Car Seat Laws in Delaware (2022) – Rules What Parents Need to Know

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 Law Legislature in section § 4803 on child restraint system reads: Every person shall be responsible when transporting a child through the age of 7 and up to and including the weight of 65 pounds in a motor vehicle [...] in a child safety seat or booster seat meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards, and that is appropriate for the child’s weight and height. Every child who has either attained the age of 8 or weight in excess of 65 pounds and has not yet attained the age of 16 shall, in all seating positions, wear a properly secured seatbelt [...]."

Delaware State Regulations

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.

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):

Exceptions

These rules on child car seats shall not apply to any operator or passenger of a motor bus, limousine, or taxicab.

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.

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.

Best Car Seats to Work with Delaware Laws

Rear-Facing Car Seat for Infants and Small Toddlers

Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller

Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller Combo

More than this Doona car seat and stroller combo, there are a few excellent options available for riding infants in rear-facing. But not all will perform as well as it to allow 1-year-old infants to face the back for this long time, Chicco KeyFit 30 for example, features a low 30-lb weight limit that might not go through the first year. 

Forward-Facing for Big Toddlers and Preschoolers

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

Graco Extend2Fit

This convertible car seat is great enough to meet the parent’s need to ride their kids in the rear- and front-facing for a longer time. It features 50-lb rear-facing weight limit to be one of the best rear-facing car seats for 2 years old.

When using it facing front, the 65-lb weight limit makes it go through the preschool ages – 3 years old, 4 years old, and 5 years old.

Booster Seats for Big Kids

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster

$24.99*

The Graco TurboBooster is the most popular and best budget car seat to meet the State Law to ride older children, six or seven years old, or even bigger. While six years of age is relatively younger than other states’ eight years of age requirement, it’s sooner for Alabama children to get rid of a car seat.