Connecticut Car Seat Laws (Updated JAN 2024)

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Written by: Fatima O. Millers, CPST

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It’s no secret that car crashes are a big worry, especially when it comes to children. Imagine this: Car crashes are one of the leading causes of injuries and deaths in children between the ages of one and 12.

Now, get this—According to Safe Kids CT only 1 out of every 5 car seats in Connecticut is used the right way. That’s a pretty shocking number, isn’t it? It’s like we’re missing the mark when it comes to making sure our little passengers are secure.

In an effort to curb these distressing figures and prioritize the well-being of young passengers, Connecticut updated its car seat laws and safety guidelines for kids, effective from October 1, 2017.

This move made Connecticut the eighth state to jump on board with what the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests: keeping children in rear-facing car seats until they’re two years old.

This change is all about putting our kids’ safety first and making sure we’re following the best advice out there.

Connecticut General Car Seat Law

  • If you’re driving a car in Connecticut and you have a child who is 6 years old or younger, or if the child weighs less than 60 pounds, you have to make sure the child uses a special safety car seat while in the car. 
  • The safety seat must meet the requirements of the Department of Motor Vehicles. 
  • Children, tweens and teens must be in a seat belt whenever they ride in a vehicle. 
  • Further Recommended: Children should ride in the back seat until they are 13 years old. All people and objects should be properly restrained whenever they are in a vehicle.

Connecticut Rear-facing Car Seat Law

  • Children under 2 years old or weighing less than 30 pounds must ride in rear facing car seat.

Connecticut five harness point car seat laws

  • Children two to 5 years old or weighing less than 40 pounds must use a child restraint that has a five-point harness.

Connecticut Forward-facing Car Seat Law

  • Once a toddler outgrows their rear-facing seat CT law requires them to ride in a forward-facing seat with a 5-point harness until they are 5 years old and weigh at least 40 pounds

Connecticut Booster Car Seat Law

  • Connecticut law requires children to be in a booster seat until they reach a minimum of 60 pounds and they turn 8 years old.
  • Children eight years or older and weighing 60 pounds or more can use a safety belt or a booster seat.
  • Children who ride in a booster seat must use a lap and shoulder belt.

Connecticut seatbelt laws

  • Children must be at least 8 years old and 60 pounds. before transitioning out of a car seat or booster seat.
  • The vehicle lap and shoulder belt must always be used.
  •  Further recommended:is to use a booster seat beyond the minimum legal requirements.

Connecticut Taxi Car Seat Law

  • Connecticut is 1 of 35 states that exempt taxis from child seat laws. However, you can use a car seat if you want to in a cab, the Taxi driver can not stop you from doing so. 

Getting help with your car seat in Connecticut

Car seat checks

  • You can get help to install your car seat at fitting Stations. Fitting stations offer free child safety seat checks and education. 
  • Please contact the fire or police station in the town that you reside. Or Click here for find a Car Seat Fitting Station in your county.

Child with special needs 

  • A conventional car seat may not work for your child for a child with special health care needs. You may need an specialized seat. 
  • For more details, please contact Cathi Kellett, MA – Special Programs Coordinator from Griffin Hospital’s Safe Kids Greater Naugatuck Valley Coalition at 203-732-1337.

Online Resources

Check more information on these online resources. 

  • (Videos and extensive information on child passenger safety)
  • (Sign up for automatic recalls and extensive information on passenger safety)
  • More resources on Car Seat Safety and Child Passenger Safety for Parents and Caregivers
  • The full Connecticut car seat law, section 11 of CT Public Act No. 17-230, can be accessed here
  • Safe Kids CT has a nice brochure about the Connecticut car seat law.

Connecticut Car Seat FQS

What happens if you violate CT car seat laws?

Violators of the Connecticut car seat must pay a fine of 199$ and attend a 2-hour educational car seat class at the Department of Motor Vehicles.

When can a child legally sit in the front seat in CT?

In Connecticut, if you child is 8 years of age and more than 60 pounds weight, she can sit in front and use a seat-belt.

Can you leave a child in the car in CT?

Connecticut makes it a crime for a parent or a caregiver a child to knowingly leave a child under the age of 12 years old alone in a car for a length of time that creates a risk of harm to the child’s health or safety.

Can you smoke in a car with a child in CT?

In Connecticut you can no longer smoke in a vehicle if there’s child inside, riding in a child car seat.

About Fatima O. Millers, CPST

Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Fatima delivers insightful car seat reviews and recommendations. Combining her CPST expertise with an engineering background, her advice is both safe and practical.