Alaska Car Seat Laws in 2021

When in a motor vehicle, children under one year old or under twenty pounds must be secured in a rear-facing child safety seat; children between one and four years old and at least twenty pounds must be secured in a child restraint device; children between four and seven years old must be secured in a child passenger restraint system, booster seat, or safety belt; children between eight and fifteen years old must be secured in a child safety device or safety belt; and children between sixteen and seventeen years old must be restrained in a safety belt. Child passenger restraint systems must meet or exceed United States Department of Transportation standards and be used according to manufacturer’s instructions.

Babies and Children Under One Year Old or Weighing Less Than Twenty Pounds

A child under one year old or weighing less than twenty pounds must be properly secured in a rear-facing child safety seat.

Children One to Four Years Old and Weighing At Least Twenty Pounds

A child between one and four years old and weighing at least twenty pounds must be properly secured in a child restraint device.

Children Four to Seven Years Old, Under 4’9” Tall, and Weighing Between Twenty and Sixty-Four Pounds

A child between the ages of four and seven years old under 4’9” tall and weighing between twenty and sixty-four pounds must be properly secured in a booster seat secured by a seat belt system or by another child passenger restraint system.

Children Four to Seven Years Old, At Least 4’9” Tall, and Weighing At Least Sixty-Five Pounds

A child between the ages of four and seven years old at least 4’9” tall and weighing at least sixty-five pounds must be properly secured in a seat belt.

Children Eight to Fifteen Years Old, Under 4’9” Tall, and Weighing Less Than Sixty-Five Pounds

A child between the ages of eight and fifteen years old under 4’9” tall and weighing less than sixty-five pounds must be properly secured in a child safety device approved for the child’s size by the United States Department of Transportation or in a safety belt, whichever the driver determines is appropriate.

Children Sixteen to Seventeen Years Old

A child between sixteen and seventeen years old must be restrained by a safety belt when driving or occupying a motor vehicle being driven on a highway.

Penalties for Violations

Failing to properly restrain a child sixteen years old or older and removing safety belts from a motor vehicle are infractions. You may be fined $15.00, which may be waived if you donate $15.00 to emergency medical services where the violation occurred.

Failing to properly secure a child under sixteen years old is an infraction. You may be fined $50.00 and assessed demerit points. If cited for failing to provide a child safety device or safety belt, your citation may be dismissed and no points assessed if: within thirty days of issuance, you provide proof to a peace officer that you have purchased or acquired and installed an approved child safety device or safety belt; you have not previously been convicted of failure to provide a child safety device or safety belt; you have not previously been cited for failure to provide a child safety device or safety belt and forfeited bail; and you have not previously provided proof.

Sale of Child Safety Devices

You may not sell, offer to sell, or install in any motor vehicle a child safety device not conforming to all applicable federal standards on date of sale, offer, or installation.

Law Enforcement May Stop Your Vehicle Only with Probable Cause

A peace officer may stop or detain your motor vehicle to determine compliance or issue a citation only with probable cause.

Exemptions

Your child may be exempt if he or she is being transported in an emergency vehicle or a school bus not required by the United States Department of Transportation to have safety belts.

Your child may be exempt if he or she is operating a motor vehicle in the course of employment delivering mail or newspapers.

Your child may be exempt if he or she has been exempted by the commissioner of public safety because a physical or medical condition makes use of a child safety device or safety belt impractical and he or she is secured by specified alternative means.

Your child may be exempt if he or she is being transported in a motor vehicle which is not equipped with safety belts and the safety belts have not been removed solely to be exempted from the law.

Your child may be exempt if he or she is operating or riding a motorcycle, motor-driven cycle, off-highway vehicle, electric personal mobility vehicle, snowmobile, or similar vehicle not designed to be operated on a highway.

* 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.