NH Law About... Child Car Restraints

Introduction to... Child Car Restraints

Posted November 13, 2015. Reviewed February 7, 2017.

Child car restraints (car seats, booster seats, and seat belts) are a topic of great importance to parents, but can be confusing to research because both federal and New Hampshire law applies. Both federal statutes and regulations and New Hampshire statutes and regulations must be read together to provide complete information on this topic.

In New Hampshire (RSA 265:107-a), the requirements for how children must be seated and secured in a passenger vehicle vary with age and size of the child. With some exceptions, drivers are prohibited from operating a motor vehicle with passengers who are under 18 years of age not in seatbelts and the vehicle must be designed for and equipped with child passenger restraints. Any person driving a vehicle who is under age 18 must wear a seatbelt. If passengers are under 7 years of age, they must be secured by a child restraint system, until the child is 57 inches or more in height.

There are also New Hampshire regulations (He-C 4001.25(h), 4002.29(y), 6343.04(13)(5)(c), 6343.06(b)(4), 6343.07(a)(4)) requiring children to be restrained appropriately in motor vehicles while children are under foster care or a child care providers’ or transporters’ care. Persons violating these requirements may be subject to fines as described in the statute.

There are several exceptions to this general rule, for some school buses, motorcycles (RSA 259:63 Definition of Motorcycle), antique motor cars (RSA 259:4 Definition of Antique Car or Motorcycle), or in a vehicle operated in a parade at defined slow speeds.

Several of the websites listed below provide current detailed information on child restraint system installation and use. The A.L.R. article listed below is available at the New Hampshire Law Library.

The Read About section of this guide refers to resources about the law and will provide context and key terms. Read the Law links to selected law on child car restraints and should be used as a jumping off point for further research. Please remember that this guide is for information purposes only and is not comprehensive. It is intended as a starting point for research, to illustrate the various sources of the law, and to provide guidance in their use. NH Law About ... is not a substitute for the services of an attorney.

Read about... Child Car Restraints


CHaD. Child Passenger Safety

Link verified on: June 29, 2018

Child Passenger Law -- Child Safety Seat FAQ -- Child Safety Seat Installation -- Helpful Links -- Safety Seat Inspection Stations -- Technician Training and Resources -- Take the Booster Seat Quiz   GO>

New Hampshire. Dept. of Health and Human Services. Big Kids Need Protection Too!

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

"Starting January 1, 2014, New Hampshire law (RSA 265:107-a) requires that children ride in an appropriate child safety seat until they are 7 years old or 57 inches tall."   GO>


46 A.L.R. 5th 557. Failure to Use or Misuse of Automobile Child Safety Seat or Restraint System as Affecting Recovery for Personal Injury or Death

State statutes that mandate use of child safety seats or restraint systems have been enacted in all 50 states. However, many of these statutes also provide that failure to use such safety devices may not be considered as contributory or comparative negligence; some provide that failure to use child safety belts may not be considered in mitigation of damages; and, some provide that evidence of failure to use these devices is not admissible in any civil action.   GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

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Read the law about... Child Car Restraints


RSA 265. Rules of the Road  GO>

Link verified on: February 22, 2017

Find it in a Library ... New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated

Link verified on: June 29, 2018

Find the New Hampshire statutes in print at libraries throughout the state.   GO>

Learn About New Hampshire Statutes: New Hampshire statutes are the laws of the State of New Hampshire as enacted by the New Hampshire General Court. GO>


He-C 4000. Child Care Licensing Rules  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

He-C 6300 Program Administration  GO>

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

Find it in a Library ... Code of New Hampshire Rules  GO>

Link verified on: June 26, 2017


49 C.F.R. 571.213 Standard No. 213; Child restraint systems.

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

This standard specifies requirements for child restraint systems used in motor vehicles and aircraft.   GO>


Governors Highway Safety Association. Child Passenger Safety Laws

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

All states and territories require child safety seats for infants and children fitting specific criteria, but requirements vary based on age, weight and height. This website includes a chart summarizing the laws of each.   GO>

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Parents Central. Child Car Seat Safety

Link verified on: February 7, 2017

Car Seat Types -- Car Seat by Child's Age and Size -- Find a Car Seat -- Ease-of-Use Ratings -- How to Install Car Seats -- Register Your Car Seat-- Get Car Seat Recall Notices -- Related Resources.   GO>

New Hampshire Law Library

Link verified on: June 29, 2018

The state's only public law library. Call, email, or visit, we'll be happy to help.   GO>

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