What are the car seat laws in Illinois?

Illinois child safety seat laws are a primary offense with fines starting at $75 per incident. State law mandates children under 8 must be properly secured.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Depending on the age of the child, all children in Illinois should be safely secured by a seat belt or a car seat when they are in a moving vehicle
  • Drivers should be aware of local car seat laws and should seek assistance from the NHTSA with the installation of car seats as needed
  • Fines associated with the violation of car seat and seat belt laws in Illinois can be expensive.

Seat belts are one of the most basic safety features in vehicles today, but the seat belts in most makes and models are designed for adult use. They simply are not suitable for child safety purposes.

Car seats and booster seats have been designed to keep smaller and lighter passengers in the car safe in the event of an accident or another mishap.

However, there are not uniform national rules in place regarding car seats and seat belts, and drivers must be aware of Illinois state laws and other guidelines in order to keep young passengers as safe as possible.

The AAP, or the American Academy of Pediatrics, has issued car seat guidelines for parents and other drivers to follow when using car seats.

It recommends that all passengers who are under the age of two years sit in a rear-facing car seat, and the best location for this car seat is in the back seat of the vehicle.

The AAP also recommends that passengers who are less than 57 inches tall and who are younger than eight to 12 years of age sit in a front-facing car seat or booster seat.

The manufacturer’s recommendations for usage of the car seat or booster seat should be reviewed and followed for optimal safety.

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Car Seat Law for Illinois

Before you venture onto Illinois roads with young passengers in your vehicle, you should be aware of the state’s car seat laws.

Illinois has fairly lax car seat laws in comparison to what you may find if you drive into a few other states, which gives drivers some ability to make safe decisions that are customized to the child specifically.

The car seat law in Illinois is a primary law, and this means that a police officer may pull your car over if he or she believes that a child is not properly fastened in a car seat belt according to state law.

He or she does not need to have any other reason to pull you over other than this suspicion.

The car seat law in Illinois states that any child under the age of eight years old should be properly restrained in a car seat. It does not specify requirements for moving a child from a rear-facing to forward-facing position or from a car seat to a booster seat based on the following:

  • age
  • height
  • weight

After a child reaches the age of eight, the child must be properly restrained in the car’s adult seat belt per Illinois state law.

Because Illinois’ car seat laws provide parents with minimal guidance or structure regarding the usage of car seats, drivers may consider referring to the AAP’s guidelines regarding front and rear-facing placement of car seats.

The manufacturer’s guidelines can also be helpful when determining how to position a car seat and when to adjust its position.


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Consequences for Violating the Car Seat Law

While the car seat law in Illinois gives parents and other drivers ample leeway to position the car seat as needed and to transition a growing child into a larger seat or booster seat as needed, drivers should be aware that there are monetary fines associated with violating the law.

The first offense of the car seat law or the child seat belt law for older children will result in a $75 fine, and subsequent offenses will result in a $200 fine for each additional violation.

Safely Install the Car Seat

Car seats and booster seats are only effective at keeping children safe when they are properly installed. Installation of car seats can be tricky, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is available to help with this process.

You can visit one of the NHTSA’s approved check stations to have your car seat inspected by a skilled professional. In the event it is not properly installed in your vehicle, you can receive assistance with the proper installation.

This assistance is a convenient and effective way to make sure that the kids that ride in your car are as safe as possible.

Buy the Right Car Insurance

Every six months, drivers in Illinois should review their coverage and shop around for better rates. When you review your existing car insurance coverage, note that the state’s minimum requirements for auto insurance include liability insurance.

With liability insurance, other parties will be compensated for damages you cause, but you will not be compensated for your own expenses.

If you want coverage that pays for your repair bills as well as medical bills if you or a child is injured in your car, you may need to purchase the following:

Getting online quotes is a fast and easy way to identify the provider that offers the best rates. However, you also need to compare factors such as the claims process, customer service, and financial strength in order to make the best buying decision.

Compare quotes today by using our free rate tool below. Enter your ZIPcode to begin.


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