Texas Car Seat Laws (2022) – Rules to Secure A Child Properly

According to Texas State Law, all children younger than 8 years old must be secured in a child safety seat whenever they ride in a vehicle unless they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches.

Older children who have outgrown a booster seat must be buckled with a seat belt.

What is the car seat law in Texas?

Texas Legislature in Sec. 545.412. (a) on Child Passenger Safety Seat System reads: “A person commits an offense if the person operates a passenger vehicle, transports a child who is younger than eight years of age, unless the child is taller than four feet, nine inches, and does not keep the child secured during the operation of the vehicle in a child passenger safety seat system.”

Texas State Regulations

Texas Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws

Texas law does not say anything on rear-facing car seats, but the Texas Department of Transportation indicates the rule – children under 2 years of age should travel in a rear-facing car seat.

The best practice is to keep your child rear-facing as long as possible until they reach the upper weight or height limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer.

Texas Forward Facing Car Seat Laws

When can a child be forward-facing in Texas?

Texas law does not state requirements on forward-facing either. The Texas Department of Transportation implements the regulations.

Children two years or older must travel in a forward-facing car seat with a harness, in the back seat, after they outgrow the rear-facing seat limit.

The limits for rear-facing car seats vary depending on the car seat types.

Infant car seats are typically designed for newborn babies, while convertible and all-in-one car seats are friendly for toddlers around 2-4 years old, thanks to their higher weight and height limits.

Child Booster Seat Laws in Texas

What are the height and weight requirements for booster seats in Texas?

After a child exceeds the weight or height limit for the forward-facing car seat, according to the rules provided by the Texas Department of Transportation, they should use a belt-positioning booster seat until they reach 4 feet 9 inches in height and between 8 and 12 years of age.

In this law states, you’ll find that two of the three common requirements – age and height are mentioned, weight is not a leading requirement in a booster seat.

Does my 9-year-old need a booster seat in Texas?

Depends. If your 9-year-old is over 4 feet 9 inches in height, the vehicle seat belt may fit them well for security, so they don’t need a booster. Otherwise, it’s best to keep them in a booster seat for better protection.

Does my 8-year-old need a booster seat in Texas?

This is the same as the above question. It depends on your child’s height, which is the deciding factor for getting out of a booster.

Does a 6-year-old need a car seat in Texas?
Yes, absolutely.

Seat Belt Laws for Child in Texas

According to the Texas Legislature in Sec. 545.413 on safety belts, the law requires that children under 17 years old should be secured in a safety seat belt.

Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Texas

The rule in Sec. 545.412 (b) indicates clearly that violating the law in Texas state can result in a ticket of up to $250.

Texas Car Seat Laws Apply for

Drivers who ride with a child are responsible for keeping the child in an appropriate child restraint system.

Exceptions

(1) operating a vehicle transporting passengers for hire, excluding third-party transport service providers when transporting clients pursuant to a contract to provide non-emergency Medicaid transportation; or

(2) transporting a child in a vehicle in which all seating positions equipped with child passenger safety seat systems or safety belts are occupied.

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

There is no specific age requirement in the law when a child can sit in the front.

Texas Department of Public Safety says that children are ready for a car’s adult seat belt at the age of 12.

According to AAP and other experts, this can be a good time for your child to start traveling in the front seat.

Taxi Car Seat Law in Texas

Taxis are not required to follow the Texas law with a saying that child restraint law doesn’t apply to “vehicles transporting for hire”.

Age, Weight, Height Requirements in Texas Law

Birth to two years old:

All infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat until they are 2 years old, or until they reach the highest weight or height allowed by their safety seat’s manufacturer.

Over two years old:

Any child two or older who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit for a car seat should use a forward-facing car seat with a harness for as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by their car seat’s manufacturer. This also applies to any child younger than two years who has outgrown the rear-facing weight or height limit of their seat.

Ages four to eight years old:
Children whose weight or height exceeds the limit for a forward-facing car seat should switch to a belt-positioning booster seat. These children should remain in a booster seat until the vehicle seat belt fits properly, typically when they reach 4 feet 9 inches in height and are between eight and 12 years of age.

Best Car Seats to Work with Texas Laws

Rear- and Forward-Facing for Infants and Toddlers

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

Graco Extend2Fit

Chicco NextFit Zip Convertible Car Seat

Chicco NextFit Zip

$299.99*

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 law to ride older children, six or seven years old, or even bigger.

Sources

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