Virginia car seat laws require all kids under 8 years old to travel in a car seat or booster seat, without regard to height or weight.
At a minimum, infants must ride in the back seat in a rear facing infant seat until they are 1 year old and 20 pounds. Safety experts recommend keeping babies rear facing until they reach the manufacturer’s height and weight limit for the seat. Then they can ride in a forward facing safety seat until they max out the height or weight limit for that seat. After that, kids need a booster seat until an adult seat belt fits correctly. This is usually around 4′-9″ (57″) tall and 80 pounds.
Kids under 18 are required to buckle up in Virginia. Front seat passengers of any age are also required to be buckled up.
See the links below for details on Virginia’s child restraint law and safety experts advice on best practices for keeping kids safe while traveling.
State Resources for links to Virginia Car Seat Laws
Virginia.gov – car seat law statute
Virginia Department of Health:
- Safety Seat Law
- Car Seat Checks – appointments and events
- Low Income Car Seat Program – application information
- 7 page PDF activity book for kids, focusing on safety
National Resources for links to Virginia Car Seat and Booster Seat Laws
nhtsa.gov – U.S. Department of Transportation / National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website
safercar.gov – The NHTSA publishes this site. Parents Central is the child safety section. This is a great info packed site, so if you have questions about almost anything related to car seats or booster seats, definitely check this one out.
iihs.org – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, child safety page
safekids.org – A global organization about keeping children safe, especially from preventable injuries or fatalities. Their site includes tips on car seat choice and car seat inspection events, among other things.