What are the Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws?


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


You can probably think of many fun things to do instead of looking up car seat laws for the state of Pennsylvania.


I know that nobody wants to tackle laws, and this is something we parents have to do to keep our kids safe on the roads.

I’m a mom of 3 perfectly adorable angles (when they are asleep if I’m lucky), plus I used to be a paralegal before I became a stay-at-home mom. So you have found the perfect place where you can learn the car seat laws without the need of someone who can speak lawyer jargon.

This is why I‘ve created this article to make it easy for parents to know how to keep kids protected. I promise you that I will only use simple and actionable words, so you get the most out of it.

Maybe you want a specific questions answered, such as what’s the booster seat law, if there’s a need for car seats in taxis, or when a child can sit in the front. All these questions and more are answered below. Just scroll, and you will find them.

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.


Pennsylvania Booster Seat Law


According to the booster seat law for the state of Pennsylvania, kids between the age of 4 and 8 have to be secured in a booster seat that meets federal standards.


Pennsylvania Rear-facing Car Seat Law

According to the law, kids under the age of 2 have to be secured in a rear-facing car seat. They have to be kept in a rear-facing mode until they outgrow it to reach the max weight and height recommended by the manufacturer.


Pennsylvania Forward-facing Car Seat Law

If your child is under the age of 4, then they have to be secured with the appropriate car seat, which means that it can be a rear-facing or a forward-facing one as well, depending on which fits the best.

Typically forward-facing seats are used between the ages of 2 and 4.


Pennsylvania Taxi Car Seat Law

Taxis in the state of Pennsylvania are NOT exempt from the car seat laws mentioned above. So to keep your kids safe on short trips, you either bring your car seat or arrange it ahead of time.


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

There’s no law that would govern when a child can sit in the front. However, there’s a law that prohibits putting a rear-facing car seat in the front seat while the airbag is activated.


Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws at a Glance

Here you can find the entire law in one place:

Car Seat Law (Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S. 4581)

Law: According to the law, kids have to be secured the following way:

  • If your child is under the age of 2, they have to be secured with a rear-facing car seat that meets federal safety standards until they have outgrown the maximum weight and height recommendation stated by the manufacturer.
  • Suppose your child is under 4 years old. They must be secured with the appropriate car seat that meets federal safety standards.
  • If your child is between the ages of 4 and 8, they must be secured with the appropriate booster seat that meets federal safety standards.

Location in car: There are no laws governing where and when a child can sit.

Taxi: Taxis are NOT 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: $75

  • Seat Belt Law
  • Law: According to the law, all front occupants and kids under the age of 18 have to wear seat belts.
  • Fine: $10
  • RVs: The RV law follows the general car seat law as in all front occupants, and kids under age 18 have to wear a seat belt, and for younger kids, the car seat laws apply.


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

According to the law, it’s illegal to leave a child under the age of 6 unattended in a vehicle.


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

There are no laws that would ban smoking while transporting kids. However, I strongly urge you to hold off smoking while kids are in the car because it’s a well-known fact that secondhand smoke is harmful.


Conclusions on Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws

We have reached the end of this article. By now, you have probably found all the answers you needed.

I believe I have kept my promise because I only used the simplest words, so even the most sleep-deprived parents know what the law says.

If I’ve missed something or you have more questions, let me know by shooting me an email, and I will 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!


Are you traveling to NYS with your kids?

Make sure to research the booster seat laws in ny for that area before you go. In some cases, you could get fined for not having your child in a car seat, and in the worst case, your child could be injured in a car accident.

See more: Ohio booster seat laws


Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the height and weight requirements for a booster seat in PA?

The height and weight requirements for a booster seat in PA are as follows: 40 pounds and 40” on the low end and 80 pounds and 57 inches on the maximum level. The maximum weight can differ from brand to brand and models because some tap out at 100 pounds.

When can a child be out of a booster seat in PA?

At 8 years old, a child can be out of a booster seat according to PA car seat laws.

What’s the age or weight of a booster seat?

In PA, the age set for booster seats is 4 to 8, and the weight is 40 to 80 pounds.

Do 7-year-olds need car seats?

Yes, in Pennsylvania, a 7-year-old will need a car seat which is a booster seat.

Related: Booster seat requirements New Jersey

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 car seat (child safety seat) such as rear facing car seats, convertible car seats, child safety seats, child’s car seat and booster seats. Also they can explain to you pennsylvania law on child passenger safety. Plus they can do inspections on car seats after car accidents (car accident) and spot car seat defects. Besides this child passenger safety technicians can help you install properly child safety seat, rear facing car seats and a convertible car seat. Best of all a child passenger safety technician will be able to tell your child still needs a child passenger restraint system or they can go with the lap belt, shoulder belt, seat belt system. Also you can check the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia put together a great guide how to use the seat belt system properly.

How long should a child sit in the back seat?

There are no laws in PA that would govern how long should a child sit on the back seat. According to experts children younger then 13 should be sitting on the back seat. Other than that you should always check the height and weight limits (weight limit) for car seats.

Can car seats be used after a car accident?

Most manufacturer’s say that you need to change car seats after a car accident (car accidents) because there might be invisible damage done which would not offer the proper protection in case a second one occurs.

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!