Car Seat Laws for the Illinois DMV

by Joshua on April 01, 2014

Illinois is one of the top 3 states in US who have been strictly following the car seat laws for Illinois’ children. Because of the increasing number of accidents every month, it is quintessential to enforce the car seat laws and traffic rules and regulations. It is the responsibility of every driver to keep their young passenger’s safe while driving on the roads.

Child Protection Act

The law specifies that Illinois State requires that the driver and his passengers are required to be secured using seat belts or a child restrained system regardless of the age.

If you have a child within 8 years of age, then it is your responsibility to secure your child in a safety car seat or an appropriate child restraint system commonly called as child safety seat. Besides this, if your child is commuting in any other vehicle like a day care bus or school bus, then it is the parents or guardian’s responsibility to take care of arranging the child restraint system appropriately as needed. If your child is weighing more than 40 pounds, then he or she should be transported in the back seat of the motorcycle by using the lap belt if the motorcycle is not equipped with a shoulder belt as well as a lap belt.

If you are wondering what would be done with the violators? Violators of Child passenger protection act will have to pay fine for this serious offense. They might also be subjected to court trials if the child safety technician provides documented evidence that your car seat is not safe for your child. You may also have to require completing the instructional course on how to install the child safety restraint system. Any further violation might result in a huge fine of around $200 and you may not be even eligible for court supervision.

Child Safety Guidelines

If your child is a newborn or within 12 months of age and weighs less than 20 pounds, then your child should ride in the rear facing or a convertible seat which is rear facing. Make sure the rear facing seat should never be installed in the front seats where you have the airbag. The rear facing seats should be angled at 30-45 degrees and your child’s head should be minimum 1 inch to ensure safety. Harness straps need to be used to snug your child below the shoulder and the clip should be at the armpit level.

Until your child becomes 2 years or over height or over weight, he or she should remain seated in the rear facing car seat. A forward facing seat can be used after the child outgrows. The same internal harness, straps and harness clip can be used as in children below 1 year.

If your children are between 4-8 years old, a forward facing seat with harness should be used to secure their position. Upon outgrowing, your child can be placed in a belt positioning booster seat. These booster seats can be used with shoulder belt along with lap belt across the thighs.

When your children are between 8-12 years old, make sure you still use the booster seat until they are tall enough to fit in the adult shoulder and lap belt. The child’s back and hips should be against the back of the vehicle seat. Knees should easily bend over the front edge of the vehicle.

Child Passenger Safety tips

  • Children should be appropriately seated in the rear facing seat and should be seated in the back seat till 12 years.
  • A rear facing safety seat should never be placed in front of the airbag.
  • A used car seat should be thoroughly checked for safety
  • A car seat older than 6 years should never be used
  • Toys attached to the car seat are not allowed to be used unless permitted by the manufacturer.

Child Safety Programs

Safety seat programs are conducted by the Secretary of State’s office to ensure that the car seats are safe and protected appropriately on Illinois roads. The technician is made available to tailor your group size and allotment for training on how to set up and use the car seat at ease. During the course of this program you will be taught on safety car seat installation, child passenger safety laws, crash dynamics, use of seat belts, etc. You may have to book the safety program class here

The Department of Motor Vehicles in Illinois together with the Secretary of State’s office provides seat inspections and certification by appropriate technicians in order to ensure that you understand how to safely fit the car seat in your vehicle. This has been made mandatory to get the certification in Illinois due to increasing child injuries due to unsafe use of car seats in the past few years. Visit this website to book a slot for inspection.

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