Child Car Seat Laws By State





All 50 states and the District of Columbia have child restraint laws. Child restraint laws require children to travel in approved child restraint devices, and some permit or require older children to use adult safety belts. The age at which belts can be used instead of child restraints differs among the states. Young children usually are covered by child restraint laws, while safety belt laws cover older children and adults.

Because enforcement and fines differ under belt use and child restraint laws, it’s important to know which law is being violated when a child isn’t restrained. Most child restraint laws are primary, meaning police may stop vehicles solely for child restraint violations. Nebraska, Ohio, and Pennsylvania leave some children under a secondary enforcement law, meaning that police must have an additional reason to make a stop. Nebraska’s law is secondary only for those children who may be in safety belts and standard for those who must be in a child restraint device. Ohio’s law is secondary for children ages 4 through 14 years. In Pennsylvania, the law is secondary only for children ages 4 through 7 years who must be in booster seats.

Ideally, all infants and children in all vehicles should be covered by enforceable safety belt laws or child restraint laws or both. But differences in the way the laws in various states are worded result in many occupants, especially children, being covered by neither law. Lawmakers have eliminated most of these gaps by amending their child restraint and safety belt laws; still, 15-year-olds riding in the rear seat in Arkansas, Alabama and Ohio, children age 7 and older riding in the rear seat in Mississippi, and children age 13 through 15 riding in the rear seat in Oklahoma are covered by neither law. All children younger than 16 in the other 45 states and the District of Columbia are covered by one, or both laws.

6 Responses to “Child Car Seat Laws By State”

  1. http://tinyurl.com/rolllear45437 February 8, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    “Car Seat Laws by State | Height & Weight | Rear Facing
    & Boosters” was in fact a quite awesome article,
    . Continue creating and I will keep following!
    Thanks -Melba

    • nancy July 12, 2014 at 1:08 am #

      What is the hight and waight to be able to ride in a booster seat

  2. Lori McClain August 27, 2013 at 3:07 am #

    I actually have a question? In the State of Ohio can kids age 6-7 ride in the front seat in a Booster Seat or do they have to by law

    ride in the back seat ? Thank You for answering !

  3. margaret williams November 3, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    when can a child move from a car seat to a booster seat in a car or is it a weight that you go by I thought they had to weigh so much but just the age thank you so much Margaret willaims

  4. Sadie Gannon July 9, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    In the state of Illinois how old and or how many pounds does child have to be to discontinue with car seat or booster seat?

  5. Shelly Rainey November 28, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    I am a new Grandma not for sure how to know when the car seat is expired

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