Baby Car Seat Laws For Each State In The USA | Your Complete Guide

With over 50 states in the U.S, there are no blanket car seat laws for each state. Instead, each state has designed their own car laws when discussing car seat laws for children.

There are many different laws to be aware of, and it can often be confusing for those who are constantly traveling between states. Luckily, we’ve made this hard work easy for you, by combining a guide for the car seat laws in your state, and the states you’d be looking to visit with your children.

If you’re short on time, feel free to read our quick overview summarizing the baby car seat laws guide in the list below.

Quick Summary

  1. Each state has their own car seat laws for children, and differ between regions – so it’s important to be aware of these laws.
  2. Laws may be regulated by either size, age, or a combination of both, and this differs from each state.
  3. Fines apply if these laws are not met and you’re pulled over, so become familiar with these laws if you’re heading to a state with the upcoming holiday season approaching.
car seat buying guide - car seat types
USA Map of regions for baby car seat safety laws

Northeast Region

Northeast usa baby car seat safety laws

New England

Connecticut

When driving in CT, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. Until they reach a minimum of both 30 pounds and 2 years old, infants must remain in rear-facing seats.
  2. Until they reach 40 pounds and/or 5 years old, toddlers must remain in a forward-facing car seat with a 5 point harness.
  3. Until they reach both 8 years old and 60 pounds, children should ride in a booster seat, that must be equipped with a shoulder and lap belt.
  4. Children should ride in the back seat until they’re 13 years old

Maine

When driving in Maine, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. Children less than 12 months old should be riding in a rear-facing car seat, until the maximum height or weight limit by the car seat manufacturer is reached.
  2. Children between the weight of 40-79 lbs and less than 8 years old must ride in an approved child restraint system
  3. Children taller than 4”9’ that are no longer using their child restraint system must always wear a seat belt.
  4. Children under 12 years old and less than 100 lbs must be secured in the back seat of the vehicle.

New Hampshire

When driving in New Hampshire, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. All children from birth to the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing or convertible seat only, until height/weight limits of the seat designed by the manufacturer have been met.
  2. From the age of 2 to 6, or until the height/weight limit has reached the maximum limit in accordance with the car seat manufacturer, children must ride in a forward-facing harness. This can range from 40-90 lbs.
  3. From the age of 7 to 4”9’, your child must ride in a booster seat after outgrowing their harness car seat. Weight limits of booster seats, pending on the design, can reach up to 110 lbs.
  4. From the height of 4”9’, usually when your child is between 8-12 years old, a lap-shoulder belt should be used. This is to be used once your child can sit safely without a booster seat.

Rhode Island

When driving in Rhode Island, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. Infants and toddlers aged 2 and under and less than 30 lbs must ride in a rear-facing car seat in the back of the vehicle.
  2. For children aged 2 and older and above the height/weight limits of a rear-facing car seat, they must ride in a forward-facing car seat in the back of the car.
  3. Seat belt system in the back seat is required for any children under the age of 8 who is 4”9 and taller, or 80 lbs and above.
  4. Children can rise in any passenger seat using the vehicle’s seat belt system once they are over the age of 8 years old.

Vermont

When driving in Vermont, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. All infants under 1 year old and less than 20 lbs must be riding in a rear-facing car seat until the age of 2 years old.
  2. Until the age of 8 years old or the height/weight limits of the car seat manufacturer requirements have been reached, a child must remain in a front-facing car seat.
  3. Children can ride in the vehicle using the seatbelt system from the ages of 8 to 18 years old, with children riding in the backseat until they reach 13 years old.

Mid-Atlantic

New Jersey

Driving in New Jersey? These are the car seat laws you’ll need to be aware of:

  1. All children under the age of 2 years and 30 lbs should be seated in a rear-facing seat, equipped with a 5-point harness.
  2. Children under the age of 4 years and 40 lbs should be seated in a rear-facing seat until reaching the car seat manufacturer’s height or weight limits, followed by a forward-facing seat equipped with a 5 point harness
  3. Children under the age of 8 years of age and a height of 57” can be sat in a rear-facing, forward-facing or booster seat – provided they meet the height or weight limits of the car seat manufacturer
  4. All children over the age of 8 years of age and 57” in height must be properly secured by the vehicles’ seat belt system

New York

Driving in New York? These are the car seat laws you’ll need to be aware of:

  1. All children must be seated in a child restraint system until the age of 8 years old
  2. For children under the age of 2, a rear-facing car seat is required.
  3. For children under the age of 4, a forward-facing car seat is required.
  4. A booster seat is required for children over the age of 4 – 8 years old, until the weight limit of 40 lbs is reached
  5. Once children reach the age of 8 years of age, provided they’ve reached 80 lbs and 4”9’, they can use a seatbelt, only riding in the backseat.

Pennsylvania

Driving in Pennsylvania? These are the car seat laws you’ll need to be aware of:

  1. All children under the age of 4 must be restrained in an approved child safety seat anywhere in the vehicle.
  2. Children under 2 must be seated in a rear-facing car seat, until they’ve reached the maximum height and weight limit from the car seat manufacturer
  3. Children aged 4-8 years old must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat
  4. Children aged 8 and above must be secured using the vehicle’s seat belt system.

Midwest Region

Midwest usa baby car seat safety laws

Northeast Central

Illinois

If you’re driving in Illinois, you’ll need to abide by the car seat laws within the state. You can find these listed below:

  1. Infants from birth to the age of 1 or 20 lbs must ride in an infant-only car seat, and can also be secured in a rear-facing or convertible car seat in the rear-facing position.
  2. From the age of 1 or 20 lbs, to the age of 4 or 40 lbs, a child can be secured in a rear-facing car seat if the limits are yet reached, as well as a forward-facing car seat, or a convertible car seat in the forward-facing position.
  3. From the age of 4 or 40 lbs, to the age of 8, a child can be seated in a forward-facing seat, or a booster seat.
  4. From the ages of 8 to 12 years old, a child can be seated using a booster seat, or shoulder/lap seat belt.

Indiana

If you’re driving in Indiana, you’ll need to abide by the car seat laws within the state. You can find these listed below:

  1. All children under the age of 8 must be secured in a child safety or booster seat, in accordance with the weight/height limits of the car seat manufacturer.
  2. Children under the age of 1 and 20 lbs must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat. 
  3. Children that have reached the age of 1 and are at least 20 lbs can be secured in a forward-facing car seat that included an internal harness system.
  4. Children that weigh 30 lbs can use a booster seat, however forward-facing seats can be used until the weight of 40 lbs.
  5. Children between the age of 8 to 16 years old must be secured using the vehicle’s seat belt system.

Michigan

If you’re driving in Michigan, you’ll need to abide by the car seat laws within the state. You can find these listed below:

  1. From birth to the age of 3, a child must be secured in a rear-facing car seat, until the maximum height/weight limit of the car seat has been met.
  2. From the ages of 1 to 7, a child can be seated in either a rear-facing, forward-facing or convertible seat, provided they have not met the limits designated by the car seat manufacturer.
  3. Children aged 4 to 12 can be seated in a booster seat, until the respective limits designated by the car seat manufacturer has been met.
  4. Children aged 8 and above can be seated in the vehicle’s seat belt system
  5. If all available rear-facing car seats are occupied by children under the age of 4, a child can ride in the front of the vehicle in a rear-facing car seat, only if the airbag is switched off first.

Ohio

If you’re driving in Ohio, you’ll need to abide by the car seat laws within the state. You can find these listed below:

  1. All children up to the age of 15 must be secured in a child restraint system.
  2. From birth to the age of 4 or 40 lbs, a child must be seated in a rear-facing car seat, then onto the forward-facing car seat once the height/weight limits designated by the car seat manufacturer has been met.
  3. Booster seats are required for children under the age of 8 years old, and less than 4”9’.
  4. The seatbelt system provided by the vehicle is required for children between the ages of 8 to 15 years old.

Wisconsin

If you’re driving in Wisconsin, you’ll need to abide by the car seat laws within the state. You can find these listed below:

  1. Until a child has reached 1 year old and a weight of 20 lbs, they must ride in a rear-facing car seat, with the safest option for your children is a rear-facing car seat until the age of 2.
  2. Until a child has reached 4 years old and a weight of 40 lbs, they must ride in a forward-facing car seat with a 5 point harness.
  3. Until a child has reached either one of the following, 8 years old, 80lbs or height of 4’9”, they must ride in a booster seat.
  4. Children can be secured using seat belt once they’ve outgrown the car or booster seat, and ride in the back seat until the age of 13 years old.

Northwest Central

Iowa

Driving in Iowa? This is what you’ll need to know when securing your child in a car seat:

  1. Children under the age of 1 and a weight of 20 lbs and less must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.
  2. Children from the age of 1 to 6 must be secured in a child restraint system, which included a convertible, forward-facing and booster seat – as long as they’ve not exceeded the height or weight limits set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  3. Children ages 6 to 18 can be secured using a child restraint system, provided they haven’t exceeded the height or weight limits set out by the car seat manufacturer, or a seatbelt.

Kansas

Driving in Kansas? This is what you’ll need to know when securing your child in a car seat:

  1. From infancy to the age of 1 to at least 3, children must be seated infant-only or rear-facing car seats, as well as convertible or 3-in-1 car seats in the rear-facing position. 
  2. From children aged between 4 to 7 years of age, they’re required to ride in a booster seat until they reach the weight of 80 lbs or the height of 4’9”, or if a lap belt is available.
  3. Children aged 8 and above, or that have reached the height or weight limits described previously must be secured using a seat belt.

Minnesota

Driving in Minnesota? This is what you’ll need to know when securing your child in a car seat:

  1. Newborns to the age of 1 year and a weight of 20 lbs must be seated in a rear-facing seat (including a convertible, 3-in-1 in this position)
  2. Children from the age of 1 to 4 years of age must be seated in a forward-facing car seat, or a combination, convertible car seat in the forward-facing position.
  3. Once a child has outgrown the forward-facing car seat, they can be seated in a booster seat.
  4. Children aged 8 or a height of 4’9” can be secured using the vehicle’s seat belt system.

Missouri

Driving in Missouri? This is what you’ll need to know when securing your child in a car seat:

  1. Children must be secured in a child restraint system until the age of 4, regardless of height or weight.
  2. Children of any age until a weight of 40 lbs must be seated in a forward-facing car seat.
  3. Children between the ages of 4 to 6 and a weight of 40-80 lbs, and a height of 4’9” must be seated in a booster seat.
  4. Seatbelts are required for all children taller than 4’9” and a weight of 80 lbs.

Nebraska

Driving in Nebraska? This is what you’ll need to know when securing your child in a car seat:

  1. Children must be secured in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2, or the height/weight limit designated by the car seat manufacturer is met.
  2. Children must be secured in a forward-facing car seat until the age of 8 or the or the height/weight limit designated by the car seat manufacturer is met.
  3. Children are required to be seated in a booster seat until they’ve reached the height to be properly secured by a seat belt system, which is required for children between the ages of 8 and 18.

North Dakota

Driving in North Dakota? This is what you’ll need to know when securing your child in a car seat:

  1. All children younger than 13 should ride in the backseat of the car.
  2. Children should be secured in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2, or until the infant or rear-facing car seat size limits have been met, which are set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  3. From the age of 2 or for children who have outgrown the limits of rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats can be used, until the size limits allowed by the car seat manufacturer have been met.
  4. Booster seats are used once your child has outgrown the harness or size limits of the car seat. A child should be at least 40 lbs and 4 years old, and can be sat in a booster seat until they’ve reached 4’9”, or the seatbelt properly fits across them.

South Dakota

Driving in South Dakota? This is what you’ll need to know when securing your child in a car seat:

  1. From infancy to 1 year of age, children must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  2. Between the ages of 1 to 3 years, children must be secured in either a rear-facing car seat, or forward-facing car seat, provided they’ve exceeded the car seat manufacturer’s size limits for the rear-facing car seat.
  3. Children between the ages of 4 to 7 years of age should be secured using a forward-facing car seat with a 5 point harness, until the size limits of the car seat have been met.
  4. Between the ages of 8 to 12 years of age, a child can ride in a booster seat until they’ve exceeded the size limits of this seat set out by the manufacturer, to which they can then ride using a seat belt.

South Region

South USA baby car safety laws

South Atlantic

Delaware

Do you live or are planning to take a trip to Delaware? You’ll need to be aware of these car seat laws when doing so:

  1. Infants must ride in a rear-facing infant car seat until the age of 1 and a weight of 20 lbs, and can ride in these seats until the age of 2, provided they haven’t exceeded this weight.
  2. Forward-facing car seats are to be used until a child is 7 years old or reaches a weight of 65 lbs.
  3. Children can ride using a booster seat until they’ve reached a weight of 65 lbs or height of 4’9”, to which they can graduate to using a seatbelt, providing they sit in the back until the age of 12, or they’ve exceeded a height of 65”.

Florida

Do you live or are planning to take a trip to Florida? You’ll need to be aware of these car seat laws when doing so:

  1. Children must be secured in car seats through to the age of 5.
  2. Children between the ages of 0 to 3 must be seated in a rear-facing or forward-facing type of car seat.
  3. Between the ages of 4 to 5 years children must be secured within a booster seat.
  4. Children between the ages of 6 to 17 years must wear a seatbelt. 
  5. Unlike many states in the US, Florida car seat laws are dictated by age, rather than size limits.

Georgia

Do you live or are planning to take a trip to Georgia? You’ll need to be aware of these car seat laws when doing so:

  1. Children under the age of 8 years must ride in the back seat, with a child restraint car seat that is appropriate to both their height and weight.
  2. Once a child has reached the height ot 4’9”, they can ride using a seat belt – even if they have not yet reached 8 years old.
  3. Children weighing more than 40 lbs can ride using a lap-only belt instead of a child restraint car seat if this is all that is made available in the vehicle.

Maryland

Do you live or are planning to take a trip to Maryland? You’ll need to be aware of these car seat laws when doing so:

  1. Children under the age of 8 years of age must be secured in an appropriate child restraint, whether that be a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat, until they’ve reached the height of 4’9”.
  2. Children aged between 8 and 16 years of age must be secured using the car’s seat belt system, if they’ve outgrown the child restraint through height and/or weight.
  3. Children can ride in the front seat, as long as they’re not using a rear-facing car seat with an active airbag.

North Carolina

Do you live or are planning to take a trip to North Carolina? You’ll need to be aware of these car seat laws when doing so:

  1. A child can be secured in a front-facing car seat, provided they’ve met the minimum size requirements set out by the manufacturer, which is usually the age of 1 and a weight of 20 lbs. If they haven’t met these, a child must stay in a rear-facing car seat.
  2. A child can use a booster seat once they’ve outgrown the size limits of a forward-facing car seat, set out by the manufacturer. This is usually from the age of 4 or 5 years old.
  3. Once a child reached 8 years old or a weight of 80 lbs, they can use a properly fitted seat belt.
  4. Children can be seated in the front seat once they’ve reached the age of 5 and a weight of 40 lbs, however it’s recommended that they are kept in the back seat until the age of 12 or 13.

South Carolina

Do you live or are planning to take a trip to South Carolina? You’ll need to be aware of these car seat laws when doing so:

  1. Children must ride in rear-facing car seats from birth to the age of 2, or until they’ve exceeded the size limits set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  2. Children must ride in a forward-facing car seat with a 5 point harness from the age of 2, and until they’ve exceeded the size limits set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  3. For children aged 4 and older who have outgrown the size limits of the forward-facing car seat, they are able to use booster seats.
  4. For children aged 8 years of age or are at least 57” tall, the vehicle’s seat belt system can be used, providing it fits properly.

Virginia

Do you live or are planning to take a trip to Virginia? You’ll need to be aware of these car seat laws when doing so:

  1. Child restraint devices, rear-facing, forward-facing, etc, are required for children through to their 8th birthday.
  2. Children must ride in rear-facing car seats until the age of 2, or until they have exceeded the size limits set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  3. If the vehicle doesn’t have a back seat, a child car seat can be placed in the front passenger seat, only if the airbag has been deactivated or the vehicle doesn’t have one on this side.
  4. Children from the age of 8 to 18 years old must be properly fitted with a seat belt.

West Virginia

Do you live or are planning to take a trip to West Virginia? You’ll need to be aware of these car seat laws when doing so:

  1. All children under the age of 8 years must be fitted with a car seat that is properly fitted to them, whether it be a rear-facing, forward-facing or booster car seat.
  2. Once a child has reached 8 years of age, or height of 4’9”, they can use a seat belt.

Washington D.C

Do you live or are planning to take a trip to the capital? You’ll need to be aware of these car seat laws when doing so:

  1. All children under the age of 2, who weigh 40 lbs or have reached a height of 40” must be restrained in a rear-facing car seat.
  2. Children under the age of 8 must be secured in either an infant, convertible or booster child safety seat, in accordance with the car seat manufacturer’s size requirements.

Southeast Central

Alabama

When driving in Alabama, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. Until the age of 1 or a weight of 20 lbs, children must be seated in infant-only car seats, and convertible car seats in the rear-facing position.
  2. Until the age of 5 or a weight of 40 lbs, children must be seated in forward-facing car seats, including combination and convertible car seats.
  3. Until the age of 6, children can be seated in booster seats, and seat belts until the age of 15 years old.

Kentucky

When driving in Kentucky, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. All children aged 12 and younger should always ride in the back seat of the vehicle.
  2. Until the age of 1 or a weight of 20 lbs, children must be seated in infant-only car seats, and convertible car seats in the rear-facing position.
  3. Children must remain in a 5 point harness car seat until they’ve reached the age of 4 or a weight of 40 lbs.
  4. All children over the age of 8 and a height of 57” must be secured using a seat belt.

Mississippi

When driving in Mississippi, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. All children under the age of 4 must be secured in a properly fitted child car seat, whether it be a rear-facing, forward-facing, convertible or combination seat, in accordance with the car seat manufacturer’s size requirements.
  2. Children over the age of 4 to 7, who are taller than 4’9” or weigh less than 65 lbs must use a booster seat that meets safety standards.

Tennessee

When driving in Tennessee, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. Children under the age of 1 or a weight of 20 lbs must be secured in a rear-facing car seat, in accordance with the car seat manufacturer’s size requirements.
  2. Children between the age of 1 to 3 who weigh more than 20 lbs must be secured in a forward-facing car seat.
  3. Children between the age of 4 to 8 who measure less than 4’9” must be secured in a booster seat.
  4. Children between the age of 9 to 12 or those who measure more than 4’9” must be secured using a seat belt system.

Southwest Central

Arkansas

When driving in Arkansas, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. A child less than 6 years of age and a weight of 60 lbs must be restrained in a car safety seat, in accordance with the car seat manufacturer’s size requirements.
  2. A child who is at least 6 years of age or weighs 60 lbs and above can use the vehicle’s seat belt, providing they’ve outgrown the car seat manufacturer’s size requirements.

Louisiana

When driving in Louisiana, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. For children under the age of 2, a rear-facing car seat is required, whether it be an infant, convertible, or combination car seat in the rear-facing position.
  2. For children under the age of 4, a forward-facing car seat is required, providing they’ve outgrown the car seat manufacturer’s size requirements.
  3. For children between the ages of 4 to 8 and are less than 4’9”, a booster seat is required.
  4. Children above the age of 8 or taller than 4’9” may use the seat belt included within the vehicle.

Oklahoma

When driving in Oklahoma, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. A child must be secured in a rear-facing car seat until they’ve reached the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  2. Children under the age of 4 years old must be secured in either a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat until they reach the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  3. Children between the age of 4 to 8 and are less than 4’9” must be secured in either a child restraint system or booster seat.
  4. Children who are 8 or older or taller than 4’9” need to be secured using a seat belt.

Texas

When driving in Texas, the car seat laws for your children are as follows:

  1. Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a child passenger safety system, whether that is a rear-facing, forward-facing, convertible, combination or booster seat, providing they have not exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  2. Children over the age of 8 and/or a height of 4’9” may use the seat belt included with the vehicle.

West Region

West region USA baby car safety laws

Mountain

Arizona

Driving in Arizona? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. Infants to 12 years of age should be secured in a rear-facing seat, whether it’s a convertible, infant, combination of rear-facing car seat only.
  2. All children under the age of 8 and less than 4’9” must be restrained in a child restraint system, providing they haven’t exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.

Colorado

Driving in Colorado? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. Newborns to the age of 1 and a weight less than 20 lbs must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
  2. Children between the ages of 1 to 4 who weigh between 20 and 40 lbs must ride in either a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat.
  3. Children ages 4 and older or weigh more than 40 lbs must ride in either a booster seat or forward-facing car seat.
  4. Children over the age of 8 must be secured using the vehicle’s seat belt system.

Idaho

Driving in Idaho? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. All children under the age of 6 must be properly secured with the proper child safety restraint, whether it be a rear-facing, forward-facing, combination or convertible car seat,  providing they haven’t exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  2. If all the seatbelts are in use, a child can ride unrestrained in the back seat of the vehicle.

Montana

Driving in Montana? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. All children under the age of 6  and less than 60 lbs must be properly secured with the proper child safety restraint, whether it be a rear-facing, forward-facing, combination or convertible car seat, providing they haven’t exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.

Nevada

Driving in Nevada? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1.  Children under the age of 6 years and 60 lbs must be properly secured with the proper child safety restraint, whether it be a rear-facing, forward-facing, combination or convertible car seat,  providing they have not exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.

New Mexico

Driving in New Mexico? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. Children aged 7 years regardless of weight, and those less than 60 lbs regardless of weight must ride in a child safety seat.
  2. Children must remain rear facing until they are at least 1 and a weight of 20 lbs, however it’s recommended that children stay rear-facing as long as possible, until they’re at least 35 lbs.
  3. Children should ride in forward-facing car seats with a harness until they’ve exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  4. Children should ride in booster seats until the seat belt fits properly fits. Booster seats must be used with both lap and shoulder belts.

Utah

Driving in Utah? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. Children under the age of 8 are required to be properly secured with the proper child safety restraint, whether it be a rear-facing, forward-facing, combination or convertible car seat, providing they haven’t exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  2. Children younger than 8 years of age can use the seat belt if they’re at least 4’9”.

Wyoming

Driving in Wyoming? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. Children under the age of 9 are required to be properly secured with the proper child safety restraint, whether it be a rear-facing, forward-facing, combination or convertible car seat, providing they haven’t exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  2. Children over the age of 9 can use a booster seat or shoulder/lap seat belt once they exceed the size limits of their car seat.

Pacific Region

Alaska

Driving in Alaska? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. Children less than 1 year of age and a weight of 20 lbs must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.
  2. Children from 1 to 5 years of age who weigh more than 20 lbs can be secured in either a rear-facing, forward-facing, combination or convertible car seat, providing they haven’t exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  3. Children between 4 to 8 years of age who weigh more than 20 lbs but don’t exceed 65 lbs and are less than 57” can ride in a booster seat, or a forward-facing, combination or convertible car seat, providing they haven’t exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  4. Children between the ages of 4 to 8 that exceed 65 lbs and a height of 57” can ride using the vehicle’s seat belt.
  5. A child who has not met these height and weight limits but have reached 8 years of age can ride in a seatbelt, on the discretion of the driver.

California

Driving in California? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. A child under the age of 2 years must be restrained in a rear-facing car seat, unless they’ve exceeded a weight of 40 lbs or a height of 40”.
  2. Children under the age of 8 years can be secured in either a rear-facing, forward-facing, combination or convertible car seat, providing they haven’t exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  3. Children under the age of 8 who are 4’9” can use a seatbelt in the back seat.

Hawaii

Driving in Hawaii? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. Children under the age of 4 can be secured in either a rear-facing, forward-facing, combination or convertible car seat, providing they haven’t exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  2. Children between the age of 4to 8 are required to ride in a booster seat or alternative car seat.
  3. Children over 40 lbs or who are taller than 4’9” can be secured using a seatbelt, however must ride in the back seat.

Oregon

Driving in Oregon? Make sure you’re aware of these car seat laws first.

  1. Children must remain in a rear-facing car seat until they’ve reached the age of 2, or if the child is older than 2 but weighs less than 20 lbs.
  2. Children must be secured in a forward-facing car seat until they weigh 40 lbs.
  3. A booster seat is required for children under the age of 8 who weigh more than 40 lbs and are shorter than the height of 4’9”.
  4. A seatbelt is required for children who are aged 8 years of age, or who are taller than 4’9”.

Washington

Driving in Washington? Make sure you’re aware of these car safety laws first.

  1. All children under the age of 13 years old must ride in the backseat.
  2. Children younger than 8 years of age, (unless they are 4’9”), must ride in either a rear-facing, forward-facing, combination or convertible car seat, providing they haven’t exceeded the size limit set out by the car seat manufacturer.
  3. Children older than 8 years of age or who are taller than 4’9” can use a seat belt, or an appropriate car-seat, providing they haven’t exceeded the size limits set out by the car seat manufacturer.

Summary

You should now be aware of all the laws between the states of the U.S, so you can plan accordingly when traveling between the states, or if you’re unaware of the laws within your state – hopefully, this has assisted you.

There are many differing laws, so it’s important to become familiar with them all, and also to keep an eye on your state and any states you may travel to, as safety regulations can often change, and you don’t want to be caught out.

If you have any additional questions or some thoughts you’d like to share with other parents, please leave your comments below; we’d love to hear what you have to say.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Why isn’t there one set of laws for all the states within the U.S?
    Quite frankly, there are too many states for each to have set laws for each, and it’s much easier for each state to design and control their own laws based on their populations, terrains, and a number of other factors.

  2. Do different rules apply when traveling on highways/freeways?
    As each state is different, it’s important to locate your own state laws regarding different rules and terrains – however, there are some differences with each state and their regulations upon your use of car seats for your children.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email
Share on print
Brenda Williams

Brenda Williams

Hi, I'm the founder of Car Safety Hub, Brenda Williams. I'm a happily married mother and have 2 of the sweetest children you could imagine.

You may also enjoy these articles:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.