Car seat laws in Idaho were written to protect vulnerable children and to ensure their safety any time they ride in a vehicle.

Booster seat laws are included within the state’s overall child passenger restraint laws. In Idaho, all children aged six years or younger are required to use an appropriate child safety restraint. That restraint could be an infant car seat up to a booster seat used until weight and height recommendations are met.

There are no specific restraint requirements within the law, other than the use of federal guidelines and current safety standards.

The typical booster seat age includes children aged four and older, based primarily on weight and height. Booster seat weight limits vary, so you should always confirm the exact model of car or booster seat you purchase.

Remember that booster seats are included in the general law regarding child restraints. Car seat ages also vary based on weight and height, but it is generally recommended that your child use a car seat until at least four years old. Your child’s weight and height should be more important factors than just the child’s age in determining the safety restraints required.

What are the car seat laws in Idaho?

Idaho car seat law requires the use of any appropriate restraint for a child up to the age of seven. Car seat weight requirements dictate the type of restraint your child should use at any given age within that legal requirement. Regardless of the type of restraint, make sure you follow state law for the safety of your child.

State law only requires children up to age seven to be properly restrained. However, general car seat safety recommendations include children up to the age of 13, depending on the weight and height of the child.

Penalties for Violating Car Seat Regulations in Idaho

Failure to properly follow child car seat laws in Idaho is a primary offense for which you can receive a citation. Violators of the car seat law will have to pay a penalty fine according to the Infraction Penalty Schedule set by the state. You might need to pay the fixed penalty fee plus any court costs incurred for your case.

Any driver of any vehicle with a child passenger is required to obey the state’s child car seat safety laws. It does not matter if you are not the parent or if you do not own a car seat for your own vehicle. If you are driving a child passenger in your vehicle, you must follow state regulations.

Note that each state has different requirements, so if you are traveling through or to a different state with a child passenger, you should confirm other states’ regulations to avoid any fines or other penalties.

Types of Car Seats

There are many types of car seats available for purchase at stores or online, including used car seats. However, car seats should each have an expiration date printed on the back, since wear and tear makes them less effective. Therefore, the state of Idaho advises against purchasing a used car seat.

The best car seats are typically rated on an annual basis according to new technology and current manufacturing trends. The safest car seats tend to come from the big brands like Chicco, Evenflo and Graco. You should always confirm current top brands before making a purchase, and do not rely just on a high sticker price indicating safety or quality.

Understanding the safe car seat options and making the right purchase for your child and your car can be a challenge. For your reference, the following are the typical types of car seats you might find:

  • Rear Facing Car Seat: Sometimes also called a baby car seat, you should use a rear facing seat for babies and, it is recommended, for children until at least two years of age. Be sure to confirm any weight or height requirements for the particular car seat you purchase so you do not exceed those with a rear facing seat.
  • Forward Facing Car Seat: Once your child outgrows the rear facing seat, you should then switch to a forward-facing seat. It is recommended that children use a forward facing car seat until at least four years of age. Again, be sure you confirm all weight and height limitations on the exact model you purchase.
  • Convertible Car Seat: A convertible seat can be a rear facing seat as well as a forward-facing seat. This type of seat can therefore be used for a longer time period as your child grows. Check all requirements for weight and height to make sure you use the seat properly based on your child’s current size.
  • Booster Car Seat: Booster car seat age limits are generally between four to seven years old. It is recommended that children use booster seats until they can safely and comfortably use the regular safety belt used by adults. This means that the shoulder strap fits over the shoulder, not behind the arm nor across the face at all.

Car Seat Installation Information

Correct car seat installation can be a challenge for every new user of a car seat or booster seat. Idaho offers car seat safety checks at locations throughout the state, so take advantage and get the extra guidance from the professionals. General tips for installing a car seat include the following:

  • Thoroughly review the instructions for how to install a car seat provided by the manufacturer of the car seat or booster seat you purchased.
  • Make sure to utilize the car or booster seat each and every time a child is in the vehicle.
  • Secure the seat tightly in the back seat of the vehicle, making sure it does not move more than one inch in any direction when you pull it.
  • Make sure straps are never twisted.
  • If you use the safety belt to install a car seat, review your vehicle’s manufacturer instructions for locking the safety belt in place.
Last updated on Wednesday, September 23 2020.