What Are the Car Seat Laws in Wisconsin?

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Wisconsin car seat laws require that children under the age of four or weighing less than 40 pounds ride in an approved car seat.
Once children turn 4, they can then switch to an approved booster seat, which they must continue to use until they turn 8, reach 4’9” tall, or weigh at least 80 pounds.
Failing to abide by Wisconsin’s car seat laws can lead to fines, legal trouble, and even increased car insurance prices. The car insurance comparison and broker app Jerry is breaking down everything you need to know about Wisconsin car seat laws to ensure your kids are safe and secure every time you hit the road.
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What is the Wisconsin car seat law?

Passengers under four years old must be secured in a manufacturer-approved child restraint seat. It should be rear facing until the child turns two, and can be front facing after. They must ride in the back seat of the car.
Once children reach four or grow out of harness-restrained seats, they can switch to approved booster seats. Kids must use a booster seat until they turn eight, grow to 4’9” tall, or weigh 80 pounds.
There’s no specific law regarding when children can begin riding in the front seat, though the Wisconsin state government recommends that kids under 13 ride in the back seat.
Key Takeaway Kids under four years old must be safely secured in manufacturer-approved car seats in the back seat of a vehicle.

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

In Wisconsin, penalties vary based on the age of the child—though fines are usually steep.
  • If the child is less than four years old, the penalty for violating a car seat law is $175.
  • For ages four to 8 eight, the first infraction will cost the driver $150. Second offenses will carry a $200 charge, while a third infraction will lead to a $263 fine.
Children who cannot be secured in a restraint system due to medical reasons are exempt from the Wisconsin car seat law.
Remember: the driver is ultimately responsible for all passengers under the age of 16, so make sure everyone is buckled and secure!

Can breaking the car seat law impact my driving record?

It likely won’t. Although fines are relatively hefty, they’re nothing more than a minor infraction on your record. You won’t tally any points on your license.
That said, all minor infractions will be noted on your driving record—and Wisconsin doesn’t allow you to get them waived. A slew of minor infractions doesn’t look good on your record and can cost you in the long run.
It’s always better to just follow the rules and keep your children safely secured.
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How breaking car seat laws can impact insurance in Wisconsin

Breaking the car seat law in Wisconsin won’t add any points to your license, so your insurance premiums likely won’t increase.
But if you continue to tally infractions, insurers will be wary and might hike your payments a little. Remember, the more infractions you have, the bigger risk you are.
Also, be warned that not paying your fines will have an impact on your credit score. In states that allow insurance companies to consider credit ratings, this can be a warning sign for them.
Key Takeaway While one violation likely won’t hurt your premiums, repeated citations could see your insurance prices increase.

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