Everything You Need to Know About Connecticut Car Seat Laws: A Comprehensive Guide for Parents

Connecticut has specific car seat laws that outline the requirements for children of different ages and sizes. Failure to follow these laws can result in fines and, more importantly, put your child at risk of injury in the event of an accident. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about Connecticut car seat laws, so you can ensure that your child is protected while on the road.

Connecticut Rear-facing Car Seat Law

Children under the age of two or weighing less than 30 pounds must be restrained in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the maximum weight or height recommended by the manufacturer of their car seat. It is recommended to rear-face a child until they are at least 2 years old, however, it is mandatory for children to be rear-facing until they reach the weight or height limit as stated by the car seat manufacturer.

Connecticut Forward-facing Car Seat Law

Children who weigh more than 30 pounds or are over 2 years old must be restrained in a forward-facing car seat with a harness until they reach the maximum weight or height recommended by the manufacturer of their car seat. Once a child exceeds the maximum height or weight limit of the forward-facing seat, they can switch to a booster seat.

Child Booster Seat Laws in Connecticut

Children who are between the ages of 5 and 8 years old or who weigh more than 40 pounds must be restrained in a booster seat until they are taller than 4 feet 9 inches tall or can properly fit in a seat belt. A properly fitted seat belt should fit snugly across the child’s upper thighs and low across their chest, without crossing their neck or face.

Taxi Car Seat Law in Connecticut

Taxis and other for-hire vehicles are exempt from child car seat laws; however, it is recommended that children are still appropriately restrained whenever possible. It is always best to bring your own car seat for a child under the age of 2 or under 30 pounds, or a booster seat for a child between the ages of 5 and 8, when riding in a taxi.

Leaving Child in Car Law in Connecticut

Connecticut law makes it illegal for anyone to leave a child under 12 years old unattended in a motor vehicle for more than a brief period of time, or under conditions that present a significant risk to the child. This law is in place to protect children from potential dangers, such as overheating, injury from accidental rollaways, or abduction.

Car Seat Law PDF

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What is Child Passenger Safety (CPS)?

Child Passenger Safety (CPS) refers to the practice of properly securing children in appropriate car seats or booster seats while traveling in a vehicle. CPS aims to reduce the number of child injuries and fatalities in car accidents by ensuring that children are properly restrained according to their age, weight, and height.

Where can I get my car seat installed?

There are several places where you can get your car seat installed, such as:
Fire Stations: Many fire stations offer a free car seat installation service.
Police Stations: Some police stations may have certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians who can check your car seat installation.
Hospitals: You can ask the hospital staff if they have a CPS program or technician available.
Car Dealerships: Some car dealerships may have certified technicians who can install your car seat.

What is a Child Passenger Safety Technician?

A Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) is a trained and certified professional who has completed a CPS course and passed a certification exam. CPSTs are knowledgeable about the different types of car seats and booster seats, as well as proper installation and usage. They can provide guidance and instruction on how to properly secure your child in a car seat, and can help you choose the right seat for your child’s age, weight, and height.

What happens when I get my car seat checked?

When you get your car seat checked, a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician will inspect the seat to ensure it is installed correctly and that the harness straps are adjusted properly. The technician will also check the seat’s expiration date, as car seats have an expiration date of about six years after the manufacture date. The technician can provide you with guidance on how to properly restrain your child in the seat and answer any questions you may have.

When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Connecticut?

 According to Connecticut law, children under the age of 2 must be in a rear-facing car seat. Children who are between the ages of 2 and 4, and weigh less than 40 pounds, must be in a forward-facing car seat with a harness. Children who are between the ages of 4 and 8, and weigh less than 60 pounds, must be in a booster seat. Once a child is 8 years old or reaches a height of 4’9″, they may be secured in a seat belt in the front seat. However, it is recommended that children under the age of 13 sit in the back seat of the car for safety reasons.

Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Connecticut?

In Connecticut, it is illegal to smoke in a car with a child under the age of 18. The law is in place to protect children from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke, and violating it can result in a fine of up to $100.

When can a child use a booster seat?

 A child can begin using a booster seat when they outgrow their forward-facing car seat, which typically happens around the age of four or when they reach 40 pounds. However, it is important to check the specific guidelines for the booster seat being used, as some have height and weight restrictions that may differ.

What is the booster seat weight limit?

The weight limit for a booster seat varies depending on the specific model and manufacturer, but most booster seats can accommodate children who weigh between 30 and 100 pounds.

Connecticut Car Seat Laws


By following these car seat laws and guidelines, you’re taking important steps toward keeping your child safe in the car. However, it’s important to keep in mind that the laws are designed to be minimum standards – you may choose to use car seats for longer than required or opt for a more advanced model. Make sure to always read the instructions carefully and use the seat in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. With these tips in mind, you can drive with confidence, knowing your child is securely and safely strapped in.