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What Are the Car Seat Laws in North Carolina?

woman buckling child into booster seat

When it comes to the safety of your children, the car is one of the places where they are most vulnerable. That’s why it is so important to follow the state’s car seat laws. It is encouraged that the manufacturer’s suggestions are followed, as they will provide recommended height, weight, and sometimes age limits to keep your kids safe. Here’s the car seat regulations for North Carolina:

Rear-Facing Car Seats

North Carolina follows the American Academy of Pediatrics’ (AAP) recommendations that all children aged two years or younger be placed in rear-facing car seats in the back seat of the vehicle. This helps to protect their head, shoulders, and spine in the event that you are involved in a car crash.

It is also recommended that you keep your child in a rear-facing car as long as possible – until they have reached or they exceed the manufacturer’s height or weight recommendations. The AAP suggests that children stay in a rear-facing seat until they reach at least two years old. If you need assistance with properly installing your seat, BuckleUpNC offers a list of places to have your seat checked here.

Forward-Facing Car Seats

When a child has outgrown a rear-facing seat, they may ride in a forward-facing car seat. This is how they should stay until the age of four or five years. Even though they are forward facing, they should always sit in the back seat.

You can gauge if a child is ready for a booster seat when the tips of their ears are above the top of the car seat. Kids generally stay in a forward-facing car seat until they reach about 40 pounds, although certain car seats are made to hold children up to 90 pounds.

Booster Seats

There are two types of booster seats: backless and full-support. Backless booster seats should only be used if you are using a vehicle that has a proper headrest. Alternately, full-back booster seats are to be used when you do not have a headrest in your vehicle. Booster seats should be secured with a lap and shoulder belt, which should fit snugly around the thighs and chest respectively.

Booster seats are usually used when a child has outgrown their forward-facing seat. Like any car seat, it is important that you follow the height and weight recommendations of your seat’s manufacturer.


North Carolina requires that a child be either eight years old or 80 pounds before wearing a standard seatbelt. These requirements must be met – even if your child looks like he or she is physically ready to wear a seatbelt.

The Lawyers at Daggett Shuler Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact Daggett Shuler Law for help. An experienced Motor Vehicle Accident Attorney will guide you through each step of your case.

If you have any questions about an automotive accident or other personal injury, contact us at 336-724-1234 to speak with a Car Accident Attorney at NO COST. We will investigate the details of your case for free in order to fight for you to achieve the compensation that you deserve.

Daggett Shuler – You Can Depend on Us


I was in a horrific automobile accident in 2021. While in the hospital a friend of mine reached out to Daggett Shuler without my knowledge, fortunately Attorney Mike Clark took my case. Ge fought so hard for me! He drove the road I was on himself, he more than answered every question I had, he was so concerned and caring not only for me but for my family as well. Without a doubt hands down I would refer anyone to him. He will fight for you and stand up for you!

Kenzie Moose