Car Seat Laws in Florida (2022) – Rules to Drive Your Child Safely

According to Florida State Law, children under 5 years old must be secured properly in a federally approved child restraint device.

What is the Car Seat Law in Florida?

Florida Law Legislature in section 316.613 (1)(a) on child restraint requirements reads: "Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined in this section, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger, provide for protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device."

Florida State Regulations

Florida Car Seat Laws Rear-Facing

There is no age mentioned in the Florida law for rear-facing car seats.

The law just requires children aged from birth to 3 years old should use a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat.

Referring to the guidelines and regulations from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it’s best for the child to travel on a rear-facing car seat for as long as their second birthday.

Florida Forward Facing Car Seat Laws

The Florida law does not say anything for forward-facing car seats, no age, weight, or height rules are mentioned in the law.

However, it’s better to follow the experts’ suggestions – keep in the rear-facing and forward-facing car seats as long as possible until the child reaches the highest weight or height set by the car seat manufacturer.

What is The Law for Booster Seats in Florida?

According to Florida law, children of 4 to 5 years of age are required to use a child restraint device – it can be a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster seat.

However, this is not recommended by child safety experts.

It’s best for your child to use a forward-facing seat at this age group.

Most forward-facing car seats, including convertible, harnessed booster, and all-in-one, come with a high forward-facing weight limit of 65 pounds and height limit of 49 inches.

This typically happens around 6-7 years old.

Seat Belt Laws for Child in Florida

The Florida Legislature 316.613 rules on child restraint requirements do not talk about the safety belt for children.

You need to find it in the law on the safety belt usage section.

According to the Florida law section 316.614(4)(a): children under 18 years of age should be secured in a seat belt.

This seat belt law also applies to the adults who are operators or passengers in Florida State.

Florida Car Seat Laws Apply for

It is the obligation and responsibility of the parent, guardian, or other person responsible for a child’s welfare as defined in s.  39.01  to comply with the requirements of this section.

Exceptions

The law does not apply to

a) A school bus as defined in s. 316.003.

(b) A bus used for the transportation of persons for compensation, other than a bus regularly used to transport children to or from school, as defined in s. 316.615(1)(b), or in conjunction with school activities.

(c) A farm tractor or implement of husbandry.

(d) A truck having a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds.

(e) A motorcycle, a moped, a bicycle, or an electric bicycle.

(f) a chauffeur-driven taxi, limousine, sedan, van, bus, motor coach, or other passenger vehicles if the operator and the motor vehicle are hired and used for the transportation of persons for compensation.

Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Florida

Violators who are failing to follow these laws could result in a $60 fine and three points against the supervising adult’s driver’s license.

When can a child sit in the front seat in Florida?

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, children can sit in the front passenger seat when they are 13 years of age or older.

The back seat is safer than the front seat for younger children, especially when the front seat is equipped with an active air bag.

Taxi Car Seat Law in Florida

Taxis are exempt from the Florida laws, which emphasize the responsibility of parents and guardians to take care of a child’s safety in the car.

Age, Weight, Height Requirements in Hawaii Florida

Age is the only factor mentioned in Florida law, with no weight or height requirements.

The law does not require to use of a child car seat refer to the guidelines of NHTSA.

However, it’s STRONGLY recommended to follow those guidelines for your child’s safety sake.

Here is the age requirement in Florida law.

5 years of age or younger:

Use a child restraint device:

  • a) Birth to 3 years old: the child restraint device must be a separate carrier or an integrated child seat;
  • b) 4 to 5 years old: the child restraint device may be a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster seat.

Under 18 years old

Use a seat belt

Best Car Seats to Work with Florida 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.

Sources

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