Child Car Seat Laws And Rules In New Jersey

WVDOT Automotive is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Wearing a simple seat belt can increase a child’s chances of survival in the event of a car crash by 75%, but the unfortunate part of this statement is that children cannot use seat belt which is why these rules are in place.

Car seat laws in New Jersey have been set up for children that are below eight and cannot use a seat belt.

Children below 30 pounds that are under the age of 2 must use a rear-facing car seat, while those four years old or above and more than 30 pounds can use a front-facing car seat.

Once they exceed that seat’s limits, it’s time to switch to a booster seat which will be used until they are 4 feet and 9 inches in height.

This is the main part of the rules; however, if you want to go in to the depth of these rules, you should continue reading this article.

New Jersey Car Seat Requirements By Ages

If you plan on following the rules set by the state of New Jersey when it comes to car seats, then you should monitor your child’s age as the rules are based mostly on the child’s age, with other factors also playing a major role.

1 Year Old

A child one-year-old must be seated in a rear-facing car seat for protection. This seat should also have a 5-point harness system to provide further protection to the child.

2 Year Old

As the child approaches their 2nd birthday, they can be candidates to move up to a front-facing car seat, but only if they are above 30 pounds. If this is not the case, then it is recommended to stick to a rear-facing car seat.

3 Year Old

Your child should be able to move to a car seat which is front facing at three years of age, assuming they are above 30 pounds. You should, however, try to use a car seat that is rear-facing to ensure maximum safety.

4 Year Old

At four years of age, your child is given the option to rather travel in a booster seat or a front-facing car seat.

This will depend on the height and weight of the child. If the child exceeds the height and weight limit of the front-facing car seat, then they should move up to a booster seat.

5 Year Old

Once the child crosses the age of 5, it is completely legal for them to use a booster seat, and once they are fully capable of doing so and exceed the requirements of the front-facing car seat, they should use that as much as they can.

6 Year Old

Your child can continue to use a front-facing car seat for as long as they need to until they are ready to transition to a booster seat. By the age of 6, this should be very likely to happen.

7 – 9 Year Old

By seven years old, your child should have transitioned to a booster seat. Depending on their height, they should be able to graduate from using a booster seat if they are taller than 4 feet and 9 inches. Below the age of 8, they must continue to use a booster seat.

10 Year Old

Once your child is ten years old, they should have the height necessary to stop using booster seats and start wearing seat belts. If this is not the case, then it is best to stick to a booster seat until they are above 4 feet and 9 inches.

Car Seat Weight And Height Requirements In New Jersey

The weight of the child and their height play an important factor in determining the rules you must follow for car seat guidelines in New Jersey.

Children below 30 pounds must be settled inside a rear-facing car seat. Once they exceed 30 pounds, they must use a front-facing car seat until they out-grow that seat.

Once they are done with the car seat that is front facing, they must switch to a booster seat and use that until they are 4 feet and 9 inches tall.

Type Of Car Seat Laws In New Jersey

There are various smaller laws that you have to follow which are specific to a certain car seat. I will talk about these laws in this part of the article.

1. Rear Facing Car Seat

When it comes to a rear-facing car seat, you must ensure that the seat comes with a 5-point harness system. You must also ensure that the child is perfectly secured inside it.

2. Forward Facing Car Seat

There are fewer rules when it comes to forward-facing car seats. Essentially you should try and use the rear-facing car seats for as long as possible, but if they are less than four years of age, they must stick to a front-facing car seat if they are above 30 pounds.

3. Booster Seat

Booster seats are required for children below 4 feet and 9 inches in height. A proper booster seat will keep the child high enough to easily use the lap and shoulder seat belts.

When Is The Time For My Child To Sit In The Front Seat In New Jersey?

The state law of New Jersey does not mention any age or specific time when the child should sit in the car’s front seat. By this logic, it should be legal for you to have your child sit in the front of the car at any given age.

This will not reduce how risky it is. It is recommended that you keep your child in the back seat for as long as you can and make sure to move them to the front seat once they are old enough to use the car’s seat belts.

What Happens If You Leave Your Child In A Car In New Jersey?

There is a law in the state of New Jersey that states that you are not allowed to leave your child alone inside a car. You are required to have a parent or legal guardian inside the car with the child at all times.

If you are caught leaving your child in the car without supervision, you will be fined $500 and regarded as a petty and disorderly person, which is quite shameful.

Taxi Car Seat Laws In New Jersey

If you have a habit of traveling in a taxi, then hopefully, you have a good quality car seat, as even taxis are not exempt from the car seat regulations in New Jersey.

If you plan on taking a taxi, you need to have your child secured in their specific car seat, just like all the other vehicles. If you do not do so, you will be breaking the law and liable for a fine if caught.

New Jersey Law Regarding Car Seats In Accidents

New Jersey has not set any law about car seats in accidents. You will not be liable for any form of reimbursement or repayment from the government or the state if your car seat is in an accident.

You should get your car seat replaced as soon as you can once it has been through an accident.

Uber Car Seat Laws In New Jersey

Just like taxis, Uber are not exempt from the car seat laws that have been set by New Jersey, which means that you will have to take the time to set up and seat your child in a booster seat before riding in an Uber.

An Uber is not obligated to provide you with a car seat, so you need to bring one yourself and set it up to follow the state’s rules.

Conclusion

New Jersey car seat laws depend more on the child’s height and weight than the child’s age, but this does not mean that age does not play an important factor.

You will have to account for all of these factors if you are traveling with your child in a car and are in the market for a car seat.

This article has also highlighted various other laws and regulations that you need to follow when dealing with car seats which is why you should have no problem obeying all the rules and regulations set by the New Jersey not that you have finished reading this article.