Colorado Car Seat Laws

Beginner Info, Car Seat

colorado car seat laws
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In this post, I’ll be walking you through the nuts and bolts of Colorado Car Seat Laws in order to help you in the best possible way that I can.

Moreover, I’ll also be responding to the queries related to Colorado Car Seat Law in order to help you clear your doubts.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

Colorado’s car seat laws are based on a child’s age and weight and the law has been further segregated into four categories by age.

As per the Colorado Car Seat Laws, a child under 12 months should use a rear-facing car seat.

Once your child has crossed the 12-month age mark, he or she should be upgraded to rear-facing safety seats if they are under 40 pounds and not more than 3 years of age.

On the other hand, if your child weighs more than 40 pounds but falls in the age group of 1 to 3 years, then he or she should be upgraded to a forward-facing car seat.

Moreover, irrespective of your child’s weight he can use a forward-facing or even a booster car seat if his age falls in the range of 4 to 7 years.

Lastly, your child can use a booster seat or even a seatbelt if he or she is in the age group of 8 to 15 years.

Colorado Rear-facing Car Seat Law

In Colorado, a child must ride in a rear-facing car seat till the time he or she is less than 12 months old.

However, he or she can ride in a rear-facing car seat for up to 3 years if they satisfy the weight requirement set by the manufacturer.

Moreover, a child must be rear-facing if he or she weighs less than 20 pounds and is younger than 12 months.

On top of that, a child must be secured in the backseat of a vehicle if he or she weighs less than 20 pounds.

In fact, even if your child weighs in the range of 20 and 40 pounds but is less than 12 months then also he or she must be secured in a rear-facing car seat.

It’s always advisable to use the backseat along with a rear-facing car seat for a child whose age is less than 12 months.

Make sure you never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an active airbag.

Colorado Forward-facing Car Seat Law

In Colorado, forward-facing car seat laws are specified for children aged 1 to 7 years and need to meet certain weight requirements.

Most children ages 1 to 3 will not meet the weight requirements to use a forward-facing car seat.

Nonetheless, if a child aged 1 to 3 years, exceeds the seat weight limit set by the manufacturer or 40 pounds, then he or she is eligible to be buckled in with a forward-facing car seat.

Moreover, the Colorado forward-facing car seat law states that a child who is in the age group of 4 to 7 years and weighs in the range of 20-40 pounds needs to be bucked in with a forward-facing car seat.

However, if your child is in the age group of 4 to 7 years and has exceeded 40 pounds then he or she can use a booster seat.

At the same time, it is highly recommended to keep your child in a rear-facing car seat for as long as possible.

The middle seat of the backseat is the safest seat and you should place your child in this location in a rear-facing seat for as long as possible.

During a car crash, your child would be safe in the backseat in the rear-facing because your toddler’s head isn’t stable yet.

For example, if a toddler is in a car that gets rear-ended in a forward-facing car seat their head would be thrown forward which can cause permanent damage.

While in a rear-facing car seat, such issues will most probably not happen.

Colorado Child Booster Seat Law

The booster car seat law in Colorado is for children aged 1 to 15, that meet the proper weight requirements.

When your child has crossed the age, weight, and height limits of a forward-facing car seat then he or she can be upgraded to a booster car seat.

However, your child should be properly placed in a booster car seat in such a way that the seatbelt crosses the child’s shoulder securing him or her in the seat.

Make sure, your child is moved to a booster seat only when he or she satisfies the weight and height requirements set by the manufacturer.

What is the booster seat law in Colorado?

Well, the booster seat law in Colorado states that any child in the age group of 1 to 3 years can’t use a booster seat until and unless he or she has surpassed the weight and height limits of a rear-facing and a forward-facing car seat and/or 40 pounds.

Moreover, the child should be mature enough to properly sit with a seatbelt over his or her shoulder.

In general, a child in the age group of 4 to 15 years can use a booster car seat if he or she satisfies the weight and height requirements.

If you’re planning to upgrade your child’s car seat to a booster seat then there are two important things that you must consider.

First and foremost, a child must satisfy the law’s requirements.

Secondly, the seatbelt must go over the child’s shoulder.

Make sure, when you’re securing your child in a booster seat, that the seatbelt does not go over his or her chest or be up against their neck.

Moreover, the lap belt should be secured over the child’s thighs and not over his or her stomach.

However, if any of the aforementioned rules aren’t satisfied then it’s always a good idea to move your child to a forward-facing car seat.

What are the height and weight requirements for a booster seat in Colorado?

As per Colorado car seat laws, there are no specific height requirements as such.

Any child who has crossed the weight and height limits of a forward-facing car seat can upgrade to a booster seat if he or she satisfies the booster seat minimum requirements.

For example, any child in the age group of 1 to 3 years can only use a booster seat if he exceeds the maximum weight and height limit for a forward-facing car seat set by the manufacturer and weighs more than 40 pounds.

In general, using a booster car seat for a child in the age group of 1 to 3 years is highly unlikely.

On the other hand, most children in the age group of 4 to 7 years can use a booster seat if they weigh more than 2o pounds and satisfy the minimum weight and height requirements of a booster car seat.

Though the Colorado car seat law doesn’t specify anything about the height still the child should be tall enough so that the belt crosses his or her shoulder and upper thighs.

Make sure, the belt doesn’t pass over the neck, chest, face, or even stomach of your child when using a booster seat.

Colorado Car Seat Laws Front Seat

Frankly speaking, in Colorado, you’ll not find any specific car seat law for a front seat for children.

However, it’s always good to NOT allow your kid to sit in the front of the car if he or she is less than 13 years of age.

Also, you need to follow the vehicle manufacturer’s safety guidelines in order to prevent any last-minute misadventure.

In general, the vehicle manufacturer will have a warning about children in the front seat because, in case of unprecedented scenarios including a car accident, the airbag will do more harm to a child than good.

So, make sure you don’t make such mistakes.

What age can a child sit in the front seat in Colorado?

In simple words, a child can sit in the front seat of a vehicle in Colorado when he or she doesn’t need a booster seat anymore.

However, as per the Colorado car seat law, no specific age has been mentioned.

To be honest, the state of Colorado has specified that any child under 12 months mark must be rear-facing and ride in the back seat of the vehicle.

Just for your information, the middle location of the back seat is safest for infants and toddlers.

Nonetheless, if your child is above 12 months and has exceeded the height and weight limits set by the manufacturer, there isn’t any specific rule mentioned by the state of Colorado.

If we’ve to believe the suggestions given by the experts, then no child under the age of 13 should ride in the front seat of a car.

Height and Weight for the Front Seat in Colorado?

As said earlier, there aren’t any specific height requirements for children of Colorado to sit in the front seat of the vehicle.

The only requirement is that the seatbelt goes over the child’s shoulder and across their thighs.

Moreover, the only weight requirement is that if a child is over the age of 1 year and more than 2o pounds, they are eligible to ride in the front seat.

Furthermore, your child should be secured properly based on the other seat requirements the state of Colorado has set in place.

Smoking in the Car with Children

In Colorado, they imposed the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act 2006 which doesn’t prohibit parents smoking with their child in the car.

This law was put in place to improve the well-being and health of everyone in Colorado.

Furthermore, the law limits the exposure to tobacco smoke and marijuana smoke by limiting where both of those can be smoked.

The main areas that are covered by this law are any public space, government facilities, public transportation, and any public indoor space.

Nevertheless, smoking is allowed in privately owned vehicles, vehicles under private hires, private homes, as well as, a small percentage of motel and hotel rooms.

The laws for e-cigarettes have not been updated but can be assumed to fall under the same restrictions.

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

In the state of Colorado, the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act 2006 makes it illegal to smoke in the car with a child if the car is being used to take care of a child, for daycare, and for the transportation of children.

To clarify, the law only is for those who are caring for other children or using a vehicle to transport a child. A few examples of this would be if a nanny is taking a child to the park they are not allowed to smoke in the car and a school bus driver is not allowed to smoke on the bus with children inside.

There is no law against a parent smoking in the car with their child or children inside the vehicle. In fact, there are only a few states that do not allow a parent to smoke in the car with their child.

It is strongly advised against smoking tobacco, marijuana, or an e-cigarette while a child is in the car. Secondhand smoke that lingers in a vehicle may harm a child, as they are still developing and growing.

Where to Inspect Car Seats in Colorado?

There are countless places that offer car seat inspections in Colorado to ensure your car seat is properly secured in your vehicle. Most of the car seat inspection places are government facilities such as police departments and fire stations but there are other places that offer seat inspections as well.

Going to the Inspection Station page on the Colorado Department of Transportation’s website will take you to a page where you can search for inspection stations in your zip code. The inspection station page also includes more information on car seat laws and how to properly install one.

Car seat inspection prices are not listed on any of the places provided. The best way to see if you have to pay for an inspection or not from a government facility is by calling their provided number. Car seat inspections from a privately owned business are likely to cost some money but should not be over $100.

If something is wrong with the car seat it is best to look at recalls or the vehicle manufacturer’s warranty. If there is something wrong with a purchased booster seat, front or rear-facing car seat it would be best to contact that manufacturer.

Some of the major city car seat inspection stations in Colorado include:

  • American Medical Response – Colorado Springs, CO
  • Poudre Fire Authority – Fort Collins, CO
  • Colorado State Patrol – HQ – Denver, CO
  • Castle Rock Fire and Rescue Department – Castle Rock, CO
  • Evans Fire District – Evans, CO
  • Fort Lupton Fire Department – Fort Lupton, CO

Leaving Child Unattended

In Colorado, there is no law that does not allow someone to leave a child in the car unattended. Only parents may leave their child in the car. However, depending on the situation, weather, and many more factors if the police are called then the situation will be assessed for if it was child abuse or not.

Child abuse is illegal everywhere. If a parent does leave their child or children in a car leading to them being harmed, then that is illegal.

There are reported incidents of children being left in the car leading to their deaths on hot days. It is advised by experts to not leave your child in the car, especially on extremely hot days.

Taxi Car Seat Law Colorado

The taxi car seat law in Colorado states that taxis are except from car seats. This means that when a child rides in a taxi booster seats, rear, and forward-facing car seats are not required for children. Along with taxis, any sort of public transportation does not require the use of car seats for children.

The only law for taxis is that if a child is under the age of one and less than 20 pounds then they have to ride in the backseat of the car.

Even though there is no law that does not allow a child to ride without a car seat in a taxi it is not recommended and seen as unsafe. If they must ride in a taxi, then securing them as much as possible is a good idea.

Free Car Seat Programs in Colorado

There are free car seat programs in Colorado. One of Colorado’s free car seat programs is located in Montezuma County in the Montezuma County Public Health Department. They have a car safety seat and bike helmet program for children.

Their program will have children fitted into a car seat by a trained and certified technician. The car seats are given to families are a lower cost. The website that explains more about the program can be found here.


These are links to helpful resources that provide more information on Colorado car seat laws for children to ensure they are safe in any car:

Children’s Hospital Colorado

Colorado Department of Transportation

Colorado Department of Transportation FAQ

United States Department of Transportation

It’s A Wrap

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