Wisconsin Car Seat Laws (2022) – Rear- or Forward-facing, or Booster

According to the Wisconsin car seat laws, all children under 8 years of old, less than 80 pounds in weight, or less than 4 feet 9 inches tall, should be secured in a child restraint system. The child restraint system might be a safety car seat or a booster, based on the child’s age and size.

What is the Car Seat Law in Wisconsin?

Wisconsin Legislature in section 347.48 (4) (am) on child safety restraint system reads: "No person may transport a child under the age of 8 in a motor vehicle unless the child is restrained in compliance with par. (as) in a safety restraint system that is appropriate to the child's age and size and that meets the standards established by the department under this paragraph."

Wisconsin State Regulations

WI Car Seat Laws Rear-Facing

The rules in section 347.48 (4) (as) 1. make it clear that infants who are less than 12 months old and weighing less than 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing car seat.

The rear-facing car seat should be placed in the back passenger seat of the vehicle if it is practical.

Safest practices:

 

Wisconsin Forward Facing Car Seat Laws

According to Wisconsin law section 347.48 (4) part (as) rules 1 and 2, children who are at least one year old and 20 pounds, but under 4 years old and weighing less than 40 pounds must be in a rear- or forward-facing child seat.

The regulations also make it clear that the forward-facing car seat should be installed in the back seat of the vehicle if there are back seats.

The best practice is to keep the child in rear-facing as long as possible until they outgrow the weight or height limit as set by the car seat manufacturer.

Even the law does not mention a harness, it’s better to use a car seat with a harness for optimal protection.

What is The Law for Booster Seats in Wisconsin?

Rule 3 in section 347.48 (4) part (as) in the Wisconsin law statement requires a child to use a forward-facing car seat or booster seat if he or she is:

  • 4 years or older but less than 8 years of age
  • weighing at least 40 pounds but not more than 80 pounds
  • 57 inches or shorter

The rules are simple.

You should keep using a forward-facing car seat for as long as possible until the child reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.

After that, you can move to the next car seat stage – booster.

Seat Belt Laws for Child in Wisconsin

After the child outgrows their boosters, according to the Wisconsin laws, they should be restrained in a seat belt for safety as an adult. That generally happens when they’re age 8 to 10.

Some booster seats have a high weight or height limit to allow a child to stay until their 12 years of age.

Safest practices:

Children should ride using a lap and shoulder belt once they have outgrown their car seat or booster seat.

Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Wisconsin

Violating the laws in Wisconsin will result in a fine depending on the age of the child.

  • The total penalty is $175.3 if the child is under 4 years old;
  • If between ages 4 and 8, the total penalty is $150.10 for the first offense, $200.50 for a second offense, and $263.50 for third and subsequent offenses.

Wisconsin Car Seat Laws Apply for

The driver is responsible for child safety in motor vehicles.

Exceptions
The law shall not apply to, according to section 347.48 (4) (b) and (c):

  • child for a physical or medical condition or body size reason.
  • Motor vehicles like motor bus, school bus, taxicab, moped, motorcycle

What age can a kid sit in the front seat in Wisconsin?

There is no age mentioned in the Wisconsin law on when your child can sit in the front seat, but the rules clearly state that you can’t install a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat in the front.

The safest practice is to follow the regulations from NHTSA to ride your child in the back seat until they are 13 years of age.

Taxi Car Seat Law in Wisconsin

According to the rule in section 347.48 (4) part (c), taxis are exempt from following Wisconsin Child Restraint laws.

The parents should hold the major responsibility to ensure the child passenger’s safety in the car.

Does the taxi law apply to Uber? 

That depends. If you’re a Uber driver and ride the parents with their kids, then it’s the parent’s duty to make sure the child’s safety. But if you’re going to rent a Uber car for self-driving with your child, the driver should be responsible for the child passenger’s safety in the car.

Age, Weight, Height Requirements in Wisconsin Laws

The Wisconsin car seat laws provide much more details on age, weight, and height requirements on a car seat and the child.

Less than 1 year old or less than 20 pounds

Use a rear-facing car seat installed in the back seat

at least 1 to 4 years old, at least 20 to 40 pounds

Either a rear-facing or forward-facing car seat in the back seat

Age 4 to age 8, and between 40-80 pounds, and no more than 4’9″

Either a rear-facing, forward-facing, or booster seat.

Age 8 or older, or more than 80 pounds, or more than 4’9″

Can use a seat belt

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