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Buckle Up, Fresno: 2019 Child Safety Seat Laws in California

Like the rest of California, police in Fresno County take child safety seats seriously. Any parents or guardians living in this region need to keep up-to-date on California’s child restraint policies. Failure to comply with state law could result in penalties including fines and/or safety education classes.

If you’re a bit fuzzy on the Golden State’s child safety seat laws, then this is the article for you. In addition to detailing California’s safety standards, we’ll share some useful information on where you could get your child restraint checked by California Highway Patrol (CHP).

What Are California’s Child Seat Laws?

According to the California Vehicle Code, all children under 8-years-old must be placed in a safety restraint appropriate for their height and weight. Children could only legally transition to the car’s safety belt after they turn 8 or reach a height of 4’ 9’’. In both of these cases, the child is only allowed to be in the car’s back seat.

In 2017, California lawmakers added one additional complication to this legal standard. Under the updated law, all children must be placed in a rear-facing restraint until they turn 2-years-old. The only exception to this new rule is if a child weighs over 40 pounds or measures taller than 40 inches.

Although California lawmakers don’t specify which safety seats to use at each stage of development, they highly recommend following the car seat manufacturer’s recommendations. CHP also encourages parents to check out the American Academy of Pediatrics’ latest child safety seat suggestions for guidelines.

Drivers who are caught with a child who is improperly secured will face a $100 penalty for a first offense. Second offenses could land you a $250 fine. Depending on your case, you might also be required to take a state-sponsored car safety course.

You can learn more about California’s current safety seat standards by visiting this CHP child safety seat webpage or seeing the latest car seat laws in California.  To read the official legal text, please click on this link to California Vehicle Code §27360.

What About Rental Cars?

Anyone using a car rental service in California should know that rental companies are legally required to give you a safety seat if your child is under the age of 8. This law does not, however, apply to rideshare companies like Uber or Lyft.

To read more about this law, you can click on this link to §27365.

Additional Safety Resources For Fresno Residents

If you’re unsure about how to properly install a child restraint, don’t hesitate to get in touch with a local CHP technican. You can find the closest CHP office in your area by typing your home address or zip code into this official webpage’s search engine.

For more helpful information on child safety standards in Fresno County, please click on this link. In addition to a review of the laws listed above, this website has loads of educational videos and a pamphlet on the state’s “Buckle Up For Life” program.


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