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Hawaii Car Seat Laws in 2020


In Hawaii law, a child under four years old must be properly restrained in a child passenger restraint system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards at the time of manufacture, and a child between four and seven years old must be properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards at the time of manufacture, when being transported in a motor vehicle on a public highway in the state.

Children Under Four Years Old

A child under four years old must be properly restrained in a child passenger restraint system that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards at the time of its manufacture when being transported in a motor vehicle on a public highway in the state.

Children Between Four and Seven Years Old

A child between four and seven years old must be properly restrained in a child safety seat or booster seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards at the time of its manufacture when being transported in a motor vehicle on a public highway in the state.

Penalties for Violations

For a first violation of the child passenger restraint system requirements, you will be: fined up to $100.00; required to attend a child passenger restraint system safety class not to exceed four hours in length conducted by the division of driver education; pay a $50.00 driver education assessment; pay a $10.00 neurotrauma special fund surcharge; and pay up to a $10.00 trauma system special fund surcharge. 

For a second violation committed within three years of any other violation, you will be: fined between $100.00 and $200.00; required to attend a child passenger restraint system safety class not to exceed four hours in length conducted by the division of driver education, if you have not previously attended; pay a $50.00 driver education assessment, if you have not previously attended the safety class; pay a $10.00 neurotrauma special fund surcharge; and pay up to a $10.00 trauma system special fund surcharge. 

For a third or subsequent offense committed within three years of any other violation, you will be: fined between $200.00 and $500.00; required to attend a child passenger restraint system safety class not to exceed four hours in length conducted by the division of driver education, if you have not previously attended; pay a $50.00 driver education assessment, if you have not previously attended the safety class; pay a $10.00 neurotrauma special fund surcharge; and pay up to a $10.00 trauma system special fund surcharge.

Exemptions

Your child is exempt from proper restraint in a child safety seat or booster seat meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards at the time of manufacture if your child is between four and seven years old, restrained by a seat belt assembly, and: over 4’9” in height; or over forty pounds and traveling in the back seat of a motor vehicle with only lap belts without shoulder straps.

Operators of emergency, commercial, and mass transit vehicles shall be exempted from child passenger restraint system requirements. A “commercial vehicle” is any motor vehicle used to transport people for hire, compensation, or profit.

The child passenger restraint system law shall not apply if the number of people in a motor vehicle exceeds the greater of: the number of seat belt assemblies in the vehicle or the number of seat belt assemblies originally installed in the vehicle; all available seat belt assemblies are being used to restrain passengers; and children not restrained in an approved child passenger restraint system, child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt assembly are in the back seat.

* Ms. Blake is licensed in the state of Maryland. The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.

Attorney Denise A. Blake* on Linkedin
Attorney Denise A. Blake*
Attorney Denise A. Blake*
Denise practices family law at Blake Law, LLC in Westminster, Maryland. She holds a Juris Doctor with an emphasis in Family Law from the University of Baltimore School of Law.