Front seat child laws

Written by heather montgomery
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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children under the age of 12 always be buckled and seated in the rear of the vehicle. Sometimes a rear seat is not available for a child to sit in, so in this instance, turn off the airbag if that option is available. While all 50 states have laws regarding children sitting in car seats and being buckled up, not all have laws regarding children riding in the front seat of the vehicle.

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No Law

The following states do not have any preference regarding children riding in the front seat of the vehicle: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and West Virginia.

Under One Year of Age

Colorado, New Mexico, Vermont, and Virginia require children under the age of one to be in the rear of the vehicle. Virginia and Vermont allow the child to be in the front seat if the air bag is deactivated.

Other States

California requires children under 5 years of age or who weigh less than 27.2 Kilogram to be in the rear seat. Delaware requires a child to be 12 years old and 65-inches tall to ride in the front seat. Georgia and South Carolina require a child to be older than 5 years old to ride in the front seat. Maine requires a child to be 12 years old and more than 45.4 Kilogram for front seat use. Michigan requires a child to be 4 years old to be placed in the front seat. Children age eight and weighing more than 36.3 Kilogram are permitted to ride in the front seat in New Jersey. North Dakota requires children 4 and younger and less than 18.1 Kilogram to ride in the rear of the vehicle. Tennessee requires children 8 years old and younger to ride in the rear of the vehicle, though they also recommend the rear of the vehicle for ages 9-12. Washington requires children 12 and under to ride in the rear of the vehicle. Children must be at least 4 years old in Wisconsin. Wyoming requires children 8 years old and younger to ride in the rear of the vehicle.

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