According to the Georgia State Law, children under 8 years old should be properly restrained in an appropriate child passenger safety seat or booster seat suitable for their age and size.
The child passenger restraint system should be manufactured under the United States Department of Transportation regulations and meet the federal motor vehicle safety standard.
What is the Car Seat Law in Georgia?
Georgia Car Seat Laws Rear-Facing
In Georgia, the law OCGA 40-8-76 (b)(1) on safety restraint for children does not indicate any requirements and rules on a rear-facing car seat. It just requires a child to use a restraint device before they are 8 years of age.
However, according to the rules from National Highway Transportation Safety Administrative (NHTSA), the child is better to keep using the rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years old.
Interpreting the law with the best practice, parents should use a rear-facing car seat for infants and toddlers until a child reaches the weight or height limit set by the car seat manufacturer.
Infant-only car seats allow a 30-35 pounds weight limit and 32 inches height limit. That typically happens around 12 or 18 months.
Convertible and all-in-one car seats have higher weight and height limits for keeping the child rear-facing for a longer period of time, such as the 50 pounds weight limit of Graco Extend2Fit and the 43-inch height limit of Chicco NextFit Zip.
Georgia Forward Facing Car Seat Laws
Georgia law does not state the rules on forward-facing either.
But the law requires the child to be secured in an appropriate child restraint system according to their height and weight under the basic age requirement of younger than 8 years of age.
It’s best to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat as long as possible when they reach the highest weight or height, then transition to a forward-facing car seat.
If an infant car seat is used, your child may use a forward-facing car seat when they reach 30 pounds or 35 pounds, depending on the car seat you have purchased.
This generally happens at the age of 12 and 18 months.
If you have used a convertible or all-in-one car seat, you can switch it to the forward-facing position once your child is in the toddler age around 2 years.
What is The Law for Booster Seats in Georgia?
By law, children riding in Georgia should be secured in a booster seat when they are between 4 to 8 years of age, 40 to 80 pounds in weight, and under 4 feet 9 inches.
The 4 years of age and 40 pounds are the minimum requirements to use a booster.
However, it’s not recommended to rush to put your child in a booster seat.
It’s better to keep your child in the forward-facing car seat with a harness as long as possible until they reach the weight or height limit. That typically happens around 5-7 years old.
The booster seat is required to be used with a lap and shoulder belt for installation.
Seat Belt Laws for Child in Georgia
According to Georgia Legislature Law Code Section 40-8-76 9 (b) (1) D, a child who is over 4 feet 9 inches in height shall be restrained in a seat safety belt.
The law makes it clear for parents to follow this rule for securing big kids. However, you should stick to the booster seat until your child outgrows this type of car seat.
Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Georgia
In the second part of O.C.G.A 40-8-76 (b), the law states that:
Failure to secure a child properly in a safe car seat can be fined up to $50.
Georgia Car Seat Laws Apply for
The drivers are responsible for making sure a child’s safe in a motor vehicle. However, in the O.C.G.A 40-8-76 section (a), the law points out two exceptions:
- Taxi cabs
- Public Transit
When can a child sit in the front seat in GA?
The law requires that all children under the age of 8 and less than 57 inches in height must ride in the back seat of the car.
However, this is law but not the best practice. Child safety experts recommend that your child should stay in the back seat until they are 13 years old.
The back seat is safer than the front seat for children who are fragile to take the force of an airbag in the front seat.
The Georgia law permits the exception that a child under the age of 8 to sit in the front seat with a proper car seat or booster seat.
If there is no back seat in the vehicle (e.g., a truck) or
If other children are restrained in the back seat.
Remember to make sure the airbag is inactive before placing the child in the front passenger seat.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Georgia
The legislature statement talks about the rule that taxis are exempt from the child car seat laws in Georgia in the section O.C.G.A 40-8-76 section (a).
Age, Weight, Height Requirements in Georgia Law
The GA laws do not say much on age, weight, or height requirements on a child and the car seat.
Under 8 years of age
Use a proper child restraint system in accordance with the child’s weight and height.
More than 4 feet 9 inches
Secure with a seat belt
What you Need to Know – Four Car Seat Stages
Best Car Seats to Work with Georgia Laws
Rear-Facing Car Seat for Infants and Small Toddlers
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
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.
Booster Seats for Big Kids
Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster
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.