Welcome to the Ultimate Guide on How to Get Free Car Seats
If you’ve got yourself a little bundle of joy who you want to keep safe while in a vehicle but you’re low on cash (and sleep!)I’ve decided to research every way possible to help you get a car seat for free.
Finding a free car seat is possible via nationwide programs, local government facilities, insurance companies, health coverage programs, local resources, state programs, nonprofit organizations, or religious charities.
While there are many ways you can get a free car seat, pinpointing the exact one to follow can be very confusing.
Not to mention, each route has different requirements that you need to meet to be eligible.
I’ve put my years of experience as a paralegal and my mom of 3 powers to give you all the places you can get your hand on a free car seat no matter the state you live in.
Show it to me already!
How Can I Get a Car Seat for Free?
The following nationwide programs and organizations can either directly give you a free car seat or help direct you to the right way for obtaining one.
Keep in mind that you should only pursue these routes if you’re truly in need of help. Abusing the system can prevent these programs from providing aid to those who are genuinely struggling.
That said, let’s get you familiar with each place.
1. WIC Free Car Seat Program
WIC stands for Women, Infants, and Children, which is a government office dedicated to helping low-income mothers and their children.
WIC aids pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, non-breastfeeding postpartum mothers, infants, as well as children as old as 5 years.
Enrolling in the WIC program can make you eligible to benefit from the WIC car seat program.
You should know that the main goal of this organization is to deliver nutritional assistance, so it can also help you if you need free baby formula.
- Contact at: https://www.fns.usda.gov/contact-us
This is a national organization that aims to provide children up to 12 years old in low-income families with all the basic necessities, including diapers and clothing.
Baby2Baby can be your gateway to a free car seat through one of the partner organizations that receive donations from it, such as Life Essentials and KidVantage.
There’s a whole network of these places across the country, so chances are high that you’ll be able to find one near you.
- Contact at: https://baby2baby.org/stay-connected/
3. Safe Kids Worldwide
This nonprofit organization works to help low-income communities and families provide the highest possible safety from injury for children.
Safe Kids Worldwide works with partners in over 30 countries across the globe to minimize injuries resulting from traffic, burns, falls, drownings, poisonings, and more.
In the United States, Safe Kids Worldwide operates via a huge network of more than 400 coalitions.
You can contact your local coalition and inquire about a free car seat. Sometimes, you’re required to pay a small fee depending on the guidelines of that particular coalition.
Additionally, this organization holds events for car seat checkups and extensive training to become a child passenger safety technician (CPST).
4. United Way Worldwide (211)
United Way Worldwide is a nonprofit organization with a mission to provide people in need with local resources.
It operates a free and confidential program known as 211. You call 211 like you would dial 911 but instead of reporting an emergency, you inquire about resources in your area.
In addition to car seats, you can find help getting food, rent assistance, healthcare assistance, and other needs.
5. Buckle up for life
This is a national organization that offers child passenger safety education to caregivers. Its goal is to make car rides as safe as possible for kids.
To date, Buckle for life has donated more than 86,500 thousand car seats to families in need. You’re eligible for a free car seat after participating in their classes.
- Contact at: https://www.buckleupforlife.org/about-us/
6. Fire Department Free Car Seat
Often than not, fire departments can help you obtain a free car seat thanks to resources such as city databases, charities, and donations.
Many fire officers are also certified CPSTs, so they can even install the car seat and instruct you on using it for free.
Simply contact your local fire department’s social office and inquire about free car seats.
7. Medical Institutions
Hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices are great places to find resources that’ll point you in the right direction.
Some of these medical institutions offer car seats, mostly at very low prices but free of charge is also a possibility.
Typically, hospitals are helpful in this matter as they can’t discharge a baby after birth unless the parents have a car seat installed in their vehicle.
8. Police Departments
Similar to fire departments, police departments can help you get a free car seat from the right place. They have resources such as city/state databases, information on charities, and donations to make it happen.
Also, many police officers are certified CPSTs, so they can install your car seat and answer any questions you have about using it.
Simply contact your local police department’s social office and inquire about free car seats.
9. Local Religious Charity
Some churches and religious charities can offer you a free car seat or at least connect you to another organization that provides such assistance.
Consider reaching out to your local religious facility for help. For example, Catholic Charities USA can locate Catholic charities in your area.
10. Insurance Provider
This is probably the least likely way you can get a car seat for free but it’s not impossible. If you have an insurance plan, contact your provider and ask if you’re qualified to receive a free car seat.
Where Can I Get a Car Seat for Free?
In this section, I’ll cover more detailed information regarding free car seats in various states.
So if you’re searching by state, be sure to take a look at your specific state below after going through the general programs I covered above.
Free Car Seats in Alabama
Contact the Children of Alabama hospital for a low-cost or free car seat.
In Scottsboro, Broad Street Church of Christ can help you get a free car seat through donations.
In Decatur, contact the Committee on Church Cooperation and they should be able to help you with not only a car seat, but also diapers, clothing, and more.
If you’re on WIC, Medicaid, or food stamps, Huntsville Hospital in Madison County may be able to provide you with a free car seat.
Free Car Seats in Alaska
The Safe Alaskan Center offers car seats for free or at reduced prices for families in need.
The Mat-Su Services for Children and Adults (MSSCA) also offers free car seats after completing the required training.
Additionally, the Juneau Police Department (JPD) provides free car seat inspections by appointment only.
Free Car Seats in Arizona
The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) offers free car seats through various collection points that you can easily visit.
Additionally, the Child Safety Seat Program via the Deer Valley Unified School District provides free car seats and training. Simply make an appointment at 623-376-3974.
Alternatively, you can contact Tucson Medical Center and register for one of its many programs to receive a free car seat.
There’s also the HealthLinks car seat program, powered by Phoenix Union High School District in Phoenix, Arizona. If you meet the conditions, you can receive a free car seat.
Free Car Seats in Arkansas
- Reach out to the Arkansas Children’s organization online or at one of their numbers.
- Farm Bureau offers car seats for $15 or $25 if you’re a member.
- Contact the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Office of Community Health & Research for updates on the upcoming free car seat giveaways.
Free Car Seats in California
Check out a location for free car seats from this California Office of Traffic Safety guide.
In Sacramento, you can contact SafeKidsSacramento, UC Davis Health, or Sacramento Native American Health Center (SNAHC) for a free car seat after completing the required classes.
In Los Angeles, contact the public health department to register for one of its many programs. You can also get a free car seat through Venice Family Clinic.
Additionally, the public health department of San Bernardino County low-cost offers car seats.
Shasta County provides car seats for free if you attend a class via the Health and Human Services agency. You can even receive the class at no cost if you meet the conditions.
In Colusa County, taking a class that costs $20 may qualify you for a free car seat. You can get a similar deal in Fresno County for $25.
You can also get a free car seat through the Family Health Centers of San Diego if you’re enrolled in the Prenatal Program.
In Plumas County, you can get a free car seat through the Car Seat Program & Kids Safety at (530) 283-6330.
Free Car Seats in Colorado
The Prenatal Program at Inner City Health Center can provide free car seats.
The public health department of Montezuma County offers low-cost car seats. Additionally, Safe Kids Larimer County offers seats for a $30 donation per piece.
Free Car Seats in Delaware
Free car seats are available through Delaware Opportunities Inc. or the Delaware Public Health District.
Free Car Seats in Florida
You can get a low-cost car seat for $20 at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. In Pinellas County, Florida Health also offers low-cost car seats if you attend required classes.
The State’s Farm Bureau offers its members car seats for $25 through the ChildSource program.
Free Car Seats in Georgia
Georgia’s public health department offers locations and contact information for county health departments that can help you get a free car seat.
Completing a class at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia can also make you eligible for a free car seat.
Free Car Seats in Idaho
- The Children Car Seat Program of St. Luke’s health system at (208) 381-3033
Free Car Seats in Illinois
In Chicago, Illinois, you can get a low-cost car seat if you call Stroger Hospital at 312-864-0384 and check availability (sometimes the program is suspended).
You can also get a free car seat through Lurie Children’s hospital Buckle Up program or the Grant A Wish, Inc organization.
Free Car Seats in Indiana
- The car seat program from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and Decatur Township Fire Department.
- Spencer County’s program.
- Community Health Network’s programs.
Free Car Seats in Iowa
- The University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
- Variety Charity.
Free Car Seats in Kansas
Free Car Seats in Kentucky
- Via the Ashland County health at 419-282-4357.
- The Child Safety Seat Program of Cornell University Police.
Free Car Seats in Massachusetts
You can receive a free car seat through Boston Medical Center.
Free Car Seats in Michigan
You can receive a free car seat through the state’s police distribution program.
Free Car Seats in Minnesota
The Everyday Miracles organization provides free car seats for candidates with a Minnesota state-sponsored health insurance plan, including Blue Plus, state-sponsored UCare, and state-sponsored HealthPart
Everyday Miracles distributes only brand-new car seats a few weeks after submitting the request form. A trained car seat technician will deliver the car seat and teach you how to install and use it safely.
Free car seats are also available through Carver County and Mille Lacs County.
Free Car Seats in New York
You can get a free car seat through Washington County Public Health, New Hope, and Livingston County.
Free Car Seats in North Carolina
You can get a free car seat through Henderson County’s program or one for a low cost through Alleghany Partnership at (336) 372-2846.
Free Car Seats in North Dakota
You can get a free car seat through Bismarck-Burleigh Public Health at (701) 355-1540.
Free Car Seats in Oregon
- PeaceHealth at 541.484.5316 ext. 319.
- Albany Fire Department for $30.
- Grants Pass Fire Rescue (GPFR) program.
Free Car Seats in Pennsylvania
- Through the Traffic Injury Prevention Project.
- Child Safety Seat Program at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.
Free Car Seats in Rhode Island
You can get a free car seat through the Seats 4 Safety program.
Free Car Seats in Texas
You can get a free car seat through the Texas Health and Human Services distribution program, the Start Smart for Your Baby program, or the El Paso Health program.
Free Car Seats in Utah
You can get a free or low-cost car seat through Primary Children’s Hospital at 801-662-6583 or Salt Lake County’s program.
How Can I Find a Free Car Seat Program Near Me?
As you can tell by now, there are a lot of programs that can provide you with a free car seat. To find ones near your area, you need to:
- Search Google using the format: free car seat in (state/county name)
- Ask other parents who share similar conditions.
- Ask local social/community service offices, police/fire departments, and hospitals.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to get a free car seat in Sacramento?
To get a free car seat in Sacramento, contact SafeKidsSacramento, SNAHC, or UC Davis Health.
How to get a free car seat in Chicago?
To get a free car seat in Chicago, contact Stroger Hospital, the Buckle Up program, or Grant A Wish, Inc.
Does CHP give away free car seats?
The CHP gives away free car seats or ones for a low price via state resources. Simply contact or drop by your local CHP office and inquire.
How to get a free car seat in Indiana?
To get a free car seat in Indiana through Spencer County’s program or the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute and Decatur Township Fire Department program.
Is there a free car seat program in Florida?
There’s a free car seat program in Florida at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Florida Health, and Farm Bureau.
Is there a free car seat program in Michigan?
There’s a free car seat program in Michigan via the state’s Office of Highway Safety Planning.
How to get free car seats in Utah?
To get free car seats in Utah or ones at reduced prices, contact Primary Children’s Hospital at 801-662-6583 or Salt Lake County’s program.
Is there a free car seat program in Phoenix, Arizona?
There’s a free car seat program in Phoenix, Arizona
How much do car seats cost?
Car seats cost between $100 and $400 on average.
How to find free car seats near me?
To find free car seats near you, you can Google your state/county, ask other parents in a similar situation, or ask local resources and service offices.
Does Medicaid offer a free car seat?
Medicaid offers a free car seat for low-income families once they complete a Medicaid-approved course.
Last Updated on April 26, 2023 by Danny Reid