If you are a low-income family in California and in need of a car seat for your child, this guide is for you. Here, you will find a list of free car seat programs in California as well as tips on how to find alternative programs. Additionally, we have included the car seat laws of California so that you can be sure your child is properly secured while riding in a vehicle.

Free car seat programs in California (2022)

Free car seat programs in California

Keen ‘Em safe

In California, if you are looking for a free car seat for your dear kiddo, you will find are a lot of lavish options. 

Keen ‘Em safe is one of such institutions that provide free car seat programs in California run by the Pacific Safety Center. To become suitable, you will need to have proper identification, proof of relationship with your lovely kid, and proof of low income.

Los Angeles County Public Health Department 

Another one is the Los Angeles County Public Health Department which delivers plenty of programs for parents. Especially for those parents who can’t afford a car seat for their juniors. 

Both programs demand to show proof of low-income status and you have to reside in Los Angeles County.

San Bernardino county’s public health department

San Bernardino county’s public health department also supplies free car seats to parents who are in need of a car seat for their child and are unable to afford one. For those programs, you have to complete a free small course to apprehend the working of the car seat before applying. You can contact them at (800) 782-4264 or (909) 387-4859 (TDD).

Yolo County Car Seat Safety Program

Yolo County residents who permit free car seat programs for low-income conditions such as AFDC, CHDP, Medi-Cal, or WIC. From the Yolo County Car Seat Safety Program, you can get a low-cost seat.

Local Family Action Centers and First 5 Colusa

In Colusa County, courses are currently being held at the local Family Action Centers and First 5 Colusa by a certified car seat technician. Those courses are monthly and held in English and Spanish. As part of the class, the technician will help in the right installation of your car seat. The cost of the class is $20.00 and parents may allow for a free car seat. For contacting them click here or dial +1 530-458-5555.

Family Health Centers of San Diego

Family Health Centers of San Diego’s Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will guide you through the five key points to safely installing your car seat. As well as explain California safety laws and perform car seat installation. Individuals registered in FHCSD’s Prenatal Program may be able to reach a free car seat! To plan an appointment, please call (619) 515-2428.

Shasta County Health and Human Services agency

Shasta County Health and Human Services agency offer a free car seat to wishing mothers who attend a child safety seat class! To gain a free coupon for the class, parties must be seen by a participating doctor, receive Medi-Cal, and attend three Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program (CPSP) courses. For free car seats in the Sacramento Area find out if you qualify by calling (530) 225-5168.

Solano Car Seat Connection

In Solano County, Solano Car Seat Connection is a family-oriented education program. It is guided and corresponded by the Health Promotion and Community Wellness Bureau. Gift certifications are supplied to assist low-income families with the purchase of car seats.

Alternative ways to get free car seats in California

You’ll find that most of the courses such as FHCSD and CPSP Programs we list won’t be able to give you one directly. They will, however, have the aid necessary to lead you in the right guidance. These routes should only be taken when you have true feel like you’re struggling and aren’t able to find a car seat within your budget. These programs are put in place to help those who truly need it. 

You can also get solace in your local CPST, or “child passenger safety technician”. These car seat experts are trained by Safe Kids, mentioned above, to support parents and parents-to-be with everything to do with car seats.

If you’re struggling to find out where to obtain a car seat on your budget, CPSTs may be your largest help. They can give you a few tips on affordable car seats that are perfect for your child and vehicle.

You’ll see some police and fire professionals in many places are also certified CPSTs as an alternative way. Even if they aren’t, most police/fire departments have the resources required to assist you to find the right place to go.

Insurance Providers are likely negligibly more than your other options. However, it’s worth a call to inquire if your insurance will cover a free infant seat.

If there are people who abuse the system, these programs may disperse, which is a trouble for those who may need them most.

Requirements to get free car seat programs in California

You will likely qualify to receive a free car seat if you are on Medicaid while pregnant. You can apply by reaching your Medicaid office after attending a class on car seat safety. 

In order to get a free infant car seat from a government program, normally the applicant requires to be on some form of public aid. These may be advantages such as SNAP food stamps, TANF cash assistance, and Medicaid if the mother is on WIC.

California’s Child Passenger Safety Law

Section 27360 of the California Vehicle Code applies California’s car seat laws in point. The law contains four different classifications of children, diverged up by age group: 

Under Two Years Old: Children under 2 years of age shall hang in a rear-facing car seat unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds OR is 40 or more inches tall. 

Between Two and Four Years Old: If your child reaches two years old, 41 pounds, or 41 inches tall, you can choose a forward-facing car seat. 

Between Four and Eight Years Old: Once your child is too large for a car seat in this age group can start using booster seats. 

More than Eight Years Old: All children taller than 4’9” or older than eight years old are needed to wear seat belts whenever the car is in motion. It is lawful for children eight years and older to ride in the front seat. 

For more details about California’s Child Passenger Safety Law click here.

Buying a used car seat in 

Are you tempted to hop onto Facebook Marketplace to buy car seats? I’m going to stop you directly. Unless you understand the seller and the history of the car seat, you can’t be infallible it’s the truth. The same goes for any other reseller site such as Craigslist or eBay. 

Expiration dates: 

No car seat should be utilized after its expiration date. Over time, the seat structure can erode.

Non-apparent wear and tear: 

At first glance wear and tear and other marks may not be noticeable. But this also compromises the seat’s goodness.

Information to keep in mind

If the seat glances in pretty wild shape, obviously you will want to skip over it. A car seat may look nice on the cover. But it’s worth fitting inside to make sure there isn’t any damage. 

Click here to watch a video for free car seat programs in California.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a child safety seat?

At first, you must have a registered prescription/referral from a healthcare provider (doctor, nurse, social worker, etc). The medication/prescription form must say your need for a child safety seat including your child’s name, date of birth, height, and weight. Now you can complete the application online.

Is there a cost to getting a child safety seat?

There is no cost for this agenda. Yet, a grant is always welcome.


Unfortunately, there are no suitable single references for free car seats, so you’ll have to do some research to find the best seat that’s right for you.

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