Connecticut Car Seat Laws in 2021

In Connecticut, when being transported in a motor vehicle on the highways, a child under two years old or under thirty pounds must ride rear-facing in a five-point harness car seat. A child between two and four years old or between thirty and thirty-nine pounds must ride rear-facing or forward-facing in a five-point harness car seat. 

A child between five and seven years old or between forty and fifty-nine pounds must ride rear-facing or forward-facing in a five-point harness car seat or a booster seat with a seat safety belt. A child between the ages of eight and fifteen years old or at least sixty pounds must use a car seat, booster seat, or seat safety belt. If a driver is between fifteen and seventeen years old, the driver and all passengers must wear seat safety belts.

Babies and Children Under Two Years Old

A child under two years old or weighing less than thirty pounds must ride rear-facing in a car seat with a five-point harness approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. A rear-facing child restraint system may not be used in a front seat with a functional passenger side air bag. 

Children Two to Four Years Old

A child between the ages of two and four years old or weighing at least thirty pounds but less than forty pounds must ride rear-facing or forward-facing in a car seat with a five-point harness approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

Children Five to Seven Years Old

A child between the ages of five and seven years old or weighing at least forty pounds but less than sixty pounds must ride rear-facing or forward-facing in a child restraint system with a five-point harness or a booster seat secured by a seat safety belt approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. 

A booster seat may not be used unless the motor vehicle has a seat safety belt with a shoulder belt, loop strength through the complete attachment of at least four thousand pounds, and a buckle or closing device that can be released with one hand with a pull of less than forty-five pounds.

Children Eight to Fifteen Years Old

A child between the ages of eight and fifteen years old or weighing at least sixty pounds must use an approved child restraint system or a seat safety belt. 

Children Over Fifteen Years Old

If the driver of a motor vehicle is between fifteen and seventeen years old, the driver and passengers must wear seat safety belts.

Student Transportation

In a student transportation vehicle, a child under four years old or under forty pounds must use a car seat approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. A child four years old or older must use an approved car seat, booster seat, or a seat safety belt.

Penalties for Violations

A seat safety belt violation is an infraction. A driver under eighteen years old will be fined $75.00 for a first violation but will not be assessed points against his or her license. 

A first violation of the child restraint system law is an infraction. For a first or second violation, you must attend a child car seat safety course offered or approved by the Department of Motor Vehicles. Your license may be suspended for up to two months for failure to attend or complete the course. For a second violation, you will be fined up to $199.00. For a third or subsequent violation, a class A misdemeanor, you may be sentenced to up to one year of incarceration, fined up to $1,000.00, or both.

* 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.