U.S. Car Seat Laws by State 2014


The following list provides the child safety car seat laws for the 50 states. Please note that the laws generally require some older children to ride properly restrained in a booster seat, secured by the motor vehicle’s safety belt system. Age coverage and other requirements vary by state.



Please remember that car seat laws do not necessarily represent best practice and they are usually the minimum requirements for restraining your child while traveling. Children should use a booster seat until they weigh between 80 and 100 lbs., are about 4'9" (57 in.) tall. Before buying one for your child at least search about basic features and read a couple of car seat reviews.



Alabama Car Seat Law
Alabama law requires children through age 5 to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.

  • Children who are age 5 and 40 lbs. or more must use a booster seat. 
  • Children who are age 5 and less than 40 lbs. must use a forward-facing child safety seat. 
  • Children are required to use a rear-facing child safety seat until they are at least 1 year of age or weigh 20 lbs.
Newborns:1-year-olds: ride in an approved infant-only, rear-facing car seat, in the back seat of the vehicle. These rules apply until the child is one year old or weighs 20 pounds.

Toddlers: 1-5 years old: ride in a convertible or forward-facing seat, using a lap belt and with the harness at or above the shoulders until the child turns five or weighs 40 pounds.

Ages 5-6, 40 pounds or heavier: ride in forward-facing booster seat, buckled with the vehicle's safety belt.


Alaska Car Seat Law
Alaska law requires that children ages 7 and under who are less than 57 in. tall and weigh 20 or more lbs., but less than 65 lbs., be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system.

Arizona Car Seat Law
Arizona law requires children under the age of 5 to use a child safety seat. In the State of Arizona all children under the age of five must be secured with a federally approved child safety seat or device.

Arkansas Car Seat Law
Arkansas law requires children ages 5 and under and weighing less than 60 lbs. to use an appropriate child safety seat.

California Car Seat Law
California law requires children ages 5 and under and weighing less than 60 lbs. to use an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Children under the age of 8 must be secured in a car seat or booster seat in the back seat. 
  • Children under the age of 8 who are 4' 9" or taller may be secured by a safety belt in the back seat.

Colorado Car Seat Law
Colorado law requires children ages 4–5 and less than 55 in. in height to use a booster seat.

  • Children less than 1 year of age and weighing less than 20 lbs. are required to ride in an appropriate rear-facing child safety seat. 
  • Children ages 1–3 and weighing more than 20 lbs. (but less than 40 lbs.) are required to ride in an appropriate forward-facing child safety seat.

Connecticut Car Seat Law
Connecticut law requires children ages 6 and under or weighing less than
60 lbs. to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Children under age 1 or weighing less than 20 lbs. are required to use a rear-facing child safety seat.
Delaware Car Seat Law
Delaware law requires children ages 7 and under and weighing less than 66 lbs. to ride in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat.

District of Columbia Car Seat Law
District of Columbia law requires children ages 7 and under to ride in an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat.


Florida Car Seat Law
Florida law requires children under the age of 4 to use a child safety seat.

  • Rear facing seats should never be used in the front seat if the vehicle contains an active passenger-side airbag. Although not mandated, the safest place for your child of any age is in the back seat of the vehicle.
  • Independent of regulations, children between the ages of 4 and 8, or weighing under 80 lbs, should sit in a booster seat.

Georgia Car Seat Law
Georgia law requires children ages 5 and under and 4'9" in height or shorter to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Children under the age of six, regardless of how tall they are, must ride in the backseat of a car.  
  • Children under the age of six are required to be in either a car seat or a booster seat suitable for their age and height.

Hawaii Car Seat Law
Hawaii law requires children ages 7 and under and 4'9" in height or shorter to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.

Idaho Car Seat Law
Idaho law requires children ages 6 and under to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.

Illinois Car Seat Law
Illinois law requires children ages 8 and under to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.
  • A child under eight years old must be secured in a child safety seat. However, if the vehicle is equipped with lap belts only in the back seat, a child weighing more than 40 pounds may be transported in the back seat wearing a lap belt only.
  • A child between the ages of 8 and 17 must be secured in a seat belt or child safety seat.
  • Children between the ages of 16 and 17 must wear seat belts when they are riding in vehicles driven by people under the age of 18.

Indiana Car Seat Law
Indiana law requires children ages 7 and under to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.

Iowa Car Seat Law
Iowa law requires children ages 5 and under to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.

Kansas
Kansas law requires children ages 4–7, weighing less than 80 lbs. or less than 4'9" in height, to use an appropriate child restraint.

  • Children under the age of 4 are required to be restrained in the most appropriate child safety seat for their age.

Kentucky Car Seat Law
Kentucky law requires children through age 6 who are between 40–50 in. tall to use a booster seat.
  • Children 40 in. in height or less must use an appropriate child safety seat.
Louisiana Car Seat Law
Louisiana law requires children ages 5 and under or weighing 60 lbs. or less to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Children ages 4–5 or weighing 40–60 lbs. are required to use a booster seat. 
  • Children ages 1–3 or weighing 20–39 lbs. are required to use a forward-facing child safety seat. 
  • Children younger than age 1 or weighing less than 20 lbs.are required to use a rear-facing child safety seat.

Maine Car Seat Law
Maine law requires children weighing less than 40 lbs. to use an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Children ages 7 and under and weighing at least 40 lbs. but under 80 lbs. are required to use an appropriate child safety seat.

Maryland Car Seat Law
Maryland law requires children to be in a child safety seat through age 7, unless they weigh more than 65 lbs. or are 4'9" or taller.

Massachusetts Car Seat Law
Massachusetts law requires children through age 7 and 57 in. in height or less to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.

  • Children 12 years old and younger must ride in federally approved child safety seats until they are five years old and weigh at least 40 pounds.
  • Children older than five but younger than 12, who weigh more than 40 pounds, must ride in booster seats or use safety belts.

Michigan Car Seat Law
Michigan law requires children under the age of 8 and less than 4'9" in height to use a child safety seat.

Minnesota Car Seat Law
Minnesota law requires children ages 7 and under and less than 4'9" to use an appropriate child safety seat.


Mississippi Car Seat Law
Mississippi law requires children ages 4–6 and less than 4'9" in height or less than 65 lbs. in weight to use a booster seat.
  • Children ages 3 and under are required to use a child safety seat.

Missouri Car Seat Law
Missouri law requires children ages 4–7 weighing at least 40 lbs. but under 80 lbs., and less than 4'9" to use an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Children less than 4 years of age (regardless of weight) and children weighing less than 40 lbs. (regardless of age) are required to use an appropriate child safety seat.
Montana Car Seat Law
Montana law requires children ages 5 and under and weighing less than 60 lbs. to use an appropriate child safety seat.

Nebraska Car Seat Law
Nebraska law requires children ages 5 and under to use an appropriate child safety seat.

Nevada Car Seat Law
Nevada state law requires that children under age 6 and 60 pounds ride in a federally approved car seat or booster seat that is appropriate for the child's age and weight.

New Hampshire Car Seat Law
New Hampshire law requires children ages 5 and under and less than 55 in. in height to use an appropriate child safety seat.

New Jersey Car Seat Law
New Jersey law requires children ages 7 and under and weighing less than 80 lbs. to use an appropriate child safety seat or booster seat in the back seat.


New Mexico Car Seat Law
New Mexico law requires children under the age of 7 (regardless of weight) or children who weigh less than 60 lbs. (regardless of age) to use a child safety seat.

  • Children under the age of 1 are required to use a rear-facing child safety seat in the rear seat.
New York Car Seat Law
Every child under age 16 in the vehicle must use a safety restraint. If under age four, he or she must be properly secured in a federally-approved child safety seat that is attached to a vehicle by a safety belt or universal child restraint anchorage (LATCH) system. A child under age four who weighs more than 40 pounds may be restrained in a booster seat with a lap and shoulder belt. A child of age 4, 5, 6 or 7, must use a booster seat with lap and shoulder belt or a child safety seat

North Carolina Car Seat Law
North Carolina law requires children ages 7 and under and less than 80 lbs. to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.

North Dakota Car Seat Law
North Dakota law requires children ages 6 and under who are under 57 in. in height and weigh less than 80 lbs. to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.

Ohio Car Seat Law
Ohio law will require children ages 8 and under and less than 4'9" to use a booster seat.
  • Children under age 4 and less than 40 lbs. are required to use a child safety seat.
Oklahoma Car Seat Law
Oklahoma law requires children ages 5 and under to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.

Oregon Car Seat Law
Oregon law requires children through age 7 weighing more than 40 lbs. and measuring 4'9" or shorter to use a booster seat.
  • Children weighing 40 lbs. or less are required to use an appropriate child safety seat. 
  • Children under age 1, regardless of weight, or children weighing 20 lbs.or less, must be properly secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.
Pennsylvania Car Seat Law
Pennsylvania law requires children under the age of 8 to use a child safety seat.


Rhode Island Car Seat Law
Rhode Island law requires children ages 6 and under, less than 54 in. in height, and weighing less than 80 lbs. to use an appropriate child safety seat in the back seat.

South Carolina Car Seat Law
South Carolina law requires children ages 5 and under and weighing between 40–80 lbs. to use a booster seat in the back seat.
  • Children ages 0–1 or weighing less than 20 lbs. must use a rear-facing child safety seat inthe back seat. 
  • Children ages 1–5 and weighing between 20–39 lbs. must use a forward-facing child safety seat in the back seat.

South Dakota Car Seat Law
South Dakota law requires children under the age of 5 and weighing less than 40 lbs. to use a child safety seat.

Tennessee Car Seat Law
Tennessee law requires children ages 4–8 and measuring less than 4'9" in height to use a booster seat (in the rear seat, if available).
  • Children under age 1 or children weighing 20 lbs. or less are required to use a rear-facing child safety seat (in the rear seat, if available). 
  • Children ages 1–3 and weighing more than 20 lbs. are required to use a forward-facing child safety seat (in the rear seat, if available).
Texas Car Seat Law
Texas law requires children ages 8 and under to use an appropriate child safety seat.
  • In the State of Texas Children eight (8) years of age are not required by law to use a child safety seat system.
  • If a child is four feet, nine inches tall (4’ 9”) the child is not required by law to use a child safety seat system even if they are younger that eight (8) years old.
Utah Car Seat Law
Utah law requires children through age 7 and less than 57 in. in height to use an appropriate child safety seat.

Vermont Car Seat Law
Vermont law requires children ages 1–7 and weighing more than 20 lbs. to use an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Children under the age of 1 (regardless of weight) and children weighing less than 20 lbs. (regardless of age) are required to use a rear-facing child safety seat.
Virginia Car Seat Law
Virginia law requires children ages 7 and under to use an appropriate child safety seat.


Washington Car Seat Law
Washington law requires children ages 7 and under and less than 4'9" in height to use an appropriate child safety seat.
  • Children under 13 years old be transported in the back seat where it is practical to do so.
  • Children up to their 8th birthday, unless they are 4'9" tall (which ever comes first), must ride in a child restraint. (For example a child car seat, booster seat, vest, or other restraint that is federally approved for use in the car.)
  • The restraint system must be used correctly according to the car seat AND vehicle manufacturer's instructions.
  • Vehicles equipped with lap-only seat belts are exempt from the requirement to use a booster seat.
  • Children 8-years of age or at least 4'9" who wear a seat belt MUST use it correctly (never under the arm or behind the back) or continue to use a booster.

West Virginia Car Seat Law
West Virginia law requires children ages 7 and under and less than 4'9" in height to ride in an appropriate child safety seat.

Wisconsin Car Seat Law
Wisconsin law requires children ages 4–7, weighing between 40–80 lbs. and no more than 57 in. in height to ride in a booster seat.
  • Children ages 1–3 and weighing between 20–39 lbs. are required to use a forward-facing child safety seat in the back seat, if possible. 
  • Children less than 1 year of age or weighing less than 20 lbs. are required to use a rear-facing child safety seat in the back seat if possible.
Wyoming Car Seat Law
Wyoming law requires children ages 8 and under to use an appropriate child safety seat.