Alabama Car Seat Laws in 2021

In Alabama law, a child up to one year old and up to twenty pounds must be properly secured in an infant-only or convertible car seat, a child between one and five years old and weighing up to forty pounds must be properly secured in a convertible car seat in the forward position or a forward-facing car seat, a child between five and six years old must be properly secured in a booster seat, and a child between six and fifteen years old must be properly secured in a seat belt when being transported in a motor vehicle operated on Alabama’s roadways, streets, or highways. 

A motor vehicle is defined as a passenger car, pickup truck, van with a seating capacity of no more than ten people, minivan, or sports utility vehicle. A child between sixteen and seventeen years old must be properly secured in a safety belt when occupying the front seat of a moving passenger car manufactured with safety belts in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Babies and Children Up to One Year Old and Up to Twenty Pounds

A child up to one year old and weighing up to twenty pounds must be properly secured in an aftermarket or integrated infant-only or convertible car seat meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards when being transported in a motor vehicle operated on Alabama’s roadways, streets, or highways.

Children One to Five Years Old and Weighing Up to Forty Pounds

A child between one and five years old and weighing up to forty pounds must be properly secured in an aftermarket or integrated convertible car seat in the forward position or forward-facing car seat meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards when being transported in a motor vehicle operated on Alabama’s roadways, streets, or highways.

Children Five to Six Years Old

A child between five and six years old must be properly secured in an aftermarket or integrated booster seat meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards when being transported in a motor vehicle operated on Alabama’s roadways, streets, or highways.

Children Six to Fifteen Years Old

A child between six and fifteen years old must be properly secured in an aftermarket or integrated seat belt meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards when being transported in a motor vehicle operated on Alabama’s roadways, streets, or highways.

Children Sixteen to Seventeen Years Old

A child between sixteen and seventeen years old must have a safety belt properly fastened about his or her body at all times when occupying the front seat of a moving passenger car manufactured with safety belts in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

Penalties for Violations

You may be fined $25.00 and assessed one point for a first violation of Alabama’s child safety restraint law. If you provide proof that you have acquired an appropriate child passenger restraint to the trial judge, your charges will be dismissed and you will not be assessed court costs. You may be fined $25.00 and assessed two points for a second or subsequent violation of Alabama’s child safety restraint law. A violation of Alabama’s child safety restraint law shall not be deemed a violation of law which would nullify or change your insurance provisions or coverage.

You may be fined up to $25.00 for a violation of Alabama’s safety belt law. A violation does not constitute probable cause for your motor vehicle to be searched.

Exemptions

Your child may be exempt from Alabama’s child safety restraint law if he or she is being transported in a taxi or a motor vehicle with a seating capacity of at least eleven passengers.

Your child may be exempt from Alabama’s safety belt law if he or she is the occupant of a passenger car and possesses a written statement from a licensed physician that he or she is unable to wear a safety belt for medical reasons.

Your child may be exempt from Alabama’s safety belt law if he or she is a driver or passenger delivering newspapers or mail from house to house.

Your child may be exempt from Alabama’s safety belt law if he or she is a passenger in a passenger car with model year prior to 1965 or a motor vehicle which normally operates in reverse.

* Ms. Blake is licensed in the state of Maryland. The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Attorney Denise A. Blake*

Denise practices family law at Blake Law, LLC in Westminster, Maryland. She holds a Juris Doctor with an emphasis in Family Law from the University of Baltimore School of Law.