What are the Ohio Car Seat Laws?


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


There is better way to spend time than trying to find and figure out car seat laws for the state of Ohio.


I know that car seat laws can be confusing, to say the least, and I’m here to help you. You see, I’m a mom, and I have 3 lovely angles (mostly when they are asleep), plus I have a paralegal past.

This means that I can translate lawyer jargon into something concrete and actionable.  Besides this, we’re on the road all the time, so I have no choice but to learn the car seats to keep my kids safe.

By reading this article, you will find out exactly what kind of car seat you need to keep your children safe no matter what and avoid those fines.

Plus, I will answer the most important questions such as what’s the booster seat law, or do I need a car seat in a taxi, when can my child face forward and more. Scroll, and you will find the answers 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.


Ohio Booster Seat Laws


The booster seat law for the state of Ohio says that kids between the ages of 4 and 8 should be secured with a booster seat.

When your child has outgrown their forward-facing car seat, then they can upgrade to the booster seat.

Also, if your child is above 57 inches, they can move on to the seat belt.


Ohio Rear-facing Car Seat Laws

There’s no specific law for rear-facing car seats, only the blanket law that states that kids under the age of 4 and weighing less than 40 pounds have to be secured with the proper car seat.

Typically rear, facing car seats are used until the age of one or when the child reaches 20 pounds. However, experts recommend keeping kids in rear-facing mode until the age of 2 simply because it’s the safest way to ride.


Ohio Forward-facing Car Seat Laws

Again we have to use the blanket law to figure out how to properly secure our kids.

So, in this case, you can upgrade your child into a forward-facing car seat when they have outgrown their rear-facing one, and this usually happens around the age of 2.

Also, you can upgrade to a booster seat around the age of 4 or when they weigh more than 40 pounds.


Ohio Taxi Car Seat Laws

According to the law in the state of Ohio, taxis are exempt from the car seat laws mentioned above. This means that you have to bring your car seat to keep your kids safe for short rides.


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

There’s no law that would dictate when a child can sit in the front. Basically, if the child can be secured with a seat belt, then they could sit in the front, and this happens around the age range of 8-15.

However, experts advise that only kids above the age of 13 should be in the front because it might not be safe for smaller kids.


Ohio Car Seat Laws at a Glance

Here you can find the entire law in one place:

Car Seat Law (4511.81)

Law: According to the law kids, this is how you have to secure your kids:

  • If your child is under the age of 4 and weighs less than 40 pounds, they must be secured by a car seat that meets federal safety standards.
  • Suppose your child is between the ages of 4 and 8, and it’s less than 57” in height; they have to be secured in a booster seat that meets federal safety standards.
  • If your child is between the ages of 8 and 15, they have to be properly secured by the seat belt, shoulder belt or harness that meets federal safety standards.

Location in car: There’s no law mentioning where a child can sit.

Taxi: Taxis are exempt from the above-mentioned car seat laws. This means that if you want to keep your kids safe during short trips, you have to bring your own car seat.

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

Fines: $75

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: According to the law, all front occupants must wear a seat belt.
  • Fine: $30 for driver; $20 for passenger
  • RVs: The RV car seat law follows the general car seat law as in all front occupants have to wear a seat belt for kids the car seat laws apply.


What is the law concerning leaving kids in the Car in Ohio?

There’s no law against leaving a child unattended in a car. Here’s some food for thought. If the summer is super-hot, maybe it’s a good idea to have a 12-year-old next to your child if you can’t take them with you.


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

Currently, there’s no law banning smoking while transporting kids. However, a few years back, there was a bill proposed that would ban smoking if there’s a 6-year-old or younger in the vehicle? This bill failed in 2018.


Conclusions on Ohio Car Seat Laws

We have reached the end of this article. As I’ve promised, I’ve kept everything simple and to the point. By now, you should know exactly how to keep your kids safe and avoid the fines.

Also, I’ve answered the most important questions that I’ve heard from fellow parents. If you happen to have more questions feel free to contact me, and I will do my best to get 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!


Do Indiana car seat laws apply to out-of-state visitors?

In almost every state in the U.S., there are laws requiring children to be properly restrained in car seats while traveling. If you are visiting Indiana you should follow the car seat laws in Indiana to be on the safe side.

Should I be worried about Michigan car seat laws?

In the United States, car seat laws vary from state to state. If you’re planning to go to Michigan, you should definitely check out the car seat laws in Michigan before you hit the road.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the weight and age of a booster seat in Ohio?

For the state of Ohio, this is the weight and age limit for booster seats. A booster seat can be used from 4 years old or 40 pounds up to 8 years or 57 inches in height.

Can an 8-year-old sit without a car seat?

In the state of Ohio, an 8-year-old can sit without a car seat.

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

A child passenger safety technician is a certified professional who can help you pick the right child safety seat (child restraint) let it be rear facing car seat, forward facing seat, convertible car seat booster seats or any type of child safety seat. Also they can do a car seat inspection  and explain Ohio car seat laws (Ohio laws). Furthermore, they can show you how to properly install a rear facing car seat  or child restraint system. Plus they can tell you if your child is ready for the seat belts (safety belt) or they still need a harnessed car seat restraint system.

When can I move my child from the back seat to the front seat?

According to Ohio law, there’s no specifics when can you move your child from the back seat to the front. However many experts suggest that once the safety seat is not needed only the safety belt then should kids sit in the front. This happens around the age of 13. Maybe ohio law will be updated soon.

Last Updated on February 5, 2023 by Danny Reid

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!