2023 Tennessee car seat law: Everything You Need To Know

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Welcome to the ultimate guide on Tennessee car seat law!

If you’re a parent or caregiver in Tennessee, it’s essential to know the ins and outs of the 2023 TN car seat law.

Did you know that the law requires children under one year old or weighing less than 20 pounds to ride in a rear-facing car seat?

And that’s not all. According to the new law, children must be restrained in a booster seat until they reach the age of eight or measure less than 4’9″.

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about TN car seat laws, so you can keep your little ones safe on the road.

Tennessee Infant/Toddler Car Seat Law

Let’s talk about the Tennessee Infant/Toddler Car Seat Law. It’s important to note that children between the ages of one and three, weighing over 20 pounds, must be safely secured in a harnessed child safety seat.

The seat should be rear or forward-facing and placed in the back seat of the vehicle, if possible, or in accordance with the instructions provided by the child safety seat or vehicle manufacturer.

Now, it’s crucial to mention that this law is in line with the Tennessee rear-facing car seat law, which requires children under the age of two to be placed in a rear-facing car seat.

We must also keep in mind the importance of following the instructions provided by the manufacturer to ensure maximum safety for our little ones.

To learn more about rear-facing car seat laws in other US states, you can check out Oregon, Virginia, and Mississippi rear-facing car seat laws.

Tennessee Forward-facing Car Seat Law

In Tennessee, it is required by law that children be securely fastened in a forward-facing harnessed car seat until they reach the age of three or their fourth birthday, whichever comes first.

This law also applies to children weighing over twenty pounds. It’s crucial to adhere to the Tennessee forward-facing car seat law to ensure the safety of your child while traveling.

Remember, a child’s safety is of utmost importance, and it’s our responsibility to ensure they are protected at all times.

To learn more about forward-facing car seat laws in other US states, you can check out Ohio, New York, and Texas forward-facing car seat laws.

Child Booster Seat Laws in Tennessee

In Tennessee, the law requires that children between the ages of four and eight AND measuring less than 4’9″ be secured in a booster seat.

This means that if your child is eight or younger, or does not meet the height requirement, they must stay in a booster seat.

Additionally, booster seat weight requirements state that the child must weigh at least 40 pounds. It is crucial to follow these guidelines to ensure your child’s safety while traveling.

To learn more about booster seat laws in other US states, you can check out Georgia, Illinois, and California booster seat laws.

When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Tennessee?

When can a child sit in the front seat in TN? According to Tennessee state law, it is mandatory for children to sit in the back seat (if available) until they reach the age of 9.

For added safety, children who are 12 years old and below should always ride in the back seat.

This is because the back seat is the safest location for children. Remember, safety always comes first, so make sure your child is seated in the appropriate location while driving.

To learn more about front seat laws in other US states, you can check out Florida, Indiana, and Michigan front seat laws.

Leaving Child in Car Law in Tennessee

Leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle in Tennessee is considered a Class B misdemeanor, with a fine of $200 for the first offense.

This applies if the keys to the vehicle are anywhere inside the passenger compartment.

It’s important to note that the law aims to protect children from harm or danger, and violating it can lead to serious consequences.

Therefore, it’s crucial for parents and caregivers to be aware of this law and take necessary precautions to ensure the safety of their children.

To gain a broader perspective on laws regarding leaving children unattended in vehicles, explore the regulations in states such as Delaware, New Mexico, and Massachusetts. Familiarizing yourself with the various statutes across the country will help you better understand the legal implications of this important safety issue.

Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Tennessee?

In TN car seat law, there are currently no laws prohibiting smoking in a car with child passengers.

However, it’s crucial to consider the harmful effects of secondhand smoke on children’s health.

While it may not be illegal, it’s always best to avoid smoking in a vehicle with kids present.

Taxi Car Seat Law in Tennessee

While Taxis in Tennessee are exempt from child restraint laws, they must still allow parents to use a child restraint system if desired.

It’s important to note that this exemption only applies to taxis and not to other forms of transportation.

However, the safety of children should always be a top priority, and parents are encouraged to use a child restraint system when traveling in any vehicle.

Remember, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Tennessee Child Seat Belt Law

If you’re in Tennessee and have a child between the ages of 9 and 15 who is 4’9″ or taller, Tennessee child seat belt Law requires that these children wear a seat belt while riding in a car.

Failure to comply with this law may result in a $30 penalty for a first offense and a $55 penalty for subsequent violations.

However, there are exemptions to this law. If a person is physically or medically unable to wear a seat belt and their condition is certified by a physician, they are exempt from these seat belt rules.

It’s important to stay informed about Tennessee seat belt law exemptions to ensure you’re following the law correctly.

Tennessee Ridesharing Child Seat Law

According to Tennessee car seat laws, children under 8 years old and below 4’9” must be secured in a child seat.

However, the state’s ridesharing child seat law lacks clarity. This poses a challenge for Lyft and Uber drivers who must provide safe transportation for young passengers.

Tennessee Law Car Seat – Replacement After Accident

Tennessee car seat law does not provide any specific directives on replacing car seats after an accident. However, it is advisable to refer to the seat manual for additional guidance.

It is important to consider factors such as the severity of the crash, the age and condition of the seat, and the child’s safety. Always prioritize safety and follow manufacturer instructions.

Upcoming Changes To Tennessee Car Seat Law

It’s been 19 years since Tennessee car seat laws were updated, and they are no longer consistent with our current understanding of child passenger safety.

This means that many children are at risk of injury or death in car accidents. It’s time for Tennessee to make changes and prioritize the safety of our youngest passengers.

Resources for More Info on Car Seat Safety in Tennessee


What are the height and weight requirements for booster seats in Tennessee?

If your child is between 4-8 years old and measures less than 4’9″ (four feet nine inches) in height, they must use a belt-positioning booster seat system that meets federal safety standards.

The seat should be installed in the rear seat if possible, or according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

What is the car seat and booster seat law in Tennessee?

Children aged 4-8 and measuring less than 4 feet 9 inches tall are required by law in Tennessee to use a booster seat with a car seat belt restraint.

Additional guidelines and regulations can be found in the state’s vehicle code and safety regulations.

How tall do kids have to be to sit in the front seat in Tennessee?

To sit in the front seat in Tennessee, kids should be big enough to avoid the shoulder belt crossing their face or neck. Once they turn 13 and reach 4’9″ tall, they can safely use a standard passenger seat belt.

Do you have to wear a seatbelt in the backseat in Tennessee?

If you’re under 18 in Tennessee, the law’s got you covered with the Child Passenger Safety and Graduated Driver Licensing laws. But don’t forget, everyone in the car should buckle up, no matter where they’re sitting. It’s the law, folks!

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Tennessee car seat laws are designed to protect children and ensure their safety while riding in vehicles.

As we’ve discussed in this guide, the law requires children under one year old or weighing less than 20 pounds to ride in a rear-facing car seat.

Children between the ages of one and three, weighing more than 20 pounds, must be secured in a harnessed child safety seat in a rear or forward-facing child safety seat in the rear seat of the vehicle.

Children between the ages of four and eight and measuring less than 4’9″ must be restrained in a booster seat.

It’s important to follow these laws to keep our little ones safe on the road.

If you’re interested in learning more about car seat safety, be sure to check out our Car Seat Guides or US States Car Seat Law.

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Hi, my name is Umair Ali and I am the founder and chief editor of CarSeatHeaven.com. My goal is to make car seat shopping simple and easy for parents. With so many fluffy, detailed, and complicated car seat reviews out there, it can be hard to make an informed decision. That's where I come in! I sort through all of the information for you and distill it down into simple, straightforward advice.

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