Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Car Seat Laws

This is a list of car seat laws in the various jurisdictions that we have visited with our children. It will be updated from time to time. Please note that the posted information is only meant as a guide, it is up to you to confirm the car seat laws of the places you are visiting.

Also note that while many jurisdictions do not require car seats in taxis, there is the rare taxi company who will not take children who are not secured in a car seat (for example, read this article about Edmonton Taxi: "Car seat kerfuffle"). 


Tourists cannot rent cars on this beautiful island, so bringing a car seat or renting a car seat for a rental car is not an issue. They are required for private vehicles.


Public vehicles, such as taxis and buses, are exempt from the car seat law.
Source: Phone conversation with the Bermuda Department of Tourism "General Information about Bermuda" 24-hr contact line (March 16, 2011)

It is the driver’s legal responsibility to ensure that each passenger under the age of 16 years is properly secured in the vehicle. Drivers are subject to a fine for each child not properly secured. 

A child under six years whose weight does not exceed 18 kg (40 lb.) must be properly secured in a child safety seat. Child safety seats used in Canada must have a label on them stating that the seat meets Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213.  

There is currently no law in Alberta that requires a booster seat once children weigh over 18 kg (40 lbs). However, the Government of Alberta recommends that once a child graduates from a child safety seat that the child be in a booster seat until they turn nine or reach a weight of 37 kilograms (80 lbs.).
Source: Traffic Safety in Alberta (

As provided for in Section 84(2) of the Vehicle Equipment Regulation (VER), taxis are exempt from the requirement of providing child safety seats. HOWEVER, there are reports of many taxi companies in Alberta who have adopted a policy of requiring parents to have car seats for their children (for example, read this article about Edmonton Taxi: "Car seat kerfuffle").
Source: Government of Alberta - Vehicle Equipment Regulation (

British Columbia
All drivers must ensure all children are secured in an age-and weight-appropriate child car seat until their 9th birthday unless they have reached the height of 145 cm (4’9”) tall.  At 145 cm or taller, children can wear a seat belt like and adult. Age and weight appropriate car seats are as follows:

Source: BCAA Traffic Safety Foundation (

Drivers and operators are exempt from hild Seating and Restraint regulations under Section 36.09(b) of the MVAR.
Source: The Vancouver Police Department (

Ontario (updated November 2015)
By law, drivers are responsible for ensuring passengers under 16 years of age are secured properly. It is mandatory for anyone transporting children to make sure they are properly secured in a child car seat, booster seat or seatbelt.  A child must be in a car seat appropriate for the weight and age until they are 8 years old AND weighs between 18 - 36 kg (40 - 80 lbs) AND is less than 145 cm (4 feet 9 inches). After this, children must be secured with a seatbelt like an adult. Age and weight appropriate car seats are as follows:

Source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation: Chose the Right Child Car Seat

The driver of a taxicab is exempt from the car seat law while transporting a passenger for hire.
Source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation (

It is the law that children whose sitting (note sitting, not standing) height is less than 63 cm must be in a safety seat designed for their weight. Age and weight appropriate car seats are as follows:

Source: Societe de l'assurance automobile du Quebec (

In a taxi, if a child car seat is unavailable, a child must be restrained using a seat belt, except where the child is too small to maintain an upright position
Source: Societe de l'assurance automobile du Quebec (

United States

Drivers are responsible for buckling up children. Children 3 and younger must be secured in a federally approved child-restraint seat. Children 4 through 5 must be secured by either a federally approved child restraint seat or safety belt. All passengers under 18 must wear a seat belt. It is against the law to operate a vehicle if all the passengers do not meet these standards.
Source: Florida Department of Motor Vehicles (


The above law also applies to taxis.

Nevada law requires seat belt use by all occupants in a vehicle. Children under age 6 who weigh less than 60 pounds must be in an approved child restraint system that is properly installed and is appropriate for the size and weight of the child. It must also meet Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS); look for labeling on the seat itself
Source: Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles ( and Nevada Department of Public Safety (

Car seats are not required.
Source: State of Nevada Taxicab Authority (

New York
New York State law requires all children under the age of 8 to ride in a car seat.  Safety seats and child restraint systems must be certified according to Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standard 213.

Source: New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (

Drivers of yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles and their passengers, are exempt from laws regarding car seats and seatbelts.
Source: New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission (


Turks and Caicos
Cars seats are not mandatory but are recommended
Source: Email from Rosemarie Wilson, Turks & Caicos Tourist Board - Canada Office (date: March 10, 2011)

To be posted.

United Kingdom
The law requires all children travelling in cars to use the correct child restraint until they are either 135 cm in height or the age of 12 (which ever they reach first). After this they must use an adult seat belt.correct child restraint. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that children under the age of 14 years are restrained correctly in accordance with the law. Correct child restraints are as follows:

Children 3 and over can ride in a car without a car seat under the following exemptions
  1. if the child is travelling on a short distance for reason of unexpected necessity;
  2. if there are two occupied child restraints in the rear which prevent the fitment of a third.
Source: Child Car Seats (

Children 0 to 3 can ride in the back of a taxi unrestrained Children 3 to 12 (and under 135 cm in height) must use the adult seat belt
Source: Child Car Seats (

1 comment:

  1. Child safety and baby booster seats protect children of all weights, including those on the heavy side.