Child Passenger Safety Requirements Driver Services

Illinois Child Passenger Protection Act

The Child Passenger Protection Act requires that all children under age 8 be properly secured in an appropriate child safety restraint system. This includes the use of booster seats, which must only be used with a lap/shoulder safety belt. If the back seat of the vehicle is not equipped with lap/shoulder type safety belts, a child weighing more than 40 pounds may be transported in the back seat without a booster seat, secured with a lap belt only.

The Child Passenger Protection Act is amended to include the requirement for children under age 2 years to be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint system unless the child weighs 40 or more pounds or are 40 or more inches tall.

Child Safety Seat Guidelines

Always read and follow the child safety seat and vehicle manufacturer’s instructions for installation and height/weight guidelines.

Newborn-2 years
Effective Jan. 1, 2019, Illinois law will require children under age 2 to be properly secured in a rear-facing child restraint system unless they weigh more than 40 pounds or are more than 40 inches tall. Children must remain rear-facing until age 2.

Children riding rear-facing may use a rear-facing only car seat or a convertible car seat installed rear-facing. Always follow the car seat manufacturers harnessing instructions and height and weight limitations for a rear-facing installation.

Ages 2-4
Children should remain in a rear-facing safety seat for as long as possible, or until they are at the upper height or weight limit of the seat. When a child out- grows a rear-facing safety seat, he or she may transition to a forward-facing seat with a harness system.

Ages 4-8
Children should be secured in a forward-facing safety seat with an internal harness system until they reach the upper height or weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer. When a child outgrows the forward-facing seat, he or she may transition to a belt-positioning booster seat.

Ages 8-12
Children should stay in a belt-positioning booster seat until they are tall enough to properly fit in an adult lap/shoulder belt.

Child Passenger Safety Tips

Child Safety Seat Programs

The Secretary of State’s office offers educational presentations in an effort to ensure the protection and safety of our children on Illinois roadways. This program can be tailored to your group size and time allotment and is subject to technician availability. The different types of safety seats, basic safety seat installation, crash dynamics, child passenger safety laws and the importance of proper seat belt use will be discussed. To schedule a Child Passenger Safety Presentation, please fill out the Traffic Safety Program Request form and select Child Passenger Safety Presentation or call 866-247-0213.

Safety Seat Fitting Stations

The Secretary of State’s office provides child safety seat inspections by certified child safety seat technicians at many Driver Services facilities throughout the state through its Keep Me In a Safe Seat Program. I encourage you to schedule a visit at one of these fitting stations to ensure that your child is in the appropriate child safety seat and that it is installed properly in your vehicle. To schedule a child safety seat inspection, please fill out the Request a Child Safety Seat Inspection form or call 866-247-0213.

Endangering the Life or Health of a Child and Leaving a Child Unattended In a Car

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