What are the car seat laws in New Hampshire?

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Things to remember...
  • You face a fine if anyone under 18 is not properly secured in your vehicle
  • Used car seats are not recommended
  • Some vehicles do not require you buckle your children in safety seats


New Hampshire law requires all children younger than six should ride in an approved child safety seat while in the car. These laws are designed to ensure the safety and well-being of children, and they are not negotiable.

Anyone who is caught driving with a child who is not in the proper safety seat is going to face fines, and the risk of their child being seriously injured in an accident increases significantly.

It’s always in your best interest to buckle up and require your kids to buckle in the proper seats. Safety is never an option in the car, and New Hampshire laws are quite clear as it pertains to the safety of your children. Make sure you have the coverage you need with our free comparison tool above! 

Even New Hampshire car insurance agencies promote child safety by offering replacement coverage for approved car seats in the event you are involved in an accident. It’s something to consider when you’re comparing rates and looking for affordable insurance.

New Hampshire Child Safety Seat Laws

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State lawmakers in New Hampshire want to ensure children are safe in the car, and they extend their seat belt laws to cover all children younger than 18.

While only children younger than six are required to sit in a child safety seat, all children younger than 18 are required to wear a seatbelt in the car.

All children younger than six must be in an approved child restraint seat, which is defined as a car seat or a booster seat.

Children younger than one and 20 pounds are required to sit in a designated rear-facing convertible car seat anytime they are in the car.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children sit facing the rear of your vehicle for at least two years, but this is not a law that New Hampshire has issued. It’s still a recommendation only in New Hampshire.

Children older than one but smaller than 40 pounds should sit in a forward-facing car seat. These seats are all designed to meet specific weight and height requirements, and that’s the most important aspect of each seat.

Age is important, too, but it doesn’t matter what age a child happens to be if they do not meet height and weight requirements as listed on every car seat.

Children who surpass 40 pounds but have not yet reached 80 pounds are required to sit in an approved booster seat. This seat is designed to allow children to better fit inside the car’s seat belt.

Children are not always tall enough or big enough to fit properly inside the car without the booster seat, and that’s why the state requires children use this type of seat to remain safe in the vehicle.

Once children reach the age of six, it’s no longer required by law they remain in a booster seat.

However, the AAP does recommend that children anywhere from 8 to 12 remain in a booster if they are not yet 4 feet 9 inches tall. It’s also recommended that no child sits in the front seat of a vehicle until they are at least 13.

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New Hampshire Car Seat Costs, Fines, and Replacement Value

New Hampshire law enforcement officers are within their right to issue anyone driving without their children in an approved car seat a ticket.

This ticket costs drivers $50 the first time they are caught driving without their children in proper car seats.

The fine increases to $100 when it’s a second offense. No points are issued on your license for this offense.

There’s no law in New Hampshire that requires you purchase a new car seat for your child, but it’s highly recommended. Used car seats could have been involved in an accident at some point without your knowledge.

This increases the likelihood the seat will not perform at peak capacity if an accident occurs. It’s never wise to put a child in a situation where their car seat might fail to protect them in an accident.

If your current car insurance policy does not include car seat replacement costs as part of your comprehensive coverage, you should consider looking for a new company to work with.

You can ask around to find out which insurance companies offer replacement funds for new car seats to parents involved in an accident. Even if the accident is minor, it can cause the car seat to malfunction if a worse accident occurs in the future.

What You Should Know about New Hampshire Car Seat Laws

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The law is strict in New Hampshire, but there are a few exceptions. If you drive a vehicle manufactured prior to 1968, you will find you are not required to buckle your children into a car seat when they ride with you.

If you are in a bus or a taxi, it’s not required you place your children in a car seat. If your child has special needs and cannot be correctly buckled into a car seat, it’s not required you place your child in a car seat.

New Hampshire car seat laws apply not only to those who reside in the state. They are meant for anyone driving through New Hampshire and visiting from out-of-state.

The law is not designed to make driving difficult for anyone. It’s meant only to protect the lives of children while they are in a moving vehicle. Make sure you are covered with our free insurance comparison tool below! Just enter your zip code and start comparing rates now!

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