Kansas’s Child Car Seat and Seatbelt Laws

Learn about Kansas’ car safety seat and seatbelt requirements for children, and the penalties for a violation.

Kansas's child car seat laws apply to all children under the age of 14. This article covers what the law requires, the different types of car seats, and the penalties for car seat tickets.

Kansas's Car Seat, Booster Seat, and Seatbelt Laws for Kids

Every driver transporting a child under the age of 14 in Kansas must properly restrain the child as follows:

  • Children under four. Children under the age of four years old must properly use a certified harness car seat. The child should be forward- or rear-facing, pursuant to the manufacturer's instructions printed on the car seat.
  • Children under eight. A child who is under the age of eight years old and "weighs less than 80 pounds or is less than 4 feet 9 inches in height" must use a certified booster seat as well as a seat belt.
  • Children under 14. A child who is under the age of 14 years old or "weighs more than 80 pounds or is more than 4 feet 9 inches in height" must wear a properly fitted seat belt.

The quoted language above is from K.S.A. 8-1344. Some children might fit into more than one of these categories. So, it's best to check with your local law enforcement agency to ensure you're using the right type of seat for your child.

Types of Car Seats and Child Restraints

Generally, there are four types of restraints for children passengers in vehicles:

  • forward-facing car seats
  • rear-facing car seats
  • booster seats, and
  • seatbelts.

The type of seat that's appropriate generally depends on the size and age of the child.

Rear-Facing Car Seats

The first type of seat a child would normally use is a rear-facing car seat. Rear-facing seats are typically for infants and small toddlers.

Forward-Facing Car Seats

Once a child outgrows a rear-facing seat, the next step up is a forward-facing car seat. Children typically remain in forward-facing seats until around age five. But, again, it depends on the child's size and the seat specifications.

Booster Seats

Children who have outgrown a forward-facing seat should typically go to a booster seat next. It's normally appropriate for children to remain in a booster seat until at least age eight.

Exceptions to Kansas's Car Seat Laws

Several exceptions apply to Kansas's child safety seat requirements. A car seat violation may be excusable if:

  • the child is not properly secured because all other securing locations are being used by other children
  • the securing location only has a lap belt and the child is over four years old and using a booster seat, or
  • the vehicle (such as a school bus or antique vehicle) was not manufactured with seatbelts.

However, to ensure you're in compliance with the law, it's best to check with law enforcement.

Fines for Car Seat and Seatbelt Violations in Kansas

Violations of the seatbelt or car seat requirements are misdemeanors in Kansas. A conviction is punishable by a $60 fine.

However, the fine is waived for drivers who can provide proof to the court that, subsequent to being cited, they acquired the proper child restraint system.

More Information on Car Seats, Booster Seats, and Seatbelts

Of course, it's always better to use the correct seat or restraint system and avoid these fines. For assistance with choosing a car seat, you can contact Safe Kids Kansas or schedule a car seat installation inspection by calling 1-855-SEAT-CHECK. Also, car seats can be recalled or expire after a certain number of years, so it is always best to confirm your seat is safe to use.

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