Out of State Seatbelt Ticket
March 20, 2008 9:58 PM   Subscribe

I just received an out of state seat belt ticket, how will this affect my insurance?

I go to graduate school in Evanston, Illinois and I was pulled over three blocks from my apartment for not wearing a seatbelt and was given a ticket. I have no big problem with this, I was guilty but I'm trying to determine the best course of action.

In Illinois, not wearing a seatbelt is considered a moving violation, something which I was not aware of since it isn't in NJ. Now my license is from NJ since I still list my parents' address as my permanent address, but my car is registered in Illinois and has Illinois plates. To be honest, I've been meaning to get an Illinois license but I've been putting it off.

I have three options, plead guilty and pay a fine, plead guilty and take traffic school online, or go to court. Now this is where things become cloudy. The first and, most likely, third options will result in a conviction on my record which will be reported to NJ. However, NJ does not assign points for this type of ticket so will it affect my record or my insurance (which is also Illinois insurance)?

Part of me thinks that NJ will look at it like IL sent them notice that I got a non-moving violation and throw it out, but that also sounds like wishful thinking to me.

Also, if I do go to court, what do I say? I was alone in the car and not wearing a seatbelt so it seems like it would be open and shut and I don't think the prosecutor would be willing to make a deal like he would for a speeding ticket or other moving violation.

I know you're not my lawyer and any advice is just general advice and not specific legal advice.
posted by crashlanding to Law & Government (4 answers total)
The traffic school option might prevent the ticket from going on your record. This happened to me (albeit quite a few years ago in Wyoming) with a speeding ticket. Went to court, asked the judge for traffic school (but the actual, two evenings kinds) and it never showed up on my record. This might be possible in IL as well.
posted by Nelsormensch at 10:20 PM on March 20, 2008

I don't know the ins and outs of IL or NJ, but I do of other large states. The murkiness gets even murkier when you consider that different clerks might have different interpretations in the same department. Messed up stuff happens routinely in my part of the US.

Again, I don't know IL, but in my home jurisdiction traffic school would be the surest way to ensure the infraction doesn't get reported outside the local jurisdiction. The State (and, by extension, insurance companies) will know you took a course, but not WHY you took the course. Do check IL law specifically, because "pleading guilty" in any form usually has unfortunate consequences.

Also, if I do go to court, what do I say?

"Mr. (or Ms.) Prosecutor, do you have all the witnesses and evidence you need to prosecute this case? You do?

Oh, yes. Hello Officer Smith. Good to see you again.

Your Honor, may I now request to take a driver safety course to avoid this ticket being reported on my driving record?"

The answer to that last question might very well be "no." A local traffic ticket attorney will have a much better prediction than me or the rest of the internets.

/You should wear your seatbelt.
//oh wait, this askmefi...
posted by GPF at 10:38 PM on March 20, 2008

Thanks for the quick responses.

If I take the traffic school it definitely will not show up on my record, but (I'm not entirely sure of Illinois law and their DMV website is hard to navigate) part of me wants to "save" this for a more serious offense, especially if NJ won't view it as a moving violation.

As for the not wearing the seatbelt, I usually always wear it but it was nearly midnight and I took it off at a drive through window so I could reach my wallet easier. I was only a mile from my apartment with no other cars on the road...except for a police car of course.
posted by crashlanding at 10:50 PM on March 20, 2008

Depending on who your insurance carrier is, they might not even check your record, until your policy comes up for renewal, and then it's still only a possibility. If you switch carriers or something, then it'll definitely turn up.
posted by tr33hggr at 8:38 AM on March 21, 2008

« Older Where should we go in Hawaii?   |   Help me find the best online storage solution for... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.