New Hampshire Car Seat Laws (2024) – Secure A Child Properly

According to the New Hampshire State Law, any child under the age of seven should be secured by an approved child restraint system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards. Children older than less than 18 years of age must ride with a seat belt.

The Legislature updated the laws with a HOUSE BILL called 251-FN – it indicates the rule for children under the age of 2 years to be restrained in a rear-facing child restraining system in the motor vehicle.

The HB 251-FN took effective 1st January 2022. 

New Hampshire Child Passenger Restraints Requirements

New Hampshire Legislation in Section 265:107-a reads: "No person who is less than 18 years of age shall [...] unless such person is wearing a seat or safety belt [...]." "No person shall drive a motor vehicle on any way while carrying as a passenger a person less than 7 years of age unless such passenger is properly fastened and secured by a child restraint system [...] If the passenger is 57 inches or more in height, the provisions of this paragraph shall not apply."

New Hampshire Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws

According to the New Hampshire laws in section 265:107-a I-c, a child is required to use a rear-facing car seat when they’re younger than 2 years old

The regulation was added to the New Hampshire laws in 2021 and will be effective in 2022.

It complies with the rules suggested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator – keeps infants and toddlers in rear-facing as long as possible until 2 years of age

Pro tips:

New Hampshire Forward Facing Car Seat Laws

There are no age, height, and weight requirements for forward-facing seats in the New Hampshire car seat laws. Instead, you’ll follow car seat manufacturer’s guidelines for your seat and they fall within the law.

Pro tips:

  • Forward-facing car seats are designed to meet the US federal government’s safety laws and the NHTSA’s guidelines. You can always find an appropriate one for your child’s growth.

Child Booster Seat Laws in New Hampshire

When the child outgrows the weight or height limit of the forward-facing car seat, they are required to use booster seats. According to New Hampshire law in section 265:107-a I-b, your child is required to use an appropriate safety seat until 7 years of age.

Pro tips:

  • The booster seat age in New Hampshire is seven years old, meaning that your kid will be able to get out of a car seat on the seventh birthday.

Seat Belt Laws for New Hampshire

Children under 18 years old should be secured by either a seat belt or a child safety seat, according to the New Hampshire law section 265:107-a I-b.

Best practices:

  • It’s better for children to use Lap and Shoulder Seat Belts for optimal protection.  It’s the safest for them.
  • Children under 13 years old ride in the back seat.

Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in New Hampshire

The rules in section 265:107-a III tell that violating this law will be fined $50 for the first offense and up to $100 if you fail to use a child safety car seat for the second time.

New Hampshire Car Seat Laws Apply for

Every person transporting a child shall be responsible for assuring that each child is properly restrained pursuant to New Hampshire State Law, no matter whether you are a resident or traveler.


According to section 265:107-a II,  the regulations shall not apply to the below situations: 

(1) in taxis and buses

(2) in vehicles manufactured prior to 1968

(3) when they have physical conditions that prevent the use of seat belts or child safety seats

(4) under certain special-education conditions.

When can a child legally sit in the front seat in New Hampshire?

New Hampshire car seat law doesn’t give a specific age when your child can sit in the front seat.
However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children under the age of 13 should travel in the back seat. Airbags can prove fatal for the child; the back seat is the safest option for children.

Taxi Car Seat Law in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is 1 of 35 US states that exempt taxis from child restraint system laws. According to the law:

“It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all child passengers are properly restrained. There are only four exceptions to this requirement: (1) in taxis.”

Age, Weight, Height Requirements in New Hampshire Law

New Hampshire car seat laws do not have strict age, weight, and height requirements on riding a kid in rear-facing and forward-facing. It just states two simple numbers on age.

  • Children under 18 years of age should be secured in a seat belt or child safety seat. 
  • Children under the age of 7 are required to use an approved child restraint.
  • Children under 2 years old must ride in a rear-facing car seat

The third rule was just added to the New Hampshire Legislation in 2021 and effective on January 1st, 2022. 

Best Car Seats to Work with New Hampshire Laws

New Hampshire car seat laws are comparatively not too strict on age, weight, and height requirements, especially on the rear-facing position. 

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 New Hampshire 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

The Graco TurboBooster is the most popular and best budget car seat to meet the New Hampshire 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 New Hampshire children to get rid of a car seat.

But for parents in New Hampshire, you may keep your kid in a car seat as long as possible for safety’s sake.