Child Car Seat Laws Update – State of New Jersey

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New child car seat regulations came into effect in New Jersey on 1 September. The new legislation changes how parents should position their children in car seats and booster seats.

Prior to the legislation coming into force, a parent could choose to have their 1-year-old face forward in their car seat as long as they were over 20 lbs.

The new legislation requires that all children who are under 2 or weigh less than 30 lbs, be secured in rear facing car seats with a five point harness.

“If you have that forward motion that throws their head forward, that’s going to put significant stress on their neck and their spine, so you’re going to see much more dangerous neck and spinal injuries if you turn your child around too soon,” AAA Spokesperson Cathleen Lewis said.

The new legislation also requires children between 2 and 4-years-old weighing up to 40-lbs to be in a rear or forward facing car seat equipped with a five-point harness.

Children ages 4 to 8 and under 4’9″ must be in a forward facing car seat equipped with a five point harness or booster seat.

Following the move, New Jersey becomes the first US State to bring into legislation all of the safety recommendations stipulated by the American Academy of Pediatrics for child car seat usage. According to the AAA Northeast, Oklahoma recently passed a similar law that takes effect on November 1 of this year.

Owners of convertible car seats will be least affected by this change in legislation as these seats offer the versatility to convert to either forward or rear facing. For further information on the latest and greatest convertible car seats to choose from, check out our reviews:

Convertible Car Seats for Long Lasting Usage

Best Convertible Car Seats for Your Younger Ones

Further information on the specifics of the new legislation can be found here:

Information on the specific child passenger safety laws for each U.S. State, including maximum applicable fines can be found here:


Robert is a father of a young daughter and has developed an expertise in child car seat safety. He is a keen supporter of the use of child safety systems having seen his daughter come away from a side impact collision unscathed due to the use of a child car seat. When he's not spending time reviewing child safety systems he works as a Technical Manager on major construction projects.

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