What are the Texas Car Seat Laws?


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


You can probably think of more entertaining ways to spend your time than looking up car seat laws for the state of Texas.


It’s our duty as parents to keep our kids safe, so this is why we created this article to make life easier for you.

You see, I’m a mom of 3 adorable angels (maybe in the sleep), and we travel a lot, so I have to be up to date with all the car seat rules. Thanks to my paralegal background, it is easy.

I can find the relevant laws in a second and also translate the lawyer’s talk into something that is easily understood by anyone, even parents with severe sleep deprivation.

By reading this article, you not only will get the most up-to-date laws, but you will get it instantly because I’m using simple terms that are actionable.

Maybe you just want some answers to the most pressing questions such as: what’s the booster seat law, do I need a car seat in a taxi, when a child can sit in the front seat. I have an answer to all these and other questions.

All you have to do is scroll and read it.

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.


Texas Booster Seat Law


There’s no exact booster seat law for the state of Texas. The law only states that kids should be secured in the appropriate car seat under the age of 8 and below 57 inches.

This would mean that after your child has outgrown their forward-facing car seat, they can upgrade to a booster seat. Typically kids outgrow their forward-facing seats around the age of 4.


Texas Rear-facing Car Seat Law

The blanket law doesn’t mention anything specific. However, I’ve managed to find a recommendation from the Texas Department of Public Safety, which says that kids should be in rear-facing mode until the age of 1 and 35 pounds.


Texas Forward-facing Car Seat Law

Again thanks to the TDPS, we’re getting some clarity about the blanket law. They recommend keeping a child in forward-facing mode from the age of 2 until they outgrow it.


Texas Taxi Car Seat Law

In the state of Texas, taxis and vehicles transporting for hire are exempt from the car seat laws mentioned above. This means that you have to bring your car seat to keep your kids safe on short trips.


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

There’s no exact law when a child can sit in the front. However, the TDPS recommends 12 because then are kids ready for the regular seat belt use.


Texas Car Seat Laws at a Glance

Here you can find the entire law in one place:

Car Seat Law (Sec. 545.412 Texas Transportation Code)

Law: The car seat laws say the following things on how to secure your child:

  • All kids under the age of 8 have to be secured by the appropriate car seat that has been crashing tested and meets all federal safety standards. Also, it has to be used as the manufacturer recommends it.
  • If your child is under the age of 8 but is at least 57 inches tall, they can be secured with the vehicle’s seat belt.

Location in car: There are no current laws that dictate where a child can sit.

Taxi: Taxis are exempt from the car seat laws mentioned above. This means that you have to either provide the car seat or arrange it ahead of time.

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

Fines: $25 to $250

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: According to the law, all front occupants have to wear a seat belt and kids under the age of 18.
  • Fine: $25-$50; $100-$200 if younger than 18
  • RVs: The law for RVs is the same as the general car seat law, and in all front occupants, kids under the age of 18 are required to wear seat belts. For younger kids, car seat laws apply.


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

According to the law, it’s illegal to leave a child less than 7 years old alone for more than 5 minutes if there isn’t at least a 14-year-old next to them.


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

Since 2019 it has become illegal to smoke in a vehicle while transporting kids under the age of 18.


Conclusions on Texas Car Seat Laws

We have reached the end of this article. I hope you have found all the answers to your questions.

As promised, I have avoided all the lawyer jargon and used simple language, so you know how to keep your kids safe and avoid fines.

Maybe you have questions that I forgot to answer? Or did you find something that I’ve forgotten to mention? No biggie, send me a message, and I will be right on it.

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: Louisiana car seat laws height and weight


Frequently Asked Questions:

What are the height and weight requirements for booster seats in Texas?

In the state of Texas, the height and weight requirements for booster seats are as follows. For the minimum requirements, the limit is set to 40 pounds and 40 inches, while the maximum in height is set to 57 inches. The maximum weight is different from model to model, from 80 pounds up to 100 pounds.

What is the age and weight of booster seats?

For the state of Texas, the age is between 4 and 8 years old, and the weight range is 40 pounds to 80 and even 100 pounds.

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 choose the right car seats  such as a child safety seat. They can also show you how to properly install car seats according to the texas law for child passenger safety. Plus they can tell you when it’s a good idea to upgrade from car seats to the adult seat belt (shoulder belt, seat belt).

When can kids ride without car seats in the state of Texas?

Children younger than 8 have to use the appropriate car seats and older can use the safety belt.



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!