Last Updated 27th of May, 2010
What are the child car seat laws in California? California
Car Seat Laws in CaliforniaChild restraint laws in CA are enforced by the California Highway Patrol, not the DMV.
- Each child must be in a child safety seat in the back seat, unless the child weighs 60 pounds or more, or is six years old or older.
- Children who weight more than 40 pounds may use lap belts in the back seat instead of car seats.
Front Seat RidingThe main concern against having a car seat in the front is that the air bags are positioned too short for most children, thus injuring or even killing them in the event of a fender-bender.
Thus, children younger than six may ride in the front if:
- There is no back seat, or the back seats are rear or side facing.
- A baby car seat cannot be properly installed in the back seat.
- All the back seats are being occupied by children younger than 12.
- The child has a medical condition preventing him from riding in the back.
Safety Laws for InfantsSpecial laws apply to infants. Infants must:
- Be placed in rear-facing baby car seats until they reach one year of age and are at least 20 pounds.
- Not ride facing forward.
- The child is younger than one year of age.
- The child weighs fewer than 20 pounds.
- The child is in a rear-facing baby car seat.
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