Washington State Car Seat Laws are changing January 1, 2020

Keeping up-to-date with Washington’s Child Restraint Law helps ensure you are correctly using the right seat for your child’s age and size.  Following these requirements greatly reduces the chances of death or serious injury in a crash.  Your child’s safety in the car requires the right seat, used the right way, every time.  These requirements to Washington’s Child Restraint Law take effect January 1, 2020.

Important Changes to Washington’s Child Restraint Law Effective January 1, 2020

Children up to age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.

Children ages 2-4 years must ride in a car seat with a harness (rear or forward facing).

Children 4 and older must ride in a car or booster seat until they are 4’9″ tall

 over height 4’9” must be secured by a properly fitted seat belt (typically starting at 8-12 years old).

Children up to age 13 must ride in the back seat when practical to do so.

Child restraint system must comply with U.S. DOT standards and be used according to vehicle and child restraint manufacturer.

For the best protection, a child should remain in each stage of restraint until they reach the maximum height and weight based on the manufacturer’s instructions.

To view the current Washington Child Passenger Restraint Law

Outside of Washington, laws regarding child safety restraints vary by state. The Governors Highway Safety Association offers a state-by-state overview of restraint laws.

Is my child ready for a seat belt?

Car crashes are a leading killer of children ages 1-13.  Using the right seat can reduce the risk of fatal injury by 71%.

Your child is in a car seat, but is it installed correctly? Nearly 60% aren’t. Be sure. Find a car seat inspection station near you.


Printable flyers and posters (English)

Printable flyers and posters (Spanish)

Posters in additional languages

Resources for Car Seat Technicians only

Questions about the new law?

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