Ohio Car Seat Laws (2022) – Age, Weight, Height Requirements

According to Ohio State Law, all children under 8 years old should ride with a child restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards and is appropriate to the child’s weight and height.

What is the car seat law in Ohio?

Ohio State Legislature Laws in Section 4511.81 read: “When any child […] is being transported in a motor vehicle, […] the operator of the motor vehicle shall have the child properly secured in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions in a child restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards.”

Ohio State Law

Ohio Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws

According to Ohio law, children must travel in a car seat when they are less than 4 years old or under 40 pounds. No rear-facing is mentioned in the law, but the car seat needs to be suitable for the child’s weight and height.

The best practice is to keep a child in a rear-facing car seat until the age of 2 or until reaching the maximum height or weight set by the car seat manufacturer.

Ohio Forward Facing Car Seat Laws

The same case happens to the forward-facing. Ohio law does not specify the age, weight, and height requirements on forward-facing car seats. At this time, it’s best to follow the guidelines of AAP and NHTSA – Use a forward-facing car seat when the child outgrows their rear-facing car seat.

By law, the forward-facing seats are required to be used until a child is 4 years old and weighs at least 40 pounds.

It’s the best to keep your child in the forward-facing car seat as long as they are still within the upper weight or height limit of their car seats.

Child Booster Seat Laws in Ohio

The Ohio law says that children who are between 4 and 8 years old should be secured in a booster until they reach 4 feet 9 inches in height.

It means that your child can get out of a booster seat on the eighth birthday or when they are 57 inches or taller.

The law also requires that all booster seats must be used with a lap and shoulder belt.

Seat Belt Laws for Child in Ohio

After outgrowing the booster seats, the child can use a seat belt. According to Ohio law, children aged 8 up to age 15 should wear a vehicle seat belt.

Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Ohio

Violating the law will result in a minimum fine of $25 and a maximum fine of $75 for the first offenses.

Second offense fines to $250 and jail time to 30 days.

Ohio Car Seat Laws Apply for

It’s the drivers’ responsibility to make sure the child be secured properly in an appropriate car seat following the law.

Exceptions:

Taxis, public maintenance/street workers

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

There is no age mentioned in the Ohio law regarding the front seat. According to law, children ages 8-15 must use a child safety seat or safety belt, eight front or back seats. 

 However, the law also recommends, along with the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics, that children can sit in the front seat after they are at least 13 years old.

Taxi Car Seat Law in Ohio

Taxis are exempt from child restraint laws in Ohio as mentioned in section 4511.81(a).

Age, Weight, Height Requirements in Ohio Law

The Ohio laws have a few age, weight, or height requirements:

Birth to 4 years old and under 40 pounds – Stage 1 and 2
Children who meet these requirements need to ride in a child safety car seat, but not specifically on the rear- or forward-facing.

Age 4 up to 8 or 4’9” tall – Stage 3

A booster is required to ride a child at least 4 years old but under 8 years of age, or until the child is less than 4 feet 9 inches.

Age 8 up to age 15 – Stage 4

Only children who are at least 8 years old can wear a seat belt.

Best Car Seats to Work with Ohio 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 Ohio State Law to ride older children, six or seven years old, or even bigger.