What are the car seat laws in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts requires children use a car seat until they reach eight years of age or 57 inches in height. Violation of this law may come with a $25 fine.

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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...

  • States typically have age and size requirements for children in car seats
  • In Massachusetts, car seats are required for children under the age of eight and less than 57 inches tall
  • Massachusetts has no requirement regarding rear-facing car seats

In most states, car seat laws are based on similar criteria.

  • First, car seat laws generally have requirements regarding the age of a child. State laws vary in requiring car seats up to between five and eight years of age depending on the state.
  • Second, state laws generally also have requirements regarding the height or weight of a child. These regulations can require a car seat for children between forty and eight pounds.

Some states also require car seats for children based on height; these limits can vary between forty and fifty-two inches. Some states require car seats until both age and size requirements are met while others are satisfied with either one or the other.

Most states base their car seat laws around the standards set by the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

The AAP updated their recommendations on car seats in 2011 to advise that children ride in a car seat until they have reached four feet nine inches in height and are between eight and 12 years of age.

The AAP also suggests leaving children in rear-facing car seats at least until the age of two.

Until 2011, the AAP had recommended transitioning to a front facing seat at age one.

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Car Seat Law in Massachusetts


In Massachusetts, children are required to ride in federally approved car seats until they meet certain age or height requirements.

Under Massachusetts law, car seats are required for children until they reach eight years of age or 57 inches in height. Unlike some states, Massachusetts has no weight requirement.

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Consequences for Violating Car Seat Laws in Massachusetts

Like any law, violations of Massachusetts car seat laws have consequences. Each violation is subject to a fine of $25. Unlike some states, Massachusetts does not apply points to a driver’s license for car seat law violations.

Additionally, Massachusetts categorizes its seatbelt law as a secondary offense.

Unlike primary offenses, law enforcement may not stop a car solely for a secondary offense. In Massachusetts, a seat belt law violation may only be assessed along with a valid traffic stop for a primary offense like speeding or failure to yield.

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Child Safety and Care for Massachusetts Drivers

A critical component to child safety is the correct insurance policy. Furthermore, Massachusetts requires minimum coverage for bodily injury and property damage before operating a motor vehicle.

Comparing at least three to four policies is essential to selecting coverage that will meet every need. Comparisons should be on more than coverage alone; the least expensive option may not meet the minimum state requirements or a family’s particular needs.

The process of selecting the correct insurance policy doesn’t end once the initial policy is bought. Massachusetts drivers should review their policies every six months to make sure the coverage is still adequate.

Circumstances like a driver’s needs or the value of a vehicle can change and necessitate adjustments to coverage. What’s more, policy prices change over time.

The best way for a driver to stay on top of changes in coverage and pricing is to compare insurance policies every six months.

Different models of car seats can vary a great deal and instructions are often difficult to decipher. There are free resources to ensure correct installation. Massachusetts has many car seat inspection stations with certified technicians able to inspect car seat installation at no cost.

Massachusetts Children Car Safety


Massachusetts car seat laws require any child under eight years of age or 52 inches tall to ride in a federally approved car seat for their protection. Equally important for the security of child passengers is for a vehicle to be properly insured.

Maintaining proper coverage is best done by reviewing policies every six months and comparing multiple policies to guarantee appropriate coverage.

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