New York Car Seat Laws - Updated & Simplified

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Child Car Seat Laws in New York

New York Car Seat Laws (NY Statute 1229-c) – last updated 2022-03-04 (most recent update)

What does the child restraint system law in New York say?

  • Infants, toddlers, and preschoolers under 4 years must ride in the back seat and be restrained in a specially designed seat that meets Federal safety standards.
  • Infants and toddlers under 2 years or less than 40 lbs. must be restrained in a rear-facing safety seat installed in the back seat.
  • If such a child under 2 years exceeds the size and weight recommendation of the manufacturer, then the child may ride in a forward-facing infant seat.
  • Preschoolers under 4 years and more than 40 lbs. may be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system with the combination of shoulder and lap belts, or by only a lap safety belt if the vehicle is not equipped with both or if all belts are already used to restrain other passengers under 16 years.
  • Preschoolers and school-aged children between 4-8 years must ride in the back seat and be restrained in the appropriate child restraint system used with the combination of the lap and shoulder belts, or by only a lap safety belt if the vehicle is not equipped with both or if all belts are already used to restrain other passengers under 16 years.
  • Violation of these laws attracts a fine of $100.
New York car seat laws 2022- New York State flag
New York State flag

More on The Law

  • A “child restraint system” refers to any device used with safety belts and is designed for use in a vehicle to restrain or position children safely and securely and meets Federal safety standards.

    Safe to say, this child restraint system are the types of car seats you may already know; rear-facing, forward-facing, convertible seats, belt-positioning booster seats, and seat safety belts.

Rear-facing Car Seat Laws in New York

The car seat laws in NY explicitly mention the “rear-facing safety seat” as a type of child restraint system and must be used in the back seat.

Therefore, you must ensure you use a rear-facing car seat for your baby under 2 years of age or less than 40 lbs.

This is also what the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends.

According to AAP, a rear-facing car seat should be used for as long as possible, up to 2 years of age.

Forward-facing Car Seat Laws in New York

The New York car seat laws also mention a forward-facing car seat.

This car seat is to be used when your child outgrows the weight and height limit for a rear-facing seat (recommended by the manufacturer).

A forward-facing car seat with harness is the ideal seat for your toddlers and preschoolers (age 4-8 years).

Make sure you use a forward-facing car seat with harness in NY.

Belt-positioning Booster Seat Laws in New York

New York car seat laws do not mention a booster seat as a type of child restraint but says the appropriate restraint system. At this stage, that means a booster seat.

A belt-positioning booster seat is recommended for school-aged children (8-12 years old).

When a child exceeds the limit for the forward-facing car seat as instructed by the manufacturer, you should transition them to a booster seat.

According to the law, make sure you use a combination of shoulder and lap safety belts.

Seat Belt Law in New York

There is a lot of emphasis on safety belts in New York car seat laws.

You should always fasten your child securely with a combination of lap and shoulder belts.

Or with only the lap belt if the car is not equipped with both belts or if both are already used to restrain other passengers under 16 years.

Other Laws About Car Seat You Need to Know About in New York

Car Laws for Other Passengers in A Car

All other occupants of the car must make use of a seat belt.

Front Passenger Seat Law in New York – Can A Child Sit in The Front Seat?

The New York car seat laws say;

  • A safety belt must restrain adolescents under 16 years.
  • Preschoolers under 4 years and weighing 40 lbs. or less must be restrained in a car seat secured to the vehicle by a safety belt.
  • Such preschoolers under 4 years but more than 40 lbs. may be restrained in a car seat secured to the vehicle with a lap safety and shoulder harness belts, or secured by only a lap safety belt if the vehicle is not equipped with both or if all belts are already used to restrain other passengers under 16 years.
  • Preschoolers and school-aged children between 4-8 years must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system with the combination of the lap and shoulder belts, or by only a lap safety belt if the vehicle is not equipped with both, or if all belts are already used to restrain other passengers under 16 years.

You should note that children under 13 years of age must ride in the back seat and with a seat belt or the appropriate child restraint system.

In the event that you have a single cab truck, by this section of the law, your child can ride in the front seat provided you secured them by these guidelines.

Never install a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger seat with an activated airbag.

Also, note that the safest place to install a car seat is the center back seat the.

Car Seat Laws for Taxis in New York

According to the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission, all taxi drivers and for-hire drivers must fasten a safety belt by State law. New York state law.

The law also requires that passengers over 16 years fasten a safety belt.

Parents with children are encouraged to bring their car seat and are allowed to install it in the vehicle. Learning this installation is easy with a little practice beforehand. You may also not use the car seat base.

Here is how to install a car seat without base, easy-peasy!

Car Seat Laws for Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing Program in New York

Effective from June 20, 2022, peer-to-peer car sharing programs shall provide the following notice for shared vehicle drivers and shared vehicle owners 

Every car rental company in New York is required to inform their customers by posting a notice that can be easily seen in the public, informing them that;

Car Seat Laws for Car Rentals in New York

Every car rental company in New York is required to inform their customers by posting a notice that can be easily seen in the public, informing them that;

Every car rental company in New York is required to inform their customers by posting a notice that can be easily seen in the public, informing them that;

A violation of this law by a car rental company shall attract a fine not exceeding $100. – effective until June 20, 2022.

Can You Leave A Child in Your Car Alone in New York?

No law prohibits leaving a child alone in the car in New York. But it is still not advised you do such.

Here’s some information you need to know; it is estimated that every year, at least a dozen children die due to hypothermia and heat illness in the U. S. after being left in an overheated car – the forgotten baby syndrome.

Smoking Around Children in Cars – is it illegal?

Yes, it is illegal to smoke a tobacco product where a minor under 14 years is in the vehicle.

Violation of the law attracts a fine of not more than $50.

Getting Help in New York

When you need help (inspection stations, car seat installations, and more) in New York, here are your go-to resources;

Child Safety Seat Inspection Stations by Counties (New York) – here

NHTSA car seat inspection directory – here