What are the Maryland Car Seat Laws?


Welcome to the Maryland Car Seat Law Explained in Simple, Plain English!


You’ve just found the perfect place to find out everything there’s about car seat laws for the state of Maryland.


I’m a mom of 3 perfect angels (when they are asleep, mostly…), and I used to be a paralegal before becoming a mom. We travel a lot, so I need to update car seat laws.

For this reason, I’ve put together this short and to-the-point article to bring any parent up to speed, no matter how sleep-deprived they would be.

I used to use lawyer-speak, and now I can easily translate dry law texts into something that makes sense instantly.

If you scroll down, you will probably find most of your questions answered about car seats; for example, many are interested in booster seat laws, others need info about forward, and rear-facing car seats or some need info about taxis. All this and more are included below.

Let’s get started already!




By reading this article you agree that it’s for informational purposes and I can’t be held liable for the best advice ask the appropriate person.


Maryland Booster Seat Laws


The car seat law for the state of Maryland is a blanket one. It’s quite simple, which means all kids below the age of 8 and shorter than 57 inches have to be in the appropriate car seat by following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

So first comes the rear-facing car seat, then the forward-facing one and the final upgrade is the booster seat. In Maryland, you can use the booster seat until your child reaches 8 or reaches the height of 57.”


Maryland Rear-facing Car Seat Laws

Since it’s a blanket law and we have to see what manufacturers recommend, then a rear-facing car has to be used until the age of 2.

There are some states that only require rear-facing until the age of 1.

In my book, the longer that child stays in the rear seat, the safer they are simply because these seats offer the most protection.


Maryland Forward-facing Car Seat Laws

Following the blanket law and manufacturer’s recommendations, after your child has outgrown the rear-facing seat, you need to transition to a forward-facing one. This usually happens around the age of 2.


Maryland Taxi Car Seat Laws

In the state of Maryland, taxis are exempt from the above-mentioned car seat laws. This means that if you want to keep your child safe, you need to provide a car seat for the ride.


When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Maryland?

There’s no exact law that would dictate when a child can sit in a front seat. The only very important thing to remember is that with a rear-facing car seat, you will have to deactivate the airbag or else your little one can suffer horrible injuries or worse.


Maryland Car Seat Laws at a Glance

Here you can find the entire law in one place:

Car Seat Law (22–412.2)

Law: The car seat law says that if your child is under 8 years and shorter than 57,” they have to be secured in a child safety seat that meets federal safety standards and follows the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Location in car: There’s no law governing where a child can or can’t sit at any age.

Taxi: Taxis are exempt from the above car seat law. You can never know when an accident happens, so if you want to be on the safe side, do bring your own car seat.

RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.

Fines: $50


Maryland Seat Belt Law

  • Law: The law is clear, and everyone in the vehicle has to wear a seat belt.
  • Fine: $50
  • RVs: The RV law is the same as the seat belt law above. All people in the RV have to wear seat belts for kids. The car seat laws apply.


What is the law concerning Leaving kids in the car in Maryland?

In the state of Maryland, it’s illegal to leave a child alone in the car if they are younger than 8 years old.


Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Maryland?

Yes, it’s illegal to smoke in a car if there’s a child onboard (8 years old or younger). In 2013 the law was passed, and now it’s active, which means the fine is $50.

It’s a well-known fact that secondhand smoke causes many diseases, so it would be best if smoking is eliminated while driving.


Conclusions on Maryland Car Seat Laws

We have reached the end of this article. I hope you have found what you’ve been looking for, and it’s clear how to utilize these laws.

I worked hard to use simple language to be easily accessible to anyone. Now you might have questions or ideas, perfect shoot me a message, and I will get right back to you.

Maybe you can help me out by sharing this post so other parents can know exactly how to keep their kids safe and avoid fines in the process. Thank You!

Related State: WV car seat laws


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the law for booster seats in Maryland?

According to Maryland’s booster seat law, the child has to be in a booster seat until the age of 8 or be shorter than 57 inches.

How old do you have to be to not sit in a car seat in Maryland?

In the state of Maryland, a child has to be at least 8 years old or taller than 57 inches to not have a car seat.

How much do you have to weigh to be out of a booster seat in Maryland?

There’s no exact law about the upper weight limit for the booster seat however if we check manufacturer’s recommendations, then depending on the brand, it can be anywhere from 60 to 80 pounds.

How old does a child have to be to ride in the front seat in Maryland?

There’s no law dictating the age when a child can sit in the front. Rear-facing car seats need the airbag to be deactivated. Also, experts agree that from the age of 13, kids can sit in the front.

When can a child use a backless booster seat in Maryland?

There’s no exact law governing when can a child use a backless booster seat in Maryland so in this case we can default to the manufacturer’s recommendations which says: between 40 to 65 pounds.

Can a 10 year old sit in the front seat near Maryland?

Yes a 10 year old can sit in the front seat near Maryland because there’s no law prohibiting it, however most authorities recommend that only kids from the age of 12-13 should sit in the front.

What height and weight do you have to be to get out of a car seat?

For a child to get out of a car seat they have to be taller than 57 inches (4 foot and 9 inches) and weigh more than 80 pounds. However you have to make sure that the seat belt can properly fit your child.

Do Maryland car seat laws state how long should a child sit rear facing?

According to Maryland car seat laws there’s no exact age defined, however the Maryland department of health recommends kids to be rear facing until 2 years old. Also according to the maryland’s child passenger safety laws the safest place for a child to sit is on the back seat. There’s no law when a child can use the front seat.

Who is a child passenger safety technician and what can they do?

A child passenger safety technician can help you pick the right child restraint systems (child safety seat). Also they can help you properly install the child restraint so it provides maximum protection all times. Even if your child is more than 8 years old  they can help with the seat belt or adjust the current car seat. This is what a child passenger safety technician can do for you.

What are the car seat laws in MD?

According to Maryland’s car seat laws (MD car seat laws), all children under the age of 8 must be properly secured in a car seat or booster seat. Children who are 8 years old or taller than 57 inches are not required by law to use a car seat or booster, but are still encouraged to do so for safety purposes.

What are the penalties for not following Maryland’s front-facing car seat laws?

If a child under the age of 8 is not properly secured in a car seat or booster seat, the parent or guardian may be fined up to $50.

What is the booster seat age in Maryland?

All children under the age of 8 must be properly secured in a booster seat according to car seat rules Maryland. And according to general guidelines is the age of 4. 

What is the Maryland front seat law?

There is no law in Maryland dictating the age when a child can sit in the front seat. However, rear-facing car seats need the airbag to be deactivated, and experts generally agree that from the age of 13, kids can sit in the front seat.

What are the booster seat requirements in Maryland?

All children under the age of 8 must be properly secured in a car seat or booster seat in Maryland.

When can a child sit in the front seat in MD?

There’s no exact law saying at what age can a child seat in the front in MD however it’s stated that rear facing car seats in the front have to have the airbags disabled.

Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!