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

Other Washington Laws

Washington Traumatic Brain Injury Laws