Seat Belt Laws

California Seat Belt Laws

California seat belt laws are described in the Vehicle Code, Division 12: Equipment of Vehicles, Chapter 5: Other Equipment, Article 3: Safety Belts and Inflatable Restraining Systems, Section 27315. This Section of the law governs the use of car seat belts for adults.

In the state of California the driver and all passengers in private vehicles must be fastened with seat belts at all times.

Exceptions include passengers in taxi vehicles, where only persons driving in front seats must be buckled up with seat belts. However, the vehicle still must provide seat belts to passengers in rear seats.

Further exceptions include people working as newspaper delivery or in garbage trucks, or in other occupations which require constantly entering and leaving the vehicle. In addition, California does permit people with certain medical conditions to be exempt from car seat belt laws.

See also: California Child Seat Belt Laws

There are special requirements for children seat belts so read our related article to learn more about child seat belt laws. Child seat belt laws in California state that all children under the age of 8 must use a child safety seat or booster.


Not wearing a safety belt in California is punishable by law as defined by Section 27315 of California Vehicle Code. The fine is $20 ($22.50 total with assessment costs) for the first offense, and $50 for each subsequent offense.

Drivers can also get a traffic ticket in case a passenger under the age of 16 is not wearing a seat belt.

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This article about California Seat Belt Laws was last updated in 2024. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!