Washington State Car Seat Laws


Forward Facing Car SeatWashington State Car Seat Laws

  • In the State of Washington all children under the age of eight (8) must be secured in a child restraint system.
  • If the child is under the age of eight (8) but is four (4) feet, nine (9) inches or taller the child may use the vehicle safety belt system.
  • Children eight (8) years of age and older or a child that is four (4) feet, nine (9) inches or taller must be secured with a vehicle safety belt or a child restraint system that properly fits the child height and weight such as a booster seat.
  • Booster seats must be used with shoulder belts at all times
  • Children under the age of thirteen (13) must be placed in the back seat of the vehicle unless it is impractical to do so.
  • All child safety systems must be installed in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions.

Exceptions to the Washington State Car Seat Law

  • Children are exempt from the booster seat law requirement if they weight forty (40) pounds or above and are being transported in a vehicle with lap belts only.
  • Children under the age of eight (8) but are four (4) feet, nine (9) inches or taller may use the vehicle safety belt system.

Seat BeltsWashington State Seat Belt Law

  • The driver of a vehicle is responsible for making sure all children under the age of 16 are properly restrained.
  • Children sixteen (16) years of age and older are responsible for securing themselves in a vehicle and may be cited if they are not restrained properly.
  • It is a violation of law to secure two passengers in a vehicle with one (1) safety belt.
  • Safety belts cannot be placed under the arm or behind the back.

 Source Documents for this Article

State of Washington Booster Seat Law

The Safety Restraint Coalition