If you’re trying to find the Pennsylvania car seat laws 2022, here is the right place.
According to Pennsylvania State Law, children under 8 years of age must travel in an appropriate booster seat or child restraint device based on the child’s age.
Moving on to the next parts, you’ll find age is the only requirement mentioned in the car seat regulations in PA.
If you want to know the PA car seat laws regarding maximum height and weight, it’s the best practice to follow the guidelines of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA short) as well.
Here in this guide for PA car seat laws, we try to provide as many details as possible to explain the Pennsylvania car seat laws on booster seat age and height requirements, rear-facing and forward-facing rules, and when a child can sit in the front seat in Pennsylvania.
Overview of Car Seat Laws in Pennsylvania
The child seat laws go into three car seat stages – rear-facing, forward-facing, and booster. So we also talk about Pennsylvania car seat laws in these three categories.
Can’t wait to know the PA booster seat laws? Just click the booster field below.
Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws Rear-Facing
PA car seat law rear-facing is not mentioned in law information of 2002 Act 229.
The rules only require a child under four years old to ride with an appropriate child restraint system.
However, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation adds an explained rule in Chapter 5: Laws And Related Issues of the online driver’s manual.
You can also find this rule in the traffic safety & driver topics documents from PA DOT about child passenger safety if you’re traveling in PA.
- Never install a rear-facing car seat in the front seat if an airbag is active.
Still, according to the rule in Pennsylvania DOT suggestions, the back seat is safer for infants and toddlers.
Rear-Facing: <2 Years Old
Rear-Facing: 2 Years or Older
RF: 4-30 lbs/ 30″
Best for Preemie
Chicco KeyFit 30
RF: 4-35 lbs/ 32″
Best for Travel
Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller
Pennsylvania Forward Facing Car Seat Laws
The PA laws do not mention any age, weight, and height requirements on forward-facing car seats.
The rules in section § 4581. subsection (a) Part (1) (i) only require a child who is under 4 years old to travel in a child passenger restraint system.
It’s best to keep your child rear-facing and forward-facing for as long as possible until your child exceeds the height and weight limit.
Most forward-facing car seats come with a 65-pound weight limit and 49-inch height limit. That typically happens at age 5-7 years.
Forward-Facing: 4 Years Old
Forward-Facing: Five Years or Older
FF: 22-65 lbs/ 49″
FF: 22-65 lbs/ 49″
PA Booster Seat Laws
The regulations in section § 4581. subsection (a) Part (1.1) says that children who are 4 years of age or older and under 8 years old should travel in a booster seat.
The PA law also requires the booster seat to be secured properly in the safety seat belt system.
The seat belt system generally includes a lap belt and a shoulder belt, which are required by the federal government for optimal protection.
When can a child be out of a booster seat in PA?
The child should be at least 8 years old to get out of a booster seat in Pennsylvania. You can move to the seat belt laws part for detailed rules.
Age for Booster Seat in PA
PA booster seat laws do not mention the maximum weight and height requirements.
Age seems to be the only rule to decide when your child should ride in a booster – at least 4 years old.
Plus, the regulations also indicate that you should follow the car seat manufacturer’s instructions as well.
Height and Weight for Booster Seat in PA
Based on our experience of reviewing 30+ car seats, most booster seats have a minimum weight limit of 40 pounds. The maximum weight limit may differ based on different brands, commonly ranging between 100-120 pounds.
57-inch is the most common seen height limit for a booster seat. Few backless boosters and backless booster mode in all-in-one car seats are designed with a higher height limit – up to 63-inches.
What about the backless booster seat requirements in PA?
It should be the same as the PA booster seat laws. 4-year-old is the minimum age requirement to ride in a backless booster in Pennsylvania.
No maximum height and weight requirements, but parents should use the booster seats as per the manufacturer’s operating instructions.
Booster Seat Weight
No booster seat weight requirements are mentioned in the Pennsylvania laws.
Booster Seat Height
No booster seat height requirements are mentioned in the Pennsylvania laws.
Booster: 40-100 lbs/ 57″
Chicco GoFit Plus
Booster: 40-100 lbs/ 57″
Graco Atlas Harness Booster
Child Seat Belt Laws in Pennsylvania
According to the regulations in section § 4581. subsection (a) Part (1.1) and (2) (B), children 8 years of age or older but under 18 years of age should be restrained in a safety seat belt.
The law asks the minimum age requirement for a child getting out of a booster. But it’s not the safest practice.
As a good parent, you may want to provide the best protection for your littles. It’s a good habit to check the rules from NHTSA along with the local laws.
The child safety experts suggest sticking with a booster seat before the last car seat stage as long as your child is within the booster weight and height limits.
Seat Belt: 8 Years Old
Seat Belt: 8 Years or Older
Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Pennsylvania
The regulation in section § 4581. subsection (b) talks about the penalties of offense for the laws.
Violators who fail to provide an appropriate car seat for children under 4 years of age will be fined $75.
Violators who fail to properly secure children 8 years of age or older but under 18 years old in seat belts will be fined $10.
Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws Apply for
The drivers should take responsibility for assuring the child’s safety in the car.
According to the rules and regulations in section § 4581. subsection (a), exemptions are allowed if the child restraint system or booster seat is impractical for physical reasons like medical reasons or the size of the child.
Pennsylvania Front Seat Laws
When can a child sit in the front seat in PA?
PA car seat laws do not say any age, weight, or height requirements about how old to sit in the front seat PA.
The only front seat requirement in PA, according to the law, is that a rear-facing seat is not to be used in the front seat if the airbag is present.
Based on the implements from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, you’ll find that children can even ride in the front seat when they’re under 4 years old.
Within the context of regulations from PA DOT, the minimum age to sit in front seat in Pennsylvania is 2 years old.
But the front seat is not as safe as the back seat for kids younger than 13 years old.
Front Seat: 2 Years or Older
Front Seat: After the 12th Birthday
Can a 10 year old sit in the front seat in Pennsylvania?
A 10-year-old child is allowed to sit in the front seat in Pennsylvania.
However, it’s better to keep your child in back seat as long as possible for best safety practise.
Rear seat is safer than front seat.
Taxi Car Seat Law in Pennsylvania
The laws do not mention taxicab as an exception.
It’s obvious that taxis are required to follow the Occupant Protection laws in Pennsylvania.
Car Seat Requirements in Pennsylvania Laws
Child passenger safety laws vary from state to state, so it’s important you are familiar with the laws in Pennsylvania.
Here are the car seat requirements concluded based on the legislature document and PA DOT rules.
You’ll find age is the only requirement mentioned in PA child car seat laws, with no maximum weight and height requirements.
Must be properly restrained in an approved rear-facing car seat anywhere in the vehicle.
Must be restrained in an appropriate child safety seat.
Must be restrained in an appropriate booster seat.
8 Yrs or Older
Must be in a seat belt.
Best Car Seats for Travel in Pennsylvania
Based on the PA child car seat laws, here are the best car seats that will ride your boys or girls safely without breaking the rules.
To help parents quickly find the best option based on your child’s current age, this list is made by age, which is the only car seat requirement in PA.
Birth - 2 Years
30-lb rear-facing maximum weight
35-lb rear-facing maximum weight
40-lb rear-facing maximum weight
50-lb rear-facing maximum weight
Birth - 4 Years
65-lb forward-facing maximum weight
49-inch forward-facing maximum height
100-lb booster maximum weight
120-lb booster maximum weight
57-in booster maximum height
63-in booster maximum height
If you want to know the local laws in other US states, check the below button.
All 50 US States Car Seat Laws
FAQs on Pennsylvania Car Seat Laws
What are the car seat laws in PA?
When can a child sit facing forward in PA?
The child must be rear-facing until age 2, according to PA DOT.
That means, your boy or girl can sit facing forward on or after their second birthday.
The best practice: Children can remain rear-facing after age 2 until they reach the maximum height OR weight limits of the seat. They can keep using their safety seats after age 2 if not outgrow the car seats.
What is the height and weight requirements for a booster seat in PA?
According to the PA car seat laws and rules of PA DOT, children under the age of 8 are required to be placed in a booster seat.
Children aged 8 may have a height of 57-inch or a weight of around 80 pounds. But these are not the height and weight requirements specified in PA booster seat laws.
When can a child sit without a booster seat in PA?
At the age of 8.
Pennsylvania car seat law states that children must ride in a safety seat or a booster seat under eight years old.
That means a boy or girl is legally allowed to get out of a booster seat on the eighth birthday.
What is the legal age to sit in the front seat in PA?
Based on the PA child seat laws and front seat regulations from the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the legal age for a child to sit in the front seat is age 2.
However, it’s STRONGLY recommended to place your child in the front seat until the age of 13.
Can a 10 year old sit in the front seat in Pennsylvania?
Yes, a 10 year old child can sit in the front seat in Pennsylvania, legally from the PA front seat laws. But not the best safety practice.
It’s better to ride the 10-year-old in the back seat until they reach 13.
Does 7 years old need a car seat in PA?
Yes. According to the PA booster seat laws, children under eight years old should ride in a booster seat.
So, 7 years old kids still need a car seat in Pennsylvania.