New Hampshire’s Child Safety Seat and Seatbelt Laws

New Hampshire’s child safety seat laws and the penalties of a violation.

All New Hampshire vehicle passengers under the age of 18 are required to wear seatbelts or be secured in an appropriate restraint system. The type of seatbelt or restraint required will vary based on the child’s height, weight, and age. This article provides information regarding the requirements, recommendations, and possible penalties related to child safety seat and seatbelt violations in New Hampshire.

Child Seat and Seatbelt Requirements

In New Hampshire, the driver is liable for any passenger seatbelt or child restraint violation.

Children under seven years old. A child under seven years old must be properly secured in a child restraint system. Depending on the child’s size and age, the proper restraint might be a rear- or forward-facing car seat or a booster seat. A child who’s at least 57 inches tall is not required to use a child safety seat, but can instead use a seatbelt.

Children under 18 years old. All passengers under 18 years old must wear a properly adjusted and fastened seatbelt or safety seat. For some children, a belt-positioning device to ensure proper fit might be required.

Child Seat and Seatbelt Violations

A child restraint, booster seat, or seatbelt violation will result in the driver being fined $50. A second or subsequent violation carries a $100 fine. Additional penalties may apply to youth license holders.

Recommendations

To promote child safety and to help parents choose an appropriate seat, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides restraint system recommendations.

Birth

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13+

Rear-facing

Forward-facing

Booster

Seat Belt

Exceptions

Certain vehicles, like parade floats and antique vehicles made before 1968 are exempt from the seatbelt laws. Bus drivers and for-hire drivers are also generally exempt from the restrictions.

Registration

While most car seats are federally approved, it’s a good idea to register your car seat to be notified regarding recalls.

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