Car Seat Laws in Florida

a mother putting her son in a car seat before a trip

Florida car seat laws ensure that young children ride in safety seats appropriate for their age, height, and weight and will offer appropriate protection in an accident. Infants and toddlers should ride in a child safety seat connected to the vehicle’s LATCH system. Once a child outgrows a car seat, they should transition to sitting on a booster seat that helps the vehicle’s seat belt sit in the correct position across the child’s body. 

Drivers who do not have children in appropriate car or booster seats may receive a traffic citation that can result in fines and points on their driver’s license. 

Florida Child Car Seat Laws and Best Practices

Under Florida law, with few exceptions, drivers transporting children ages five and younger must place the children in appropriate car seats. Car seat requirements in Florida include:

  • Children Younger Than 4 Years Old—State law requires children to ride in a separate car seat or vehicle-integrated car seat.
  • Children Ages 4 and 5—Children ages 4 and 5 should continue riding in car seats until they outgrow the seat’s height and weight limits, after which they should begin riding on booster seats. 
  • Children Under 18—Florida law requires all passengers under 18 to wear seat belts regardless of their seating position in the vehicle. However, safety experts recommend that children under 13 continue to ride in a vehicle’s rear seats even after they’ve outgrown booster seats. 

Types of Car Seats and Other Child Restraints

Children will use three types of car seats as they grow up:

  • Rear-Facing Car Seat—Children should ride in rear-facing car seats from birth to age 2. Drivers should install rear-facing car seats in their vehicle’s back seat. If the vehicle does not have a back seat, the driver can install the car seat in the front passenger seat with the passenger airbag disabled. 
  • Forward-Facing Seat with a Harness—Children can transition to forward-facing car seats around age 2 or 3 once they outgrow their rear-facing car seat’s height and weight limit. A forward-facing car seat should remain in a vehicle’s back seat (if the vehicle has back seats).
  • Booster Seat—When a child outgrows car seats, they should begin using booster seats. Booster seats ensure that a vehicle’s seat belt sits across a child’s body in the correct position, with the lower strap across the child’s lap (rather than their abdomen) and the upper strap across the child’s chest and shoulder (rather than across their neck). Children can discontinue sitting in booster seats once they can sit in a vehicle’s seat with the seat belt in the correct position across their bodies. 

Contact Our Florida Car Accident Lawyer to Learn More

If you’ve been in a car accident in Florida and you or your child suffered injuries as a result, you deserve to pursue financial compensation for your physical and emotional recovery. Contact Cardoso Law, PLLC, today for a free, no-obligation consultation with our Florida car accident lawyers to discuss your legal options. 

At Cardoso Law, our mission is to make things right. To protect those who have been injured because of someone else’s negligence. To hold those who hurt our clients accountable. We do all this by treating every client with compassion and respect, as we fight for every penny they’re owed.