Utah Car Seat Laws

Beginner Info, Car Seat

utah car seat laws
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In this post, I will be walking you through various aspects of Utah Car Seat Laws in order to help you in the best possible way that I can.

It goes without saying, that whether you’re a resident of Utah or driving in Utah, you don’t have an option but to abide by the Utah car seat laws.

Failing to do so can lead to a penalty which I believe no driver would want to give, right?

The unique thing about Utah car seat laws is that they change frequently in order to protect the children in the best possible manner that lawmakers can do.

In this article, I’ll not only walk you through the current Utah car seat laws but the past ones as well.

Also, I would be throwing light on penalties that you might have to pay in case, you failed to abide by the Utah car seat laws.

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

Current Utah Car Seat Laws & Regulations

As of 1/1/2018: 

  • Every child in Utah who is under 8 years of age must be under a child restraint and should follow the weight and height limit set by the manufacturer
  • Till the time, a child is under 2 years of age, he or she should be in a rear-facing safety car seat, Once the child has crossed the age limit she should be moved to a forward-facing car seat and should ride in it till the time S/he has surpassed the height and weight limits
  • Once the child in Utah has crossed the age and height limits of a forward-facing car seat, S/he should be moved to a booster seat till the time S/he has reached 8 years of age or has crossed 57 inches in height
  • However, children in Utah who are under 8 years old but have crossed 57 inches in height are exempt from the law
  • Children in the age group of 8 and 16 years need to wear seat belts without fail while riding in a motor vehicle

Previous Utah Car Seat Laws/Rules

Before 1/1/2018:

  • Children of Utah who are under 57 inches in height and less than 7 years in age need to ride in a safety seat in Utah
  • Children who are taller than 57 inches in height and fall in the range of 8 to 15 years age group need to wear a safety belt
  • The law was changed to say that children 8 and under and less than 57 inches tall need to ride in a safety seat because lawmakers found out children’s bodies may still not be strong enough to use a regular seat belt at 7 years old unless they were 57 inches tall


As of May 5, 2008:

  • Any driver who will violate the Utah car seat laws will be fined $45
  • Nonetheless, they will only receive one citation, even if more than one person is in violation of the law. In simple words, that simply means that even if you’ve got two children not buckled in car seats, the driver will have to pay only a single fine

Laws Regarding Special Needs Children

Needless to say, special needs children do need to travel in a car, right?

Fortunately, there are places that provide special car seats for children with special needs.

The good news is, that Shriner’s Hospital has a program in place that helps families choose a car seat that’s right for them.

[Updated Version]

Shriner’s Hospital Special Needs Car Seat Clinic

Shriner’s Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah, holds a special needs car seat clinic two Fridays a month for families with special needs children.

Furthermore, Clinical professionals who are certified through the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration assess the needs of each child.

Needless to say, they fit the child for a car seat, educate families on proper car seat usage for each child’s specific medical need, and custom fit each car seat to the vehicle it will be used in.

In fact, children who are under 18 years of age can be referred directly to this clinic – they aren’t required to be Shriner’s Hospital patients.

Laws Regarding Public Transportation

In Utah, public buses aren’t required to have seat belts on them.

However, as per my knowledge, it is quite possible that soon you may see Utah school buses having seat belts on them, I think it would be a great initiative to enhance the safety and security of the children for sure.

In fact, the House Transportation Committee sent a bill requiring seat belts on new school buses to the full house for its consideration.

However, when I’m penning down this post I can assure you that Utah school buses don’t need to have seat belts on them as per the Utah car seat laws.

Where To Get Free/Reduced Cost Car Seats In Utah?

I hope most of the residents of Utah are aware of the fact that Utah has quite a few programs that allow low-income families to buy child safety car seats at a reduced price or in some cases for FREE.

The Salt Lake County Health Department sells new car seats at a reduced price to low-income families who have qualified for the program.

In order to avail of the benefits of these programs, interested families need to a car seat class as well as provide proof that their income qualifies for these programs.

Any family that wants to avail of the program’s benefits must be at or below 195 percent of the current federal poverty level.

Car seat prices fall within the following ranges, depending on your family income and the type of car seat you need: 

  • Convertible seat – $30 – $59 
  • High back booster seat – $15 – $35 
  • Backless booster seat – $13 – $28 
  • Specialty weight seat 50 – $46 – $90 
  • Specialty weight seat 65 – $76 – $148

For more information, call the Salt Lake County Health Department at 385-468-4100.

Utah Cell Phone Laws

The Utah car seat law associated with cell phones says that you shouldn’t be using a cell phone while driving.

 Moreover, the law allows a single swipe or tap on a device that’s mounted so the driver can see the road, and for emergency reasons or to report hazards or crimes.

Other than that, all cell phone use in Utah while driving is banned.

In fact, drivers aren’t allowed to hold a phone and talk on it while driving, even though they are trying to get directions to the destination.

Such laws are made to enhance the safety and security of not only the driving person but also the passengers sitting in the motor vehicle.

The penalties differ depending on what the driver is charged with. 

  • If they haven’t caused harm to anyone, they could be charged with a Class C misdemeanor
  • If the negligence from their cell phone use caused serious injury to another person, or if they have a previous conviction that’s within 3 years of the current conviction, they could be charged with a class B misdemeanor. That means they could pay up to a  $1000 fine and spend up to six months in jail


In this section, I will be responding to the queries related to Utah car seat laws in order to help you clear your doubts.

In case, I’ve failed to cover your question then feel free to reach out to the core team of izzysmarthomeguide.com via the contact form and they would be more than happy to assist you in the best possible way that they could.

Does it make sense?

Why do children need to ride in a belt-positioning booster seat in Utah?

In general, once a child has exceeded the weight and height limits of a child restraint, they should be moved to a seat belt alone.

However, most children aren’t tall enough at this age for an adult seat belt so a seat belt alone wouldn’t be able to protect them.

So, here comes into the picture, the booster car seat that is meant to provide proper positioning by properly aligning the lap and shoulder belt.

When it comes to selecting a booster seat, you must be well-versed with different types so that you don’t end up buying the wrong booster seat.

For example, a backless booster seat can do the trick for you if your vehicle has back seats that offer head support.

On the other hand, a high-back booster seat is a MUST if you own a vehicle such as a mini-van, truck, SUV, or station wagon that has a low seatback.

Furthermore, you may also be able to find a booster seat that has a removal harness system or a removable back.

This is perfect in case, you want to use it until your child no longer needs it.

Another scenario could be you own a vehicle that has low seatbacks, but later on, purchase a vehicle that has head support.

What if a vehicle has lap-only belts in the back seats?

If there are no seating positions that have lap and shoulder belts, a child may be restrained by a properly fitting lap belt.

Children should stay in a child restraint until they outgrow the harness system – this usually happens when they reach 40 pounds.

What are the exemptions to the law?

People exempt from the law are:

  • Children younger than 8 years old who are at least 57 inches tall 
  • Children who weigh more than 40 pounds and are riding in vehicles that don’t have lap and shoulder belt positions in the back seat
  • Vehicles that aren’t required to have seat belts, such as buses and cars made before 1967
  • Children riding unrestrained when all the seat belt positions are taken
  • Passengers who have written verification from a doctor that they can’t wear a seat belt for physical or medical reasons

It’s A Wrap

First and foremost, I would like to thank you for being with us till the end.

Secondly, I would like to bring to your notice that I along with my core team have put loads and loads of effort into coming up with this idiosyncratic superlative piece of information on the topic of Utah Car Seat Laws.

And, in case, you liked our effort and want to appreciate us then please do share this post with like-minded people and the ones who are searching for it.

After all, sharing is caring, isn’t it?

We’ve tried to cover even the minutest of the details that we think a resident of Utah should know about the car seat laws & regulations.

Needless to say, if you do NOT abide by the Utah car seat laws then, in that case, you don’t have an option but to pay the penalty.

Abiding by the Utah car seat laws, you secure your children’s safety.

That’s all, as of now:):)