Child Passenger Safety

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The chart below describes the statewide laws related to child passenger safety across the country. Use the arrows below the chart to toggle through the states in alphabetical order. To advance slowly, click the single right arrow (>). To jump to the end, click the double arrows (>>). Or use the filter by state feature to jump to a specific state.
 
Scroll down for a summary and overall totals of the number of states that have specific provisions.

Alabama Alaska American Samoa Arizona
Child Restraint Required

Under 1 yrs or under 20 lbs in rear-facing seat
1-4 yrs or 20-40 lbs in forward-facing child safety seat
5 yrs (but not yet 6) in booster seat

Child Restraint Required

Under 1 yrs or under 20 lbs in rear-facing seat
1-3 yrs and over 20 lbs in child safety seat
4-15 and 20-64 lbs (or under 57" tall) in booster seat

Child Restraint Required

Under 4 yrs

Child Restraint Required

4 yrs or under 5-7 yrs and under 57" tall

Adult Safety Belt Permissible

6-14 years

Adult Safety Belt Permissible

4-7 yrs and 65 lbs or over (or 57" or taller) or 7-15 yrs and under 65 lbs (or below 57")

Adult Safety Belt Permissible

4 yrs or older

Adult Safety Belt Permissible

5-7 yrs and over 57" tall

Child Restraint Required

Under 1 yrs or under 20 lbs in rear-facing seat
1-4 yrs or 20-40 lbs in forward-facing child safety seat
5 yrs (but not yet 6) in booster seat

Adult Safety Belt Permissible

6-14 years

Child Restraint Required

Under 1 yrs or under 20 lbs in rear-facing seat
1-3 yrs and over 20 lbs in child safety seat
4-15 and 20-64 lbs (or under 57" tall) in booster seat

Adult Safety Belt Permissible

4-7 yrs and 65 lbs or over (or 57" or taller) or 7-15 yrs and under 65 lbs (or below 57")

Child Restraint Required

Under 4 yrs

Adult Safety Belt Permissible

4 yrs or older

Child Restraint Required

4 yrs or under 5-7 yrs and under 57" tall

Adult Safety Belt Permissible

5-7 yrs and over 57" tall

Child Passenger Safety

All states and territories require child safety seats for infants and children fitting specific criteria, but requirements vary based on age, weight and height. This happens in three stages: rear-facing; forward-facing (harnessed) seats; and booster seats.

Many laws require all children to ride in the rear seat whenever possible, and most states permit children over a particular age, height or weight to use an adult safety belt.

First offense fines for not complying with a state's child passenger safety laws vary from $10 to $500. Some states also use driver's license points as an additional penalty for noncompliance.

  • All 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico require booster seats or other appropriate devices for children who have outgrown their child safety seats but are still too small to use an adult seat belt safely.
  • 23 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands require children younger than two be in a rear-facing child safety seat.

NOTE: GHSA does not compile any additional data on child passenger safety laws other than what is presented here. For more information, consult the appropriate State Highway Safety Office.

Sources: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and State Highway Safety Offices.