New York has some of the strictest car seat laws in the country. The law is designed to protect children who are passengers in a vehicle, and it is enforced by the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). follow this guide to know everything about the New York car seat law.

New York Car Seat Law

New York Car Seat Laws

Children must remain in an appropriate child restraint system until the age of eight (8). A suitable child restraint system is one that is appropriate for the child’s size and weight, as well as the manufacturer’s requirements.

New York Car Seat Law

Types of restraint systems for infant and young kids in New York

There are three types of restraint systems for kids in New York.

  • Rear-facing car seats
  • Forward-facing car seats
  • Booster seats

New York Rear-facing Car Seat Law

According to the law,

“Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, but at least until the age of 2. If a child outgrows the weight or height limit of the seat, then a convertible or all-in-one car seat should be used in the rear-facing position until the child outgrows the weight or height limit set by the car seat manufacturer.”

New York Forward-facing Car Seat Law

Children may ride in a forward-facing car seat once they have outgrown the rear-facing car seat requirements. Despite the fact that it isn’t mentioned in the law, according to research, children should ride in a harnessed car seat (whether rear-facing or forward-facing) until at least age 5 and 40 pounds, have developed enough to sit correctly for the duration of the trip.

NY vehicle seat legislation allows kids to cease riding in a harnessed car seat at 4 years old if they can manage the equipment till they reach their personal capacities.

New York booster seat law for young kids

NY car seat law says,

“Use a belt-positioning booster seat when your child’s weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for the car seat. Keep your child in a booster seat until the lap and shoulder belts fit properly, typically between 8 and 12 years old.”

There are 2 types of booster seats:

  • High-back booster seats – If your car’s seat back is lower than your child’s ears, you have to use a high-back booster seat to protect your child’s head and neck.
  • Backless booster seats – If your car’s seat back is higher than your child’s ears, you can use a backless booster seat.

Requirements for children to use the front seat in New York

According to the New York State Department of Health, children should not ride in the front seat of a vehicle until they are 13 years old. This is because airbags can be dangerous for kids because they may inflate with great force. If you must transport a kid in the front seat, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles advises that the child’s car seat be as far back as possible.

Taxi Car Seat Law in New York

New York City taxis are not required to follow the state’s car seat laws. Children 8 and over must be secured in an adult seatbelt, while those under the age of eight may ride on an adult’s lap (extremely dangerously). 

In order to avoid any confusion, it is best to bring your own automobile seats with you when riding in a commercial vehicle such as a taxi or car-sharing service. The drivers must allow you to install your child’s car seat if you’re riding with children in these vehicles.

New York car seat expiration law

Replacement of car seats is not covered by any law. Manufacturers typically include expiration dates on their instructions, so double-check yours. According to the NHTSA’s website, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends changing car seats after a minor or serious accident.

Law on leaving a child in a car in New York

New York is trying to make it illegal for parents to leave their children alone in cars. But there is no law yet about this. and It’s not recommended to leave your kid unattended in a vehicle for any length of time.

Legal Fees For New York Car Seat Laws

According to the department of motor vehicles,

“The penalty for a seat belt or car seat violation is a fine of up to $50. If the violation is for a person under the age of 16, the driver receives a maximum fine of $100 and three driver violation points upon conviction.”

Car Seat Law Exemptions in New York

The New York state car seat laws do not apply to taxis in New York City. Parents traveling with children in commercial vehicles, such as taxis and cars for hire, are advised to bring their child’s car seats with them since the drivers must allow them to install them. Children under the age of 7 are permitted to sit on an adult’s lap.

Frequently Asked Questions About New York Car Seat Laws

When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in New York?

This law does not say when children can travel in the front seat. But the New York Department of Motor Vehicles says that children should be in the back seat, and not face-up in the front if there is an active airbag. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends keeping children in the back until they are 13 years old.

What are the height and weight requirements for a booster seat in New York?

When a child reaches the forward-facing seat’s limits, he or she may use a booster seat. Keep your kid in a booster seat until the lap and shoulder belts are correctly positioned, which is usually between the ages of 8 and 12.

When can a child stop using a booster seat in New York?

When children reach the age of 10-12 years old and pass the 5-step seat belt fit test, they are no longer required to sit in a booster seat. The New York Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee says that the adult seatbelt needs to fit properly before you can take your child out of the booster seat.

Can a 10 year old sit in the front seat in New York?

New York State doesn’t specify the minimum age for traveling in the front seat of a car. However, children should not sit in the front seat of a car until they are 13 years old.

Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in New York?

yes, It is illegal to smoke in a car with child passengers in New York.

Summary of Bill S3155A,

“Prohibits smoking in private passenger cars, vans, and trucks where a minor less than 14 years of age is a passenger in such vehicles; provides for rebuttable presumption; provides that violations of such provisions shall be subject to a fine of not more than $100.”

Child passenger safety related videos New York

Car Seat Safety By Age: Infants in Rear-facing Seats

Car Seat Safety: Front-facing Install & Child Placement

Child Passenger Safety – Booster Seats

Proper Child Safety Belt Use

USA Child Passenger Safety Laws by State


Click on your state on the map below to see your state’s car seat law

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