New York State law requires all children to be restrained in an appropriate child restraint system while riding in a motor vehicle, until they reach their 8th birthday. Effective November 1, 2019, all children under the age of 2 must ride in a rear-facing car seat.
Safety tips for specific seats and age groups:
- Rear- Facing: Infants and toddlers should ride in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible, but at least until the age of 2. If a child outgrows the weight or height limit of the seat, then a convertible or all-in-one car seat should be used in the rear-facing position until the child outgrows the weight or height limit set by the car seat manufacturer.
- Forward-Facing: Keep your child in a forward-facing car seat with a harness as long as possible, up to the highest weight or height allowed by the car seat manufacturer.
- Booster Seats: Use a belt positioning booster seat when your child’s weight or height is above the forward-facing limit for the car seat. Keep your child in a booster seat until the lap and shoulder belts fit properly, typically between 8 and 12 years old.
- Seat Belts: Use a lap and shoulder belt when the seat belts fit your child properly. The lap belt should be low and snug across the upper thighs and the shoulder belt should lie across the middle of the chest and shoulder.
- All children under age 13 should ride in the backseat.
Find additional information on finding the right seat from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
**Effective November 1, 2020, all motor vehicle passengers aged 16 and older must be restrained by a seat belt.**
The Governor's Traffic Safety Committee provides statewide coordination for the Child Passenger Safety Training Program, which is an essential tool in the effort to raise awareness and convey accurate technical information about proper child restraint usage.
To encourage the appropriate child restraint selection and proper installation, GTSC supports state, local and not-for-profit agencies in offering free car seat inspections at permanent fitting stations and car seat check events throughout the state.
GTSC participates in the annual Child Passenger Safety Week where the goal is to ensure children are in the correct car seat, that seats are properly installed and used, and that seats are registered with the manufacturer to ensure parents and caregivers receive important safety updates.
Aubrey L. Feldman, MPH, CPH, CHES®, CPST
Child Passenger Safety Program Coordinator
Highway Safety Program Analyst II
Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee
New York State Department of Motor Vehicles
6 Empire State Plaza, Room 410B
Albany, NY 12228