Louisiana Car Seat Laws 2022 (Rear, Forward & Booster)

New Orleans, louisiana Skyline

Under Louisiana car seat laws, all children under the age of 18 years have to be secured in a child restraint or seat belt. The penalty for violating the law ranges between $100 to $500. Children who are physically unable to use a child restraint or seat belt are exempt.  

Disclaimer: This content does not constitute legal advice. It is solely for informational purposes. Always check the original source of the law for the latest version.

Louisiana Car Seat Laws

Louisiana Rear-Facing Car Seat Law

According to the rear-facing car seat law in Louisiana, a child under the age of 2 years must be secured in a rear-facing seat. (1) The seat must be installed as per both the vehicle as well as the car seat manufacturer’s instructions. 

Though the rear-facing car seat age in Louisiana is newborn to 2 years, an infant should continue riding in their rear-facing seat till they reach its maximum weight or height limit set by the manufacturer. 

Violating Louisiana rear-facing child seat law carries a penalty of $100 for the first offense, $200 to $500 for a second offense and $500 plus court costs for a third and subsequent offense.

If the violation is only restricted to using an incorrect car seat, the fine is a maximum of $100, including fees and court costs.

Age: Newborn to 2 years
Penalty: $100 for a first-time, $200 to $500 for a second violation, $500 for a third and subsequent offense, $100 for an incorrect car seat.

Louisiana Forward-Facing Car Seat Law

According to the forward-facing car seat law in Louisiana, a child older than 2 years and who has outgrown their rear-facing seat can be secured in a forward-facing seat with an internal harness. (1) 

The forward-facing car seat age in Louisiana is 2 to 4 years. But your child should continue riding in a forward-facing seat till they reach the maximum weight or height limit of the seat prescribed by the manufacturer. 

The first violation of Louisiana forward-facing child seat law will be penalized $100. The fine for a second offense ranges from a minimum $200 to a maximum of $500. A third and subsequent offense will attract a penalty of $500 plus court costs. Using an incorrect car seat will be penalized $100, including fees and court costs. 

Age: 2 to 4 years
Penalty: $100 for a first-time, $200 to $500 for a second violation, $500 for a third and subsequent offense, $100 for an incorrect car seat.

Louisiana Booster Seat Law

According to the child booster seat law in Louisiana, children who are at least 4 years old and have outgrown their forward-facing seats can ride in booster seats. (1) If they fall into more than one category, choose the more protective one. Depending on your requirements, you can choose a high-back or backless booster seat

The booster seat age in Louisiana is 4 years. But you should keep your child in a booster seat till they cross its height or weight limits set by the manufacturer. 

Violating Louisiana booster seat requirements entails a fine. A first violation carries a $100 fine, while a second violation carries a penalty of $200 to $500. A third and subsequent offense will be penalized $500. If you use an incorrect car seat, you will be fined $100. 

Age: Older than 4 years
Penalty:  $100 for a first-time, $200 to $500 for a second violation, $500 for a third and subsequent offense, $100 for an incorrect car seat.

Louisiana Child Front Seat Law

According to the child front seat law in Louisiana, children younger than 13 years must travel in the backseat, when available, in a child restraint that is ideal for their height and weight. (1)

If there are more children younger than 13 years than the number of car seats or seat belts, then all unrestrained children must be placed in the rear seat.

Louisiana car seat regulations also mandate that if the vehicle has an active passenger side airbag supplemental restraint system, then a child younger than 6 years or weighing less than 60 pounds should travel in the rear seat if available. (1)

The front seat age in Louisiana is 13 years. A violation of these requirements will be fined $100 for the first offense, $200 to $500 for a second offense and $500 plus court costs for a third and subsequent offense.

Age: 13+ years
Penalty: $100 for a first-time, $200 to $500 for a second violation, $500 for a third and subsequent offense.

Louisiana Child Seat Belt Law

According to the child seat belt law in Louisiana, a child who is at least 9 years old or has outgrown the limits of a booster seat has to wear an adult safety belt. (1) This applies whether they are in the backseat or the front seat.

The requirements of this provision are met when the seat belt properly fits across the chest and thighs of the child. Seat belt rules in Louisiana do not apply to children who cannot wear a seat belt due to a physical condition. 

Violating Louisiana children’s seat belt law for the first time entails a fine of $100. A second violation carries a penalty of $200 to $500. A third and subsequent offense of not wearing a seat belt will be penalized $500. 

Age: 9+ years
Penalty: $100 for a first-time, $200 to $500 for a second violation, $500 for a third and subsequent offense.

Louisiana Taxi Child Seat Law

According to the taxi child seat law in Louisiana, taxis are not required to have a child passenger safety system in place. Louisiana child seat laws exempt them from their purview. (1) 

Since the taxi driver is not responsible for providing a taxi child seat in Louisiana, it is best if you arrange an appropriate car seat before traveling with your child in a taxi. Depending on the child’s age under Louisiana state law, you can choose a rear-facing, forward-facing, or booster car seat. 

When installing the car seat in a taxi, it is your responsibility as a caregiver to ensure that it is securely fixed. You can refer to the car seat manual for proper installation and take the driver’s assistance. 

Louisiana Ridesharing Child Seat Law

There is no clear ridesharing child seat law in Louisiana. 

Car seat laws in Louisiana require all children under the age of 18 to be restrained in an appropriate car seat or the seat belt. (1) Only those who are physically unable to use a car seat due to medical reasons are exempt. There is no mention of ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft. 

The best option, in this case, is for either the driver or the parents/caregivers to provide a child seat. For babies under 2 years, this means a rear-facing car seat.

Those who have outgrown these seats can use a forward-facing car seat. Older children who have outgrown their forward-facing seats need to ride in booster seats. 

Check with the driver if they have a car seat or carry your own. 

Louisiana Child Seat Replacement Law

There is no definite child seat replacement law in Louisiana. However, you must replace your child safety seat if it is involved in an accident or has expired. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends child seat replacement after an accident, especially after a moderate or severe crash. In case of a low-impact accident, there is no urgent need to replace the car seat.  A low-impact crash is where no passenger is injured, the door nearest to the car seat is not damaged and the seat itself shows no visible damage.

Apart from replacing the seat after an accident in Louisiana, you must also replace it after it has expired or has been recalled. Check the manufacturer’s website or car seat sticker for more information. 

Leaving Child in The Car in Louisiana

According to the law on leaving a child in a vehicle in Louisiana, it is illegal to leave a child under 6 years of age unsupervised and unattended in a motor vehicle. (2) There should be a person 10 years of age or older physically present in the vehicle. 

The most common danger of leaving a child unattended in a vehicle is heat stroke. The temperature inside the vehicle can rise rapidly. Since children’s bodies heat up faster than adults, they are at great risk of suffering a heat stroke. 

Leaving a child in the car in Louisiana is punishable by fine and imprisonment. A first offense carries a maximum penalty of $500 or 6 months imprisonment. For a second or subsequent offense, the offender will be imprisoned for a minimum 1 year and maximum 2 years, plus a fine ranging between $1000 to $2000. 

Choosing a Child Car Seat in Louisiana

When choosing a car seat in Louisiana, you must ensure that you adhere to the relevant child seat requirements in Louisiana. To find the best child seat, you can refer to the NHTSA recommendations.

From the time your child is born till they turn at least 2 years old, an infant rear-facing car seat is the best car seat to use in Louisiana.

They can then move to a forward-facing seat with a harness and tether. After they outgrow these, they should use booster seats. A high back or backless seat is the best booster seat to use in Louisiana.

Car Seat Installation Help in Louisiana

You must install your car seat as per the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, you also have to refer to your vehicle’s manual. All this can seem complicated and you may not always succeed in installing the car seat correctly.

To help you with it, there are different stations with certified Child Passenger Safety (CPS) technicians. They help you with the installation and inspection of child passenger safety seats in Louisiana. Some of these stations are:

Louisiana Car Seat Safety Resources

  • Louisiana Highway Safety Commission: The official website of the Louisiana Highway Commission contains the state’s law on child restraints as well as other resources for parents, such as a list of fitting stations, safety tips, and recalls.  
  • USAA Educational FoundationThis USAA Educational Foundation report on child passenger safety contains all the information that you may want to know about different types of car seats and how to fix them in your car. 
  • Woman’s Hospital: It has a list of resources such as things to consider before buying a car seat, the importance of car seats, the law and where to get your car seats installed. 

FAQ

How long should a child ride in a rear-facing car seat in Louisiana? 

A child should ride in a rear-facing car seat till the age of 2 years or till they exceed the height and weight limits of the seat. 

Can you put a rear-facing car seat in the front seat in Louisiana?

No, you cannot put a rear-facing seat in the front seat if a backseat is available. If you do put it in front, the front seat airbag must be deactivated. 

Can you put a rear-facing car seat in the middle rear seat in Louisiana?

You can put a rear-facing car seat in the middle rear seat but it must fit properly. Check the car seat as well as your vehicle’s manuals.

When can a baby face forward in a car seat in Louisiana?

A child can face forward after they turn 2 years old or outgrow the maximum height or weight limits of their rear-facing seat as set by the manufacturer. 

How old for a booster seat in Louisiana?

Children who are at least 4 years old can ride in a booster seat.  But they should ride in a booster seat once they outgrow their forward-facing seat. 

When to use a backless booster seat in Louisiana?

You can use a backless booster seat if your vehicle seat has a headrest and the child’s ears are not higher than the seat back. 

When can a child sit in the front seat with a booster in Louisiana?

Children under the age of 13 years should ride in the backseat. They can ride in the front seat with a booster if the backseat is not available.

When can a child stop using a booster seat in Louisiana?

A child can stop using a booster seat when they turn 9 years old or outgrow their booster seat. They can then start using the seatbelt. 

When can a child sit in the front seat in Louisiana?

A child can sit in the front seat after they turn 13 years old. They can also sit in the front seat in an appropriate child restraint if there is no backseat. 

When to switch from 5 point harness to a seat belt in Louisiana?

When the child outgrows the height and weight limits of the 5-point harness, they can switch to wearing a seat belt in a booster seat. 

When can a child use a regular seat belt in Louisiana?

Under the law, a child can start using a regular seat belt once they are 9 years old or have outgrown the height and weight limits of their booster seat. 

Do you need a car seat in a taxi in Louisiana?

Taxis are not required to have a car seat. However, it is recommended that you carry an appropriate car seat for maximum protection for your child. 

Do you need a car seat in a Uber in Louisiana?

The law is silent on this issue. But either the caregiver or the driver should provide a federally approved and appropriate car seat. 

Do you need a car seat in a Lyft in Louisiana?

The law is not clear on this issue. But either the caregiver or the driver should provide an appropriate car seat to ensure the child’s safety. 

Similar Posts