Car Seat Laws in the United States

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Our website tracks car seat laws in all 50 states in addition to pending legislation related to child safety seats. We hope you find the information you are looking for. We have provided links at the bottom of each state page for any additional information you may require. For a quick reference please use our Car Seat Laws State Map to locate your state and read information related to the car seat laws in your state.

Car Seat Recommendations

The following recommendations do not supersede the State Car Seat Laws in your state. This is a general guide based on National Highway Traffic Safety Association’s (NHTSA) recommendations.

General Car Seat Safety Guidelines

  1. Always follow the manufacturers instructions for installation and maintenance of the car seat.
  2. Never place an infant in a rear facing car seat in the front seat of a vehicle with an active passenger side airbag.
  3. Select a car seat that will fit in your vehicle and one that will fit your child’s age and size.
  4. Keep children in their car seat until they reach the top weight or height recommended by the car seat manufacturer.
  5. Keep children in the back seat of the vehicle for as long as possible or up to the age of twelve (12).

Types of Car Seats

Rear Facing Car SeatRear Facing Infant Seats

Rear Facing Car Seats are the safest type of car seat for a young child to use. A basic rear facing infant seat may only be used rear facing but other types of car seats such as a convertible or a 3-in-1 car seat typically have higher weight and height limits. This will allow you to keep your child in safe, rear facing position for a longer period of time.

Front Facing Car SeatForward Facing Car Seats

Forward facing car seats have a harness to secure your child while they are forward facing. You should keep your child in a forward facing car seat until they reach the upper height and weight limits suggested by the car seat manufacturer.

Booster SeatBooster Seats

Booster Seats position a child so the vehicle lap and shoulder belts fit properly. Always follow the manufacturers instructions when you install a booster seat in your vehicle.

Seat BeltsSeat Belts

Keep your child in the back seat of the vehicle until they reach the age of twelve (12). This is always the safest place for a child to be in a moving vehicle.

Car Seat Safety Guide