Car Seat Laws in Louisiana (2022): Rear- or Forward-facing, or Booster

The Louisiana State updated its law in 2019 and makes it more clear and specific on each car seat stage.

Children younger than 2 years of age should ride in a rear-facing child restraint system.

 

What is the Car Seat Law in Louisiana?

Louisana Legislature Section R.S §295 A says: "Every driver in this state who transports a child or children under the age of eighteen years in a motor vehicle that is in motion and is required by federal safety standards to be equipped with a safety belt system or lower anchors and tethers for children in a passenger seating position shall have the child properly restrained according to the vehicle and child safety seat manufacturer's instructions.”

Louisiana State Regulations

Louisiana Car Seat Laws Rear-Facing

Louisiana State Legislature §295 A (1) on child car seat law requires that infants and toddlers who are younger than 2 years old should travel in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the weight or height limit recommended by the car seat manufacturer. 

The child car seats should meet the federal safety regulations and standards.

The infant car seats are designed to ride at most 35-pound toddlers. That typically happens around 12 or 18 months

Convertible and all-in-one car seats support a higher rear-facing weight or height limit. You can use this type of car seat to extend the ride to your child’s second or even third birthday. 

Louisiana Forward Facing Car Seat Laws

According to Louisiana law §295. A (2), as your child grows over 2 years of age and once they reach rear-facing weight or height limit of their car seats, they shall be restrained in a forward-facing car seat.

The forward-facing car seat is required to feature an internal harness and should be used until the child reaches the weight or height limit of their car seats set by the manufacturer.

What is The Law for Booster Seats in Louisiana?

By Lousiana law section §295 A (3), children who are at least 4 years old or at least 40 pounds can travel in a belt-positioning booster seat.

However, the best practice is to let your child stay in their forward-facing car seats for as long as they reach the weight or height limit for the forward-facing seats, then switch to a booster seat.

The booster seat should be installed with a lap-shoulder belt following the car seat manufacturer’s instructions.

Seat Belt Laws for Child in Louisiana

The Louisiana law section §295 A (3) says that children who are at least 9 years old can ride using the vehicle’s safety belt once they outgrow the height or weight limits of their booster seats or other child restraint systems.

However, you should always make sure that the vehicle seat belt fits your child correctly:

  • The child sits all the way back against the vehicle seat.
    The child’s knees bend over the edge of the vehicle seat with their feet landing comfortably on the car floor.
  • The belt strap fits snugly across the child’s thighs and lowers hips, not the child’s abdomen.
    The shoulder strap fits snugly across the center of the child’s chest, not the child’s neck.
  • If your child meets all the requirements, they are properly ready to be secured with the vehicle’s safety belt.

When can a child get out of a car seat in Louisiana?

Your child can get out of a car seat on the ninth birthday. That’s the minimum age requirement for using a seat belt.

However, you should make sure the vehicle’s safety belt fits your child properly with the above tips.

It’s better to stick to the belt-positioning booster seat for as long as the child reaches the upper weight or height limits of the boosters.

Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Louisiana

The Louisana Legislature defines the regulations about the penalty when the operator (commonly the parents or guardians) of the motor vehicle failed to follow the law.

In section §295 I (1), the law says: Violating this law causes a fine of $100 for the first offense. If the drivers were caught for the second offense, the fine goes up doubly or even more, but less than $500.

Is there any penalty on more offenses than the second?

Yes, the violators will receive a fine of $500 with extra costs of court if being caught for a third or subsequent offense.

Lousiana is one state that has a heavy penalty for not obeying the car seat laws. It’s better for parents to follow the rules in this state, not just for the big costs of hundreds of dollars, but for your child’s safety. The littles are always the most precious.

Louisiana Car Seat Laws Apply for

The drivers are responsible for the child’s safety in the car.

Exceptions:

The Lousiana State Legislature indicates the exceptions for the law in section §295 B (1). The motor vehicle does not include the following:

Ambulance or other emergency vehicles, school bus, church bus, private bus, or recreational vehicle with ten or more passenger positions, commercial truck, van, or taxi.

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

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

Lousiana is one of the States that have a clear guide for parents when a child can sit in the front seat.

According to Louisiana law section §295 A (5), children younger than 13 years of age should be transported in the rear seat in the car, when available, no matter what types of child safety seat they are using, and which car seat stage they fall into.

That means a child can sit in the front seat on their thirteenth birthday by the Lousiana rules.

Taxi Car Seat Law in Louisiana

Louisiana is one of those states that don’t require taxis to follow the laws on child passenger restraint system.

This regulation can be found in section §295 B (1) in the law states about motor vehicles.

Age, Weight, Height Requirements in Louisiana Law

According to the Louisiana Law §295 B (1), which was effective in 2019, age is the leading factor for parents to choose the right child restraint system for four stages:

Rear-facing (stage 1): birth to 2 years old
Forward-facing (stage 2): at least 2 years old
Booster (stage 3): at least 4 years old
Seat belt: at least 9 years old

The weight or height requirements are not specified with hard numbers, the law just asks the parents to follow the car seat manufacturer’s instructions, making sure your child does not exceed the weight or height limits of their car seats and boosters.

Best Car Seats to Work with Louisiana 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.

Resources

On this page