This Alaska Car Seat Laws is written with references from The Alaska State of Legislature and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration websites.
These Laws are up to date and has been simplified in bullet points to highlight applicable laws for rear-facing, forward-facing, booster seats, and the front seat, including leaving a child unattended and smoking in a car around a minor.
Alaska Car Seat Laws
Alaska Car Seat Laws (AK Statute 28.05.095) – AK Statute 28.05.095 – Child safety devices law
A child under 16 years must be secured correctly in the required safety device as follows:
- Newborn and infants under 12 months or toddlers older but weighing less than 20 lbs. must be properly secured in a rear-facing child safety seat that meets or exceeds the federal standards and must be used according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
- Toddlers and preschoolers between 1-4 years and weighing more than 20 lbs. must be properly secured in a child safety seat that meets or exceeds federal standards and must be used according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
- Preschoolers and school-aged children between 4-8 years and are less than 57 inches in height and weighing between 20-65 lbs. must be properly secured in a booster seat that is secured by a seat belt system (belt-positioning booster seat). Or, such child must be secured in another child safety seat that meets or exceed federal standards.
- Children above 4 years and exceeding 57 in. or 65 lbs. in height and weight should be appropriately secured by a seat safety belt.
- School-aged children and adolescents between 8-16 years and less than 57 in. or 65 lbs. in height and weight must be properly secured in a child safety device appropriate for a child of that height and weight according to federal standards or by a safety belt.
More on the Law & Fines
- Exemptions: a person may be exempted from the law if a child cannot use a safety belt or child safety device for physical or medical reasons.
- A person who violates the Alaska child safety devices law shall be fined $50.
- The person may also be assessed demerit points
Alaska Rear Facing Law
Alaska car seat laws require that newborns and infants under 1 year and weighing under 20 lbs. ride in a rear-facing car seat and according to the car seat manufacturer’s instruction.
This is also according to the American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation; however, they further recommend up to 2 years or more (an upper limit of 4 years).
On the other hand, car seat manufacturers recommend infants ride in a car seat up to 2 years of age or after till they outgrow the weight or height limit for the particular car seat model.
It is recommended that you don’t install a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger seat with an activated airbag. The best location is in the back seat, while the safest spot is the center rear.
Alaska Forward Facing Law
The laws do not mention a forward-facing car seat but require you to follow the car seat manufacturer’s instructions.
Car seat manufacturers recommend that a child ride forward-facing after they must have exceeded the weight and height limits for the rear-facing car seat.
Usually, a child from 2-4 years can ride forward-facing up to 8 years.
A suitable car seat for a child from birth up to 8 years is the convertible car seat which can be used in rear-facing and forward-facing.
Alaska Booster Seat Laws & Requirements
Alaska booster seat law requires children between 4-8 years, measuring less than 57 inches in height and weighing between 20-65 lbs. to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat.
Car seat manufacturers recommend that a child ride in a booster seat from 8-12 years.
On the other hand, a child must be secured in a booster seat with a combination of the lap and shoulder belt.
Alaska Seat Belt Laws
The State of Alaska is quite flexible with the seat belt law. They give two instances of the law on the use of seat belts.
First, a child above 4 years and exceeding 57 inches in height or 65 lbs. in weight may be properly secured by the seat belt.
Second, children between 8-16 years and less than 57 inches in height or 65 lbs. in weight may be properly secured in a car seat that is appropriate for their age or by a seat belt.
This implies that a child who may have grown tall quickly and is above 57 inches or weighs more than 65 lbs. may be secured by a seat belt. And, children between 8-16 years but less than 57 inches in height or 65 lbs. in weight may be secured by a seat belt.
Other Alaska Car Seat Laws You Should Know
Other Passengers in a Car
All other occupants of a vehicle above 16 years must use a seat belt.
Alaska Front Seat Law – Can A Child Sit in The Front Seat?
The law does not mention a seating position in the vehicle for a child or the car seat. However, the law emphasizes following the car seat manufacturer’s instructions.
Car seat manufacturers recommend car seats be installed in the back seat. According to national safety practice, children under 13 years should ride in the back seat in an appropriate car seat for their age.
However, when a vehicle is not equipped with a back seat like the single-cab truck, and a child safety seat must be installed, and it is rear-facing, the passenger-side airbag must be deactivated.
For Ubers, Taxis, or Cabs in Alaska
Alaska technically does not exempt taxis or cabs from the child safety device laws.
The law doesn’t mention taxis among the exempted vehicle operators in Alaska.
Leaving a Child Alone in Your Car in Alaska
Alaska does not have a law that forbids leaving a child alone in a car. However, there is a yearly record of children dying due to leaving a child unsupervised by a caregiver.
Smoking Around Children in Cars in Alaska
Yes, it is illegal to smoke in a car with a child in Alaska.
By the Alaska Admin Code 10.1085. Smoking (e), any vehicle used to transport children must be smoke-free.
This implies that as long as you are to ride with your child, you must ensure you don’t smoke.
Helpful Resource – Car Seat Inspection in Alaska
Here are some go-to resources for more help on car seat installation, car seat inspection, etc., in Alaska.
- NHTSA Car Seat Inspection Stations Directory – Inspection Stations Directory
- Safe Alaskans – Car Seat Services, including car seat installation, checks, education, and free limited car seats for families that may not be able to afford one – donations are also welcome.
- Alaska Child Passenger Safety Coalition – Car Seat Event Calendar
- Juneau Police Department – Car Seat Inspection Program
- Alaska Injury Prevention Center – Car Seat Installation
- Mat-Su Services for Children and Adults – Car Seat Safety Program
- Fairbanks Safe Rider – Foundation Health Partners – Car Seat Safety Check and Fitting Station Locations