Child Passenger Safety Laws

Texas Child Passenger Safety Seat Laws

Every state in the US has different laws regarding child safety in vehicles. Most require you to use some sort of a child restraint system such as special seats with protective seat belts. Position and features of such seats is often closely regulated by various laws.

Information below contains pertinent information from Texas child passenger safety laws.

Child safety seats and child seat belt laws in Texas:

  1. All children under 4 years old must ride in child safety seats.
  2. All children from 4 to 8 must ride in child restraint systems: safety seats, harness vests, or booster seats.
  3. Children from 8 to 17 must always be fastened with seat belts, even in back seats.

Other regulations:

  • All child safety seats must be federally approved.
  • Driver is liable for penalties for all improperly restrained persons under age of 17.
  • When all safety seats are occupied, child passenger safety laws do not apply.
  • Children over 13 years old may be seated in front seats.
  • Children under 8 years but over 4 feet and 9 inches do not need to be in booster seats.
  • Children under 2 years old must be seated in rear-facing child safety seats.

See also: Texas seat belt laws (for adults).

Texas child passenger seat belt laws sources and references:

  1. Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 545, ยง 545.412: Child Passenger Safety Seat Systems.
  2. Texas Department of Public Safety: Texas Occupant Restraint Laws
  3. Texas Department of Public Safety: Child Passenger Safety Information
  4. Texas Department of Public Safety: Child Passenger Safety and Safety Belt FAQ (.PDF file)


Violating child safety belts or restraint laws in TX state is punishable by law with a $100 to $250 fine. Judge may also order you to complete a 4-hour driving safety course.

You can purchase an adequate child restraint system within 10 days to plea for fine forfeit in court, but only in case you did not violate any other laws or were not involved in an accident at the time you received a traffic ticket for child safety seat offense.

Child passenger safety laws are very important. Make sure your kids are always properly restrained to avoid fines but more importantly keep them safe.

This article about Texas Child Passenger Safety Seat Laws was last updated in 2024. If any of our information is incomplete or outdated please let us know. Thank you!