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Child Seat Safety Laws in Iowa

Child Seat Safety Laws in Iowa

In the State of Iowa, motorists are required by law to ensure that children of certain ages are safely secured in moving vehicles. These laws are based in common sense, and are in place for the protection of your child.

Summary of Iowa child seat safety laws

The laws pertaining to child seat safety in Iowa can be summarized as follows.

  • Any child under age 1 and under 20 pounds must travel in a child restraint system that is facing to the rear.

  • Children ages one to six must be in a safety or booster seat – seat belts are not permitted.

  • Any child age 6-11 must be secured by either a child restraint system or a safety belt.

  • Any rear-seat occupant 18 years or under must wear a safety belt.

Definition of child restraint system

A child restraint system is any seating system that includes a booster seat or belt positioning seat that either meets or exceeds federal standards.


Certain exceptions apply:

  • Parents of children who have medical or mental disabilities that preclude restraining do not have to use a child seat.

  • Children do not have to be restrained when on a school bus.

  • Motorcyclists do not have to use child seats.

  • Child seats are not required in vehicles manufactured pre-1966.

  • Authorized emergency vehicles are not required to use child seats.

  • Police officers who are transporting children in the course of their duties do not have to use child seats.

  • Children travelling in motor homes do not have to be in car seats unless they are riding in the front passenger seats.

  • If a seat belt is not available (for instance, if a fourth child is riding in the back seat, and there are only three belts available).


If you violate the child seat safety laws in Iowa, you can be fined $195, which includes court costs.

Don’t risk a fine, and take chances with the safety of your child. Obey the child seat safety laws in Iowa.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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