California Laws & Guidelines

Child Passenger Safety Laws

  • Children under age 8 must be properly buckled into a car seat or booster seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
  • Children age 8 or older, or who are 4 feet 9 inches or taller, may use the vehicle seat belt if it fits properly with the lap belt low on the hips, touching the upper thighs, and the shoulder belt crossing the center of the chest.
  • If kids are not tall enough for proper belt fit, they must ride in a booster seat or car seat, no matter how much they object.
  • All passengers in a vehicle must be properly buckled.
  • For each child under the age of 16 who isn't properly secured, parents (if in the vehicle) or drivers can be fined more than $481 and get a point on their DMV driving records.

Child Passenger Seat Belt Law

Kids who are ages 8-15 must wear a regular seat belt in the vehicle. If not, the driver or accompanying parent can be punished and their DMV driving records affected.

Teens 16 and older must wear a regular seat belt in the vehicle. If not, the punishment is on them, it will count toward their own DMV driving records, and their car insurance rates will get more expensive.