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Alabama Car Seat Laws

A Summary of Child Car Seat Laws in Alabama

  • Children who are under 1 year or weigh less than 20 pounds are required to use a rear facing child-safety seat.
  • Forward facing car seats can only be used when a child is two years old or weighs 20 pounds or more
  • The requirements for qualifying for a booster seat is that the child must be at least 5 years old or weigh 40 pounds.
  • The recommended age before a child can wear a seat belt is 13 years
  • Children should never be left inside a vehicle in a manner that threatens their safety

Infant Car Seat Rules

Rear-facing Car Seat Rules in Alabama

According to Alabama law, infants are required to use rear-facing child-safety seats until they are at least one year old or weigh 20 pounds or more. This means they cannot stop using the rear-facing seat if their weight is below 20 pounds. Parents are also advised to check their car safety-seat manual in order to ensure their child is within the manufacturer’s height and weight limits. Rear-facing seats should never be secured in the front seat or in front of an active airbag. In a five point harness safety seat, the harness clip should be fastened around the center of the chest level with the armpits. A latch-system or vehicle seatbelt can be used to tightly hold the rear-facing seat in place in the back seat of the vehicle.

Forward Facing Car Seat Rules in Alabama

Once a child is two years old or weighs at least 20 pounds, he or she can graduate to a forward facing car seat equipped with a harness. The kids can also do so if they are younger than 2 years but have surpassed the legal weight limit which is at least 20 pounds. The manufacturer’s weight and height limit can also be used to decide whether a child has qualified for this type of seat.

Booster Seat in Alabama

By law, children who have exceeded the forward facing car seat requirements can graduate to a belt-positioning booster seat. This means the child should be at least 5 years old or have a weight of at least 40 pounds. According to experts, a child with a height of 4’9’’ can also qualify for a booster seat as long as they are between the age range of 6-12 years. Booster seats should be installed in such a way that the seat belt is fastened across the thighs and secured firmly across the chest.

When can a child Use the front seat in Alabama?

Alabama law does not state a specific age for children to sit in the front seat. However, children are required to use the booster seat until their feet touch the floor of the vehicle with knees bent at the edge of the seat and their back uniformly against the seat. This typically happens when children are at least 13 years old and can now safely wear a regular seatbelt. Parents should teach their kids how to wear a regular seatbelt and if a child is not comfortable in a seatbelt, he or she should use a booster seat until they learn to wear a seatbelt correctly.

More Alabama Laws