What are the car seat laws in New Jersey?

New Jersey 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 20, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • New Jersey recently changed its laws regarding child safety seats
  • The police have issued more than 100,000 citations for violations of the newly revised law
  • Drivers must stay current with statute changes and install the best safety seat available
  • New Jersey car insurance companies will increase rates for those who don’t abide by these laws

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) changed its original policy crafted in 2002. The AAP altered its recommendation on child safety seats and booster seats based on new beliefs about how to improve child safety.

The following are considerations factored into their decision:

  • Age
  • Weight
  • Height

Many local authorities across the United States take recommendations made by organizations such as the AAP seriously. Child safety remains an important concern among state legislatures.

The state of New Jersey, in particular, takes great steps to enforce its child safety seat regulations. New Jersey recently made changes to its laws and has vigorously issued tickets to violators.

Parents and guardians should make sure their current child safety seats meet these new requirements or face penalties.

They should also make sure they have proper car insurance. Enter your ZIP code into our free rate comparison tool above to find the best fit for your car insurance provider.

Car Seat Law for New Jersey

Drivers are required to make sure a young child is either buckled in a seat belt or placed in an appropriate safety or booster seat. Following the law first starts with determining what particular seat would be appropriate for a child.

The basic safety seat rules in New Jersey are as follows:

  • Rear-facing seats are required for children under two years of age and under 30 lbs
  • Forward-facing seats are required for children between two and four years of age and between 30 and 40 lbs
  • Booster seats are required for children less than eight years of age and less than 57″ in height
  • Children over eight years of age and may wear a seat belt

Within the first year New Jersey updated its seat requirement laws,  113,662 tickets were issued. Clearly, the police in the Garden State aggressively enforce these violations. Failure to do otherwise could put young ones at lives at needless risk.


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Consequences for Breaking the Law in New Jersey

Failure to adhere to child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt laws is usually established as either solely a primary or solely a secondary offense. In New Jersey, the violation can be either a primary or secondary offense depending on the situation.

A primary offense refers to the police’s ability to pull a vehicle over for the violation itself. With a secondary offense, the driver must commit another moving or non-moving violation in order to be pulled over.

The secondary offense would be cited in addition to the initial primary one.

Under New Jersey law, the offense is primary when occurring in the front seat and secondary when occurring in the back seat.

The law also stipulates age and weight requirements for placing a child in the back seat. Always double-check current state law to ensure proper compliance. Violations of the law lead to:

  • A seat belt fine of $46
  • A car seat fine of $75

In New Jersey, no points are issued for violations of seat belt and child seat laws. Regardless, drivers must always secure adult and younger passengers to improve safety.

Provide for Child Safety and Care

In order to help facilitate better child safety, the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA) puts forth recommendations for child safety seats based on age, size, and other factors.

The NTHSA also produces installation videos that drivers can review to further increase safety. The administration also points out certified inspection stations could provide assistance with installation instructions and also examine seats for any potential problems.

Caring for yourself, your child, and any other passengers in the vehicle requires taking several responsibilities seriously.

One of those responsibilities entails purchasing an insurance policy with adequate protections.

New Jersey is a no-fault state so buying a decent amount of medical payments and personal injury protection coverage and, yes, auto liability coverage delivers on financial protections.

Keep your coverage up-to-date and save money by comparing free quotes every six months. Getting three to four quotes from reliable providers in your area can save you money and ensure you’re always covered on the road. Enter your ZIP code below to compare rates now!

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