The Overview of the PA Child Seatbelt Laws
In the unfortunate event of a car crash, most children who sustain minimal or no injuries are properly secured in child passenger restraint systems. That is why many states have child passenger safety laws, and Pennsylvania is not left behind.
We have prepared this concise guide to the PA child seatbelt laws to help you keep your child safe and avoid the penalties for violations.
In Pennsylvania, the height, weight, and age of the child determine the appropriate car restraint system. You can also find exceptions where children do not fit the height or weight requirements of their age.
Here is a summary of the PA child seatbelt laws based on age:
- Under two years—Children under two years should be restrained in rear-facing car seats. You can use the restraint device after these two years until the child outgrows it based on the manufacturer’s recommendations
- Under four years—Any child under four years of age should be properly secured in federally approved child passenger restraint systems
- Between four and eight years—Children between four and eight should be restrained in properly adjusted child booster seats
- Between eight and eighteen years—At this age, children must be secured with a properly adjusted regular safety seatbelt, regardless of where they are sitting in the vehicle
In all cases above, the PA rules and regulations do not restrict a child to the rear seats of a vehicle. Still, besides the Pennsylvania child seatbelt laws, you should follow these guidelines by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP):
- Keep the child in rear-facing car restraint systems even beyond two years if they haven’t outgrown the height and weight specifications set by the manufacturer
- Secure your child in the back seat of the car at least until they’re 12 or 13
- Follow the car seat manufacturer’s recommendations at all times
In Pennsylvania, it is the driver’s responsibility to ensure compliance with the PA child seatbelt laws, and non-compliance may result in a seatbelt ticket. If you violate the child restraint system rules for children below eight, you may have to pay a fine of $75 if pulled over. Violating the seatbelt rules for children between eight and 18 years will result in a fine of $10.
Your ticket can also be dismissed by the judge if you provide evidence of purchasing a child passenger restraint system after getting the ticket. You should submit the proof—such as a receipt—before or during your court appearance. Transfer of ownership for second-hand car seats is acceptable as well. You can mail the proof of purchase to the appropriate court officer.
The Pennsylvania law does not permit insurance providers to charge seatbelt ticket holders a higher insurance premium for this conviction.
Below are our simplified guides that explain children seatbelt laws in different states:
|Alabama||New York State||Texas|
If you are issued with a child seatbelt ticket, you can avoid going to court or paying the fines by disputing the ticket. Based on the PA child seatbelt laws, you can argue using the allowed exceptions, such as:
- Medical reasons
- The size of the child
You may also argue on the grounds of reasonable doubt if the officer did not confirm that you had secured the child properly. This means that you are pleading "not guilty" and that the ticket was a mistake. Pay attention to the ticket’s due date to avoid further consequences.
Why appear in court when you can appeal the seatbelt ticket using your phone? A successful appeal will also save you from paying those high fines. You don’t need to worry about making the right argument—we will handle that for you. All you need to do is:
- Log in to DoNotPay
- Locate the Seatbelt Ticket feature
- Tell us more about what happened
- Upload the photo of your ticket
After you hit Submit, we will generate a personalized appeal letter and send it to the authorities for you. We also have the best guides to help you understand different seatbelt-related topics—for instance, seatbelt policies for a commercial vehicle.
If you are curious about the general seatbelt laws in other states, check out our detailed guides below:
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