Georgia car seat laws are in place to help keep children safe. Following these not only help you avoid fines and points on your driver’s license, but will make sure your child doesn’t sustain major injuries.
Georgia car seat laws require all infants to stay rear-facing in the car seat. Children ages two to three must stay in the rear-facing car seat if they have not reached 20 pounds yet. Parents may choose to keep the child in a rear-facing car seat or move to forward-facing, once the child reaches 20 pounds.
Once the child turns four years old, they may start to use a booster seat, as long as the seat belt fits them properly. Georgia then allows those eight and older to move to an adult seat belt. All children under the age of 17 must wear a seat belt, even if they sit in the back of the vehicle.
Let’s take a closer look at Georgia’s booster car seat laws, rear-facing, forward-facing laws as well as taxi/uber car seat laws.
- Georgia Car Seat Requirements
- Using a Rear-Facing Car Seat
- Using a Forward Facing Car Seat
- When Can My Child Move to a Booster Seat?
- When Can I Use a Seat Belt for My Child?
- Exceptions to the Georgia Car Seat Law
- Georgia Car Seat Laws for Uber and Taxis
- Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Georgia?
- Georgia Car Seats and Trucks
- Georgia Seat Belt Laws
- Fines and Penalties for Violating the Georgia Car Seat Requirements
Georgia Car Seat Requirements
Georgia car seat law states that all children riding in a vehicle must use either a booster seat or a car seat. This child safety seat must be suitable for the height and age of the child.
All children who are under the age of eight, and shorter than 4’ 9” must ride in the back of the vehicle in a car seat. This will help to keep them safe.
Using a Rear-Facing Car Seat
Georgia car seat laws have specific weight and age limits for child safety seats in a vehicle. Children who are less than 20 pounds and under the age of one should sit rear-facing in the car.
All children should stay rear-facing in the car until they turn one, even if their weight is above twenty pounds. This is the safest position for infants in the car.
If your child is still under 20 pounds when then they must remain rear-facing. All one to three-year-olds who are less than 20 pounds should remain rear-facing until they reach the upper weight limit.
Using a Forward Facing Car Seat
Georgia car seat law allows children who weigh more than 20 pounds and are older than a year to move to a forward-facing car seat.
Parents can choose to keep the child rear-facing if their child is between 21 and 40 pounds. Georgia car seat laws will allow for a child of this weight and age to be forward-facing or rear-facing.
Most car seats are designed to hold children up to 35 pounds rear-facing in the vehicle. Authorities recommend waiting until your child reaches the upper weight limit before turning them around.
Once your child weighs more than 40 pounds, it is time to put them in a forward-facing car seat. Keep them in this car seat until the child reaches four years of age.
Find a car seat that is forward-facing with a higher weight limit. This helps keep your child in the car seat longer and will keep them safe.
When Can My Child Move to a Booster Seat?
Georgia car seat law allows children who are four years old to transition to a booster seat if they are over forty pounds. If your child is still under forty pounds, you should keep them in the forward-facing seat.
If your child is more than forty pounds and between the age of four to seven years old, then they can move to a booster seat. When the child moves to a booster seat, they must be placed in a seat with a lap and shoulder belt.
Parents may choose between a booster seat with a back on it or not. A booster seat with a back is preferable if the vehicle does not have proper headrests. It may also help position the seat belt a little better.
When Can I Use a Seat Belt for My Child?
Georgia car seat law allows children older than 8 to wear an adult seat belt. The child must fit comfortably with the seat belt before transitioning out of the car seat.
For smaller children who can’t sit well with the seat belt, a booster seat may still be used. Parents should check on the placement of the seat belt to make sure it protects the child and is comfortable.
For example, the lap belt should fit comfortably on the lap of the child, not up against the stomach. The shoulder belt should fit over the chest and shoulders, without going under the arm.
Exceptions to the Georgia Car Seat Law
Georgia car seat law allows for some exceptions to the above rules. Taxis and buses are exempt from these child restraint laws. Taxis do not need to provide car seats for passengers. Passengers who plan to travel in a taxi with their children should bring the proper child safety seat.
Buses do not need to have seat belts or child safety seats in them to transport young children. Children should be taught the proper way to sit on a bus to avoid any accidents or falls.
Children who have certain medical conditions may not need to work with a child safety seat. This medical condition needs to be documented and approved by a doctor before the parent forgoes the safety seat.
Georgia Car Seat Laws for Uber and Taxis
Parents who plan to travel with children in an Uber or a taxi must follow all the Georgia car seat laws. Uber and taxi drivers are not required to provide the appropriate car seat and child restraints to customers. Some may offer this if you call ahead.
If you plan to use a taxi or an Uber on a trip to Georgia, you are responsible for bringing along the child seat you need. Take the time to install the car seat properly before you begin your travels.
Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Georgia?
Georgia car seat laws require that all children younger than 13 sit in the back of the vehicle. They must also use an approved car seat or adult safety belt while riding in the vehicle.
There are exceptions to this rule. The first exception comes if the vehicle does not have a back seat for the child to sit in. The child may sit in the front, but the child must be in the proper child safety seat with the airbags turned off.
The second exception is if the back seats are all being used by other children who are properly restrained in a car seat. If the car has three back seats and four children, the older child, even if they are younger than eight, may sit up front.
Georgia Car Seats and Trucks
Georgia car seat laws make special exceptions to pick up trucks that do not have a back seat. If there is no back seat in the vehicle being used, then the child may sit in the front.
If other younger children are restrained in the back seat of the vehicle, a child younger than eight may sit in the front. This child must also use the proper car or booster seat while sitting in the front.
These rules are only applicable if the vehicle does not have a back seat, or all back seat openings are taken by other children. The back seat is always the safest spot for your child.
Georgia Seat Belt Laws
Georgia seat belt laws require all passengers between the ages of 8 to 17 to wear an appropriate seat belt. It does not matter what position they have inside the car.
Also, all drivers and front-seat passengers have to wear a seat belt while the vehicle is moving. If your child is sitting up front, make sure they have their seat belt on as well.
Failure to wear a seat belt following the Georgia seat belt laws can result in a traffic infraction. Authorities can stop vehicles if they suspect a violation has occurred.
Fines and Penalties for Violating the Georgia Car Seat Requirements
The fines and penalties for violating these car seat laws include fines and points on the driver’s license. The fines will often be up to $50, depending on the severity and how often the violations have occurred.
The driver will also get one point added to their record for each child who is not properly restrained inside the vehicle. If the driver is a repeat offender, the fines and points may double for each unrestrained passenger.
Georgia car seat law requires all children under the age of 8 to be in the proper car seat or booster seat. This is based on their age and weight through each stage.
Once the child reaches the age of 8, they may transition to an adult seat belt, as long as it fits properly. All children under the age of 13 must sit in the back of the vehicle unless the backseat is not available.
Following these car seat laws will help to keep everyone in the vehicle safe while you are driving. Even when we can’t control other drivers, we can use these laws to help keep our children safe.