Car Seat Laws by State - Find your state car seat laws

What does your state law say about car seats?

This is the most up to date list of state car seat laws.
Updated annually so you can know your local car seat laws by state to maximize car safety for your kids.

Car seat laws vary by state which can be confusing, especially when traveling to different states. We’ve made it easier for you by researching and keeping a complete list of car seat laws for each of the 50 states of the U.S. (and more) here. We review each state’s laws annually and update them as changes are made.

We try to keep most of the legalese out and keep them easy to read and understand. Be aware other websites may simplify the language (and because they don’t know there are other belt positioning alternatives like the RideSafer) and just say “booster seat” for “booster aged” children though the law likely will say “child restraint system.”

Best practice recommendations and the law don’t always correlate when it comes to car seat laws.

Most parents and caregivers assume the law is the safest and what is recommended by safety experts. However, this is not always the case. States’ restraint laws are the result of compromises between the “best practice” recommendations of safety experts and provisions the legislators feel are practical, enforceable, and will be tolerated by the general public and their own constituents. Occupant restraint laws should be considered to be minimum standards. Best practice includes wearing a seat belt and using appropriate child restraints for children when riding in taxis even if taxis are exempt from the law which they are in many states. (States are listed as “Not Exempt” if I could not specifically find the exemption in the law.)Save Save Save Save Save Save Save Save

Find Your Car Seat Laws by State

Click on your state on the map below to see your state’s car seat law.
US territory laws and car seat laws for some common international destinations follow the US state car seat laws below.

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC
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Definitions for common terms:

Proper use – This means the car seat is being used based on instructions for that particular car seat. These instructions include installation, use child meets the size requirements.
Federal approval – This means the car seat meets the federals standards set in FMVSS 213. Car seat manufacturers self-certify that the car seat meets federal standards by crash testing the child restraint to ensure it meets certain crash criteria.
And/Or – If the law says “and” this means the child needs to meet both (or all) criteria set in the law. “Or” means the child can meet one criteria or the other.

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Alabama

Car Seat Law (32-5-222)

  • Law: Children through age 6 shall properly use an aftermarket or integrated child passenger restraint system which meets FMVSS 213 and use a size-appropriate restraint system which shall include the following:
    • Infant only seats and convertible seats used in the rear-facing position for infants until at least one year of age or 20 pounds
    • Convertible seats in the forward position or forward-facing seats until the child is at least five years of age or 40 pounds
    • Booster seats until the child is 6 years of age
    • Seat belts until 15 years of age
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children 3 to at least age 5. Then the law specifies a booster seat to age 6. However, first and foremost the law states children use an appropriate child restraint system that meets FMVSS 213, which the Ride Safer does, to age 6. This is an instance where in trying to be specific law makers make it sound as if other types of child restraints or following best practice (belt positioning until the child passes the 5-step seat belt fit test) aren’t allowed. We believe for the safety of your children, you should follow best practice to the best of your ability.
  • Fines: $25

Alabama car seat law last checked/updated 10/7/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants 15 years of age and older are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Alaska

Car Seat Law (Sec. 2. AS 28.05.095)

  • Law: Children under the age of 16 must be transported as specified:
    • Children less than one year old or less than 20 lbs must be properly secured in a federally approved rear-facing car seat. SR4K note: In other words the child must be one year AND 20 lbs to move to the next seat.
    • Children more than one year old but less than 5 years old, who weigh 20 lbs or more, the child must be properly secured in a federally approved child restraint device.
    • Children who are more than 4 years old but less than 8 years old, weigh more than 20 lbs but less than 65 lbs, and are less than 57 inches tall must ride in a properly secured booster seat or another federally approved child passenger restraint system.
    • If a child is more than 4 years old but not yet 8 years old but exceeds the height and weight requirements in the preceding paragraph, they may ride in a seat belt.
    • When the child is between 8 years old and 16 years old, if they do not exceed the height and weight requirements, the driver may decide whether it’s appropriate to let the child ride in the seat belt or continue using another federally approved child safety device.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50

Alaska car seat law last checked/updated 10/7/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $15
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Arizona

Car Seat Law (ARS 28-907)

  • Law: All children who are under eight years of age and who are not more than four feet nine inches tall are to be restrained in a correctly installed child restraint system.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50

Arizona car seat law last checked/updated 10/7/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants and all passengers younger than 16 years of age.
  • Fine: $10
  • RVs: RVs are exempt from the car seat law. All front and rear adult passengers require seat belts. Children 5 through 15 require seat belts.

Arkansas

Car Seat Law (Arkansas Code 27-34-104)

  • Law: Children under 15 years of age must be properly placed, maintained, and secured in a federally approved child passenger restraint system properly secured to the vehicle.
    • Children less than 6 years of age and less than 60 pounds are required to ride in an appropriate child safety restraint.
    • Children who are at least 60 pounds and at least 6 years of age (up to 15) can be sufficiently restrained in a vehicle safety belt.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25 to $100

Arkansas car seat law last checked/updated 10/7/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat laws apply.

California

Car Seat Law (Section 27360 – 27368 of the Vehicle Code of California)

  • Law: Children under the age of 8 must be secured in the back seat of the vehicle in an appropriate child passenger restraint system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
    • If the child is less than two years of age the child shall be properly restrained in a rear-facing child restraint system in a rear seat of the vehicle, unless the child is more than 40 pounds or 40 inches. (Effective Jan. 1, 2017)
    • Children under the age of 8 who are 4′ 9″ or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.
    • Children who are 8 years and over shall be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system or safety belt.
  • Positioning: Children must be in the back seat until age 8.
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $100 to $250

California car seat law last checked/updated 10/7/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $162
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Colorado

Car Seat Law (Colorado Revised Statue 42-4-236)

  • Law: Children up to 15 years old riding in a motor vehicle be properly secured as follows:
    • If the child is less than one year of age and weighs less than twenty pounds, the child shall be properly restrained in a rear-facing child restraint system in a rear seat of the vehicle.
    • If the child is one year of age or older, but less than four years of age, and weighs less than forty pounds, but at least twenty pounds, the child shall be properly restrained in a rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint system.
    • If the child weighs over 40 pounds or is at least four years old, the child shall be properly restrained in a child restraint system, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • A child who is at least eight years old but less than 16 must be properly restrained with a safety belt or child restraint system. Proper use of a safety belt means the shoulder belt, if present, crosses the shoulder and chest and the lap belt crosses the hips, touching the thighs.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $71

Colorado car seat law last checked/updated 10/7/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $71
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Connecticut

Car Seat Law (Sec. 14-100a (d) (1))

  • Law: Children 8 years of age and younger must be restrained as:
    • Children must remain in a rear-facing child restraint with a 5-point harness until they are two years or 30 pounds.
    • Children 5 years of age or younger but not younger than 2 or weighing less than 40 but not less than 30 pounds must use a rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint with a 5-point harness or booster seat pursuant to such regulations.
    • Children 8 year of age or younger but not under 5 or weighing less than 60 pounds but not less than 40 pounds are required to use a rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint with a 5-point harness or booster seat pursuant to such regulations.
    • A rear facing car seat shall not be used in the front seat of a vehicle.
    • A child 8 or older and weighing 60 pounds or more shall be restrained by an appropriate child restraint or seat belt.
    • Children 4 or younger weighing less than 40 pounds shall use an approved child restraint in a student transportation vehicle. Children 4 years of age or older riding in a student transportation vehicle must use an approved child restraint or seat belt.
    • When using a booster seat children must use a lap-shoulder seat belt.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The manufacturer spoke with numerous state agencies in Connecticut after the law was updated in 2017, which all referred to the DMV which stated as long as RideSafer conforms to the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR 571.213) as a child restraint system the product is legal as a harness system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) the Ride Safer Travel Vest is approved as a “harness” child restraint system in accordance with CFR 571.213. According to the CT-DMV the Ride Safer Travel Vest it is a legal device in the State of Connecticut. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: First offense driver received infraction; $199 for second offense

Connecticut car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts and passengers between ages of 8 and 16. If driver is under 18, all occupants must wear seat belt.
  • Fine: $75 for passengers younger than 18; $50 for all other occupants
  • RVs: Front occupants between ages of 8 and 16 are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Delaware

Car Seat Law (Title 21 Section 4803)

  • Law: All children must be properly restrained in a federally approved child safety seat appropriate for the child’s age, weight and height up to 8 years of age or 65 lbs.
    • Children who are at least 8 years of age or weigh 65 lbs but younger than 16 must be properly restrained in a vehicle’s seat belt.
  • Positioning: Children must be restrained in the rear seat until the child is 65 inches tall or 12 years old.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25

Delaware car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Drivers and all occupants over 16 are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Florida

Car Seat Law (316.613)

  • Law: Children must be properly restrained as such:
    • Children 3 and younger must be secured in a crash-tested federally approved child restraint device.
    • Children 4 through 5 must be secured by either a crash-tested federally approved child restraint device, integrated child seat or booster seat.
    • Children 6 and up must be secured with the vehicle seat belt (Statute 316.614).
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $60

Florida car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020 (a 2019 bill to update the state car seat law failed)

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts. All passengers younger than 18 are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $30
  • RVs: Front occupants and passengers ages 6-17 are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Georgia

Car Seat Law (O.C.G.A. § 40-8-76)

  • Law: Children under eight years of age in a passenger automobile, van, or pickup truck, other than a taxicab or a public transit vehicle shall be properly restrained in a child passenger restraining system appropriate for such child’s height and weight and approved by the United States Department of Transportation under provisions of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.
    • If your child reaches 4’9″ before age 8, he or she can legally ride in an adult seat belt.
    • Children who weigh more than 40 pounds can legally ride in a lap-only belt instead of a child restraint if that’s all that is available in the vehicle. A lap-only belt without a booster is also legal for children weighing at least 40 pounds if all other seating positions with lap and shoulder belts are being used by other children. In this case, though, parents should try to rearrange the placement of child restraints to ensure that each child is protected as much as possible.
  • Positioning: Children 8 years of age or younger must ride in the back seat. If the back seat is occupied by other passengers your child may ride in the front seat, provided he or she is secured in a booster or child safety seat.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50

Georgia car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants and passengers between 8 and 18 are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $15
  • RVs: Front occupants and passengers between 8 and 18 are required to wear seat belts. Children require child restraints.

Hawaii

Car Seat Law (HRS Section 291-11.5)

  • Law: Children under four years of age must be properly restrained in a child passenger restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards.
    • Children four years of age or older but less than eight years of age must be properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards unless the child is over 4 foot 9 inches tall or more than 40 pounds and using a lap-only belt in the back seat in which cases the child must use the vehicle’s seat belt (or a RideSafer vest with tether strap).
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $100

Hawaii car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $45 plus $20 surcharge
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Idaho

Car Seat Law (title 49 Chap 6 Section 49-672)

  • Law: Children age 6 and younger must be properly secured in a child safety restraint that meets the requirements of federal motor safety standard number 213. Unless:
    • All of the motor vehicle’s seat belts are in use at which time the unrestrained child must be in the rear seat of the vehicle, if there is one.
    • Or if the child is removed from the safety restraint and held by an attendant for the purpose of nursing or to meet another immediate physiological need. Please remember both exceptions pose a risk not only to the unrestrained child but to all other occupants in the vehicle in the event of a crash.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $79

Idaho car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $10; $51.50 for drivers under 18
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Illinois

Car Seat Law (625 ILCS 25/4 Child Passenger Protection Act)

  • Law: Children under the age of 8 years shall be secured in an appropriate child restraint system. Child restraint system meaning any device which meets the standards of the United States Department of Transportation designed to restrain, seat or position children, which also includes a booster seat.
    • Children must remain in a rear-facing seat until they are 2-years-old unless the child is at least 40 pounds or 40 inches tall.
    • Parents of children under the age of 8 shall provide an appropriate child restraint system to any other person who transports their child.
    • Children weighing at least 40 pounds may sit in the back seat of a vehicle with a lap-only belt if there is not a lap-shoulder belt available.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $75

Illinois car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants and children ages 8 to 16 are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants and children ages 8 to 16 are required to wear seat belts. Children require child restraints.

Indiana

Car Seat Law (IC 9-19-11)

  • Law: Children less than 8 years of age must be properly restrained in a child restraint system, according to the child restraint manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Children over 40 pounds can use a lap belt if a lap/shoulder belt is unavailable.
    • Children between the ages of 8 and 16 must be restrained with a child restraint or vehicle’s seat belt.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25

Indiana car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Iowa

Car Seat Law (IOWA CODE 321.446)

  • Law: Children up to 6 years old must be secured in a child restraint system in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. Specifically:
    • Children under 1 year old and weighing less than 20 lbs. must be secured in a rear-facing child restraint system in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. (A “child restraint system” is a specifically designed seating system, including a belt positioning seat (or booster seat) that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards — this should be indicated somewhere on the seat itself.)
    • A child from age 6 but under 18 must be secured in a child restraint system or by a safety belt or safety harness.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $195

Iowa car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $127.50
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts. RVs are exempt from the car seat law unless the child is in the front passenger seat.

Kansas

Car Seat Law (KSA 8-1343)

  • Law: Children under the age of four shall be restrained in an appropriate child passenger safety restraining system that meets or exceeds FMVSS 213.
    • Children older than four but younger than 8 and who weigh less than 80 pounds or is less than 4’9″ in height shall be restrained in an appropriate child passenger safety restraining system that meets or exceeds FMVSS 213.
    • Children older than 8 shall be restrained in a vehicle’s seat belt.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $60

Kansas car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts. All passengers 14 to 17 years old.
  • Fine: $30; $60 for passengers ages 14 to 17
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat laws apply.

Kentucky

Car Seat Law (KRS 189.125)

  • Law: Children 40 inches tall or less shall be properly secured in a child restraint system which meets FMVSS 213.
    • Children under the age of 8 who is between 40 and 57 inches tall shall be properly secured in a child booster seat that is designed to elevate the child to properly fit in the federally approved vehicle lap and shoulder seat belt.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds. For “booster age children” the intent of the law is to make sure the seat belt is properly fitted to the child which as a belt-positioning device. The Ride Safer vest performs as a belt-positioning device with a lap-shoulder seat belt. If the interpretation of the law is strictly that a booster seat must be used for children 4 to 8 years old, it would be illegal to transport a child over 4 years of age in a 5-point harness seat although the harness seat would be safer.
  • Fines: $50 for child restraint; $25 for booster seat

Kentucky car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Louisiana

Car Seat Law (RS 32:295)

  • Law: All children under the age of 18 must be properly secured according to vehicle and child safety seat manufacturer’s instructions as follows:
    • Children younger than age 2 must be restrained in a rear-facing child restraint system that complies with federal standards until the child reaches the weight or height limit of the child restraint system as set by the manufacturer.
    • Children who are at least 2 or older who have reached the rear-facing weight or height limits of child restraint system must be restrained in a forward-facing restraint system with internal harness until the child reaches the weight or height limit of the child restraint system as set by the manufacturer.
    • Children who are at least 4 years of age and who have outgrown the forward-facing weight or height limits of child restraint system shall be restrained in a belt-positioning child booster seat secured with a lap-shoulder belt according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Children who are at least 9 years of age and who have outgrown the weight or height limits of belt-positioning child booster seat shall be restrained with the vehicle’s seat belt adjusted and fastened around the child’s body to fit correctly. The adult seat belt fits correctly when (5-step fit test):
      • the child sits all the way back against the vehicle seat,
      • the child’s knees bend over the edge of the vehicle seat,
      • the seat belt fits snugly across the child’s thighs and lower hips (not abdomen)
      • the shoulder belt snugly crosses the center of the child’s shoulder and chest
    • A child who because of age could be placed in more than one category shall be placed in the more protective category.
  • Positioning: Children who are younger than 13 must be transported in the rear seat of the vehicle, when available.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds. The Ride Safer is a child restraint with an internal harness system. The vest itself is a harness and it is crash tested as a harness system with the tether strap and lap-only seat belt per standards in FMVSS 213. RideSafer works more as a belt-positioning device with the lap-shoulder with or without the tether. Since the RideSafer with lap-shoulder belt and tether restrains 4 points of the body, it would be more protective than a booster seat which only has 3 contact points on the body. The RideSafer can usually be used until the child can pass the 5-step seat belt fit test.)
  • Fines: $100

Louisiana car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020 (new state car seat law went into effect August 1, 2019)

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $50 for first offense
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Maine

Car Seat Law (MRS 2081)

  • Law: Children shall be properly restrained as:
    • Children under 2 years of age shall be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint system or convertible child restraint in a rear-facing position in accordance with the manufacturer’s and vehicle instructions. If the child has outgrown the recommended weight for the convertible seat in a rear-facing position, the child can be in a forward-facing position.
    • Children older than 2 but less than 55 pounds must be secured in a child restraint system in accordance to the manufacturer’s and vehicle instructions.
    • Children less than 80 pounds, shorter than 57 inches and less than 8 years of age must be secured in a belt positioning seat (booster or RideSafer) in accordance with the manufacturer’s and vehicle instructions.
    • All other children younger than 18 must be secured in a seat belt.
  • Positioning: Children under 12 years old and who weigh less than 100 lbs. must be properly secured in the back seat of the vehicle, if possible.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50 for first offense

Maine car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020 (changes went into effect 9/19/19)

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $50
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Maryland

Car Seat Law (22–412.2)

  • Law: Children under the age of 8 years in a motor vehicle shall be secured in a child safety seat (defined as intended to restrain, seat or position a child being transported and certified that it meets applicable federal safety standards) in accordance with the child safety seat and vehicle manufacturers’ instructions unless the child is 4 feet, 9 inches tall or taller.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50

Maryland car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $50
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Massachusetts

Car Seat Law (Chapter90/Section7AA)

  • Law: Children under the age of 8 shall be fastened and secured by a child passenger restraint, unless the child measures more than 57 inches in height. The child passenger restraint shall be properly fastened and secured according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25

Massachusetts car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Michigan

Car Seat Law (Section 257.710d and Section 257.710e(3b))

  • Law: Children less than 4 years of age in a motor vehicle shall properly secure that child in a child restraint system that meets the standards prescribed in 49 CFR 571.213 (aka FMVSS 213) in the rear seat, if the vehicle is equipped with a rear seat. (If all available rear seats are occupied by children less than 4 years of age or if there is no rear seat, then a child less than 4 years of age may be positioned in the child restraint system in the front seat, including a rear-facing child restraint system if the front passenger air bag is deactivated.)
    • Children who are between the ages of 4 and 8 years old AND are less than 4 feet, 9 inches tall must be properly secured in a child restraint system.
  • Positioning: Children under 4 should be in a rear seat if possible.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $10 for children under 4; $25 for children ages 4 to 8 and under 57″

Michigan car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020 {There was a bill being considered to make changes to the law in 2017-2018 but it appears it was not passed all the way through to become law at this time.}

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat laws apply.

Minnesota

Car Seat Law (169.685-Subd. 5)

  • Law: All children under age 8 must ride in a child passenger restraint system which meets federal motor vehicle safety standards, unless the child is 4’9″ or taller. Restraints must be installed and used according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50

Minnesota car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Mississippi

Car Seat Law (MCA 63-7-301)

  • Law: Children under the age of 4 year must be protected by properly using a child passenger restraint device or system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
    • Children at least 4 years of age but less than 7 and who measure less than 4’9″ or weigh less than 65 pounds shall use a belt positioning booster seat system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt (as far as I can find)
  • RideSafer legal: Yes, the RideSafer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds. Seems questionable for children ages 4 to 7, law says “belt positioning booster seat system that meets applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. While RideSafer is not a booster, it does function as a belt positioning seat and meets federal motor vehicle safety standards as a harness restraint. An option could be to use the RideSafer for it’s additional point of contact and energy absorbing materials with the Delighter booster by the same manufacturer. Of course, if followed to the letter, this Mississippi law would also make it illegal for children 4 and older to continue using a safer forward-facing 5-point child restraint, even if they still fit appropriately.
  • Fines: $25

Mississippi car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants and children ages 4 to 7 are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat law applies.

Missouri

Car Seat Law (RSMo 307.179)

  • Law: Children must be properly restrained as specified:
    • Children less than four years of age, regardless of weight, shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for that child.
    • Children weighing less than forty pounds, regardless of age, shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for that child.
    • Children at least four years of age but less than eight years of age, who also weigh at least forty pounds but less than eighty pounds, and who are also less than four feet nine inches tall, shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat appropriate for that child.
    • Children at least eighty pounds or children more than four feet, nine inches in height shall be secured by a vehicle safety belt or booster seat appropriate for that child.
    • A child who otherwise would be required to be secured in a booster seat may be transported in the back seat of a motor vehicle while wearing only a lap belt if the back seat of the motor vehicle is not equipped with a combination lap and shoulder belt for booster seat installation.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50

Missouri car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants and children 8 to 16 are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $10; $50 for passengers age 8 to 15
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat law applies.

Montana

Car Seat Law (61-9-420)

  • Law: Children less than six years of age who weigh less than 60 pounds must be restrained with a child safety restraint appropriate for the child’s weight and height as indicated by manufacturer standards.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The RideSafer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $100

Montana car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $20
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Nebraska

Car Seat Law (60-6,267)

  • Law: All children up to age eight must be transported using a correctly installed child passenger restraint system which meet FMVSS 213 standards and in a rear seat.
    • Children put to two years of age shall use a rear-facing child passenger restraint system until the child outgrows the system per manufacturer’s maximum allowable height or weight.
    • Children ages eight and over up to age eighteen must ride secured in an occupant protection system.
  • Positioning: Children 7 and younger must be in rear seat.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25

Nebraska car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020; changed to increase age from 6 to 8 and add rear-facing to 2 go went into effect Jan. 1, 2019

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat law applies.

Nevada

Car Seat Law (NRS 484B.157)

  • Law: Children who are less than 6 years of age and who weigh 60 pounds or less shall be secured in a child restraint system which has been federally approved, is appropriate for the size and weight of the child and is installed within and attached safely and securely to the motor vehicle in accordance with the instructions for installation and attachment provided by the manufacturer of the child restraint system; or in another manner that is approved by the NHTSA.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $100 to $500 for first offense

Nevada car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

New Hampshire

Car Seat Law (RSA 265:107-a)

  • Law: Children under 7 or under 57 inches shall be properly fastened and secured by a federally-approved child restraint system.
    • Children up to age 18 who are not otherwise in a child restraint must wear seat belt.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50 for first offense

New Hampshire car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: No seat belt law.
  • Fine: Not applicable.
  • RVs: Occupants up to 18 years old; children require child restraints.

New Jersey

Car Seat Law (NJSA 39:3-76.2a)

  • Law: Children must ride secured in a child restraint system or booster seat as described in FMVSS 213 in the rear seat of the vehicle.
    • Children under the age of 2 and who weigh less than 30 pounds shall be secured in a rear-facing child restraint equipped with a 5-point harness.
    • Children under the age of 4 and weighing less than 40 pounds must be secured in a rear-facing child restraint system equipped with a 5-point harness (until the child outgrows the top height or top weight recommendations of the child restraint) or in a forward-facing child restraint equipped with a 5-point harness.
    • Children under the age of 8 and less than 57 inches tall must be secured in a forward-facing child restraint equipped with a 5-point harness (until the child outgrows the top height or top weight recommendations of the child restraint) or in a booster seat.
  • Positioning: Children under the age of 8 and less than 57 inches should ride in back seat, if available.
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds. See our notes regarding this law and the RideSafer here. NJ State Police and NJ Attorney General’s office confirm the RideSafer is legal in the state of NJ because it’s certified under FMVSS 213.
  • Fines: $75

New Jersey car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $46
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

New Mexico

Car Seat Law (66-7-369)

  • Law: Children less than 18 years of age shall be properly secured in a child passenger restraint device or a seat belt as follows:
    • Children less than one year shall be secured a in federally approved rear-facing child passenger restraint device in the rear seat (if there is no rear seat, the passenger seat airbag must be turned deactivated).
    • Children 1 to 4 years of age or children who weigh less than 40 pounds shall be properly secured in a federally approved child passenger restraint device.
    • Children 5 through 6 or who weigh less than 60 pounds shall be secured in either a child booster seat or an appropriate federally approved child passenger restraint device.
    • Children 7 through 12 shall be properly secured in a child passenger restraint device or seat belt.
    • Children can be secured in an adult seat belt when they pass the 5 step test.
  • Positioning: Children younger than 1 year in a rear-facing child restraint must be in the rear seat.
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The RideSafer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25

New Mexico car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

New York

Car Seat Law (Section 1229-c, search child restraint then choose 1229-c)

  • Law: Children must remain in an appropriate child restraint system until the age of eight (8). An appropriate child restraint system is one that meets the child’s size and weight and the specifications of the manufacturer of such system. A child restraint system may be a child safety seat, harness, vest or a booster seat. Specifically:
    • Children under the age of four must be restrained in a specifically designed seat which meets FMVSS 213 and is either permanently affixed or affixed with a seat belt.
      • The child restraint shall be rear facing if the child is under the age of 2 unless the child exceeds the weight and height recommendations set by the manufacturer of the rear-facing seat.
    • Children under four but more than 40 pounds must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system installed with a lap-shoulder belt or a lap-only belt in the event there is not an available lap-shoulder belt in the vehicle.
    • Children four or older but younger than 8 must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system.
    • Children 8 through 16 must be restrained using a lap-shoulder belt.
  • The vehicle’s safety belts are not defined as a child restraint system under this law, as safety belts are not designed for children under 4’9″ and, therefore, do not protect young children.
  • Children under the age of four must be restrained in a federally approved car seat while riding on a school bus.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The RideSafer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds. The under age of four section suggests that, since technically it’s not a “seat”, a child would have to be 4 years old or 40 pounds to use the RideSafer in New York. But also, according to this language, technically parents would not be allowed to install a car seat with LATCH as it says the seat has to be “affixed to such vehicle with a safety belt.” The RideSafer is a terrific, light-weight, easy-to-use choice for children who travel in taxis or car services starting at age 3.
  • Fines: $100

New York car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts. (Effective 11/1/2020)
  • Fine: $50
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

North Carolina

Car Seat Law (G.S. 20-137.1)

  • Law: Children less than age 16 to be properly restrained in an age, weight, and height appropriate restraint:
    • A child less than eight years of age and less than 80 pounds in weight shall be properly secured in a weight-appropriate child passenger restraint system which meets federal standards.
    • If no seating position equipped with a lap and shoulder belt to properly secure the weight-appropriate child passenger restraint system is available, a child less than eight years of age and between 40 and 80 pounds may be restrained by a properly fitted lap-only belt. This is a good situation when a RideSafer with a tether strap would be most useful.
    • When a child reaches age 8 or 80 pounds, a properly fitted seat belt can be used in place of a car seat or booster seat.
  • Positioning: Children less than 5 and 40 pounds must be secured in the rear seat of the vehicle, unless the child restraint system is designed for use with air bags.
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25

North Carolina car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25.50; $10 for rear seat violations
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

North Dakota

Car Seat Law (Code Chapter 39-21-41.2)

  • Law: Children under 8 years of age must correctly use a child restraint based on manufacturer instructions.
    • If the child is younger than 8 but at least 57 inches tall (4′ 9″) the child can correctly use the seat belt.
    • Children ages 8 to 17 must be properly secured in a seat belt or child restraint, if needed.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25

North Dakota car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $20; $25 for passenger younger than 18
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat laws apply.

Ohio

Car Seat Law (4511.81)

  • Law: Children up to age 4 or less than 40 pounds be restrained in a child restraint system that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.
    • Children ages 4 to 8 years of age and less than 4 foot 9 inches in height are required to be in a booster seat that meets Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. (This is addressed in our comments below.)
    • Children at least 8 through 15 years of age must be properly restrained in a child restraint system or in an Occupant Restraining Device as described below.
      • An Occupant Restraining Device is defined as seat safety belt, shoulder belt, harness, or other safety device for restraining a person that satisfies the minimum the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. 4513.263
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The RideSafer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds. Seems questionable for children ages 4 to 8. If we (and law enforcement) were to strictly interpret this law as it is written, every child who is over four years old and over 40 pounds who is less than eight years of age and less than 4 feet nine inches in height would be required to be in a booster seat even though there are many conventional 5-point harness car seats rated by their respective manufacturers to properly restrain children who weigh over 40 pounds regardless of age. Are we to assume that the legislative intent is to require the use of a less safe booster even for these children who would be considered “properly restrained” in a 5 point harness? Safe Kids Ohio also interprets it as “booster seat or other appropriate child safety seat.” The RideSafer Travel vest, by the definition of the Ohio revised code 4513.263, IS an Occupant Restraining Device. The RideSafer vest has been crash tested to meet the federal standards which are outlined in (FMVSS 213) and performs well. The challenge that we are facing is that the vest is a relatively new concept (certified for use in the USA since 2004) and the legislatures do not know there is technology that is newer than, and in some ways better than, the protection offered to children by “booster seats”.
  • Fines: $75

Ohio car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $30 for driver; $20 for passenger
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat laws apply.

Oklahoma

Car Seat Law (47.11-1112)

  • Law: Children under eight (8) years of age shall properly use a child passenger restraint system which meets the federal standards as set by FMVSS213.
    • Children must be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system until the age of 2 or until the child reaches the weight or height limit of the child restraint whichever occurs first
    • Children under 4 years old must be secured in a child passenger restraint system.
    • Children from 4 to 8 years of age who are less than 4’9” tall need to be restrained in a child restraint system or booster seat.
    • Children who are 8 or older or taller than 4’9” need to be restrained with a seat belt.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50

Oklahoma car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/20; changes may come this year that will require children to be properly buckled in the back seat

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $20
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat laws apply.

Oregon

Car Seat Law (ORS 811.210(2)) [You’ll have to scroll down the page a ways]

  • Law: Children must be properly restrained as specified:
    • Children must remain in a rear-facing child restraint until they are two years of age, regardless of weight, or if a child is older than two but weighs 20 pounds or less.
    • Children who weigh 40 pounds or less must be properly secured with a child safety system that meets the minimum standards and specifications established by the Department of Transportation under ORS 815.055 [which simply describes child restraint systems which meet FMVSS 213 standards] for child safety systems designed for children weighing 40 pounds or less.
    • Children who weigh more than 40 pounds and are 4’9″ or shorter must be properly secured with a child safety system that elevates the person so that a safety belt or safety harness properly fits the person. As used in this paragraph, “properly fits” means the lap belt of the safety belt or safety harness is positioned low across the thighs and the shoulder belt is positioned over the collarbone and away from the neck.
      • Unless the rear seat of the vehicle is not equipped with lap-shoulder belts, then the child may be secured with a lap belt
      • OR if the child is properly secured with a child safety system that meets ORS 815.055 (see above) for children weighing more than 40 pounds.
    • Children who are taller than 4’9″ or 8 years of age must be properly secured with a safety belt or safety harness.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. As a certified child restraint that meets or exceeds FMVSS-213 crash test requirements since 2004, the RideSafer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds. Although the law states children who weigh more than 40 pounds must be elevated as in a booster seat, it also clearly states in subsection (3)(b) — as seen above in second exception bullet — as long as a child is properly secured in a child safety system which meets FMVSS 213 (such as the RideSafer) this requirement does NOT apply.
  • Fines: $110

Oregon car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $130
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Pennsylvania

Car Seat Law (Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S. 4581)

  • Law: Children must be properly restrained as specified:
    • Children under 2 years of age shall be securely fastened in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system, to be used until the child outgrows the maximum weight and height limits designated by the manufacturer, as provided in subsection (d).
    • Children under 4 years of age shall be securely fastened in a child passenger restraint system as provided in subsection (d).
    • Children 4 years of age but younger than 8 years of age shall be securely in a fastened safety seat belt system and in an appropriately fitting child booster seat, as provided in subsection (d).
    • (d) Standards.–
      • (1) A child passenger restraint system shall be used as designated by the manufacturer of the system in motor vehicles equipped with seat safety belts and shall meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (49 C.F.R. § 571.213).
      • (2) A child booster seat shall be used as designated by the manufacturer of the system in motor vehicles equipped with seat safety belts and shall meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (49 CFR § 571.213) that is designed to elevate a child to properly sit in a federally approved safety seat belt system.
      • A “booster seat” is described in 49 CFR 571.213 as backless child restraint system or a belt-positioning seat.
    • Additional clarifications are included in the Pennsylvania Code (the official codification of rules and regulations issued by Commonwealth agencies) Chapter 102.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The RideSafer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds. Using the above definition for booster seat, the RideSafer Travel Vest also qualifies for children in “booster age” range.
  • Fines: $75

Pennsylvania car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants and passengers under age 18 are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $10
  • RVs: Front occupants and passengers under age 18 are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Rhode Island

Car Seat Law (Section 31-22-22)

  • Law: Children under the age of eight (8), less than fifty-seven (57) inches in height and less than eighty (80) pounds shall be properly restrained in a child restraint system approved FMVSS 213.
    • All infants and toddlers under the age of two (2) or weighing less than 30 pounds shall be restrained in a rear-facing car seat.
    • All children two your of age or older or who have outgrown their rear-facing car seat by height or weight should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness up the maximum allowed by the child restraint manufacturer.
    • If the child is under eight (8) years old but at least fifty-seven (57) inches in height, or at least eighty (80) pounds the child shall be properly wearing a safety belt and/or shoulder harness in any rear seating position of the motor vehicle.
    • Children more than eight (8) years but under eighteen (18) years of age in any seating position within a motor vehicle shall be properly wearing a safety belt and/or shoulder harness system.
  • Positioning: Children younger than 8 must sit in the rear seat, if available.
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $85; $40 for children between 8-17

Rhode Island car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $40
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat laws apply.

South Carolina

Car Seat Law (Title 56 Chapter 5 Article 47 SECTION 56-5-6410)

  • Law: Children under the age of 8 must be restrained as follows:
    • Children from birth to 2 years old must be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system which meets federal standards in the rear vehicle seat until the child exceeds the height or weight limit allowed by the manufacturer of the child restraint being used.
    • Children at least 2, or under if they’ve outgrown their rear-facing seat, must be secured in a forward-facing child passenger restraint system with a harness in the rear vehicle seat until the child exceeds the height or weight limit allowed by the manufacturer of the child restraint being used.
    • A child at least 4 years old who has outgrown their forward-facing child passenger restraint system seat must be secured by a belt-positioning booster seat secured in a rear seat of the vehicle with a lap-shoulder belt until they can meet the height and fit requirements for an adult safety seat belt.
    • A child at least 8 years of age or at least 57 inches tall may be restrained in an adult safety belt if the child can be secured properly as follows:
      • the lap belt fits across the child’s thighs and hips and not across the abdomen;
      • the shoulder belt crosses the center of the child’s chest and not the neck; and
      • the child is able to sit with his back straight against the vehicle seat back cushion with his knees bent over the vehicle’s seat edge without slouching. (see also 5-step seat belt fit test, most children do not properly fit the seat belt until sometime between the ages of 10 and 12)
    • For medical reasons that are substantiated with written documentation from the child’s physician, advanced nurse practitioner, or physician assistant, a child who is unable to be transported in a standard child passenger safety restraint system may be transported in a child passenger safety restraint system designed for their medical needs.
    • Any child restraint system of a type sufficient to meet the physical standards prescribed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at the time of its manufacture is sufficient to meet the requirements of this article (including the RideSafer).
  • Positioning: Children under the age of 8 must sit in the rear seat, if available.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $150

South Carolina car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

South Dakota

Car Seat Law (32-37-1)

  • Law: Children under 5 years of age shall be properly secured in a federally approved child restraint system according to manufacturer’s instructions.
    • The requirements of this section are met if the child is under 5 years of age and at least 40 pounds by securing the child in a seat belt. (This is by NO means best practice. Most children should remain in some sort of child restraint until a much older age. Children typically don’t safely fit a vehicle’s seat belt until somewhere between 8 and 12 years old, most importantly when they reach 4’9″ tall.)
    • Children between the ages of 5 and 18 must wear a properly adjusted seat belt
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt (as far as I can tell)
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25

South Dakota car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $20; $25 for passenger younger than 18
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat laws apply.

Tennessee

Car Seat Law (T.C.A. 55-9-602)

  • Law: Children must be properly restrained as specified:
    • Children under the age of 1 or weighing 20 pounds or less shall properly use a federally approved child passenger restraint system in a rear-facing position in a rear seat.
    • Children ages 1 to 3 and weighing more than 20 pounds shall properly use a federally approved child passenger restraint system in a forward-facing position in the rear seat.
    • Children ages 4 to 8 and measuring less than 4’9″ shall be properly restraint in a federally approved belt-positioning booster seat system in the rear seat or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.
    • Children ages 9 to 12 or any child measuring 4’9″or more in height should be secured in a seat belt in the rear seat.
    • Children ages 13 to 15 must be secured in the vehicle seat belt.
  • Positioning: Children 8 and younger and less than 57 inches must be in rear seat, if available. Rear seat is recommended for children ages 9 to 12.
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The RideSafer travel vest, federally approved child restraint system, qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds. Technically if you follow the “law” to the letter, you would not be following best practice. We believe for the safety of your children, you should follow best practice to the best of your ability. If you follow the link to the law posting on the state website, you’ll find notes about it being OK to use best practice recommendations ie. if the child restraint has a higher rear-facing weight limit, you can continue to rear face. Since most lawmakers have not been informed about the RideSafer there are no notes specifically in reference to it.
  • Fines: $50

Tennessee car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $30
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat laws apply.

Texas

Car Seat Law (Sec. 545.412 Texas Transportation Code)

  • Law: While the Texas Department of Public Safety often uses the language “booster seat” in their description of the law for “booster”- age children, the actual child car seat law states:
    • Any child younger than 8 years of age must be secured in a child passenger safety seat system according to the instructions of the manufacturer of the safety seat system. (Paragraph number f1 describes “child passenger safety seat system” as an infant or child passenger restraint system that meets the federal standards for crash-tested restraint systems as set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)
    • In such a case as a child is under 8 years of age but at least 4’9″ in height, the child may use the vehicle seat belt.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25

Texas car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants and passengers under age 18 are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25-$50; $100-$200 for passenger younger than 18
  • RVs: Front occupants and passengers under age 18 are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Utah

Car Seat Law (Title 41 Chapter 6a Section 1803 of Utah Code)

  • Law:While the Utah Safety Council states the law correctly, they use the language “booster seat” in their answers to their FAQs. Paragraphs ii and b states:
    • The operator of a motor vehicle operated on a highway shall provide for the protection of a person younger than 8 years of age by using a child restraint device to restrain each person in the manner prescribed by the manufacturer of the device.
    • Children younger than 8 are not required to be in a child restraint if they are at least 57 inches tall. At that point, they should use the lap-shoulder belt.
    • Children ages 8 to 16 are required to wear a seat belt.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $45

Utah car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $45
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Vermont

Car Seat Law (23 V.S.A. § 1258)

  • Law: Every occupant under age 18 must be properly restrained in a federally-approved child passenger restraining system or a federally-approved safety belt, as follows:
    • Children under the age of one or weighing less than 20 pounds shall be restrained in a rear-facing position, properly secured in a federally-approved child passenger restraining system, which shall not be installed in front of an active air bag.
    • Children who weigh more than 20 pounds and who are over the age 1 but under the age 8, shall be restrained in a child passenger restraining system.
    • Children age 8 up to 18 years of age shall be restrained in a safety belt system or a child passenger restraining system.
  • Positioning: Children under the age of 1 must be in the rear seat, if available, and if in front must have airbag turned off.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $25 for first violation

Vermont car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Virgina

Car Seat Law (Code of Virginia Article 13 – Section 46.2)

  • Law: Children through the age of seven (until age 8) must be restrained with a child restraint device.
    • Children must use a rear-facing child restraint until the child reaches two years of age or the child reaches the weight or height limit of the rear-facing child restraint device as prescribed by the manufacturer of the such device, whichever occurs later.
    • Safety seats must be properly used and approved by Department of Transportation standards (FMVSS 213).
    • Children 8 years of age to 18 must be restrained using a vehicle seat belt.
    • Children can no longer ride unrestrained in the rear cargo area of vehicles.
  • Positioning: Rear-facing child restraint devices must be placed in the back seat of a vehicle. In the event the vehicle does not have a back seat, the child restraint device may be placed in the front passenger seat only if the vehicle is either not equipped with a passenger side airbag or the passenger side airbag has been deactivated.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50

Virginia car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: Front occupants are required to wear seat belts; car seat laws apply.

Washington

Car Seat Law (RCW 46.61.687)

  • Law: Children must be properly restrained as specified:
    • Children must be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint system until age 2 or until they reach the upper weight or height limit of the restraint as set by the manufacturer. Children may remain in a rear-facing child restraint past the age of 2 until the child reaches the upper weight or height limit of the restraint.
    • Children who are not properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint and is under the age of 4 must be properly secured in a child restraint forward-facing with a harness until the child reaches the weight or height limit of the restraint as set by the manufacturer. Children may remain in a forward-facing harness child restraint past the age of 4 until the child reaches the upper weight or height limit of the restraint.
    • Children who are not properly secured in a rear-facing or forward-facing harness child restraint and who is under 4’9″ tall must be properly secured in a booster seat. (“Child booster seat” is described as a type of child restraint system; a backless child restraint system or a belt positioning system is a child booster seat provided it meets the FMVSS 213.)
      • Children may remain in a booster seat until the seat belt fits properly (see 5-step fit test) which is typically between the ages of 8 and 12.
    • Child restraint and booster seat systems must comply with federal standards and be used per the car and car seat manufacturers’ instructions.
  • Positioning: Children under 13 years old be transported in the back seat where it is practical to do so.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The RideSafer Travel Vest qualifies for children 3 and older. Per the RideSafer manufacturer, “The RideSafer vests will continue to be compliant with Washington’s law. We are a legal harness system, meet the legal definition of ‘harness’ and will continue to be categorized in section b.”
  • Fines: $124

Washington car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $124
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Washington DC

Car Seat Law (DC Code section 50-1703)

  • Law: The operator of a motor vehicle shall not transport any child under 16 years of age unless the child is properly restrained in an approved child safety restraint system or restrained in a seat belt.
    • Children under 2 years of age, who weighs less than 40 pounds or who measures less than 40 inches in length, must be properly restrained in a rear-facing child restraint seat.
    • Children under 8 years of age shall be properly seated in an installed infant, convertible (toddler) or booster child safety seat, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. (A booster seat shall only be used with both a lap and shoulder belt.)
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $75

Washington DC car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $50
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

West Virginia

Car Seat Law (17C-15-46)

  • Law: Children under the age of eight years shall be properly secured in a child passenger safety device system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
    • Children under the age of 8 and at least 4’9″ tall shall be sufficiently secured by the vehicle’s seat belt.
  • Positioning: Not specified
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $20

West Virginia car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: Front occupants and passengers under age 18 are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: Front occupants and passengers under age 18 are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Wisonsin

Car Seat Law (Chapter 347.48.4)

  • Law: Children younger than 8 years old shall be properly restrained as follows or in a vehicle seat belt:
    • Children less than one year old or weighs less than 20 pounds shall be properly restrained in a federally approved rear-facing child safety restraint system positioned in the back seat of a vehicle, if the vehicle has a back seat.
    • Children who are at least one year and weighs at least 20 pounds but is less than 4 years old or weighs less than 40 pounds must be restrained as mentioned in section 1 — in a federally approved rear-facing — or a federally approved forward-facing child safety restraint system in the back seat of a vehicle, if the vehicle has a back seat.
    • Children who are at least 4 years old and at least 40 pounds but less than 8 years old and weighs less than 80 pounds and is not more than 57 inches tall shall be properly restrained as mentioned in section 2 —in a federally approved forward-facing child safety restraint systemor a child booster seat.
  • Positioning: Children younger than 4 ride in the back seat, if available.
  • Taxi: Exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $175.30 passengers under 4 years, $150.10 passengers 4 to 7 years

Wisconsin car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $20; $25 for passenger younger than 18
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

Wyoming

Car Seat Law (31-5-1303)

  • Law: Children age 8 and younger must be properly secured in a child safety restraint system in a seat of the vehicle other than the front seat unless the vehicle only has one row of seats or if all the seat belt positions in the rear are being used by other restrained children. No rear facing infant seat shall be placed in front of an active airbag.
    • Children 8 or younger may use the vehicle seat belt if the lap and shoulder belt fits properly across the collarbone, chest and hips of the child and the belts do not pose a danger to the neck, face or abdominal area of the child in the event of a crash or sudden stop.
  • Positioning: Children under the age of 8 are required to be in the back seat, if available.
  • Taxi: Not exempt
  • RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.
  • Fines: $50 for first violation

Wyoming car seat law last checked/updated 10/10/2020

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: All occupants are required to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $25 for driver; $10 for passengers
  • RVs: All occupants are required to wear seat belts; children require child restraints.

U.S. Territories Car Seat Laws

American Somoa

  • Any child under age four must be in a car seat.
  • Any child older than four must wear a safety belt.

Guam — (30-33)

  • Children younger than 4 be secured in a child restraint system which meets federal standards and is used within manufacturers guidelines while in transit.
  • Children ages 4 to 11 — who are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall — must be secured in a booster seat or other appropriately fitting child restraint system.

Northern Mariana Islands

  • Any child under age five or less than 70 pounds must be in a car seat.
  • Any child older than five or more than 70 pounds must wear a safety belt.

Puerto Rico

  • Children under 12 years old must travel in the back seat of a car
  • Children under four years use an appropriate child restraint
  • Children between 4 and 8 must be properly restrained. Some sites say in a booster seat and some said in a booster seat or other appropriate restraint, since I was unable at this time to find the text of the actual law I’m unclear as to the correct language.
  • All occupants must be properly restrained.

U.S. Virgin Islands — (20 VIC 466)

  • Children under the age of 13 should be protected by properly being secured in an approprirate child restraint system as:
    • Children under 1 and 20 pounds must be rear facing in the rear seat of the vehicle.
    • Any child under age five and 40 pounds must use a child restraint system that meets FMVSS 213 standards.
    • Children who have outgrown a forward-facing car seat should use a booster seat up to 8 years old and 4’9″ tall.
    • Children under 13 must always sit in the rear seat of vehicles with air bags wearing a seat belt.

Car seat laws for other common international destinations

Car seat standards and laws vary every where you venture. From non-existent to only allowing car seats that country’s certification even for tourists. While very similar car seats differ from location to location as well. For instance, EU standards require a child be elevated and the car seat (labeled with a capital E in a circle) be able to be fully released with one step. Where as US has an additional clip at the chest to hold the harness straps.

In our years of experience as certified car seat technicians, we’ve never had a parent tell us they were cited for using their US certified car seat in another country when they were visiting as a tourist. Many car seat sites and forums share stories of traveling abroad with their usual car seat with no problems, even renting cars and going through check points. We wish you many happy and safe travels with your children.

Australia

  • Australia only permits seats that are approved by Australia or New Zealand, even for short term visitors. Enforcement among tourists is unknown. Rumor has it the requirement “is enforced in Victoria (Melbourne) and New South Wales (Sydney) even if your seat is considered perfectly safe in the US or Europe.”
  • Children under 7 are required to be properly secured in a child restraint that meets Australian safety standards.
    • Children under 6 months must use a rear-facing child restraint with an built-in harness in the rear seat.
    • Children 6 months to 4 years old must use a rear-facing or forward-facing child restraint with an built-in harness in the rear seat.
    • Children 4 to 7 years old must use a forward-facing child restraint with an built-in harness or a booster seat. They are legally permitted to sit in the front row, but only when the other rear seats are occupied by children under the age of seven.

Denmark and the Netherlands

  • Children must be properly restrained into an age-appropriate child restraint until they are 135 cm tall.
  • Children can ride in the rear seat of a taxi without a restraint — or wearing an adult seat belt if they are 3 or older — if the driver doesn’t provide an appropriate seat.

France

  • Children less than 10 years or less than 135 cm in height must use approved child restraint.
  • Taxis are legally exempt but it is still recommended to use a child restraint.

Germany

  • Children less than 12 years of age who are less than 150 cm tall must ride in a proper child restraint.
  • Taxis are not exempt so riders should bring their own child restraint or call ahead for a taxi with a child restraint.

Greece

  • Children under 3 years old must use a suitable child restraint (approved to ECE R44/03or later).
  • Children between 3 and 11 years old and less than 1.35m tall must use a suitable child restraint.
  • From the age of 12, children more than 1.35m tall can wear an adult seat belt.

Iceland

  • Children under 3 years old must use a suitable child restraint.
  • Children over 3 years of age and under 1.5m tall must use a suitable child restraint.
  • Children must not ride in the front passenger seat if there is an active airbag present.

Ireland

  • All children under 150cm (4ft 11in) in height or 36kgs (79lbs) in weight must use an appropriate child-restraint system.
  • Taxi drivers are exempt from supplying child car seats.

Israel

  • Babies aged up to 1 year must be seated in an appropriate rear-facing seat not opposite an active air bag.
  • Children from 1 – 3 must be seated in an appropriate forward-facing car seat not opposite an active air bag.
  • Children between 3 – 8 must be seated in a booster seat not opposite an active air bag.
    • According to Safe Kids Israel, the RideSafer is permitted. “If the product is certified according to the American or European standard (European – ECE// ECE R44/04 or American FMVSS 213), then the product is permitted for use in the country. From our familiarity with the product, it is indeed certified in the US and can be used here.”
  • All older occupants are required to use a seat belt.

Italy

  • Children less than 150cm in height, regardless of the weight or age of the children, must use an appropriate child restraint.
  • Taxis are exempt from child restraint requirements.

Mexico

  • Children up to 12 months or less than 13 kg (29 lb) are required to ride in a properly secured rear-facing child restraint in the back seat.
  • Children from age 1 to age 4 are required to be properly secured in a forward-facing child restraint.
  • From age 4 to age 6, children are required to travel in the back seat with a high back booster and lap-shoulder belt.
  • Children from 6 to 12 and shorter than 1.45 meters (4’9”) must travel in the back seat using a booster seat, which may be backless, and lap-shoulder belt.
  • All older occupants are required to properly use a seat belt at all times.
  • The child restraint system must have a standardized certification.
  • Taxis are not exempt. Taxi passengers are expected to use appropriate child restraints.

New Zealand

  • Children up to 7 years old must be properly secured in an approved child restraint.
  • Children from age 7 to age 8 must be properly secured in an approved child restraint if one is available in the vehicle (and if not, in any child restraint or safety belt that is available).
  • From age 8 to age 14, children must use safety belts if available. If not available, they must travel in the back seat.
  • Children over age 14 must use safety belts where they are available.
  • If you’re bringing a child restraint with you into New Zealand it must comply with one of the following approved standards:
    • the joint Australia/New Zealand standard AS/NZS 1754
    • the American standard FMVSS 213. The restraint must also show the New Zealand Standard ‘S’ mark.
    • the European standard shown by E3 (or another number depicting the European country).

Singapore

  • Anyone, irrespective of their age (yes, that means adults too), below the height of 1.35m (4’5”) will require to be secured with a child restraint appropriate for a person of that height and weight. The height of an individual was found to be more suitable in deciding the proper fitting of seat belts compared to one’s age.
  • Those with a height of 1.35m and above, irrespective of their age, will require wearing a seat belt. The law also notes that pregnant women are NOT exempt.
  • Adults below the height of 1.35m shall use booster seats or approved adjustable seat belts properly positioned to lower the risk of injury in the event of an accident.
  • Taxis are exempt. Children or persons below the height of 1.35m shall only ride in the rear of the taxis.

South Africa

  • Infants (children from birth to 3) are required to use an appropriate child restraint which complies with SABS 1340 and bear a certification mark or approval mark in all vehicles except a minibus or bus operating for reward.
  • Children age 3 to 14 (unless the child is taller than 1.5 meters) is required to use an appropriate child restraint. If no child restraint is available, the child must use a seat belt. If no seat belt is available, the child must sit in the rear seat.

Spain

  • Children less than 135 cm tall are required to be properly restrained in a child restraint installed in the rear seat.
  • In taxis children are not required to use child restraints in city areas, but child restraints are required outside of the city.

Sweden

  • Children up to approx. 3 years old must use a rear-facing child restraint placed in either a front or back seat. A rear facing baby seat may only be used in the front seats if the air-bag has been deactivated.
  • Children aged under 15, or under 1.35m in height, must use an appropriate child restraint.
  • A child aged 15 and over, or above 1.35m in height, may use an adult seat belt.
  • A child less than 1.40m tall is permitted to travel in the front seat of any vehicle only if the passenger seat airbag is deactivated.
  • They are permitted to travel unrestrained in the rear of a taxi if the right child restraint is not available.

United Kingdom

  • Children are required to use an appropriate child restraint until they’re 12-years old or 135cm (4ft 5in) tall.
    • Although it’s not the law, safety experts in the UK encourage you to use a child car seat for all children under 150cm/4ft 11 inches.
  • Children can ride in the rear seat of a taxi without a restraint — or wearing an adult seat belt if they are 3 or older — if the driver doesn’t provide an appropriate seat. We suggest you always use a proper child restraint for children in taxis.

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