Ohio Car Seat Laws & Requirements

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The number one source of death for children here in the United States is car accidents are.

For this reason, Ohio has taken special steps to ensure that all the children are kept safe in motor vehicles.

Car seat laws in Ohio revolve around children being in restrictive car seats from birth to 8 years old.

The laws state that your child should be in a rear-face seat when they are below four years old and weigh less than 40 pounds.

Once your child is above 40 pounds, they can move to a front-facing car seat, and beyond the ages of 4 and 40, they can also use a booster seat until they reach the proper height.

I will go over all of these rules in-depth, so make sure you read the article until the end if you want all the knowledge on this topic.

Ohio Car Seat Requirements By Ages

Wondering how old your child has to be to ride in the front seat on Ohio? Read my in-depth guide

According to the state’s law, when you are traveling in a vehicle with your child in the state of Ohio, depending on their age, they need to be in a specific seat.

I will talk about which seat they should be in at what age in this part of the article.

1 Year Old

Your one-year-old child is too young to use the seat belts or any other seat for that matter and must be confined to a rear seating car seat for as long as they are within the seat’s weight limits.

2 Year Old

Until your child hits the age of 2, it is a good idea to keep them in a car seat which is rear facing, even after it is considered a good choice, as rear-facing car seats are considered much safer.

3 Year Old

Three-year-olds can continue to use the rear-facing car seat if they are still within its weight limit; however, if they have crossed this weight limit, they should move up to a front-facing car seat.

4 Year Old

Your child should now be of the age where they can only use the forward-facing car seat, which they can also swap out for a booster seat if they meet the specific criteria and have outgrown the front-facing car seat.

5 Year Old

Beyond the age of 4, your child can legally sit in a booster seat; however, it is recommended to keep the child in the front-facing car seat as long as they are within the height and weight limit it has.

6 Year Old

By six years of age, your child should be nearing the point where they should fully transition to a booster seat.

If this is not the case, it is best to stick to the front-facing car seat until the moment arrives.

7 – 9 Year Old

Once your child is four years old or above and matches the height and weight limits of their front-facing car seat, they should move to a booster seat.

They are then required to use it between the ages of 7 to 9 years of age until they are at least 4 feet and 10 inches.

10 Year Old

A ten-year-old should be easily more than 4 feet and 10 inches in height, so they are no longer legally required to use a booster seat and can use the seat belts in the car.

Car Seat Weight And Height Requirements In Ohio

According to the state of Ohio, there are a few key heights and weights you should note when thinking about car seat laws.

Most of these weights and heights will be dependent on your car seat.

The rear-facing car seat must be used until your child is at least 40 pounds.

Beyond this, they must switch to a front-facing car seat until they surpass its height and weight limit.

Once they exceed the height and weight limit of the front-facing car seat, they need to use a booster seat until they are at least 4 feet and 10 inches in height.

They can stop using the booster seat and switch to regular seat belts.

Type Of Car Seat Laws In Ohio

Depending on the seat your child is using while traveling in a vehicle in Ohio, you need to follow specific car seat laws that depend on which car you are using.

1. Rear Facing Car Seat

The front-facing car seat is required for children below two, and they must be properly restrained inside the seat.

The state also recommends keeping children inside this seat for as long as possible.

2. Forward Facing Car Seat

The forward-facing car seat must include a harness system in most cases and must be used for children until they are four. However, it can be used for older children.

3. Booster Seat

Booster seats must raise the child to easily use the lap and shoulder seat belts in the back seat or front seat of the car and must be used until the child is at least 4 feet and 10 inches in height.

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

The state of Ohio’s rules and regulations do not mention when it is the right time to have your child sit in the front seat of the car.

There are, however, various laws in other states that require the child to be over eight years old.

Most experts recommend ensuring the child is well trained in using seat belts and is at least 13 years of age before having them sit in the front seat of the car.

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

While there is no direct law that states that you cannot leave your child inside a vehicle, there are various laws that ensure you do not do so recklessly.

Leaving your child in the car can lead to dangerous and life-threatening situations if the vehicle is running or the weather is too severe.

This will classify the situation as child endangerment. The fines for child endangerment in the state of Ohio can go up to $1000 and lead to 180 days in jail.

Taxi Car Seat Laws In Ohio

As set by the state of Ohio, parents and travelers are exempt from using car seats when traveling with their children in taxis.

You will not be fined anything if caught with your child in a taxi without a car seat.

While it is not necessary to do so, it is recommended that you buy yourself a nice and quick-to-set-up booster seat so that you can ensure the safety of your child when traveling in a taxi.

Ohio Law Regarding Car Seats In Accidents

There are no laws that have been set by the state of Ohio that talk about car seat laws in the event of an accident.

You will not be legally provided a replacement car seat, nor will your insurance be legally required to provide you with a replacement car seat unless mentioned otherwise.

If you have been in an accident, you should personally replace the booster seat as it does not have much durability.

Uber Car Seat Laws In Ohio

Like the car seat laws for taxis, you are exempt from using a car seat while riding in an Uber.

Some Uber drivers may provide you a booster seat or a front-facing car seat, but this will likely not happen.

The best way to go about this is to bring your booster seat and take the time to set it up so that you can ensure the safety of your child.


Ohio car seat laws are very simple to understand, and now that you have taken the time out to read this article and understand the various other laws that come with it.

You should have no problem figuring out which you have to use according to the height, weight, and age of the child along with the plethora of other rules that come with it.

While there are some areas of car seat laws that Ohio has not properly emphasized and are left to the parent’s discretion, overall, the state tries its best to implement these rules fairly.