What are Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Laws?

Transportation Article 22-412.2 (Child Restraints)

  • Maryland’s law (effective October 1, 2013) requires that children under eight years old to ride in an appropriate child restraint,* unless the child is 4’9” or taller.    

*Child restraint includes car seats and booster seats and other federally approved safety devices.  

  • Every child from 8 to 16 years old who is not secured in a child restraint must be secured in the vehicle’s seat belt, in every seating position in the vehicle.
  • This law is applicable to in-state and out-of-state vehicles.  
  • It is the driver’s responsibility for making sure all children are correctly buckled up

If you are in need of a car seat or booster seat, contact KISS at 800-370-SEAT (7328) for a referral to a local car seat loaner program.

Transportation Article 22-1121 (Children in Rear of Pick-up Trucks)

  • Children under the age of 16 may not ride in the bed of an unenclosed pick-up truck.

**Please note: Some jurisdictions, such as Anne Arundel County, have local
 Ordinances that prohibit anyone from riding in the bed of an unenclosed
pickup truck.  If you have questions, contact your county or local
police department.

Does Maryland Law prohibit children from riding in the front seat?

Maryland’s child passenger safety laws do not prohibit children from riding in the front seat.  The exception is placing a rear-facing child in the front seat with an active air bag.  If a driver is unable to turn off an air bag, it is a violation of law (as well as a terrible danger to the child!) to place a rear-facing child in the front seat.  Click here for air bag video clip.

**Please note: KISS and other child passenger safety experts strongly recommended all children under age 13 ride in the back seat.  Research conducted and published in a report by Partners for Child Passenger Safety clearly shows that children are 40% less likely to be seriously injured when properly restrained in the back seat.  For more information on safe seating positions, click here to view the report.

What does Maryland Law say about taxis and car seats?

Currently, taxis are exempt from the law. They are not required to transport children using car seats. However, KISS recommends that you follow Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety laws when your children are riding in these vehicles.

For a list of child passenger safety laws in other states, click on a link below.

Insurance Institute of Highway Safety

Safe Roads