Idaho car seat laws are put in place to keep your child safe when you are on the road. These laws are like what is found in many other states and will make sure your child does not get hurt during an accident.
The Idaho car seat laws require all children under the age of two, and below the maximum height and weight requirements, to use a rear-facing car seat. Children may then use a forward-facing car seat until they meet all maximum weight and height requirements as well.
Once the child is at least 4, or 4’ 9” tall, they may move on to a booster seat. The child must wear a full shoulder and lap belt even when in the booster seat. All passengers in the vehicle must always wear a seat belt under Idaho car safety laws.
Let us take a closer look at some of these car seat laws to help us understand how to better protect your children while driving in Idaho.
- Safety In Mind
- Idaho Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws
- Forward Facing Car Seat Laws In Idaho
- Idaho Booster Law
- Older Than 8 Years Old
- Idaho Seat Belt Laws
- Idaho Car Seat Laws in Trucks
- Exceptions to the laws
- Penalties For Violating Car Seat Laws
- Buses, Taxis and Uber
- Installing the Car Seat Properly
- Previous Idaho Car Seat Law
- Car Seat Programs for Idaho Residents
Safety In Mind
Idaho car seat laws follow many of the same outlines as the car seat laws in other states. The primary goal is to keep children safe when riding in the vehicle. All of the laws in place are meant to help meet this goal.
Parents may choose to prolong any of these laws to help enhance the safety of their children. For example, many parents choose to keep their children rear-facing for longer than 2 years for optimal safety.
Idaho Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws
Idaho car seat law requires all babies and toddlers need to ride in a rear-facing car seat while in the car. The child must remain in this car seat until they are two years old.
The child may turn around when they reach the height and weight limit on the car seat. If the child does not reach this limit by the time, they are 2, they must remain rear-facing.
Some car seats will have higher weight and height limits than others. Check with your particular make and model to see what these are. Check to see what the rear-facing weight limit is if your car seat can be used as a forward-facing and a rear-facing car seat.
If the child is still under the height and weight limit when they reach their second birthday, the decision is up to the parents. Parents may choose to keep their child rear-facing for longer.
Forward Facing Car Seat Laws In Idaho
Idaho car seat law allows children who reach the maximum height and weight requirements on the car seat to turn forward-facing. Once your child turns two, they may also face forward in the car.
For smaller children, you may choose to wait longer before using a forward-facing car seat. Many parents choose to wait until their child reaches the maximum height and weight requirements on the car seat.
Your child must stay in this forward-facing seat until they reach the maximum limits for weight and height. This will depend on the age and size of the child. Most forward-facing car seats are designed to hold up to 40 to 65 pounds. This generally keeps your child in the forward-facing car seat until they are at least four years old.
Idaho Booster Law
Idaho state law allows children who reach the maximum weight and height limits to move to a booster seat.
Parents have many choices when they pick out a booster seat. Parents can choose between a booster seat with a back to add more support. As your child develops and grows, you can choose a booster without the back.
Idaho car seat laws do require that a full shoulder and lap belt be used for children in booster seats. Never use just a lap belt with a booster seat in Idaho.
What Are The Height And Weight Requirements For a Booster Seat?
The height requirement is 4’9″. Weight is going to vary based on the brand of the booster seat, but you can get an idea if your child is ready for a booster seat by using this online checker.
Older Than 8 Years Old
Idaho car seat laws state that children older than eight years old may ride in a vehicle without a booster seat. The child must also be at least 4’ 9”.
The child must always wear a seat belt when the vehicle is in motion. This will help keep them safe. All passengers and drivers in the vehicle, regardless of age, must wear the seat belt.
Children should remain in the back seat for as long as possible. The back seat is the safest place for your child. Idaho law does not state the exact age when children may begin sitting in the front seat.
Parents may choose, for the safety of their child, to keep them in the booster seat for longer. Follow all recommendations and requirements on the car seat to enhance safety.
Idaho Seat Belt Laws
Idaho driving laws do include seat belt laws. Because seat belts can save lives, the seat belt laws in Idaho make it illegal for passengers and drivers to travel without a seat belt. This is in place regardless of the age of the driver or passenger.
All citizens in Idaho must wear their seat belts when the vehicle is moving. Adult violators 18 and older will receive a $10 citation if pulled over without wearing a seat belt.
When can my child sit in the front seat in Idaho?
They can sit in the front seat when they’re 14 years old.
Idaho Car Seat Laws in Trucks
Idaho car seat laws require the same rules for car seats in trucks as they do in other vehicles. Children must still stay in the rear-facing and forward-facing car seats based on their height and weight limits.
Try to keep all car seats away from active airbags to avoid injuries. Use the shoulder and lap belt on all children who will sit in a booster seat.
It is always safest for your child to sit in the back seat if possible. If the child is going to ride in a truck, or all available spots in the back are taken by younger children, the oldest child may sit in the front.
Exceptions to the laws
- If all the seat belt positions in the vehicle are in use, then the child should be placed in the rear seat of the vehicle if it has one.
- If the child is removed from the seat because the mother has to nurse them or attend to their other needs.
Penalties For Violating Car Seat Laws
If a child isn’t in a safety seat, the penalty is an $84.00 fine. Subsequent violations carry a $90.00 fine.
Buses, Taxis and Uber
Seat belts are not required on buses, however school bus drivers are required to get specific training. They have to have a CDL license, and two endorsements for it – one for driving a school bus, and another for driving a school bus with passengers.
Car seats still need to be used when riding in taxis or Uber cars – if the taxi or Uber doesn’t already have one, the adult will need to supply one.
Installing the Car Seat Properly
Idaho car seat laws require the car seat to be installed properly before use. This will help keep the child safe in case an accident occurs.
Always follow the instructions from the manufacturer on how to properly install your chosen car seat. This is the safest way to get the car seat put in well and safely.
You can also test the car seat and make sure it stays in place. Try moving the car seat back and forth and up and down. If the car seat moves more than an inch in any direction, it is not securely in place.
Previous Idaho Car Seat Law
Previous Idaho car seat laws required children to ride in rear-facing car seats from birth until at least age 1 or 20 pounds, front-facing or convertible car seats from age 1 to age 6 or 40 pounds, and to use a lap and shoulder belt from age 6 to 15.
Car Seat Programs for Idaho Residents
St. Luke’s Children’s Car Seat Program
Car seats are one of the most expensive items you’ll have to buy for your child, but luckily one hospital has a program to help. Idaho residents who want a free or reduced-price car seat can contact St. Luke’s Children’s Car Seat program at 208-381-3033.
Safe Kids Magic Valley Car Seat Program
You can also contact the Safe Kids Magic Valley Car Seat Program at St. Lukes at 208-814-7640, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have a small child, be sure to enroll them in the WHALE (We Have A Little Emergency) Program. This program provides a special identification card to children in case they’re involved in a crash. The card should be put on the seat. It allows rescue workers to find out the child’s name, plus the card has a photograph and the child’s information on it.
The kit provided also includes stickers for parents to put on the car seat and the vehicle. Contact the Idaho Department of Highway Safety to get a kit or find out more information.
If you choose to participate in this program, keep the following pointers in mind:
- It’s a good idea to give WHALE information to other people who regularly drive your child.
- Make corrections to the card as information changes.
- Remove the information card from the seat if you sell it or give it away.
The Idaho car seat laws are in place to help keep your child safe while on the road. It is important to follow them to not only avoid penalties and fees but to prevent any injuries.
These car seat laws are minimums that parents should consider when they are transporting their children. It is always safer to prolong each phase depending on your child and their personal needs.
When the car seat laws are used properly, everyone can be a little safer on the road. Any time you drive through Idaho, or if you live there, make sure to check out the car seat laws before you drive.