Click on the state, below, to learn about child restraint laws. Keep in mind that even if you are not a resident of the state—for example, you are simply driving through—you must meet the host state requirements.
State governments are fairly unanimous in encouraging the use of seatbelts and vehicle safety restraints. However, state laws generally go further and actually require seatbelts, at least for front-seat passengers and passengers who are younger than 18 years old.
All states regulate what kind of restraint systems drivers must use to secure child passengers. Drivers who don’t follow the rules may face stiff penalties. So, it’s important to make sure children riding in your car have the kind of seat that the law requires.
To protect children against harm, some states have created laws prohibiting leaving unattended children in vehicles in certain circumstances. The rules vary by state, but the penalties can be quite severe depending on the level of endangerment or harm to the child.