What are the car seat laws in Delaware?

Delaware child safety seat laws are a primary offense with fines starting at $25 per incident. State law mandates children under 8 must be properly secured.

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UPDATED: Apr 21, 2020

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Things to remember...
  • Delaware has particular child car seat laws as well as seat belt laws that apply to older children
  • The seat belt law is a primary law in Delaware.
  • Drivers in Delaware may be fined for each offense of the car seat law


Keeping children as safe as possible while on Delaware roads is a top priority. Many parents, guardians, and caregivers attempt to use car seats and booster seats as fully as possible to minimize the extent of injuries in the event of a car accident.

All drivers in Delaware should be aware of the state’s child car seat and child seat belt laws, but you may also be interested to learn more about the recommendation for car seat usage by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, or AAP, strives to help parents and others keep children safe in a variety of situations, and it has created recommendations for the use of car seats.

These recommendations are not obligations in any state, but because they are more significant than some state laws, it may make sense to comply with these recommendations after the state laws are met.

The AAP has expressed its recommendation for children who are under the age of two to sit in a rear-facing car seat in the back of the car. It also has stated that children who are less than 57 inches tall and who are younger than eight to 12 years old should be in a front-facing car seat or booster seat.

After children reach the appropriate height and weight, reach this height and age, they can sit safely in an adult seat belt in the car, according to the AAP. Make sure to compare the best rates with our free quote tool above today! 

Car Seat Law for Delaware

The car seat law in Delaware is similar to the AAP requirement, but it does have slight variations that drivers should be aware of and should comply with at all times.

For example, the Delaware state law indicates that children who are under the age of 12 months should be secured in a rear-facing car seat in the back of the vehicle.

Children between the ages of one and seven years old and who weigh less than 66 pounds should sit in a front-facing car seat.

The Delaware state law also indicates that children who are at least eight years old and who weigh more than 66 pounds can sit in the back seat of the vehicle in the car’s adult seat belts. Children cannot legally sit in the front seat of a car in Delaware until they are at least 12 years old.

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Consequences for Breaking the Law

The child car seat and seat belt laws in Delaware are primary laws.

With a primary law, a police officer can pull you over and cite you for violation of this crime without any other cause or justification. This is opposed to a secondary law, which can only be cited if you are pulled over for another cause.

Drivers in Delaware should be aware of the consequences associated with breaking the child seat belt and car seat laws in this state.

If you are cited for a violation of this law, you will be charged $25 for each offense or violation. If you have multiple children in your car who are not in compliance with these laws, you may be fined separately for each violation.

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Focus on Child Safety

Car seats are designed to keep younger children who are not tall enough or heavy enough to be secured by an adult seat belt safer in the car. However, in order for car seats to be effective in this capacity, they must be used properly and installed accurately.

Some parents may struggle with the proper installation of a child safety seat, and you can seek guidance and support through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA.

The NHTSA has car seat inspection stations in areas across the country. At these stations, you can obtain a car seat inspection free of charge to ensure that your car seats are installed properly.

You may also receive guidance regarding the proper installation techniques if your car seat is not installed correctly.

Review Your Car Insurance Coverage

Delaware state law also indicates that drivers should obtain a minimum level of liability insurance, but you should be aware that this type of coverage will not pay for your own vehicle repairs or for the medical expenses related to injuries for anyone in your car.

If you want to be fully covered, consider buying a comprehensive auto insurance policy that also has personal injury coverage. This coverage pays for any expenses related to repairs for your vehicle and medical bills for your passengers.

Drivers in Delaware should consider shopping for new car insurance rates every six months. By doing so, you can keep your coverage updated so that it fully meets your needs, and you can also identify a great rate for car insurance.

Keep in mind that comparing three to four policies every few months is a smart idea, but you should avoid shopping for insurance based on price alone.

Other factors, such as the financial strength of the car insurance provider and its customer service reputation, should also be considered before you make a final buying decision for your auto coverage. Don’t miss out on our free insurance comparison tool below! Just enter your ZIP code and compare rates now!

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