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

oklahoma

Under Oklahoma car seat laws, all children under the age of 8 years and who are shorter than 4’9” must be restrained in an appropriate child restraint. Infants under 2 years old must be secured in a rear-facing seat. There is a maximum penalty of $50 for disobeying the law. 

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.

Oklahoma Car Seat Laws

Oklahoma Rear-Facing Car Seat Law

According to the rear-facing car seat law in Oklahoma, all children less than 2 years of age must be restrained in a rear-facing car seat. (1) The rear-facing car seat age in Oklahoma is 2 years. 

Children should continue riding in an infant rear-facing seat till they are 2 years old or reach the maximum height and weight limits allowed by the manufacturer, whichever event occurs first.

If you don’t obey the Oklahoma rear-facing child seat law, you will have to pay a fine of $50 and the court costs. The fine will be suspended and the court costs limited to a maximum of $15 in case of a first offense and if you can show proof of purchase or acquisition of a car seat. 

Age: Newborn to 2 years
Penalty: $50 plus court costs; maximum $15 court costs in case of first offense after proof of acquiring car seat

Oklahoma Forward-Facing Car Seat Law

According to the forward-facing car seat law in Oklahoma, children older than 2 years and less than 4 years old can use a forward-facing car seat with a harness. (1) 

The forward-facing car seat age in Oklahoma is 2 to 4 years. But children should continue riding in them till they outgrow the height and weight limits prescribed by the manufacturer.  This generally occurs around age 7.

A violation of the Oklahoma forward-facing child seat law carries a fine of $50. The driver will be held responsible and will also have to pay the court costs.

The fine will be suspended and the court costs limited to a maximum of $15 in case of a first offense and if you can show proof of purchase or acquisition of a car seat. 

Age: 2 to 4 years
Penalty: $50 plus court costs; maximum $15 court costs in case of first offense after proof of acquiring car seat

Oklahoma Booster Seat Law

According to the child booster seat law in Oklahoma, children between the ages of 4 to 8 years old and shorter than 4’9” must be secured in booster seats. (1) These can include a high-back or backless booster seat.  

The booster seat age in Oklahoma is 4 to 8 years. But children should use a booster seat once they surpass the weight and height limits of their forward-facing seats. They should continue in a booster seat till they are at least 4’9” tall. 

A violation of Oklahoma booster seat requirements is punishable with a fine of $50 and court costs. In case of a first offense, the fine will be suspended and the court costs limited to a maximum of $15 after showing proof of acquiring a car seat.

Age: 4 to 8 years
Height: Shorter than 4’9”
Penalty: $50 plus court costs; maximum $15 court costs in case of first offense after proof of acquiring car seat

Oklahoma Child Front Seat Law

There is no definite child front seat law in Oklahoma and neither do car seat laws in Oklahoma prohibit children from sitting in the front seat. 

The front seat age in Oklahoma is absent. According to the Oklahoma State Department of Health, riding in the backseat is the safest option for kids. (2) This is in line with the requirements of the American Academy of Pediatrics. It recommends that children under 13 years of age should travel in the backseat. 

If absolutely necessary, a child can ride in the front seat in a restraint that is appropriate for their height and weight.

The vehicle seat must be pushed as far back from the dashboard (and the airbag) as possible. However, a rear-facing seat must not be placed in front of an active airbag.

Age: 13+ years

Oklahoma Child Seat Belt Law

According to the child seat belt law in Oklahoma, children who are 8 years old or taller than 4’9” must wear an adult safety belt. (1) Though not explicitly mentioned, it is best to be buckled up in the backseat as well as the front seat. 

Seat belt rules in Oklahoma are strict for both drivers and passengers. Hence, not wearing a seat belt as per Oklahoma children’s seat belt law will attract a maximum fine of $20. (3) The driver of the vehicle carrying the child will be liable to pay. 

However, these requirements do not apply to a person who, for medical reasons, is unable to wear a seat belt. The condition must be certified in writing by a licensed physician. They also do not apply to an operator of the US Postal Service while performing their duties. 

Age: 8+ years
Height: 4’9” 
Penalty: Maximum $20

Oklahoma Taxi Child Seat Law

According to the taxi child seat law in Oklahoma, taxis are exempt from having a car seat. (1) The taxi driver is not responsible for providing a taxi child seat in Oklahoma.

However, you should follow the child seat requirements in Oklahoma for complete safety of your child. 

The parent or caregiver should carry a federally approved child passenger safety seat that is suitable for the child’s age and height. For an infant under 2 years old, this means a rear-facing seat.

Once they outgrow it, they can switch to a forward-facing seat with a harness. After that, they can then ride a booster seat till they are at least 4’9” tall and the seat belt fits them properly. 

Any violation of the Oklahoma car seat regulations will attract a maximum penalty of $50.

Oklahoma Ridesharing Child Seat Law

The ridesharing child seat law in Oklahoma is not clear.  When riding with your child in a rideshare service, all the Oklahoma child seat laws will apply.

Children under 8 years of age have to be restrained in an appropriate child safety system. Those 8 years old or at least 4’9” tall have to wear a seat belt. (1)

The law is unclear about who should provide the child seat. Nor does it say if ridesharing services such as Uber or Lyft are covered under its provisions. In such a scenario, either the parents or the rideshare drivers should provide a federally-approved child restraint system. 

There is a penalty of $50 for not using the proper child restraint. For eligible child passengers not wearing a seat belt, the penalty is $20. (3) 

Oklahoma Child Seat Replacement Law

There is no child seat replacement law in Oklahoma. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recommends that the child safety seat be replaced after an accident. 

If your vehicle is involved in a moderate or severe accident in Oklahoma, you must replace the car seat. It must never be used again as it can have defects not visible to the naked eye. 

However, there is no need to replace it after a low-impact accident. What qualifies as a low-impact crash can be determined with the help of certain questions

Apart from child seat replacement after an accident, you must also replace the seat if it has passed its expiry date prescribed by the manufacturer. You should also replace the seat if it was recalled.

Leaving Child in The Car in Oklahoma

According to the law on leaving a child in a vehicle in Oklahoma, it is illegal to leave a child 6 years old or younger unattended in a vehicle. (4) The child must be under the supervision of someone who is at least 12 years old.

Leaving a child unattended in a vehicle can be very risky. The child can suffer a heat stroke or have some other in-car accident. Therefore, the person responsible for leaving a child in the car in Oklahoma will be guilty of misdemeanor.

They will have to pay a fine of minimum $50 upon a first conviction, a minimum $100 on and minimum 50 hours of community service on second conviction and a minimum $200 fine for a third or subsequent conviction. The person’s record will be forwarded to the Department of Human Services for evaluation.

Choosing a Child Car Seat in Oklahoma

When choosing a car seat in Oklahoma, the best approach is to follow the NHTSA recommendations. A seat that is appropriate for your child’s age, height, and weight is the best car seat to use in Oklahoma.

For children under 2 years old, choose a rear-facing seat. Once they outgrow it, they can ride in a forward-facing seat with a harness.

Young children under the age of 8 years who are shorter than 4’9” should ride in a booster seat. The best booster seat to use in Oklahoma is one that allows the seat belt to fit firmly across your child’s shoulders and lap. 

Car Seat Installation Help in Oklahoma

Car seats must be installed after reading the seat’s instruction manual and the vehicle’s owner manual very carefully. They are generally installed using either the lower anchors or the seat belt.

The installation procedure may seem complex, especially if you have not done it before. Therefore, it is better to get your car seat checked by a certified child passenger safety (CPS) technician. To check your child’s passenger safety seats in Oklahoma, you can contact the following fitting stations: 

Oklahoma Car Seat Safety Resources

For information on Oklahoma state law and other car seat safety resources, you can refer to the following: 

  • Oklahoma State Department of Health: The state’s health department provides various resources on car seat law and the best practices in line with the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics. 
  • Tulsa Police Department: It contains a simplified version of the law as well as important tips on car seat safety. 
  • The Children’s Hospital at Saint Francis: As the leading organization of Safe Kids Tulsa Area, the hospital provides vital resources focused on children such as parent’s guide to child safety and car seat workshops. 

FAQ

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

Under the law, a child should ride in a rear-facing car seat till the age of 2 years. This is also in line with general best practices. 

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

You can put a rear-facing seat in the front seat but the passenger-side airbag deactivated. It is recommended to not put a rear-facing seat in the front. 

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

Yes, you can put a rear-facing car seat in the middle seat if your vehicle has lower anchors for the middle seat that can hold the car seat tightly. 

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

A baby can face forward once they turn 2 years old or outgrow the height and weight limits of their rear-facing seat as prescribed by its manufacturer.

How old for a booster seat in Oklahoma? 

Children younger than 8 years and shorter than 4’9” who have outgrown the height and weight limits of their forward-facing seats can ride in a booster seat. 

When to use a backless booster seat in Oklahoma? 

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

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

There is no particular age. The Oklahoma State Department of Health recommends all children should ride in the back as it is the safest option for them. 

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

A child can sit in the front seat with a booster if the vehicle seat is pushed as far back from the dashboard as possible.

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

A child can legally stop using a booster seat in Oklahoma after they turn 8 years old or are at least 4’9” tall.

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

The ideal time is when the child outgrows the 5-point harness in a forward-facing seat. They can then switch to wearing a seatbelt in a booster seat. 

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

A child who is 8 years old and stands at least 4’9” tall can use a regular seat belt. It should fit securely against their lap and shoulders. 

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

Taxicabs are not required to have a car seat. But the parent/caregiver should carry a car seat that is suitable for the child’s age and weight. 

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

The law is unclear on this issue. However, the best option is for parents/caregivers to arrange a car seat before traveling in an Uber. 

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

The law does not mention rideshare services like Lyft. However, the best option is for parents/caregivers to arrange a car seat before traveling in a Lyft.

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