Many people think that since a NY seat belt ticket carries 0 DMV points it’s safe to just plead guilty to. This belief is wrong. Pleading guilty to a New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 1229 (NY VTL § 1129) No Seat Belt can cost you thousands of dollars. This is because a no seat belt conviction still triggers an auto insurance increase. Auto insurers do not base their insurance surcharges on DMV points, but on Insurance Demerit Point, or a “Merit Rating Plan.”
Under your insurer’s demerit rating a NY seat belt conviction is a merit system violation. When merit system violations are found in the insured’s 36 month driving history, the car insurance company surcharge, or increases, the insurance premium.
Moreover, if you are an out-of-state driver NY communicates the conviction to your home state through the Driver License Compact. The driver’s home state DMV and insurer will then treat the convicted violation as if it happened in the home state and apply local laws to the out-of-state offense.
If you received a NY seatbelt ticket or any other moving violation such as speeding, cell phone, or anything else, before you do anything give us a call. We discuss tickets and violations with people all the time, and we’d love to talk to you about your case and situation.