You are not allowed to leave the hospital with your new little love bug without a car seat and he/ she will frequent some type of special car seat until their 9th birthday!! (According to TN law as of 6/2014) So what are the rules now anyway?!

Child Restraint Law

Source: TN Dept. of State and Homeland Security


Age/ Weight/ Height Seat Instructions
Birth up to Age 1 OR any child weighing 20 lbs or less  Rear facing car seat For the best possible protection, infants and children should be buckled in a rear-facing car seat, in the back seat if available, until age 1 or when they reach the upper weight or height limits of their particular seat. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.
Age 1 up to Age 3 AND > 20 lbs Forward facing car seat When children outgrow their rear-facing seats they should be buckled in a forward-facing car seat, in the back seat, until at least age 3 AND >20 lbs. Check the seat’s owner’s manual and/or labels on the seat for weight and height limits.
Age 4 up to age 8 AND < 4’9″ Booster seat If the child is > 8yo but is < 4’9”, they must still use a booster seat.
Age 9 up to age 12 AND > 4’9″  Seat belt in the rear seat if available Seat belts fit properly when the lap belt lays across the upper thighs (not the stomach) and the shoulder belt lays across the chest (not the neck).Buckle all children aged 12 and under in the back seat. Airbags can kill young children riding in the front seat. Never place a rear-facing car seat in front of an air bag.


  • Provision is made for the transportation of children in medically prescribed modified child restraints. A copy of Doctor’s prescription is to be carried in the vehicle utilizing the modified child restraint at all times.
  • The driver of the car is responsible for making sure that children under age sixteen are properly restrained and may be charged and fined $50.00 for violation of the law. If the child’s parent or legal guardian is present in the car but not driving, the parent or legal guardian is responsible for making sure that the child is properly transported and may be fined for non-compliance.
  • Police officers observing violations of this law are permitted to stop drivers and take enforcement action.
  • Install and use car seats and booster seats according to the seat’s owner’s manual or get help installing them from a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician.  
  • Buckle children in the middle of the back seat when possible, because it is the safest spot in the vehicle.
  • Buckle children in car seats, booster seats, or seat belts on every trip, no matter how short. Set a good example by wearing your own belt!