Car and Booster Seat Laws for Every State

Mum buckeling up toddler into car seat
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Every state has the authority over its own laws regarding child passenger restraint. These laws reflect the minimum requirement for safety in that particular state. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration urges parents to voluntary set the bar higher. See details on their best practices for car seat safety.

These alphabetical charts will provide insight into laws by state.

Note: many, if not all, of the laws are written with the caveat that parents are using federally approved seats that are being used according to the manufacturer's specifications. Be sure you follow the guidelines and limitations of the car seats and booster seats which your babies and children use. It is firmly established that is best to keep your child rear facing for as long as the seat allows. The same goes for keeping your child in harnessing, forward-facing seats.

Information updated as of August 2012.

Alphabetical Listings

StateRear Facing Seat LawChild Seat Seat LawBooster Seat LawSeat Belt Law
Alabamaat least one year old or weighs 20 lbs. or moreAge 1 - 4 or 20 - 40 lbs.Age 5 (but not yet 6)Ages 6-14.
Alaskaat least one year old or weigh 20 lbs. or moreAges 1 - 4 and less than 20 lbs.Age 4 - 7 (and 20 - 64 lbs. or <57")Older than 4 (and 65 lbs. or more or 57" or more), 8-16 and more than 65 lbs. or taller than 57".
ArizonaNo specific law, but ARS 28-907 (C) mandates to follow the guidelines of the car seatAt least age 4Children age 5 - 7 (and 57")Ages 5-7 (and taller than 57").
ArkansasNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Under 6 years and under 60 lbs. in a properly restrained car seat or booster seatAges 6-14 (or more than 60 lbs.).
Californiaat least one year old and weigh 20 lbs. or moreOlder than age 1 AND less than 20 lbs.More than 40 lbs.Ages 8-15 (or taller than 57").
Coloradoat least one year old and weigh 20 lbs. or moreAges 1 - 3 and 20 - 40 lbs.Ages 4 - 7Ages 8-15.
ConnecticutAt least one year old or weigh 20 lbs. or more.Ages 1-6 and less than 60 lbs. in a "child restraint system."Booster seats only with a lap and shoulder belt.Ages 7-15 and over 60 lbs.
DelawareNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Under age 8 or under 65 lbs. in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterAges 8-15 (or taller than 66").
D.C.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Ages 7 and under n a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterAges 8-15.
Floridaat least one year old and weighs 20 lbs. or moreFollow guidelines of the seatFor children 4 and older when seat belt alone does not fit correctlyAges 4-5 and if the seat belt fits correctly.
GeorgiaNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Under age 8 and 57" or less in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster, placed in a rear seat if availableTaller than 57" and 40 lbs. or more. Must use rear seat. Can use lap belt if lap/shoulder belt unavailable.
HawaiiNo specific law. Refer to forward facing seat notation.Aged 3 and under in a federally approved child safety seat.Ages 4 - 7 in booster seat or child restraintAges 4-7 and taller than 57"; ages 4-7 and 40 lbs. or more in rear seat can use lap belt if lap/shoulder belt unavailable.
StateRear Facing Seat LawChild Seat Seat LawBooster Seat LawSeat Belt Law
IdahoNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 6 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterNot permissible
IllinoisNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 8 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterAges 8-15; More than 40 lbs. in rear seat if only lap belt available.
IndianaNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 8 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterAges 8-15; If 40 lbs. or more can use lap belt if lap/shoulder belt unavailable.
Iowaat least one year old and weigh 20 lbs or moreNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.All children ages 1 - 5 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seatAges 6-17.
KansasNo specific law. Refer to child seat notation.All children under age 4 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat4 - 7 and less than 80lbs or 57") a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster seatAges 8-13 and more than 80 lbs.; ages 4-7  or taller than 57")
KentuckyNo specific law. Refer to child seat notation.All children 40" or less in a properly restrained, appropriate car seatUnder age 6 and between 40" and 50"Age 6 and above and taller than 50"
Louisianaat least one year old or weighs 20 lbs or moreAges 1 - 3 (or 20 - 39 lbs)4 - 5 or 40 - 60 lbsAges 6-12 or more than 60 lbs.
MaineNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.All children 40 - 80 lbs and under 8 years in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterAges 8-17 (or under 18 years and more than 57").
MarylandNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 8 unless 57" or taller or weighs more than 65 lbs in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterAges 8-15, or taller than 57" or more than 65 lbs.
MassachusettsNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 8 unless 57" or taller in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterAges 8-12, or more than 57" tall.
MichiganNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 8 unless 57" or taller in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster. Under age 4 in rear seat.Ages 8-16.
MinnesotaAt least one year old and weigh 20 lbs or moreNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 7 unless 57" or taller in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterAt least 8 years old, or more than 57" tall.
MississippiNo specific law. Refer to child seat notation.Under age 4 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat.4 - 6 years and under 57" or under 65 lbsAt least age 7, or 57" tall, or more or more than 65 lbs.
MissouriNo specific law. Refer to child seat notation.Under age four and under 40 pounds in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat.Ages 4 through 7 who weigh more than 40 pounds but less than 80 pounds or are not at least 57" in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Ages 8-16; 4 and older who are more than 80 lbs. or 57" tall.
MontanaNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.No specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Under age 6 and weighing less than 60 pounds in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Over 7 and over 60 lbs. through adult.
StateRear Facing Seat LawChild Seat Seat LawBooster Seat LawSeat Belt Law
NebraskaNo specific law. Refer to car seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.All children age 5 and under in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterAges 6-17.
NevadaNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.Children under age 6 and 60 pounds in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster    Older than 6 and more than 60 pounds, all passengers must wear a seat belt.
New HampshireNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 6 or under 55" tall properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Ages 6-17 (or under 6 and more than 55").
New JerseyNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.All children up to age 8 or 80 pounds in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Ages 8-18.
New MexicoUnder age 1 rear-facing infant seat in rear seat if available.Ages 1 - 4 or under 40 lbs. in child safety seat.Ages 5 - 6 or under 60 lbs in booster seat.
Ages 7-12 in a booster if the seat belt does not fit properly on its own.
Ages 7-17.
New YorkNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 4 must be in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Required: All children under 8 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster. Recommended: in a booster until 57" or 100 lbs.Ages 8-16.
North CarolinaNo specific law. All children under 8 and under 80 lbs. in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Ages 8-16, or more than 80 lbs.
North DakotaNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 7 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Ages 7-17 if over 80 lbs. and taller than 57".
OhioNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Under age 4 and under 40 in a federally approved car seat or booster.All children four through seven less than 57" tall must ride in a federally approved car seat or booster.Ages 8-14.
OklahomaNo specific law. Refer to child seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.Under age 6 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Ages 6-12 and under 40 lbs. in rear seat with lap shoulder/belt. Can use lap belt if lap/shoulder belt unavailable.
OregonUntil one-year-old and weighing 20 lbs. or more.Child seat required to 40 lbs. or max upper weight limit of seat.All children over 40 lbs. but under age 8 or under 57" tall in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Ages 8-15, or more than 57" tall through adults.

Information updated as of January 25, 2016. Also be sure to check the car or booster seat expiration date.

StateRear Facing Seat LawChild Seat LawBooster Seat LawSeat Belt Law
PennsylvaniaNo specific law. Refer to car seat notation.All children under age 4 ride in a federally approved, properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster seat.All children age 4-8 and under in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterAges 8 - 18.
Rhode IslandNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 7, under 54" and less than 80 lbs in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or boosterOlder than 7 and more than 80 lbs. and 54" tall through adults must wear a seat belt.
South CarolinaUntil at least one year old and weigh 20 lbs or moreChildren ages 1 to 5 who weigh 20 to 40 lbs must ride in a car seat.All children under age 6 who weigh 40 to 80 pounds must use a booster seatAll drivers and passengers must wear a seat belt. Children under the age of 6 are not required to be in booster seats if they weigh more than 80 lbs. or if they can sit with their backs against the car's seat and bend their legs over the seat edge without slouching.
South DakotaNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.All children under 8 in 4'9" tallChildren 5-17 and more than 40 lbs.
TennesseeUnder age 1 rear-facing and weighing less than 20 lbsUnder age 4 in a child safety seatAll children ages 4 through 8 and less than 57"in booster seatAge 8-16 and more than 57" tall.
TexasNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.All children 8 and under in a federally approved, properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster seat unless taller than 57".Ages 8-17 or taller than 57".
UtahNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.All children under 8 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Age 8, or taller than 57" through adults must wear a safety belt.
VermontUnder age 1 rear-facing and weighing less than 20 lbsRefer to booster seat notation.All children under age 8 in a federally approved, properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Ages 8-15.
VirginiaNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 8 must ride in a federally approved car seat or booster.Ages 8-15.
WashingtonUnder age 1 rear-facing and weighing less than 20 lbs.Refer to booster seat notation.Under age 8 unless taller than 57" in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.Ages 8-15, or taller than 57".
West VirginiaNo specific law. Refer to booster seat notation.Refer to booster seat notation.All children under age 8 unless taller than 57" in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.All passengers from age 8, or taller than 57".
WisconsinNo specific law. Refer to car seat notation.All children under age 4 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seatAll children under age 4 to 8 in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.All passengers from age 8, or taller than 57".
WyomingNo specific law. Refer to car seat notation.Refer to booster seat notationAll children under 8 and younger and under 80 lbs in a properly restrained, appropriate car seat or booster.All passengers from age 9 through adulthood.

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