West Virginia Car Seat Laws


West Virginia Car Seat Laws

  • In the State of West Virginia children under the age of eight (8) must be secured with a federally approved child passenger safety device system.
  • Children that are eight (8) years of age and a minimum of four-feet, nine-inches (4’ 9”) in height may be secured with a safety belt.
  • The West Virginia Child Passenger Safety Law is a primary enforcement law, which means a driver may be detained by a law enforcement officer if he suspects a child is not properly restrained in a vehicle.

West Virginia Seat Belt Law

  • All vehicle occupants from nine (9) to seventeen (17) years of age must use a safety belt regardless of their seating position in a vehicle.
  • All vehicle occupants nine (9) years of age and older occupying the front seat of a vehicle must use a safety belt.
  • The West Virginia Seat Belt Law is a secondary enforcement law, meaning a driver must be detained for another offense before being cited for not wearing a safety belt.
  • The fine for a violation of the West Virginia Seat Belt Law is $25.

Car Seat Safety Recommendations

Rear Facing Car SeatFrom Birth to Twelve (12) Months of Age

  • Children under the age of one (1) should always be placed in a rear facing car seat when travelling in a vehicle.
  • If you use a Convertible or 3-in-1 car seat you may be able to keep the child rear-facing for a longer period of time since many of these seats often have higher weight and height limits.
  • Infant-Only car seats are usually designed to be rear facing only therefore limiting the product usability.

Forward Facing Car SeatRear Facing Car SeatFrom One (1) to Three (3) Years of Age

  • Again, the best way to keep a child safe is to keep them in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible.
  • Knowing the manufacturer’s height and weight limit of your rear-facing car seat will help you to determine if your child is ready to travel in a forward-facing car seat.

Forward Facing Car SeatFrom Four (4) to Seven (7) Years of Age

  • This is the typical age range for children to ride in a forward-facing car seat with a harness.
  • These seats should be placed in the back seat as well.
  • Again it is important to understand the manufactures recommend height and weight limit and making the decision to place your child in booster seat.

From Eight (8) to Twelve (12) Years of Age

  • Children should remain in a booster seat in the back seat of the vehicle until they safely fit into a seat belt.
  • This means the seat belt should fit across the upper thighs snug.
  • In addition the shoulder belt should fit snug across the chest and shoulder and not across the face or neck.
  • As a reminder it is still safer to keep your child riding in the rear seat.

Car Seat Safety – NHTSA Four Steps Flyer