New Florida Child Restraint Changes in Effect Today

Graco TurboBooster Seat

Graco TurboBooster Convertible Seat

Changes to Florida’s Child Restraint requirements go into effect today.  Children under five years of age must now be transported in a federally approved separate carrier child seat, vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat, or belt-positioning booster seats while riding in a motor vehicle upon the roadways, streets, or highways of the State.  Previously four and five year olds could be restrained with just a seat belt.

Section One of Florida State Statute 316.613 now reads:

(1)(a) Every operator of a motor vehicle as defined in this section, while transporting a child in a motor vehicle operated on the roadways, streets, or highways of this state, shall, if the child is 5 years of age or younger, provide for protection of the child by properly using a crash-tested, federally approved child restraint device.

1. For children aged through 3 years, such restraint device must be a separate carrier or a vehicle manufacturer’s integrated child seat.

2. For children aged 4 through 5 years, a separate carrier, an integrated child seat, or a child booster seat may be used. However, the requirement to use a child restraint device under this subparagraph does not apply when a safety belt is used as required in s. 316.614(4)(a) and the child:

a. Is being transported gratuitously by an operator who is not a member of the child’s immediate family;

b. Is being transported in a medical emergency situation involving the child; or
c. Has a medical condition that necessitates an exception as evidenced by appropriate documentation from a health care professional.


Violations of this section are still moving violations with an assessment of three points to the violator’s driver license.  Points can be waived by attending a court-approved child restraint safety course.  Link to the entire statute here.


This entry was posted in Legal, Street. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *