Maryland Car Seat Laws
*Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Seat Law is Effective October 1, 2012
*Every child under 8 years old must ride in an
appropriate child restraint* unless the child is
4 feet, 9 inches or taller.
*Every child from 8 to 16 years old who is not
secured in a child restraint must be secured in
a vehicle seat belt.
* “Child restraint” includes car seats, booster seats,
or other federally approved safety devices.
- In the State of Maryland all children under the age of eight (8) must ride in an appropriate “child restraint”. This does not apply to children weighing over sixty-five (65) pounds or four (4) feet, nine (9) inches or taller in height.
- A child restraint includes Car Seats, Booster Seats and other approved child restraint devices.
- Children from eight (8) to sixteen (16) years of age who are not restrained in a child safety seat must be secured with a vehicle safety belt.
- Children under the age of 13 are safest in the back seat of the vehicle.
Given the state law listed above, the State of Maryland suggests the following five (5) step test to determine if a child should be placed in a booster seat or a vehicle safety belt.
If using a vehicle seat belt the following should apply:
- The child’s knees should bend comfortably at the edge of the auto seat.
- The vehicle safety belt should cross the shoulder between the neck and arm.
- The lap belt should fit low enough to touch the thighs.
- The child should be able to ride comfortably for the entire trip.
- The child should be able to sit all the back against the auto seat.
Maryland Seat Belt Law
- The State of Maryland’s seat belt law is a primary enforcement law.
- This means a driver may be detained and cited based only on the violation of the seat belt law.
- The driver of the vehicle is responsible for themselves and other passengers under the age of sixteen (16).
- All front outboard passengers over the age of sixteen (16) are responsible for themselves and must be wearing a seat belt.
Fines for a Violation of the Maryland Seat Belt Law
- A driver cited for not wearing a safety belt will receive a $25 fine.
- A driver transporting children under sixteen (16) will receive a $50 fine for each child that is not properly restrained.
- Passenger’s over the age of sixteen (16) that are not restrained will be fined $25.
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Other Maryland Laws