Texas Car Seat Laws - Updated & Simplified

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Child Car Seat Laws in Texas Child Car Seat Laws in Texas

Car Seat Law in Texas (TX Statute Sec. 545.412)

What does the child passenger safety seat system law in Texas say?

  • Preschoolers and school-aged children between 4-8 years and less than 4 feet 9 inches must be properly secured in a child passenger safety seat system according to the manufacturer’s instruction.
  • “child passenger, safety seat system” means an infant or child passenger restraint system that meets federal safety standards.
  • A violation of this law shall attract a fine of not more than $25 for the first offense and not more than $250 for a second or subsequent violation.
Texas State flag - Texas Car seat laws 2022
Texas State flag

Texas Car Seat Laws - Rear-facing

Infants and toddlers are to ride in a rear-facing only or a rear-facing convertible until they are at least 2 years or reach the highest weight or height instructed by the car seat manufacturer.

Therefore, you should ensure you use either of these car seats for your infant or toddler under 2 years of age or less than 40 lbs.

The convertible rear-facing car seat serves a dual purpose – rear-facing and forward-facing, which can be used when your child reaches the requirement.

This guide will help you in choosing a convertible car seat while this will guide you on the different types of car seats.

Texas Car Seat Laws - Forward-facing

Toddlers and preschoolers are to ride in a forward-facing convertible with harness.

Children who have outgrown the rear-facing car seat by height and weight limit, according to the manufacturer, should ride in a forward-facing car seat with harness for as long as possible, usually up to the limit instructed by the manufacturer.

Belt-positioning Booster Seat Laws in Texas

Children-aged children who have outgrown the weight or height limit for the forward-facing seat should ride a belt-positioning booster seat till they reach the size a safety belt can fit on their body well. Typically, at 4 feet 9 inches or 8-12 years.

All children under 13 years should ride in the back seat.

Seat Belt Law Texas

When children reach the size the seat belt can fit properly, they may begin using it.

They should always use the lap and shoulder belts together for optimal restraint and protection.

Other Laws About Car Seat You Need to Know About in Texas

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 Texas – Can A Child Sit in The Front Seat?


A child is required to be above 13 years to ride in the front legally, and the State of Texas upholds this requirement.

You should also know; you should never install a rear-facing car seat in the front passenger seat with the airbag activated. In the event of a crash, the inflated airbag can cause severe injury to the back of a child’s head and, in the worst-case cause, death.

The back seat is where a car seat should be installed, in the middle precisely. That is the safest place for a car seat.

Car Seat Laws for Taxis in Texas

Texas State exempts taxis (‘vehicles transporting for hire’) from the car seat laws.

Can You Leave A Child in Your Car Alone in Texas?

Car Seat Laws for Taxis in Texas

Smoking Around Children in Cars – is it illegal in WV?

Yes, it is illegal to smoke in any motor vehicle where a minor under 18 years is present.

Getting Help in Texas

Here are some go-to resources when you need help in Texas;

NHTSA car seat inspection Center – here

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