West Virginia Car Seat Laws: You Need to Know This!

How many times in a day do you go running errands?

As a parent, I can guess at least two.

That’s understandable.

When kids come, we need to do so many things in a day, so quick rides to the pharmacy or supermarket become an ordinary segment of our day. Right?

Yet, there’s one problem with these quick rides, as short as they are, they can be extremely dangerous for the little one.


Namely, car crashes are the main cause of death for children under fourteen.

For that reason, exactly, it is inevitable to use the appropriate child restraint system whenever you’re driving with your kid.

If you’re a new mom or dad, you are probably not familiar with these things yet. 

To learn what restraint system you should use to secure your kids, get acquainted with car seat laws and regulations.

If you reside in West Virginia or plan a trip there, you can learn about the West Virginia Car Seat Laws, penalties, and exceptions in this article.

Keep reading!

West Virginia Car Seat Laws

west virginia car seat laws 2022

The West Virginia Car Seat Law, provision §17C-15-46, requires all children younger than eight to be adequately secured in a child restraint system that is federally approved, including a booster seat.

However, the law also implies that if your child reaches four feet and nine inches before his/her eight birthday, you are allowed to restrain him/her using a seat belt.

1. West Virginia Rear-facing Car Seat Law

Since the West Virginia Car Seat Law does not specify when rear-facing car seats should be used, we will refer to the AAP and NHTSA’s federal recommendations.

According to the official advice, children should ride in a rear-facing restraint system from day one to at least one year of age

However, the best practice is to keep your kid in a rear-facing position until he/she exceeds the manufacturer’s height and weight limits.

2. West Virginia Forward-facing Car Seat Law

When it comes to the forward-facing car seats, the West Virginia Car Seat Law does not specify weight and age requirements either.

Therefore, we will again consult the NHTSA’s recommendations.

These recommendations suggest not to upgrade your kids to a forward-facing position before one year of age.

In fact, they recommend keeping your children in a rear-facing position until approximately three years, if possible.

If your kid’s weight and height exceed the manufacturer’s limits, you can naturally upgrade him/her to a forward-facing restraint system before three years of age.

3. West Virginia Booster Seat Law

west virginia child car seat laws

As for the booster seat, again, the West Virginia car Seat Law does not specify the age and weight when children should upgrade to this restraint system.

On the other hand, NHTSA advises parents to wait until their kids can no longer fit the forward-facing seats to start using the booster seats.

This should not happen before the age of four; however, you should ideally postpone it until the age of seven.

4. West Virginia Seat Belt Law

According to the West Virginia Car Seat Law, when a child reaches four feet and nine inches and is eight years old, it is allowed to use a seat belt.

According to the West Virginia Seat Belt law, a seat belt is mandatory for all passengers in the front seat and passengers younger than eighteen in the back seat.

The Penalties

According to the West Virginia Car Seat Law, if a person does not comply with the provisions stated above, he/she will be charged from $10 to $20.

Additional Information

car seat laws in west virginia

As we find out on the state’s official webpage, keeping children safe in traffic is the priority of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program.

Therefore, programs intended to enhance the children’s safety on the road receive government funding.

That is why this state has numerous certified CPS technicians and fitting stations all around the country.

There you can have your car seat looked over and learn all sorts of useful information on children’s safety.

Below we listed the places where you can find CPS technicians:

West Virginia Highway Safety Programs by Regions

West Virginia Fitting Stations

NHTSA search engine

National CPS inspection center

For the latest information on recalls, check this NHTSA’s listing.

For the most accurate information on children’s car seats, we suggest visiting the NHTSA’s official webpage, where you can learn everything from car seat selection, installment to checking and registration.

Furthermore, you might want to check the articles written by the AAP on children’s car seats.

Also, SafeKids has added new resources to help parents keep their little ones safe in cars so that you can check these resources on this link.

Are You Interested in Becoming a Certified CPS Technician?

It seems promising that more and more parents are showing interest in CPS courses and programs.

This can increase the general level of knowledge about children’s safety in traffic, which will result in a lower rate of injuries and fatalities.

If you are interested in the CPS program, we suggest reading this comprehensive article of ours first, as an introduction to the basics of the program itself:


You can then visit the SafeKids WorldWide web page to find the courses and programs currently held close to you.

In addition to all previously said, we provide this instructional video made by the American Academy of Pediatrics, highly educational and demonstrative.

Final Thoughts

As a responsible parent, you probably know that it takes a second of carelessness to cause endless regret.

With everything going on, you can never be 100% attentive in traffic, precisely why it is crucial to use child restraint systems properly.

In West Virginia, all children under the age of eight need to be secured in a car with an adequately chosen restraint system, so when in this state, make sure to follow the West Virginia car seat laws.

In fact, whatever country you’re visiting or living in always follow the official recommendations!

I hope you find this article educational and useful. Stay safe, and enjoy West Virginia!

Avatar of Kathy Warner

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here

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