Understanding Florida’s Car Seat Laws

The seat belt may be your vehicle’s greatest safety feature, but it only works if you use it. Most injuries and fatalities in car accidents are due to no seat belts or not properly wearing one.

State legislators in Florida recognized the importance of protecting the lives of its citizens. They’ve put seat belt laws in place to remind and persuade drivers to buckle up. These laws can be confusing for many, but our guide can help you find everything you need to know about seat belt laws in Florida.

Seatbelt Importance

Before looking into Florida’s laws, here’s a reminder of why seat belts are important. Wearing your seat belt reduces your risk of being injured or killed in a crash by almost 50 percent. If in a crash and worn correctly, your seat belt keeps you:

  • From being ejected from the vehicle.
  • From being thrown against other passengers, the steering wheel, or the windshield.
  • Behind the wheel, where you can control the vehicle.

Adult Florida Seat Belt Laws

Not wearing your seatbelt in Florida became a primary offense with the passage of the Dori Slosberg and Katie Marchetti Safety Belt Law on June 30, 2009.

  • All drivers, front seat passengers, and passengers under the age of 18 must fasten their safety belts.
  • Drivers and passengers 18 or older can be cited if they or any passenger under the age of 18 are not properly strapped in.
  • Drivers will be charged with a seat belt violation if any passenger under the age of 18 is not restrained with a seat belt or child restraint device. 

Seat Belt Law Exemptions

  • Person certified by a physician as having a medical condition that causes seat belt use to be inappropriate or dangerous.
  • Employee of a newspaper home delivery service while delivering newspapers.
  • Passengers of school buses purchased new before December 31, 2000.
  • Buses used for transportation of persons for compensation.
  • Farm equipment operators.
  • Drivers of trucks with a net weight of more than 26,000 pounds.

Child Florida Seat Belt Laws

Children should always be buckled up or situated in a proper child restraint. This is what Florida law says about child seat belt laws:

  • All children and persons riding in a vehicle under 18 must use a restraint device.
  • This is a primary enforcement law, meaning an officer can stop a vehicle and issue a citation simply for observing a safety belt or restraint violation.
  • Children should be in the rear seats until age 12, since deployed front seat airbags can be dangerous.
  • The law requires children ages five and under to be secured properly in a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device.
  • Children ages 0-3 must be in child restraint devices of a separate carrier or a vehicle integrated child seat.
  • Children ages 4-5 must be in a separate carrier, integrated child seat, or booster seat. Remember, the best child/booster seat is one that:
    • Fits your child
    • Fits your car
    • Is used properly every time you drive

Safety Recalls

The Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles have made it possible for parents to check if a safety recall has been issued for a car seat or booster seat. For more information, the Florida Department of Transportation has frequently asked questions about seat belt laws.

Farm Bureau’s Infant Car Seat Program

Farm Bureau Insurance policyholders are also members of the Florida Farm Bureau. Member benefits include shopping discounts, including the Infant Car Seat Program. This program allows members to purchase child car seats for infants and small children. They start at only $15 and include shipping and handling in the purchase price.

Learn about the many benefits of insuring with Farm Bureau Insurance by contacting an agent near you.