Alabama Car Seat Laws (2023) -Rear- or Forward-facing, or Booster

According to Alabama State Law, children under six years old should ride in a size-appropriate restraint system in compliance with the United States Department of Transportation Standards and according to the specifications listed by the safety seat manufacturers.

Alabama Child Passenger Restraints Requirements

Alabama State Legislature in Section 32-5-222 (a) reads: "Every person transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall provide for the protection of the child by properly using an aftermarket or integrated child passenger restraint system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards."


Alabama Rear-facing Car Seat Laws


Alabama Forward facing Car Seat Rules


Alabama Booster Seat Laws

Front Seat Laws

When can child sit in front seat in Alabama

Car Seats List

Best car seat to meet Alabama laws

US Car Seat Laws

Seat Laws across the United States

Alabama Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws

According to the rules in Section 32-5-222, (b) (1) in Alabama laws, infants and small toddlers below one year of age or under 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing car seat, including infant-only seats and convertible seats used in the rear-facing position.

Safety tips:

  • Never put a rear-facing car seat in the forward-facing position or in front of an active airbag.
  • Ensure that the harness is snug and that the harness clip is placed at the center of the chest and at the level of the child’s armpits.
  • The seat must be tightly secured using the vehicle lap belt or anchored using the LATCH System.

Alabama Forward Facing Car Seat Laws

The regulation in Section 32-5-222, (b) (2) says that children under five years old or 40 pounds should be restrained in front-facing seats or convertible seats in the forward position.

Safety tips:

  • A 5-point harness is still the best for protecting toddlers and preschoolers at this age and weight range
  • Parents should stick with the current staged seats for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer.

Child Booster Seat Laws in Alabama

Children younger than six years of age, according to Alabama car seat laws in Section 32-5-222, (b) (3), are required to stay in booster seats.

Safety tips:

  • The booster seat age in Alabama is six years old, meaning that your kid will be able to get out of a car seat on the sixth birthday.

Seat Belt Laws for Alabama

The law in Section 32-5-222, (b) (4) requires children under 15 years of age to travel with seat belts in the car.

Safety tips:

  • When children are old enough and large enough to use the vehicle seat belt alone, they should always use Lap and Shoulder Seat Belts for optimal protection.
  • All children younger than 13 years should be restrained in the rear seats of vehicles for optimal protection.
  • The lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest.

When can a child legally sit in the front seat in Alabama?

Alabama law doesn’t give a specific age when your child can sit in the front seat.

Based on the experts’ opinions, children after 13 years of age can use car seat belts.

A car seat belt is safe when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt fits across the chest.

After that, your child is ready to sit in the front seat.

Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Alabama

The rule makes it clear in Section 32-5-222, (d) that the fine for a citation is $25.00

Plus points minus punishment. Any violation of child safety restraint requirements.

First offense – 1 point, the second or subsequent offense – 2 points.

Alabama Car Seat Laws Apply for

According to the rule in Section 32-5-222, (d), the drivers are responsible for assuring that each child is properly restrained pursuant to Alabama State Law, no matter whether you are a resident or traveler.


The provisions shall not apply to taxis and all motor vehicles with a seating capacity of 11 or more passengers, like school buses.

Alabama State Laws Milestones

The car seat laws keep updated for optimal protection to your child. Here are some changes for the previous and current Alabama State Law on child car safety restraints systems.

1982 Car Seat Law through age 3

Every person transporting a child under the age of three years in a motor vehicle shall provide for the protection of the child by properly using a child passenger restraint system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.

1991 Secondary Seat Belt Law

Each front seat occupant of a passenger car manufactured with safety belts in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208 shall have a safety belt properly fastened about his body at all times when the vehicle is in motion. Failure to use safety belts is a secondary offense.

1999 Primary Seat Belt Law

Changed the 1991 Seat Belt Law by making failure to use safety belts a primary offense.

2006 Car Seat Law under the age of 15

Changed the 1989 Car Seat Law by raising the age to children required to use a child passenger restraint system to 15 years.

Taxi Car Seat Law in Alabama

Alabama is 1 of 35 US states that exempt taxis from child restraint system laws. According to the law:

“Every person transporting a child shall be responsible for assuring that each child is properly restrained pursuant to this section. The provisions shall not apply to taxis and all motor vehicles with a seating capacity of 11 or more passengers.”

Age, Weight, Height Requirements in Alabama Law

Age and weight are the most common two criteria in Alabama State Law.

Rear-facing (stage 1): one-year-old & 20 pounds

Forward-facing (stage 2): five years old & 40 pounds

Booster (stage 3): six years old, no weight requirement for a booster seat

Seat belt (stage 4): 15 years old.

Best Car Seats to Work with Alabama Laws

Based on the Alabama child car seat laws, here are the best car seats that will ride your boys or girls safely without breaking the rules.

To help parents quickly find the best option based on your child’s current age, this list is made by age.

Newborn - 2 Years Old

Rear-facing car seats

Birth - 4 Years Old

Convertible car seats for use

4-8 Years Old

Booster seats for use

With Special Functions

Car seats with Unique Features

Birth - 2 Years

30-lb rear-facing maximum weight

Further Information

Best Car Seats for One Year Old

Birth - 4 Years

4-8 Years

  • Best to Fit 3 Across – Diono Radian 3R
  • Best with backless booster – Graco 4Ever DLX
Diono Cambria 2 XL

The Diono Cambria 2 XL combines a highback and backless booster into one. It provides spacious room for growing big kids.

Diono Cambria 2 XL

The Good
The Bad

Car Seats with Unique Functions

For Travel

Further Information

Best car seat with wheels

Slim Fit to Do 3 Across


Car seat with 5-point harness

Further Information

Best purple car seats for girls