What are the New York Car Seat Laws?


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


You have found the perfect place if you want to brush up on your knowledge on how to keep your kids safe in the state of New York.


As a parent of 3 perfect angles (mostly when they are asleep), I’m on my tiptoes about car seat laws because we travel a lot. It helps that I was a paralegal before I became a stay-at-home mom. So I still have the skills to find the right laws fast and translate them to common and easy-to-use language.

This is the reason why I’ve created this article to make it super simple for you to understand car seat laws even if you’re severely sleep-deprived. You won’t hear lawyer jargon from me.

Maybe you have specific questions like what’s the booster seat law in this fair state, or when can a child upgrade to a forward-facing car seat, or do you need a car seat if you’re taking a cab? All this and more are answered 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.


New York Booster Seat Law


According to the booster seat laws in the state of New York, if your child is above 4 years old and weighs more than 40 pounds, they can transition into a booster seat. The booster stage ends when they can securely use the seat belt, typically in the age range of 8 – 12.


New York Rear-facing Car Seat Law

According to the law, all kids under the age of 2 have to be rear-facing until they reach the maximum requirements set by the manufacturer.

Also, I would like to note the following the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee suggests to keep kids longer than 2 years old because they know that’s the safest way to travel.


New York Forward-facing Car Seat Law

There’s no exact law when you can transition your child from rear-facing to forward-facing. Simply when your child has maxed out their rear-facing car seat either by weight or height, then it’s time to upgrade.


New York Taxi Car Seat Law

In the state of New York, taxis are exempted from the laws mentioned above. However, for your child’s safety, bring a car seat with you.

Also, the TLC encourages you to bring your own car seat. It’s good to know that kids under the age of 7 are allowed to sit on adults’ lap.


When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in New York?

There are no laws governing when a child can sit in the front seat. However, the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee recommends that only above the age of 13 sit in the front (recommends, and it’s not a law).


New York Car Seat Laws at a Glance

Here you can find the entire law in one place:

Car Seat Law (Section 1229-c, search child restraint then choose 1229-c)

Law: All kids below the age of 8 have to use the appropriate car seat the following way:

  • If your child is under the age of 2, has to be in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the maximum weight and height recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Suppose your child is between the ages of 2 and 4 and has outgrown their rear-facing seat, then they can upgrade to a seat (forward facing) that meets FMVSS 213.
  • If your child is younger the 4 but weighs more than 40 pounds, then they must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system installed with a lap-shoulder belt or a lap-only belt.
  • Suppose your child is between 4 and 8. They have to be secured by the appropriate child seat (booster seat).
  • If your child is between 8 and 16, they must be secured using a lap-shoulder belt.

Location in car: There are no specifications where a child can or can’t sit.

Taxi: In the state of New York, all taxis are exempt from the car seat laws mentioned above.

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

Fines: $100

Seat Belt Law

Law: According to the law, all occupants within the vehicle have to wear a seat belt.

Fine: $50

RVs: The car seat laws for RVs are the same as the general law as in all occupants have to wear a seat belt, and as for kids car seat laws apply.


What is the law concerning Leaving kids in the car in New York?

There’s no law that would ban leaving a child unattended in a car. However, there were steps made, but they never reached the law status.


Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in New York?

At the moment, there’s a bill in the works that will ban smoking in a vehicle if a child below the age of 14 is present in the vehicle. It wasn’t signed into law just yet.


Car Seat Laws in New York Conclusions

We have reached the end of this article. I hope you have already found the answers you’ve been looking for.

As I promised, I kept the lawyer talk minimal so you can not only understand but apply the car seat laws.

Now, if you have more questions or maybe I’ve missed something, let me know by shooting a message over.

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!


Before going on a road trip to New Jersey, be sure to update yourself on the car seat laws

The rules for car seats change from state to state, so it’s important to stay up-to-date on the latest laws. You can find a helpful post about New Jersey car seat laws right here on my blog.

Related state: CT child seat laws


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the New York state law for car seats?

According to the law in the state of New York, this is how you have to use car seats. All kids under the age of 8 have to use that car seat which is the most appropriate for them. And kids in the age range of 8-16 have to use the seat belt.

Does my 7-year-old need a booster seat?

Yes, in the state of New York, a 7-year-old will need a booster. They can ride without a booster if they are older than 8 years old.

What kind of car seat does a 3-year-old belong in NY?

A 3-year-old in NY would belong into a forward-facing car seat. Also, it’s a good idea to check the weight and height requirements before buying it.

When can I turn my child forward-facing in NY?

After the age of two, you can turn your child facing forward in the state of NY.

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

A child passenger safety technician is a certified professional (car seat safety professional) who can help you pick  the right car seats like: child safety seats, booster seats, convertible seat. Plus they can explain the nys car seat laws. They can show you how to properly install car seats on the front seat, rear seat such as booster seats  and other child safety seats  (child safety seats).  Also they can break down when to use car seats and when the lap belt or seat belts (lap and shoulder belts ).

What’s the new york car seat law for front seat?

There’s no NY car seat law specific law for the front seat in a motor vehicle. It’s a good idea to keep in mind that infant or convertible seat has to be used in the front with the airbags disabled or in the back seat. Other states advise that only kids above 13 years old should sit in the front. So there are no car seats  or child restraint systems  (child safety restraint system) is used only the lap belts or seat belts.

How old do you have to be to sit in the front seat New York?

Children should not sit in the front seat of a vehicle until they are 13 years old, according to the New York State Department of Health. All children between the ages of 8 and 15 must use safety belts when riding in cars, as required by state law.

When can my child sit in the front seat in NY?

The legal age to sit in the front seat NY is 13 years old. Children under the age of 13 years old should not sit in the front seat of any vehicle. All children between the ages of 8 and 15 must use safety belts when riding in cars, as required by state law.

Last Updated on June 25, 2022 by Danny Reid