Following the car seat laws in New York is important for a number of reasons. Most of all, booster seat laws are put in place to keep children safer when riding in vehicles. Car crashes are a leading cause of death or injury among children younger than 13 years of age, but using the correct type of child restraint can make a huge difference.

Knowing the correct booster seat age will help you follow the laws, but it can also help you pick out the right type of seat for your children. Different styles of seats are designed for children at different sizes and ages, making it important to read the manufacturer’s instructions before buying any seat.

In the sections below, learn more about car seat safety in New York and discover everything you need to know about choosing the correct type of seat.

What are the car seat laws in New York?

The car seat regulations in New York indicate the age or size a child must be before he or she can begin using an adult seat belt. Failure to follow these laws can result in a traffic ticket. If you are wondering what the correct car seat ages are, then refer to the laws below:

  • Children who are younger than four years of age must ride in a child safety seat appropriate for their age or size.
  • Children younger than four years of age may ride in a booster seat only if they weigh more than 40 pounds.
  • When a child is between four and seven years of age, he or she must use either a safety seat or a booster seat, whichever is appropriate for the child’s size.
  • After a child turns eight years of age, he or she can use a booster seat or an adult seat belt, provided that the belt fits according to the car manufacturer’s specifications.
  • All safety seats and booster seats must comply with federal vehicle safety standards.

In addition to the booster seat weight requirements, you must follow by law, there are a variety of recommendations you will also want to be aware of. For example, all children younger than 12 years of age should ride in the back seat. Riding in the front seat is not illegal, but it is far more dangerous than riding in the back, especially if the passenger airbag is turned on.

If you are using an infant car seat or any other rear-facing seat in the front, then always turn off the passenger airbag

Penalties for Violating Car Seat Regulations in New York

If you do not adhere to the correct booster seat weight or any other requirements, then you can face a variety of consequences. First, you will pay a fine ranging from $25 to $100 based on the severity of your offense. Second, you will receive three violation points on your driving record. Violation points are not just assessed for not meeting the car seat requirements, as you can receive points for failing to properly restrain any child younger than 16 years of age.

Types of Car Seats

In order to follow the child car seat laws in New York, there are a variety of car seat styles you can choose from. While the laws indicate the car seat weight you should adhere to, it is also important to look at each manufacturer’s specification to see if a seat is right for your child. Similar car seats may be designed for children of different sizes.

Even the safest car seats can be dangerous when they are used for children who are not the correct height or weight. The three basic styles of seats on the market include the following:

  • Rear-facing seats are designed for infants and babies who weigh up to 20 pounds. Once a child reaches the required weight or turns one year of age, he or she can be switched to a forward-facing seat.
  • Forward-facing seats can be used by children ranging from 20 to 40 pounds or more. Usually, a child will use a forward-facing seat until about four years of age.
  • Booster seats are designed for children who weigh between 40 and 80 pounds. The typical booster car seat age is up to eight years of age or older for smaller children.

Some of the best car seats for your money are ones that transform from one style into another once your child reaches the correct height or weight. For example, convertible car seats change from a rear-facing to a forward-facing seat. Combination seats, on the other hand, will change from a regular forward-facing seat into a booster seat.

Another style, the all-in-one car seat, can transform all the way from a rear-facing seat to a booster seat as your child grows, which can help you avoid paying a traffic ticket for years to come.

Car Seat Installation Information

When it comes to child car seat safety, proper installation is just as important as finding the correct type of seat for your child. Installing a car seat requires that you read the instructions from your vehicle manufacturer as well as the car seat maker. These directions will tell you exactly how to anchor the seat safely in your vehicle and how the straps or belts should be secured around your child.

Once you have your seat installed, it is a good idea to have it inspected by a qualified technician. Safety seat inspection events are held occasionally, but you can also visit a permanent inspection station. Locations that commonly offer inspections include:

  • Police stations.
  • Fire departments.
  • Certain insurance agencies.
  • Community centers.
  • Medical centers.
  • Department of Transportation branch offices.
Last updated on Wednesday, September 23 2020.