Car Seat Laws in California

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The car seat law in California follows a 4-40-40 rule, meaning that children under the age of two must be placed in a rear-facing car seat unless they weigh more than 40 pounds or are taller than 40 inches. Most children are big enough to use a front-facing seat at the age of four.
It’s very important to follow your state’s rules. Why? These guidelines help keep young people safe. Plus, you could face consequences for breaking car seat laws (even unintentionally).
That’s why the car insurance broker and comparison shopping app Jerry has compiled everything you need to know about car seat laws in California.

What is the car seat law in California?

A helpful tip to remember the car seat law in California is 4-40-40.
If a child is under two years of age, they must be placed in a rear-facing car seat. The exception to this is if the child weighs more than 40 pounds or is taller than 40 inches. Most children are big enough to use a front-facing seat at the age of four.
Children who are eight years old and younger are required to use a car seat or booster seat and they must ride in the back seat of the vehicle.
Key Takeaway Children under the age of two need to be placed in a rear-facing seat. Children who are eight and younger need to ride in the back seat of a vehicle with a car seat or booster seat.

What are the penalties for breaking the car seat law in California?

The first time you break the California car seat law, it will cost you a fee of $100. Subsequent offenses can cost $250 or greater. Plus, you’ll get a point on your driving record.

Can breaking the car seat law impact my driving record?

Yes, in addition to receiving a costly ticket, the state will add points to your driving record.
If your record accumulates too many points, it’s an indication that you are a risky driver—and this can increase your car insurance premium.
Key Takeaway You will receive a fine and a point on your record if you break the car seat law in California.

How breaking car seat laws can impact insurance in California

If you break the car seat law in California, it’s considered a moving violation and, if you get caught, you will receive one point on your record in addition to a fine.
If your driving record is already imperfect, this offense could negatively impact your insurance company’s calculation of your premium. Every company uses a proprietary formula to assess your risk before offering you a policy. Your car insurance price will likely go up if you break the car seat law in California.
Car seat laws in California have not changed as of 2020.
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