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Car Booster Seat Laws by State.

car booster seat

Car Booster Seat Laws by States.

It is important that you know the local Car Booster Seat Laws. Knowing these rules maximizes the safety of your kid during your road trips . The car seat laws keep varying from state to another. Furthermore, the car seat laws undergo frequent updates.  For this reason, many people are not usually familiar with the car seat laws. Car seat laws is among the factors to consider even before buying that booster seat.

The constant updating and the variation from state to state make the car seat laws a little confusing. But you have nothing to worry about. I will review the laws from the different states. Read on to maximize the safety of your kids, and to be on the safe side of the law.

  1. Alabama

All children through age six are required to be properly secured in an integrated or an aftermarket child passenger restraint system. The restraint system must meet FMVSS 213. Besides, the restraint system should be size-appropriate and include

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:

  • Convertible seat for the inverts. which are used in the rear-facing position for the toddlers. Thee toddlers should be placed in the rear facing position until they are at least 20 pounds or until they are one year old.
  • The convertible seat should be used in a forward facing position until the kid is 40 pounds, or until they are at least 5 years old.
  • Booster seats are usable until the child turns six years old
  • The seat belts are to be utilized until the child is 15 years old.

 

  1. Alaska

The Alaska Car seat laws require children less than a year or less than 20 pounds to be secured in a federally approved rear-facing seat.

Children who are aged between 1 and 5 years, or weigh more than 20 pounds must be secured in a federally approved children device.

A booster seat or a federally approved child passenger restraint system may be used for kids who are aged between 4 and 8 years. However, the kid must be 57 inches or less, weigh more than 20 pounds but less than 65 pounds.

If the child fits the age brackets mentioned in the above paragraph, but exceeds the weight and height requirements, they may ride secured in a seatbelt.  When child hits 8 years old, but they have not attained the height and the weight mentioned in the above paragraph, it’s upon the driver to decide whether or not it’s safe for the child to ride in car seat belt. But when they find it unsafe, they may opt to continue using the federally approved child safety device.

  1. Arizona

All children who are less than 8 years old should be secured in a properly installed child restraint system. The same applies for children who are less than 4 ft 9’’ tall.

In case you do not have enough to install several child restraint system in your car, the Arizona Car seat laws is accommodative for you. It requires that at least one kid is secured in properly in a proper restraint system. This can be very unsafe for the unsecured kids, but it is included in law anyway.

  1. Arkansas

All children who are below 15 years old must be properly secured, and maintained in a federally approved child passenger restraint system.  The restraint system should be properly installed to the vehicle.

Children below 6 years and weighing less than 60 pounds are supposed to ride in an approved child safety restraint.

Children who are at least 60 pounds heavy, and are between 6 to 15 years can be safely secured in the car’s safety belt.

  1. California

Children who are below 8 years are to be secured in the back seat of the car. They should be secured using an approved child passenger restraint system. The restraint system should meet the requirements of the federal motor vehicle safety standards.

All children that are two years or below should be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint system in the rear seat of the car. This rule may be exempted in case the child is 40 inches or 40 pounds.

Children below 8 years who are 4′ 9″ or taller may be properly restrained by a safety belt in the back seat of the car.

Children who are 8 years and older should be properly secured in an approved child passenger restraint system. Alternatively, the safety belt may be used.

  1. Colorado

A driver in Colorado does not have to have another offence to be stopped. Violation of the Child passenger safety laws alone is enough to have a driver pulled over. This is because the laws are a primary enforcement action in Colorado.

The child passenger safety laws are defined as follows:

  • If the child is less than a year, and is less than 20 pounds, they shall be restrained in a child restraint system, and a rear-facing position.
  • Children between 1 and four years, but less than 40 pounds shall be restrained either in the forward-facing position, or in the rear facing position in the child restraint system.
  • If the child is over 40 pounds heavy, or is at least 4 years old, the child shall be secured in the child restraint system, while strictly following the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Children of at least 8 years but less than 16 must be properly secured by a seat belt or a child restraint system. The shoulder belt must pass the chest and the shoulder, while the lap belt should touch the thighs and cross the hips.
  1. Connecticut

The Connecticut Car seat law requires that all children below two years or less than 30 pounds to be secured in a rear-facing position in a child restraint with a 5-point harness.

Children who are less than five years but more than 2 years, or weighing more than 30 pounds but less than 40 pounds shall use either a rear-facing or forward facing child restraint. A 5-point harness or a booster seat is required.

No rear-facing seat shall be used in the front seat of the car. All child secured in the rear-facing position shall strictly be in the back-seat.

Children who are 4 years or younger  and are 40 pounds heavy or less shall be required to use an approved child restraint system in any student transportation vehicle. If the child is 4 years or older, they must use a seat belt or a child restraint.

Children who are 8 years or older and weighing 60 pounds or more shall be secured using an appropriate seat belt or a child restraint.

  1. Delaware

All children shall be properly secured in federally approved child safety appropriate for their age, height and weight. This law applies to all kids who are 8 years or less or less than 65 pounds.

Children who are above 8 years, but less than 16 years should be secured using the vehicle’s seat belt.

Children should be maintained in the back seat until they are 12 years old or 65 inches.

  1. Florida

All children who are 3 years or younger should be properly secures in a crash-tested federally approved child restraint device.

Children between 4 and 5 years shall be secured by a booster seat or a crash-tested federally approved child restraint device.

  1. Georgia

All children under the age of 8 years shall be restrained in a child passenger restraining system when travelling in a van, pickup truck, and a passenger automobile. Public transit vehicles and taxicabs are exempted.

The child passenger restraining system must be approved by the United States Department of Transportation under provisions of Federal motor vehicle safety standard 213.

Children eight years or younger must be maintained in the back seat.  In case the back seat is fully occupied, the under 8 child may ride in the front seat, under the condition that they are in a child safety seat or a booster.

If the child hits 4’9’’ before they turn 8, they can legally be secured in an adult seat belt.

Another exemption is when the child has a medical or physical condition that hinders you from restraining them according to the set laws. However, a written statement from a doctor is required to prove that the kid should be exempted from the set laws.

Children who weigh more than 40 pounds are allowed to drive with a lap-only belt. It should however, straddle the laps and the hips properly. A lap-only belt can be used in case the child restraint systems do not fit the car. However, if the parent is riding more than one kid, it is recommended that they make arrangements to ensure all kids are properly secured.

  1. Hawaii

All children under the age of four must be secured in a child passenger restraint system that has been approved by the federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Children between four years and 8 years must be secured in a child safety seat or a car booster. These should meet or exceed the set federal motor vehicle safety standards.

If the child is above4’ 9’’, or more than 40 pounds, they can be secured by just a lap-only belt, but strictly in the back seat.

  1. Idaho

All children age six and below should be secured in a child safety restraint which meets or exceeds the standards of the federal motor safety standard number 213.

Unrestrained children should be maintained in the back seat.  They can also remain unrestrained when they are in their attendant’s arms, especially for the purpose of nursing.

  1. Illinois

All children under 8 years must be restrained in an approved child restraint system.  The device must meet the set standards of the United States Department of Transportation. The device is designed to include a booster seat, and to restrain the children in a safe sitting position.

The parents of any 8 year old or below child are responsible for provision of a child restraint system to anyone else who transports their child.

Children weighing more than 40 pounds are allowed to use a lap-only belt, if a lap-shoulder belt is not available. However, they have to be maintained in the back seat.

  1. Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota and Massachusetts

All children under the age of 8 years must be restrained in child restraint system.  The manufacturer’s instructions have to be followed strictly when restraining the child in the device.

Children between 8 and 16 years shall be secured using the vehicle’s seat belt, or with a child restraint system.

  1. Iowa

A child under 1 year or who is less than 20 pounds should be secured in a rear-facing position. Here, the drivers are also required to secure the baby while strictly adhering to the manufacturer’s instruction.

The child restraint system must meet the federal motor vehicle safety standards. This is supposed to be included somewhere on the seat.

A child between 1 and 6 years should be secured in a child restraint system, while adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions.

A child between 6 and 18 years old must be secured using the vehicles seat belt or a child restraint system.

  1. Kansas

Children below the age of 4 years should be restrained in a child passenger safety restraining system that meets or exceeds FMVSS 213.

And Children between 4 and 8 years, who are less than 4’9’’ or 80 pounds, shall be properly restrained in a child passenger safety restraining system that meets or exceeds FMVSS 213.

As well Children who are older than 8 can be secured using the car’s seat belt.

  1. Kentucky

All children who are 40 inches or shorter shall be secured using a child restraint system. The restraint system meets or exceeds FMVSS 213.

Children below the age of 8, and is between 40 and 57 inches must be properly secured in a child booster seat. Children below 7 years, who are 40 to 50 inches tall shall be secured in a child booster seat designed to properly raise the child to fit in the federally approved vehicle lap and shoulder seat belt.

  1. Louisiana

Children age below six years, or weighing less than 60 pounds must be restrained in a child restraint system. That is appropriate for the size, weight, height and the age of the child. While securing the child in the system, the manufacturer’s instruction should be followed strictly.

A child younger than one year should be secured in a rear-facing position.

Child who is between one and four years, and is more than 20 pounds shall be secured in a forward-facing child safety seat.

A child age between 4 and 6 years, or weighs 60 pounds or more shall be restrained with the vehicles’ safety belt.  The safety belt should be fastened and adjusted around the child’s frame.

Child, who fits n more than one category discussed above, shall be secured in the safest position for them.

  1. Maine

Children less than 40 pounds shall ride in a child safety seat that meets the federal standards.

Those Children weighing 40 to 80 pounds, and are less than 8 years old shall ride in a federally approved child restraint system.

Children below 12 years, and weighing less than 100 pounds shall be maintained in the back seat.

And Children aged between 8 and 18 years old, and are 4’9’’ taller must be properly secured using the vehicle seat belt.

  1. Mississippi

Children less than 7 years shall ride in a well-fitting child restraint at all times.

For Children less than 4 years must be secured using a child passenger restraint device that meets the federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Children between 4 years and 7 years, who are less than 4 feet 9 inches tall, or are less than 65 pounds, shall use a belt positioning booster seat system that meets applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

  1. Missouri

Children less than 4 years, regardless of their weight, must be secured in child passenger restraint system appropriate for their weight and height.

For Children weighing less than 40 pounds shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system appropriate for the child.

Child passenger restraint system shall be used to secure children of at least 4 years but less than 8 years, who weigh more than 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds, and who are shorter than 4’9’’.

A child who is required to use a booster seat may be transported in the back seat of the car, secured using a lap belt only.

  1. Montana

Children less than 60 pounds, and less than 6 years must be transported in a child restraint system. The manufacturer’s instructions should be followed strictly.

  1. Nebraska

All children less than 8 years must be transported using a properly installed child passenger restraint system which meets FMVSS 213 standards.  Besides, they should be maintained in a rear seat.

Children below two years shall be secured in a rear-facing position, until they can no longer use the system as per the manufacturer’s height and weight requirements.

Children between 8 and 18 years must be transported while secured in an occupant protection system.

  1. Nevada

Children who are less than 6 years old and less than 60 pounds. Must be secured in a child restraint system.  The system has to be federally approved, and appropriate for the weight and height of the kid according to the manufacturer.  The manufacturer’s instructions have to be followed strictly while installing the system.

  1. New Hampshire

All children shorter than 57 inches tall or 7 years old shall be properly secured using federally-approved child restraint system.

  1. New Jersey

All children must be fastened in a child restraint system as stated in FMVSS 213. They should also be maintained in the back seat of the car.

Children less than 2 years, weighing less than 30 pounds. Must be fastened in a rear-facing position, with a 5-point harness.  Children under 4 years can be restrained either in a rear-facing position, or forward-facing position.

For Children below 8 years and less than 57 inches. Must be fastened in  forward facing position child restraint with a 5-point harness.

  1. New Mexico

Children less than a year old must be fastened in a federally approved rear-facing child passenger restraint device, strictly in the rear seat.  In case there is no rear seat, the airbad of the passenger seat must be deactivated.

And Children less than 40 pounds, or 1 to 4 years old. Shall be secured correctly using a federally approved child restraint device.

Children between 5 and 6, or less than sixty pounds. Can be secured using either a booster seat, or a federally approved child restraint device.  Children who successfully pass the 5-stp test can be secured using an adult’s seat belt.

  1. New York

A child must be secured in a restraint system that is appropriate for their height and weight until they are 8 years old.  Their height and weight should match the manufacturer’s instructions.

Children less than 4 years must be secured in a seat that meets FMVSS 213. The seat can be secured using a seat belt, or be permanently affixed.

Children less than 2 years old shall be secured in a rear-facing position, until they outgrow the restraint system, according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

In case the child is less than 4, but more than pounds, they must be restrained in an appropriate restraint system reinforced by a lap-shoulder belt, or just a lap belt in case there is no lap-shoulder belt in the car.

Children between 4 and 8 years must be restrained in a child restraint system that is appropriate for their height and weight.

All children between 8 and 16 years must be secured in a lap-shoulder belt.

The car’s safety belts are not designed for children shorter than 4’9’’. Securing the kid using the car’s belt offers minimal protection.

Taxis and public buses are exempted from these laws. However, it is ideal to use a child restraint system in a taxi.

Children under four years should be restrained in federally approved car seat while being transported on a school bus.

  1. North Carolina

Children under four years, or less than 40 pounds must be restrained in an appropriate child restrained system.

Children under 8 years, or less than 80 pounds shall be restrained in a properly installed weight appropriate child passenger restraint system.  A child weighing between 40 and 80 pound may be properly secured using a correctly fitting lap belt.

Children less than 400 pounds, or less than 5 years shall be maintained in the rear seat of the vehicle, unless the child restraint system was designed to be used in the airbags.

  1. North Dakota

Children under 8 years must use a child restraint system, while strictly adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions.

If the child is at least 57 inches, but younger than 8 ears, they can be secured correctly using the seat belt.

Children between 8 and 17 years must be restrained using a secure seat belt, or a child restraint system.

  1. Ohio

Children less than 4 and less than 40 pounds. Must be secured using a child restraint system which is approved by the Federal Motor Vehicle Standards.

for Children below 8 years, and less than 4’9’’. Should use a booster seat that meets Federal Motor Vehicle safety standards. .

Children between 8 and 15 years. Must be correctly restrained in a child restraint system or in an occupant driving device.

  1. Oklahoma

Children under the age of 8 shall be secured in a child passenger restraint system, which meets FMVSS 213 set standards.

Children should be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system until they turn 2, or until they out grow the restraint system.

All under 4 years children must be secured in a child passenger restraint system.

A booster seat or a child restraint system may be used for kids who are 4 to 8 years old, or who are shorter than 4’9’’ tall.

  1. Oregon

A child should be fastened in the rear-facing child restraint until they are two years. They should always be fastened in the position regardless of their height and weight. However, if the child turns 2 and is still below 20 pounds, they will still have to be fastened in the rear-facing position.

Children weighing below 40 pounds must be secured properly using a child safety system that has been approved by the standards and specifications set by Department of Transportation under ORS 815.055.

If the child is more than 40 pounds but less than 4’9’’, they should be secured by a child safety system that raises them so that they can properly fit in the seat belt.

Children taller than 4’9’’or older than 8 years must be secured using a safety harness or a safety belt.

  1. Pennsylvania

All children under the age of 2 must be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system. The rear-facing position is to be used until the kid outgrows the system, as per the instructions given by the manufacturer.

Children under 4 years old shall be securely fastened in a child passenger restraint system.

Children under 4 years of age but younger than 8 years shall be fastened in an fitting child booster seat.

  1. Rhodes Island

All children under the age of 8, and less than 57 inches or 80 pounds. Shall be properly be secured in a child restraint system that has been approved by FMVSS 213.

All toddlers below 2 years or less than 30 pounds shall be secured in a rear-facing car seat. In case the kid outgrows the rear-facing car seat before they turn two, they can be secured in forward-facing car seat with a harness.

If the child is below 8 years, or shorter than 57 inches, or at least 80 pounds. They can be secured using a safety belt or a shoulder harness.

Children above 8 years but less than 18 years sitting anywhere within the motor vehicle. Must properly fasten a seat belt or a shoulder harness system.

  1. South Carolina

Children less than 2 years old should be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system which meets the federal standards in the rear vehicle seat. The child should be maintained in this position until they outgrow the restraint system.

If the child out-grows the rear-facing child restraint system, or when they are at least 2 years old, they must be restrained in a forward-facing child passenger restraint system which has a harness in the rear seat of the vehicle. They shall be maintained in this position until they exceed the weight and height specified by the manufacturer.

Children of at least 4 years, or those who have outgrown the forward-facing child passenger restraint system shall be secured using a belt-positioning booster seat in the rear seat of the car. They shall be secured using a lap-shoulder belt until they meet the requirements of using the adult seat belt.

Children of at least 8 years and at least 57 inches tall may be secured using an adult safety belt.

While securing children using an adult seat belt. The lap belt should properly fit across the child’s thighs, never across the abdomen. The shoulder belt should pass at the center of the child’s chest, never across the neck.  Besides, the posture of the child should not be slouching. The child’s back should be straight against the back cushion of the car seat. The knees of the kids should be properly over the edge of the car seat.

In case the child cannot be transported in a child passenger restraint system, a written statement from the child’s physician, physician assistant or an advanced nurse practitioner shall be required.

If the child restraint system has been designed to meet the physical standards recommended by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is sufficient enough and safe for transporting a kid.

  1. South Dakota

All children under 5 years shall be restrained in a federally approved child restraint system while following the manufacturer’s instruction.

All children between 5 to 18 years must have a properly adjusted and fixed seat belt.

  1. Tennessee

All children aged one year or below, or weighing 20 pounds or less. Must be secured in a federally approved child passenger restraint system, in a rear facing position, in the rear seat.

Children aged one to 3, or weighing over 20 pounds. Shall be secured in a federally approved restraint system in a forward-facing position in the rear seat.

Children aged between 4 and 8 years and are 4’9’’ or less. Should be properly restrained in a federally approved belt-positioning booster seat system in the rear seat of the car.

If the child is not capable of being transported in a child restraint system, due to a certain medical condition. Documentation from a physician shall be required.

  1. Texas

Any child who is less than 8 years. Must be secured in a child passenger safety seat system whilst following the manufacturer’s instruction.  If the child is above is taller than 4’9’’, they may be secured using a properly fitting seat belt.

  1. Utah

The Utah Safety Council popularly employs ‘booster seat’ in its explanations and while answering their FAQs.

The operator of any motor vehicle is responsible for fastening and securing any child passengers below the age of 8 years. They driver is responsible for ensuring the kids are secured in a child restraint system whilst following the manufacturer’s instruction.

If the child is not 8 yet, but is at least 57 inches, they may be secured using a lap-shoulder belt. A child restraint device is not mandatory in this case.

  1. Vermont

Every under 18 passengers must be secured in a federally approved child passenger restraining system.

Children under one year and lighter than 20 pounds. Shall be secured in a rear-facing position and properly secured in a federally-approved child passenger, in the rear seat of the car.

A child passenger restraining system. Should be used to restrain all children aged between 1 and 8 years and children heavier than 20 pounds.

Children aged between 8 and 18 years.  Shall be secured properly using well adjusted seat belts, or child passenger restraining system.

  1. Virginia

Until children turn 8 years old, they must be restrained in a child restraint device.

Children less than 2 years old must use rear-facing child restraint. They would use it until they outgrow the height and weight recommended by the manufacturer.  The rear-facing child restraint shall strictly be retained in the back seat. In case the car has no back seat. The passenger seat may be used only when the airbags have been deactivated.

All the safety seats must be correctly used. Besides they should be approved by FMVSS 213.

Children will no longer ride unrestrained in the rear cargo area of the cars.

Children between 8 years and 18 years must be secured using a vehicle seat belt.

  1. Washington

Children less than 8 years old and shorter than 4’9’’. Must be secured in a child restraint device which complies with the FMVSS standards. The child restraint system must be used properly in compliance with the car seat and the manufacturer’s instruction.

All children under 13 years old should ride in the back seat.

Children who are 8 years old or older, or taller than 4’9’’. Shall be secured correctly using the motor vehicle’s safety belt.  A child restraint may also be used.

  1. Washington DC

All children below 16 years. Shall be restrained in an approved child safety restraint system or secured using a well adjusted car seat safety belt.

Children under 8 years of age must be secured in a convertible or booster child safety seat. The manufacturer’s instruction must be followed strictly while installing the booster seat.  While using a booster seat, both the lap and shoulder belt should be used to secure the kid.

  1. West Virginia

Children under the age of 8 shall be secured in a child passenger safety device system. Which meets applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Children below the age of 8 years, or who are at least four feet nine inches tall shall be properly secured by the vehicle’s seat belt.

  1. Wisconsin

Children less than a year old or weighing less than 20 pounds. Shall be secured in a federally approved rear-facing child restraint system installed in the back seat of the vehicle.

Children who are at least one year old, or who are heavier than 20 pounds, but are less than 4 years old and are weighing less than 40 pounds. Must be restrained in a federally approved rear-facing or federally approved forward-facing child restraint system. They should be retained in the back seat if the vehicle has a back car seat.

Children who are at least 4 years old or at least 40 pounds but less than 8 years old or 80 pounds, and are not more than 57 inches. Shall be secured in a federally compliant forward-facing child safety restraint system. They may alternatively be secured using a properly adjusted car seat belt.

  1. Wyoming

Children who are 8 years or younger, must be correctly secured in a child safety restraint system in the rear seat. An exemption is allowed only when the car has no back seats. Or all the other back seats have been fully occupied by restrained seats. No toddler secured in the rear-facing position shall be placed in front of n airbag.

Children less than 8 years may be secured using the car seats lap or shoulder belt. In a condition that the belt has been adjusted to perfectly fit across their hips, chest and collarbone. The belt should be adjusted to pose no risk to the abdomen, neck and the face of a child. In an event of a sudden stop or a crash.

 

 

 

 

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