Idaho Car Seat Laws in 2021

In Idaho law, you may not transport a child six years old or younger in a motor vehicle manufactured with seat belts after January 1, 1966 unless the child is properly secured in a child safety restraint that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards. The Idaho Transportation Department recommends that children be restrained every time they are transported in a motor vehicle, that children ride in the back seat until they are at least thirteen years old, that you use the correct safety seat for your child’s height and weight, and that you use child safety seats and seat belts correctly.

Babies and Children Up to Two Years Old

Idaho law does not state how long a baby or child must ride rear facing in a car seat. However, the Idaho Transportation Department recommends that babies and children ride rear facing in a car seat until they are two years old or until they reach the highest height and weight limits allowed by the car seat manufacturer.

Children Two to Four Years Old

Idaho law does not specify how long a child must ride forward facing in a car seat. The Idaho Transportation Department does recommend that children ride forward facing in a car seat until they are approximately four years old, weigh between forty and sixty-five pounds, and have not reached the upper height and weight limits of the car seat. , and weighs between forty and sixty-five pounds. You should use the top tether of the car seat until your child weighs forty pounds.

Children Four to Eight Years Old

Idaho law does not dictate how long a child must ride in a booster seat. The Idaho Transportation Department recommends that children ride in a high back or backless belt positioning booster seat from approximately four to at least eight years old or until they reach 4’9.” You should not use lap-belt only seating positions with a booster seat for your child.

Children Eight Years Old and Older

If your child is eight years old or older and at least 4’9”, the Idaho Transportation Department recommends that he or she use an adult seat belt. The lap belt should lay across your child’s upper thighs. The shoulder belt should cross your child’s chest. Your child’s knees should bend at the edge of the seat.

Penalties for Violations

Idaho’s child passenger safety law is a primary law. If an occupant of your vehicle is under 18 years of age and fails to wear a safety restraint, you may be fined a fixed penalty of $10.00 and you may be ordered to pay court costs. If you fail to restrain a child in a car safety seat, you may be fined a fixed penalty of $66.50 and ordered to pay court costs.

Exemptions

Your child may be exempt from the requirement to be properly secured in a child safety restraint that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards if a commercial motor vehicle operator is transporting your child.

Your child may be exempt from the requirement to be properly secured in a child safety restraint that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards if all of the motor vehicle’s seat belts are in use. If all of the motor vehicle’s seat belts are in use, your child must ride in the rear seat (if the motor vehicle has one) while he or she is unrestrained.

Your child may be exempt from the requirement to be properly secured in a child safety seat that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards if you have removed your child from the car safety restraint to nurse or to take care of your child’s other immediate bodily needs. You must be holding your child while he or she is unrestrained.

* 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.