches, children under the age of eight must ride in a child safety seat or booster seat. If they are not properly restrained, the driver might face fines of up to $250 plus court fees.


A seat belt is the last defense that can save your life from serious injury and even life threats. Thus, all drivers and passengers must follow strictly the laws to avoid dangerous situations. We hope that this article is helpful for those who looking for Texas seat belt laws outlines and restrictions.