Georgia’s Child Safety Seat and Seatbelt Laws

Georgia’s car seat laws for kids and the penalties of a violation.

In an effort to reduce vehicle-related child injuries, Georgia requires all minor children—with a few exceptions—to use an appropriate restraint system when riding in a motor vehicle. The type of restraint system required depends on the height, weight, and age of the child.

Children Under Eight Years Old

Georgia law requires that all children under eight years old to be restrained in a certified child restraint system, appropriate to the child’s height and weight. Here are the requirements for children in the under-eight category.

Under one year

One to three years

Four to seven years

Less than 20 pounds

Rear-facing car seat

Rear-facing car seat

21 to 40 pounds

Rear-facing car seat

Rear or forward-facing car seat

Over 40 pounds

Forward-facing car seat or booster seat with shoulder and lap belt.

If a vehicle doesn’t have shoulder belts or rear seats or they are all being used by other children, a child who’s over 40 pounds can lawfully sit in the front seat or use a lap-only belt.

Children Over Eight Years Old

Children who are at least eight years old aren’t required to use a child restraint system but must still wear a seatbelt until reaching age 18. The state encourages children to remain in a booster seat until the child is at least 40 pounds and four feet, nine inches tall.

Violations

Failure to properly restrain a child under eight years old carries a $50 fine. Any subsequent violation will result in a $100 fine. Seatbelt violations for children over eight years old will result in a $25 fine.

Exceptions

Taxis and buses are exempt from child restraint laws. Children with certain documented medical conditions might also be exempt from the normal child restraint rules.

More Information and Resources

For more information about child restraint systems, check the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control. It’s also a good idea to register your car seat to be notified regarding recalls.

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