1. The Laws of New York
  2. Consolidated Laws
  3. Vehicle & Traffic
  4. Title 3: Safety Responsibility; Financial Security; Equipment; Inspection; Size and Weight; and Other Provisions
  5. Article 9: Equipment of Motor Vehicles and Motorcycles


Section 383 Safety belts and anchorage assemblies

Vehicle & Traffic (VAT)

1. Safety belts required. No motor vehicle shall be sold or registered in this state and no motor vehicle registered in this state shall be operated in this state unless such vehicle is equipped with safety belts approved by and conforming to standards established by the commissioner as follows:

  (a) A motor vehicle manufactured or assembled after June thirtieth, nineteen hundred sixty-four and designated as a 1965 or later model, at least two safety belts for the front seat;

  (b) A motor vehicle manufactured or assembled after June thirtieth, nineteen hundred sixty-six and designated as a 1967 or later model, at least one safety belt for the rear seat for each passenger for which the rear seat of such vehicle was designed;

  * (c) A motor vehicle manufactured or assembled on or after January first, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, at least one safety belt for each passenger seat position.

  * NB Effective until January 1, 2021

  * (c) A motor vehicle manufactured or assembled on or after January first, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, at least one safety belt for each passenger seat position;

  * NB Effective January 1, 2021; Repealed upon notification that any federal agency determines in writing that chapter 10 of 2020 would render New York state ineligible for the receipt of federal funds or any court of competent jurisdiction finally determines that said chapter would render New York state out of compliance with federal law or regulation (see chapter 10 of 2020 § 6)

  * (c) A motor vehicle manufactured or assembled on or after January first, nineteen hundred sixty-eight, at least one safety belt for each passenger seat position.

  * NB Effective upon repeal (see chapter 10 of 2020 § 6)

  * (d) An altered motor vehicle commonly referred to as a "stretch limousine" which was altered on or after January first, two thousand twenty-one, at least two safety belts for the front seat, and at least one safety belt for the rear seat for each passenger for which the rear seat of such vehicle was designed, and at least one safety belt for each passenger seat position.

  * NB Effective January 1, 2021; Repealed upon notification that any federal agency determines in writing that chapter 10 of 2020 would render New York state ineligible for the receipt of federal funds or any court of competent jurisdiction finally determines that said chapter would render New York state out of compliance with federal law or regulation (see chapter 10 of 2020 § 6)

  * 1-a. No altered motor vehicle commonly referred to as a "stretch limousine" which was altered prior to January first, two thousand twenty-one shall be sold or registered in this state and no such altered motor vehicle altered prior to January first, two thousand twenty-one registered in this state shall be operated in this state unless such vehicle is retrofitted and equipped with safety belts approved by and conforming to standards established by the commissioner as follows: at least two safety belts for the front seat, and at least one safety belt for the rear seat for each passenger for which the rear seat of such vehicle was designed, and at least one safety belt for each passenger seat position.

  * NB Effective February 3, 2022; Repealed upon notification that any federal agency determines in writing that chapter 10 of 2020 would render New York state ineligible for the receipt of federal funds or any court of competent jurisdiction finally determines that said chapter would render New York state out of compliance with federal law or regulation (see chapter 10 of 2020 § 6)

  2. Anchorage assemblies. No motor vehicle shall be sold or registered in this state unless such motor vehicle is equipped with safety belt assembly anchorages conforming to standards established by the commissioner for each safety belt required in such motor vehicle. In addition, no motor vehicle manufactured or assembled after June thirtieth, nineteen hundred sixty-two shall be sold or registered in this state unless such motor vehicle is equipped with safety belt assembly anchorages conforming to standards established by the commissioner for two safety belts for the front seat of such vehicle.

  3. Sale of safety belts. No safety belt shall be sold for use in a motor vehicle, or installed in a motor vehicle unless such safety belt is approved by, and conforms to standards established by the commissioner.

  4. Safety belts required in certain used motor vehicles. No person, firm, association or corporation engaged in the business of selling or leasing used motor vehicles, shall sell or lease any used motor vehicle manufactured or assembled after June thirtieth, nineteen hundred sixty-two and designated as a 1963 or subsequent year model unless such motor vehicle is equipped with two safety belts for the front seat of such motor vehicle. This provision shall not apply to motor vehicles sold at wholesale or for junk.

  4-a. Driver seat safety belts for certain motor vehicles. Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, it shall be unlawful for the owner of a bus as defined in section one hundred four of this chapter and manufactured on or after January first, nineteen hundred sixty-five or a motor vehicle used for the purpose of transporting children to and from public or private schools to permit such vehicle to be used for such purpose unless the driver's seat on such vehicle is equipped with a seat safety belt of a type and specifications as approved by the commissioner of motor vehicles. Any owner who permits a motor vehicle to be operated without such safety belt or any person who operates a motor vehicle and fails to use such safety belt shall be in violation of the provisions of this subdivision and shall be guilty of an infraction, punishable by a fine not exceeding fifty dollars.

  * 4-b. Taxicabs and liveries. All seat safety belts installed in a taxicab or livery vehicle pursuant to this section shall be clearly visible, accessible and maintained in good working order, and no seat safety belt installed in such taxicab or livery vehicle shall be removed therefrom.

  * NB Effective until January 1, 2021

  * 4-b. Taxicabs, liveries, and stretch limousines. All seat safety belts installed in a taxicab or livery vehicle or in an altered motor vehicle commonly referred to as a "stretch limousine" pursuant to this section shall be clearly visible, accessible and maintained in good working order, and no seat safety belt installed in such taxicab or livery vehicle or altered motor vehicle shall be removed therefrom.

  * NB Effective January 1, 2021; Repealed upon notification that any federal agency determines in writing that chapter 10 of 2020 would render New York state ineligible for the receipt of federal funds or any court of competent jurisdiction finally determines that said chapter would render New York state out of compliance with federal law or regulation (see chapter 10 of 2020 § 6)

  * 4-b. Taxicabs and liveries. All seat safety belts installed in a taxicab or livery vehicle pursuant to this section shall be clearly visible, accessible and maintained in good working order, and no seat safety belt installed in such taxicab or livery vehicle shall be removed therefrom.

  * NB Effective upon repeal (see chapter 10 of 2020 § 6)

  5. (a) Passenger seat safety belts for school buses. Every school bus, as defined in section one hundred forty-two of this chapter, manufactured for use in this state on and after July first, nineteen hundred eighty-seven, shall be designed so that all passenger seats on such vehicle are equipped with seat safety belts and increased seat back padding on passenger seats of a type and specification as approved by the commissioner of transportation through the adoption of rules and regulations. Such rules and regulations shall provide that when any contactable surface of the school bus, as specified in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, 49 CFR Section 571.222, is impacted from any direction at twenty-two feet per second by the head form, the axial acceleration at the center of gravity of the head form shall be such that the head form impact requirement shall not exceed eight hundred.

  (b) Passenger seat safety belts for existing school buses. Any school bus as defined in section one hundred forty-two of this chapter, which is scheduled for retrofitting pursuant to action by a board of education or board of trustees under section thirty-six hundred thirty-five-a of the education law shall be retrofitted so that all passenger seats on such vehicles are equipped with seat safety belts and additional padding of a type and specification as approved by the commissioner of transportation through the adoption of rules and regulations. Such rules and regulations shall provide that when any contactable surface of the school bus as specified in the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard, 49CFR Section 571.222 is impacted from any direction at twenty-two feet per second by the head form, the axial acceleration at the center of gravity of the head form shall be such that the head form impact requirement shall not exceed eight hundred. Furthermore, the commissioner shall have the power through rules and regulations to exempt certain design school buses from retrofitting. In granting such exemptions, the commissioner shall consider safety factors, structural integrity of the school buses and any other items deemed necessary to preserve the safety and welfare of the school bus passengers. Provided further however that the commissioner of transportation shall not authorize retrofitting of any school bus manufactured prior to April first, nineteen hundred seventy-seven.

  6. Regulations. The Commissioner shall establish by regulation standards for safety belts, safety belt anchorage assemblies, and the installation of safety belts in motor vehicles. The commissioner may also by regulation exclude certain motor vehicles or types of motor vehicles from the requirements of this section. The commissioner may prescribe the method of securing approval of safety belts.