Florida’s Child Car Restraint and Seatbelt Laws

Florida’s child restraint system and seatbelt requirements and the penalties for a violation .

Florida’s child restraint law requires children younger than six years old be properly restrained in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device. Florida’s seat belt law is a “primary enforcement law,” meaning an officer can stop and ticket a driver simply by noticing a seatbelt violation. In other words, the officer doesn’t need any other reason for pulling the driver over.

However, the law provides exceptions for certain types of vehicles and situations.

Here are the basics of the law and penalties for a violation.

Child Restraint System Requirements

Florida requires that drivers use a federally approved child restraint device. For children who are up to three years old, the device must be a “separate carrier” or “an integrated child seat.” Drivers can begin using “booster seats” as an alternative when the child reaches four years.

Exceptions

Florida child restraint law doesn’t apply to a person who’s transporting a child using public transportation such as a taxi, school bus, or emergency vehicle.

Also, a driver can transport a child age four through five without a child restraint device if:

  • the child is not a member of the driver’s immediate family
  • the driver is transporting the child in a medical emergency situation involving the child, or
  • the child has a medical condition (evidenced by appropriate documentation) that prevents the safe use of a child restraint device.

Penalties

Drivers who violate this law will have three demerit points added to their driver’s record and must pay a fine of $30. A driver can avoid the points and fine if the driver takes a child restraint safety course.

Child Car Seat Recalls

From time to time, recalls are issued for child car seats. To find out about recalls, you can register with the NHTSA to receive recall information about the seat you have or search for recalls that have already been issued.

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