Tennessee Car Seat Laws & Requirements

TaxiHack is reader-supported. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Learn more.

Motor vehicle crashes are the lead cause of death for children that do not wear a seat belt.

This is understandable considering that they physically cannot wear a seat belt, which is the reason why these laws exist.

Car seat laws in Tennessee focus on children being restricted in car seats from birth where young infants below 20 pounds must be in a rear facing car seat, the children being above 20 pounds and 2 years old moving to a front facing car seat and children below 8 that have out-grown their front facing car seat using a booster seat.

There are a lot more to discuss so make sure to read the article till the end as I will be talking about them all.

Tennessee Car Seat Requirements By Ages

How old does your kid have to be to sit in the front seat of a car in Tennessee? I explain everything you need to know in my guide

Because of how car seats work, the state of Tennessee has set most if not all of its rules based on the ages of the child so that they can ensure that the children are protected throughout every stage of their life.

1 Year Old

A one-year-old is most safe inside a rear-facing car seat, which is required by the state of Tennessee for all children under the age of 1.

If your one-year-old is still less than 20 pounds, you are better off in a rear-facing car seat.

2 Year Old

Your two-year-old child can easily transition from a car seat that is rear facing to a car seat which should be front facing, but they must weigh more than 20 pounds.

If they are below 20 pounds, then you will have to keep using the rear-facing car seat.

3 Year Old

Once your child reaches the age of 3 and weighs more than 20 pounds, they must be properly secured inside a car seat that is front-facing until they are old enough to shift to a booster seat.

4 Year Old

Once your child reaches the age of 4, they are eligible to be seated in a booster seat, but you need to make sure that they exceed the limits of the front-facing car seat first before shifting to a booster seat.

5 Year Old

Five-year-old children are also allowed to use booster seats, but many experts recommend using the front-facing car seat for as long as you need to before moving up to a booster seat.

6 Year Old

The same rules apply to six-year-olds, requiring them to sit in a booster seat once they have outgrown their front-facing car seat.

They will use this booster seat until they are taller than 4 feet and 9 inches.

7 – 9 Year Old

Once your child reaches the ages between 7 and 9, they are required to be seated in a booster seat, and once the child is eight years old or above and taller than 4 feet and 9 inches, they can start sitting without a booster seat and use the seat belts in the car.

10 Year Old

Ten-year-old should have no problems sitting without a booster seat, so by state law, you should ensure that your ten-year-old is wearing a seat belt when traveling in a car.

Car Seat Weight And Height Requirements In Tennessee

While the state of Tennessee may have put age as the main factor when it comes to these laws, the height and weight of the children also play a huge factor in how the laws are set.

Children below 20 pounds need to be placed inside a rear-facing car seat.

Once they are above 20 pounds, you can begin the transition them using a front face car seat.

Once they exceed the height and weight limits of the front-facing car seat, you need to shift them to a booster seat which they will use till 4 feet and 9 inches tall.

Type Of Car Seat Laws In Tennessee

In this part of the article, I will talk about the various laws you have to follow when dealing with a specific car seat in Tennessee and the things you need to take care of.

1. Rear Facing Car Seat

You must use a rear-facing car seat if your child is below 20 pounds. You are recommended to use this seat for as long as possible until your child outgrows it and needs a bigger seat.

2. Forward Facing Car Seat

This seat should have a built-in harness system if you plan to take your child out for a ride in it.

You have to ensure that your child is perfectly secure in this seat and matches the height and weight limit of the seat.

3. Booster Seat

When it comes to booster seats, you need to ensure that the child is properly seated so that their height allows them to use the car’s shoulder and lap seat belts.

Once your child exceeds 4 feet and 9 inches, they no longer need to use this seat.

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

According to the laws set by the state of Tennessee, your child must sit in the back seat of the car until they are at least eight years old.

Once your child reaches the age of 8, they can start sitting in the car’s front seat.

Most experts argue that your child should be at least 13 years of age before you can have them sit in the car’s front seat. At the least, they should have experience with the car’s seat belts.

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

If you decide to leave your child alone inside your car, you will be breaking the law and committing an easily finable offense.

This is common for people who leave their children near parks or shopping centers inside cars.

While you can avoid this offense if you appoint a supervisor to monitor the child, however, if the conditions present a risk to the child, the engine of the vehicle is running, and the keys to the car are found in the passenger compartment of the vehicle, you will be liable for a fine.

This class B misdemeanor will be punishable by $200 for the first offense. Subsequent offenses will be punishable with fines that reach up to $500.

Taxi Car Seat Laws In Tennessee

If you have a habit of traveling in taxis with your child, you will be happy to know that you are not required to follow the seat laws that the state has set.

This is a nice convenience that you can easily take advantage of.

It is your responsibility to ensure your child is safe and secure in a car, which is why you should use a car seat regardless of whether the law requires it.

In the end, you should try your best to provide a safe environment for your child.

Tennessee Law Regarding Car Seats In Accidents

If you ever find yourself in an unfortunate condition where you are in an accident and your car seat is damaged, you will likely be thinking of the laws surrounding car seats in accidents.

There is no mention of any set of rules and regulations that deal with car seats in accidents in the state of Tennessee which means that you will need to get a replacement if your car seat is damaged, as they are very fragile when it comes to accidents.

Uber Car Seat Laws In Tennessee

For the people who frequently travel with their children in an Uber, the laws in this state allow you to travel without a booster seat, making it easier for you to manage your trips.

You can choose the option which allows you to book a car with a car seat in Uber. However, for the most part, the Uber driver is not legally required to provide you with a car seat.

It is recommended you bring a car seat yourself.

You should try and get a car seat that is quick to set up and very portable so that you can quickly secure your child in the Uber and get to your destination.


Tennessee car seat laws require you to focus a lot on the age of your child if you want to place them in a seat that is within the state’s rules.

You are required to ensure that your child is secured in the seat at all times if they are under the age of 8 and need to use a car seat to travel.

Now that you have read this article, you should have a good idea of how to follow the rules efficiently and ensure you can provide the best and most secure experience for your child.