What Are the Legal Requirements for Booster Seats?


Quick Answer

The legal requirements for booster seats vary from state to state, but all 50 states and the District of Columbia have child safety seat laws, says the Governors Highway Safety Association. The District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and 48 states have booster seat laws and regulations.

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What Are the Legal Requirements for Booster Seats?
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Full Answer

The laws for child passenger restraint requirements vary based on age, height and weight. This usually happens in three different stages: infants, who use rear-facing seats; toddlers, who use forward-facing safety seats; and older children, who use booster seats, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Many states have laws that require all children to ride in the back of the car when possible, and most states allow children over a certain age, height and weight to use an adult seat belt.

Fines for failing to comply with a state's child safety restraint laws can vary from $10 to $500, explains the Governors Highway Safety Association. Some states may also use driver's license points as an additional penalty for noncompliance with child restraint safety laws. As of 2015, South Dakota is the only state that does not have child restraint laws. Additionally, there are five states, California, Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York, that have seat belt requirements for school buses. Texas requires them to be on buses purchased after September 2010.

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