According to the Delaware State Law, children under 8 years of age should be restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat until they weigh 65 pounds. After they are 8 years old or weigh more than 65 pounds, the child can be secured in a seat belt until age 16.
A car seat or seat belt system is helpful to protect the littles in the car. For details on how to use the child passenger restraint system, let’s check the laws in Delaware.
What is the Car Seat Law in Delaware?
Delaware Car Seat Laws Rear-Facing
The Delaware law does not specify the requirements on rear-facing car seats.
However, the Delaware Office of Highway Safety suggests that a child who is younger than 1 year of age should be secured in a rear-facing car seat.
It’s the best practice to keep using a rear-facing car seat as long as possible.
By guidelines from NHTSA, your child can travel in the rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years old.
Delaware Forward Facing Car Seat Laws
There are no age, weight, or height requirements mentioned in Delaware law on forward-facing car seats.
For this case, it’s recommended to follow experts – turn to forward-facing once the child reaches the weight or height limit for their rear-facing car seat.
Convertible and 3-in-1 car seats have a higher rear-facing weight and height limit, which will allow the child to face back for a longer time, typically around 3-4 years old.
What is The Law for Booster Seats in Delaware?
According to Delaware law section § 4803 (a), children who are 7 years of age or younger must travel in a child safety seat or booster seat until they reach 65 pounds in weight.
By law, the car seats are required to meet federal motor vehicle safety standards and should be used in accordance with the child’s weight and height following the manufacturer’s instructions.
The Delaware Office of Highway Safety implements the rules and recommends parents use a booster seat when the child reaches the weight or height limit set by the car seat manufacturer.
This typically happens when a child is around 5-7 years old.
Seat Belt Laws for Child in Delaware
According to the Delaware law section § 4803 (a), all children who are 8 years of age or older, or weighing more than 65 pounds but younger than 16 years old, should be secured with a seat belt.
When can a child sit in the front seat in Delaware?
By Delaware law § 4803. (b) (2), your child has to be 12 years or older, or 65 inches or taller, to sit in the front seat.
The airbag in the front passenger seat should be inactive when you’re planning to put the child in the front seat, except if the airbag is specially designed for use by children and small adults.
The rule on airbags in Delaware is a bit different from the other US States. However, the law is the minimum requirement, you should always check your child’s weight and height to make sure they will ride in the car following the law.
Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Delaware
The Delaware law makes it clear in section § 4803 (c) about the penalty for a rules violation.
Violators will be fined $25 for each offense.
How about the punishment if more than 1 child is not secured in a child restraint system or seat belt?
If more than 1 child is found not secured properly in the same vehicle at the same time, this will be treated as the same offense. That means the failure to secure more than 1 child in the same vehicle at the same time will be fined for ONE offense.
The law is not strict on penalties. However, your child’s safety always comes first the fine.
Delaware Car Seat Laws Apply for
These regulations apply to all seating positions in the motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this State.
The drivers are responsible for making sure the child’s security in the car. However, the law indicates in the first paragraph in section § 4803 (a):
These rules on child car seats shall not apply to any operator or passenger of a motor bus, limousine, or taxicab.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Delaware
The Delaware regulations stated in § 4803 (a) make it clear that taxis are exempt from the child restraint law.
Age, Weight, Height Requirements in Delaware Law
The Delaware laws do not have a hard number on car seat age, weight, and height requirements.
Below are summarized rules and tips on age from the Delaware Office of Highway Safety:
Under the age of 1 – Rear-facing car seats are the best and keep traveling rear-facing as long as possible.
Ages 1 through 3 – Keep your children rear-facing for as long as possible in either an infant or rear-facing convertible seat. They should remain rear-facing until the height and weight limit for rear-facing car seats or until they are age 2 or older.
Ages 4 through 7 – Keep children in a forward-facing seat with a harness to the maximum height and weight limit allowed by the seat. Then transition them to a booster seat.
Ages 8 through 12 – Seat belts can be used but you should keep children in a booster seat until they reach the upper height or weight limit of the booster seat or until they are big enough to fit the criteria for fitting appropriately in a seat belt.
What you Need to Know – Four Car Seat Stages
Best Car Seats to Work with Delaware Laws
Based on the Delaware 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 their child’s current age, this list is made by age.
Birth - 2 Years
30-lb rear-facing maximum weight
35-lb rear-facing maximum weight
40-lb rear-facing maximum weight
50-lb rear-facing maximum weight
Birth - 4 Years
65-lb forward-facing maximum weight
49-inch forward-facing maximum height
100-lb booster maximum weight
120-lb booster maximum weight
57-in booster maximum height
63-in booster maximum height
- Best to Fit 3 Across – Diono Radian 3R
- Best with backless booster – Graco 4Ever DLX
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
Car Seats with Unique Functions
- Doona infant car seat stroller (with wheels)
Car seat with 5-point harness
- Britax One4Life (120 lbs/ 63”)