If you are a parent living in the state of Georgia, you need to know about Georgia car seat laws. This is especially important since the laws changed effective July 1, 2011.

According to the Georgia Highway Safety website for Georgia Child Passenger Safety Headquarters, as of July 1, 2011, the following requirements pertain to car seats:

  • Children under the age of eight must be properly secured in an approved car seat or booster seat while riding in passenger automobiles, vans and pickup trucks. Exemptions include taxicabs and public transit vehicles.
  • The car seat and/or booster seat must:
    • Be in the rear seat
    • Be appropriate for the child’s weight and height
    • Meet all U.S. Federal standards for child safety seats
    • Be installed and used in accordance with the car seat manufacturer’s instructions

Exemptions include children under the age of eight whose height is over 4 foot nine inches or 57 pounds.

Exceptions: A child under the age of eight and weighing at least 40 pounds is not exempt from the Georgia car seat laws. The child may wear a lap belt only instead of a car seat or booster seat when the vehicle is not equipped with lap and shoulder belts, or, excluding the driver’s seat, all seating positions with lap and shoulder belts are being used by other children. In the latter case, the placement of car seats and/or booster seats should be evaluated to determine if they can be repositioned to provide the best protection for children being transported in the vehicle.

Failure to Comply with Georgia Law

Failure to comply with Georgia car seat laws may result in fines and points. For a first conviction, the fine is not more than $50. Second and subsequent convictions, the fine is not more than $100.

Points assessed against the violator’s driver’s license include one point for the first conviction and two points for the second and subsequent convictions.

Best Practice Recommendations

The Georgia Highway Safety website also has some car seat recommendations for children from birth to 12 months, one to three years, four to seven years, and from eight to 12 years. Be sure to download the brochure from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to read through the best practice recommendations regarding the proper use of child restraints.

There is also a helpful area covering safety tips, choosing and using a child safety seat, types of boosters, fact sheets, and videos showing child passenger safety tips.

Remember, motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of kids. Seven out of 10 children are not properly buckled and/or restrained in vehicles on Georgia highways. Do your part to make sure you comply with Georgia car seat laws and protect the health and safety of your children riding in the vehicle with you.

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