Changes to the Booster Seat Law

Governor Jay Inslee signed a new law last April, updating car seat regulations in Washington State to go into effect January 1, 2020.  The booster seat law in Washington State changes for students from PK-8th grade.

A summary of the new requirements:

  • Children under age 2 must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat until they reach the manufacturer’s weight and height restrictions.
  • Children ages 2-4 must be properly secured in a car seat with a harness which may be either rear facing or forward facing until they reach the specifications for a booster seat.
  • Children ages 4 and older and less than 4’9” tall must be secured in a booster seat with seat belt (or continue in harness seat).
  • Children over height 4’9” must be secured by a properly fitted seat belt (typically starting at 8-12 years old).
  • Child restraint system must comply with U.S. Department of Transportation standards and be used according to vehicle and child restraint manufacturer.
  • Children under age 13 required to ride in the back seat when practical to do so.

The changes mean most children will need a booster seat until they’re 10 to 12 to years old.