FAQ Answer

What is the New Tennessee Child Restraint Law?


According to Tennessee Code Annotated (T.C.A.) 55-9-602:
  • Children 1 year of age, or any child, 20 pounds or less, must be secured in a child passenger restraint system in a rear facing position, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards, in a rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer's instructions. (Note: If the child safety seat has a higher rear-facing weight rating, usually 30 or 35 pounds, it may be continued to be used in a rear-facing position so long as the child's weight permits. Check the manufacturer's instructions accompanying the child safety seat for more information.)
  • Children 1 3, and weighing more 20 pounds, must be secured in a child safety seat in a forward facing position in the rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer's instructions.
  • Children 4 8, and measuring less than four foot nine inches (4 feet, 9 inches) in height, must be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat system, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards in the rear seat, if available, or according to the child safety restraint system or vehicle manufacturer's instructions.(Note: If the child is not between 4 8, but is less than five feet in height, he/she must still use a seat belt system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.)
  • Children 9 12, or any child 12 years of age, measuring five feet or more in height, must be secured in a seat belt system. It is recommended that any such child be placed in the rear seat, if available. (Note: If the child is not between 9 12, but is five feet or more in height, he/she must still use a seat belt system meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.)
  • Children 13 15 must be secured by using a passenger restraint system, including safety belts, meeting federal motor vehicle safety standards.
  • Provision is made for the transportation of children in medically prescribed modified child restraints. A copy of Docto's prescription is to be carried in the vehicle utilizing the modified child restraint at all times.
  • The driver of the car is responsible for making sure that children under 16 are properly restrained and may be charged and fined $50 for violation of the law. If the child's parent or legal guardian is present in the car but not driving, the parent or legal guardian is responsible for making sure that the child is properly transported and may be fined for non-compliance.
  • Police officers observing violations of this law are permitted to stop drivers and take enforcement action. Please properly restrain children.

For More Information


To read the full text, please visit the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security website.