Florida Car Seat Laws - Updated & Simplified
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Child Car Seat Laws in Florida
Florida (FL Statutes 316.613-4)
What do the child car seat laws in Florida say?
- Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers under 5 years of age must be properly be secured in a crash-tested, federal approved child restraint device.
- Such child restraint device for infants and toddlers aged through 3 years must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat.
- For preschoolers aged 4 through 5 years, such restraint device may be a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a seat belt.
- A person who violates these car seat laws shall have 3 points assessed against their driver’s license.
- A fine of $60 is also applicable.
The Florida car seat laws do not explicitly mention a rear-facing car seat or any other type of car seats that a child should be restrained in.
However, you should note that it is recommended you restrain your baby in a rear-facing car seat by general standards.
A rear-facing safety seat is to be used for as long as possible, say the first 2 years or more (up to 4 years), depending on your child’s height and weight – AAP.
This article on types of car seats by age will guide you more on all types of car seats to use at different stages of growth of your child.
The child car seat laws in Florida does not mention the forward-facing car seat as a type of child restraint device.
However, a forward-facing car seat with harness is ideal for toddlers and preschoolers (age 4-8 years).
This type of car seat is recommended for children who have outgrown the limit (weight and height) for the rear-facing car seat.
The law made mention of an integrated car seat. An integrated car seat is a seat type that comes fixed in your vehicle right from the manufacturer.
This type of car seat is a forward-facing seat. It is NOT to be used for your baby until they reach the age, weight, and height allowed by law.
Booster Car Seat
The Florida car seat laws do not also mention a booster seat as a type of child restraint device to use but mention using a seat belt for 4-5 years old.
However, a belt-positioning booster seat is recommended for school-aged children (8-12 years old).
Seat Belt Law Florida
Since the car seat laws in Florida does not say much about types of seats (rear-facing, forward-facing, or booster seat or seat belt), I’ll recommend you read this article on child safety car seat laws and regulations by states in the US. More information to guide you on car seat laws is provided in the article.
Other Laws About Car Seat You Need to Know About in Florida
Other Passengers in A Car
All other occupants of the car should make use of a seat belt.
Front Passenger Seat – Can A Child Sit in The Front Seat?
The car seat law in Florida does not explicitly state if a child can sit in the front seat.
However, a child must not ride in the front passenger seat if the airbag is active. In a case where you have a single cab truck, you want to make sure the airbag is switched off when your child rides with you in a car seat.
Children under 13 years must ride in the back seat with a seat belt by general law.
Only adolescents above 13 years can begin sitting in the front passenger seat and must use the lap and shoulder belts or the lap belt (if that is only what is available).
Taxis in Florida
The child restraint system law does not apply to taxis in Florida.
- The child restraint requirement does not apply to a chauffeur-driven taxi, limousine, sedan, van, bus, motor coach, or other passenger vehicle used to transport persons for compensation.
Therefore, it is your duty as a parent or a caregiver to ensure you use a safety seat for your child and install it correctly; and also use a seat belt for a child of the required age.
Because of how bulky carrying a car seat with the base (which is often fixed in a car while the safety seat can be detached anytime and installed in another car using the seat belt), you may need to learn how to install a car seat without base here.
This will be helpful when you have to board a taxi, cab, or uber.
Can You Leave A Child in Your Car Alone in Florida?
The “hot car law” practiced in Florida prohibits leaving kids unattended to in a car.
By the law(316.6135), children between 0-6 years of age must not be left unattended or unsupervised for more than 15 minutes.
A fine of not less than $50 and not more than $500 applies when you violate this law.
It is estimated that every year, between 30 and 50 babies die due to hypothermia and heat illness in the U. S. after being left in a car.
You don’t want such an experience for sure.
Smoking Around Children in Cars – is it illegal?
It is not illegal to smoke tobacco products around a minor in a vehicle, but it is not recommended.
Florida Car Seat Laws – Car Seat Replacement After an Accident
Florida does not provide mitigations for car seat replacement in the event of a car crash.
It is recommended you always install your car seat in the safest spot in your car to ensure your child is optimally safe if there is a car crash.
Here are go-to resources for more help – on car seat inspection and more