What is New Jersey's car seat law?

If you are a New Jersey parent, you probably already know that young children are required to be in a car seat. You may not know, however, that a new law went into effect in September 2015 that tightened the regulations on the use of child car seats.

According to, if your child is eight years old or older, he or she does not need to use a car seat or booster seat. While it is recommended that children continue to sit in the back seat until they are 12, there is no law in New Jersey specifying at what age children are considered old enough to ride in the front passenger seat.

For children between four and eight years old, they are required to ride in the back seat and, depending on their size, they must be in either a car seat or booster. Seat belts can replace booster or child seats when your child is at least 57 inches tall or turns eight years old.

In addition, under the new law toddlers between the ages of two and four who weigh at least 30 pounds should ride in a forward-facing car seat and be secured with a five-point harness style buckle. If your toddler is less than 30 pounds, they should continue to ride rear-facing.

As for infants, in the past parents were told to leave their child rear-facing only until age one or until the child outgrew the manufacturer’s specifications for rear-facing for that particular seat. Now, if your child is under the age of two and under 30 pounds, he or she must remain rear-facing until both criteria are met. This information should not be considered legal advice and is provided for information purposes only.

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