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New Jersey Car Seat Laws in 2020


In New Jersey law, a child under eight years old and less than 57” tall must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat that complies with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 213 in the rear seat of a motor vehicle equipped with safety belts or a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system when being transported on New Jersey’s roadways, streets or highways.

Babies and Children Up to Two Years Old and Less Than Thirty Pounds

A child under two years old and weighing less than thirty pounds must be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system equipped with a five-point harness when being transported in a motor vehicle equipped with safety belts or a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system on New Jersey’s roadways, streets, or highways. 

If your motor vehicle does not have any rear seats, the child must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat in a front seat; a child may be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system in the front seat only if your motor vehicle is not equipped with a passenger-side airbag or if the passenger-side airbag is disabled or turned off.

Children Up to Four Years Old and Less Than Forty Pounds

A child under four years old and weighing less than forty pounds must be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system equipped with a five-point harness until he or she outgrows the manufacturer’s top height or weight recommendations, at which point the child must be secured in a forward-facing child passenger restraint system equipped with a five-point harness in the back seat, or in a forward-facing child passenger restraint system equipped with a five-point harness, when being transported in a motor vehicle equipped with safety belts or a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system on New Jersey’s roadways, streets, or highways. 

If your motor vehicle does not have any rear seats, the child must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat in a front seat; a child may be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system in the front seat only if your motor vehicle is not equipped with a passenger-side airbag or if the passenger-side airbag is disabled or turned off.

Children Up to Eight Years Old and Less Than 57” Tall

A child under eight years old and less than 57” tall must be secured in a forward-facing child passenger restraint system equipped with a five-point harness until he or she outgrows the manufacturer’s top height or weight recommendations, at which point the child must be secured in a booster seat in a rear seat, or in a booster seat, when being transported in a motor vehicle equipped with safety belts or a Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) system on New Jersey’s roadways, streets, or highways. 

If your motor vehicle does not have any rear seats, the child must be secured in a child passenger restraint system or booster seat in a front seat; a child may be secured in a rear-facing child passenger restraint system in the front seat only if your motor vehicle is not equipped with a passenger-side airbag or if the passenger-side airbag is disabled or turned off.

Children Under Eight Years Old and Over Eighty Pounds

A child under eight years old and weighing over eighty pounds must wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety seat belt system as defined by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 209 when being transported in a passenger automobile operated on New Jersey’s streets or highways.

Children Eight to Seventeen Years Old

A child between the ages of eight and seventeen years old must wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety seat belt system as defined by Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 209 when being transported in a passenger automobile operated on New Jersey’s streets or highways. A passenger automobile includes vans, pick-up trucks, and utility vehicles.

Penalties for Violations

You may be fined between $50.00 and $75.00 for violating New Jersey’s child passenger restraint system law. You may be fined $46.00 for violating New Jersey’s safety seat belt law.

Exemptions

Your child may be exempt from New Jersey’s child passenger restraint system law if he or she is being transported on a school bus.

* 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.