Illinois Car Seat Laws & Requirements

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In various surveys and reports, the state of Illinois found that more than 55% of people use their car seats wrong.

This has led to numerous deaths in young children, which is why these laws are in place.

According to the car seat laws in Illinois, children under the age of 8 must use an appropriate car seat when traveling in a car.

This amounts to children under 40 pounds using a rear-facing car seat, children above the limits for the rear-facing seat using a front-facing one, and then switching to a booster seat when they exceed its limitations.

Once they become 4 feet and 9 inches tall, they can stop using seats entirely.

I will explain this in greater detail further in the article, so make sure you read the entire article. So without any delay, let’s get started with the article!

Illinois Car Seat Requirements By Ages

If you are wondering about when your child can sit in the front seat in Illinois, then read my guide to find the answer

Illinois has determined that children of different ages must use different car seats.

This also depends on their height and weight, so, as a parent, you have to account for all of this when placing your child in a vehicle.

1 Year Old

Children a year old must be placed inside a rear-facing car seat whenever they are to travel inside a car.

The only exception to this rule is when they are above 40 pounds and 40 inches in height.

2 Year Old

Once your child reaches the age of 2, they can shift to a front-facing car seat, but only if they exceed the restrictions set by the state as mentioned above.

This means that they can use a front-facing car seat once they exceed 40 pounds and are taller than 40 inches.

3 Year Old

Children three years old will also have to follow the same rules set for children ages two and above.

They will still have to use a front-facing car seat until they outgrow the limits of the car seat.

4 Year Old

Assuming your child does start to exceed the limits of your front-facing car seat at the age of 4, you will be required by state law to move them up to a booster seat till they have a specific height.

5 Year Old

Five-year-old children will be more likely to exceed their front-facing car seat’s limits, so you will most certainly have to replace the front-facing car seat with a booster seat.

6 Year Old

Your child will be required to use a booster seat whenever they travel in a vehicle until they reach the height declared by the state of Illinois, at which they can easily use seat belts available in the car.

7 – 9 Year Old

While Illinois has not officially set a specific height limit that children must be over to stop using booster seats, it can be determined that your child should use the booster seat until they exceed its height limit and are easily able to use the seat belts in the car.

10 Year Old

Ten-year-olds will find it extremely easy to use the car seats available in the back seat of the car, in which case they are not required to use a booster seat.

All they have to do is wear a seat belt for the duration of their travel.

Car Seat Weight And Height Requirements In Illinois

Illinois has not been transparent with its height requirements, which is why there are not many set requirements; however, there are a few cases where the state has assigned specific heights and weights.

Children below 40 pounds and shorter than 40 inches must be placed in a rear-facing car seat. Once they cross these points, they can be switched to a front-facing car seat.

If your child exceeds the height and weight limits of the front-facing car seat, you must shift them to a booster seat which they will use until they reach a comfortable height for them to use the available seat belts.

Type Of Car Seat Laws In Illinois

As you may have noted, there are various rules for where and when a child must be placed in a specific car seat. Let’s have a look at these rules in greater detail.

1. Rear Facing Car Seat

To use a rear-facing car seat, the child must be under 2. They must continue to use this car seat below 40 pounds and 40 inches.

It is recommended to use this as long as you can for your child’s safety, even if they reach the age of 4.

2. Forward Facing Car Seat

Children can start to use the front-facing car seats once they reach the ages of 4 to 8.

They have to exceed the above limits set by the rear-facing car seat and will continue to use this seat until they surpass the seat’s limits.

3. Booster Seat

Once they cannot be seated inside a front-facing car seat, the only option left is to migrate them to a booster seat which they must use while they are between the ages of 8 and 12 and cannot use the seat belts of the car correctly.

When Is The Time For My Child To Sit In The Front Seat In Illinois?

Illinois has not created or talked about any rules and regulations requiring your child to be a certain age to ride in the front seat of a car.

Various experts recommend that your child only rides in the front seat of the car once they are properly trained with the seat belt.

Regardless, keeping your child in the back seat of the car is recommended as it is much safer.

What Happens If You Leave Your Child In A Car In Illinois?

Leaving a child under 18 is unlawful if you willfully try to endanger their health or cause injury.

You are guaranteed to break this law if you leave a child below six years in a car for more than 10 minutes.

The child must be accompanied by a person above 14 years of age who must ensure that the child is in sight of the person.

Breaking this law is a class A misdemeanor, and repeatedly doing so is a Class 3 felony that can get you 2 to 10 years of imprisonment.

Taxi Car Seat Laws In Illinois

Illinois has made it a requirement that children should be properly restricted and protected regardless of what vehicle they are traveling in.

This means that when you and your child are traveling in a Taxi, you are required to take the time to set up a booster seat or other car seat that your child needs to travel.

A taxi will not provide you with a car seat, so you should have an easy-to-setup and portable car seat that you can use when traveling in a taxi.

Illinois Law Regarding Car Seats In Accidents

According to the rules set by the state of Illinois, car insurance companies are obligated to replace your damaged car seat in the event of a crash.

If you do not have insurance, it is best to replace the car seat yourself, as it is only good for surviving one crash.

Uber Car Seat Laws In Illinois

The same laws the state of Illinois has placed for taxis also apply when traveling in an Uber with your child.

You need to ensure that your child is perfectly secure in a car seat recommended for their age. Not doing so would be breaking the rules set by the state.


After noticing that many people do not use their car seats correctly and seeing the number of unnecessary deaths happening due to this, Illinois has set up the laws, which I have explained in this article.

Illinois car seat laws need to be followed to a letter if you want to maximize the health and safety of your child.

By reading this article, you should have a firm understanding of how these laws work, along with the various other requirements you have to fulfill if you want to abide by the rules and regulations set by the state and keep your child secure while traveling in a car.