What are the car seat laws in Vermont?

Children in VT must be at least eight years old to use an adult seat belt. Drivers who neglect child safety laws be fined up to $25 for each offense.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates. He has also been featured on sites like UpJourney.

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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: Feb 17, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • Drivers in Vermont could be fined for not complying with the state’s child car seat laws at all time
  • It’s important to consider the laws when considering car insurance in Vermont
  • The child car seat law in Vermont is a primary law for children who are less than 18 months old
  • The weight limit for the usage of an adult seatbelt in Vermont is only 20 pounds

Many parents and guardians in Vermont are concerned about the issue of child safety in vehicles.

If you normally transport children in your vehicle, you want to comply with the Vermont state law regarding child car seat usage to stay out of legal trouble, but you also want to use car seats and boost seats in the most effective way possible to keep the children safe.

The American Academy of Pediatrics has issued guidelines regarding car seat usage that many parents follow. These guidelines may be more strict or protective than state requirements in many cases.

The child car seat guidelines issued by AAP state that children who are under the age of two should be secured in a rear-facing car seat, and ideally, this car seat will be placed in the rear seating area of the vehicle.

Children who are over the age of two and less than eight to 12 years of age should sit in a front-facing booster seat. The transition period for stepping out of a booster seat should occur when the child is taller than 57 inches and can safely be secured by an adult seat belt.

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Car Seat Laws for Vermont

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While some drivers may choose to comply with the AAP guidelines regarding child car seats, all drivers must comply with Vermont’s state laws as a minimum.

In Vermont, the state law states the following:

  • children may change from a rear-facing to a front-facing position in the car seat when they are at least 12 months old and when they weigh at least 20 pounds
  • children who are between the ages of one and seven years old and who weigh more than 20 pounds can sit in a front-facing car seat that is approved for their height and weight
  • children who are eight years old and older can sit in the car without a car seat as long as they are secured by an adult seat belt

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Consequences for Breaking the Law

Any time you violate the child safety seat law in Vermont, you are exposing a child to risk unnecessarily, and you may be increasing your exposure to medical bills and other expenses related to a potentially serious car accident involving young passengers.

Remember that you are legally responsible for all expenses that you create for others while driving your car. More than that, you are also opening yourself up to the possibility of being cited for a violation of this law by law enforcement officials.

The child safety seat law is a primary law in Vermont if the child is less than 18 months old, and it is a secondary law for children who are older than this age.

With a primary law, the police officer does not need any other reason to pull you over other than noticing that a child may not be fastened properly in the safety seat as required.

With a secondary law, the police officer must have another primary reason to pull you over, but he or she can then cite you for the child safety seat violation.

If you are cited for either a primary or secondary law violation of this law, you may be charged $25 per incident.

Understand that if multiple children are not properly secured in your vehicle at the same time, you may receive a separate fine for each child in the car that is not in a car seat or wearing a seat belt as required by law in Vermont.

Provide for Child Safety and Care

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As a responsible driver in Vermont, you are required to provide for the safety and care of any children in your vehicle at all times.

You need to verify that each passenger is properly fastened per state law before you start driving regardless of how short the distance is that you plan to travel, and you should also ensure that your car insurance coverage is fully protective and comprehensive.

Remember that the state’s minimum liability insurance requirement does not pay for the expenses of passengers who are injured in your car, and you will need to purchase additional coverage beyond the state minimum requirements if you want to enjoy this benefit.

Getting Car Insurance Quotes in Vermont

If you decide to shop around for new coverage today, consider requesting at least three or four unique quotes for coverage from leading providers that comply with the state’s minimum coverage requirements.

Ideally, you will select providers that have excellent financial strength and a great reputation for processing claims fairly and quickly.

These factors are critical, and they should be reviewed before you compare rates to find the best deal. You can easily use the Internet to shop around and compare quotes to save time and effort while looking for a great deal on your coverage.

Because you need to ensure that all children in your vehicle are safe on Vermont roads, you may consider getting a car seat inspection from an authorized source.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has checkpoints throughout the country that offer free inspections and assistance with installation as needed.

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