Wyoming Car Seat Laws Explained

Wyoming Car Seat Laws Explained

Wyoming is one of the most unique states in America. It’s the 10th largest state, but also one of the least densely populated. But with its great natural scenery, it would make the perfect place to raise a family. But if you want to do that, you will need to know the Wyoming car seat laws.

Anyone wanting to raise a family will need to know their state’s car seat laws. Yes, I know learning about Wyoming car seat laws might not seem important right now, but they will be eventually.

Car seat laws aren’t the same between states. They might be similar in some cases, but they definitely won’t be the same. In this guide, we’ll examine everything you need to know.

This way anyone wanting to raise a family in Wyoming, can be sure they are safe and following the law.

Wyoming Car Seat Laws – In Brief

Wyoming car seat laws, like many other states, are quite strict. The good news is that over the last few years the number of traffic deaths has dropped significantly.

Most of the information concerning Wyoming car seat laws, can be found in the Regulation of Traffic on Highways. With Section 31-5-1303 holding the most prevalent information.

We’ll take a more in-depth look at all the information you need to know below. However, we’ve listed some of the main points for you to check out.

  • Children under 12 months and who weigh less than 20 pounds, can only use a rear-facing car seat. This car seat must only be secured in the back of your vehicle as well.
  • All car seats must be placed in the rear of a vehicle. If your vehicle doesn’t have rear seating, then it can be placed in the front. However, the airbag will need to be turned off.
  • Wyoming car seat laws are quite vague on the weight limits for the various different seating available. However, all children under 8 must travel using a seat.

Below, we’ll be looking at all the other information you need to know about, when it comes to Wyoming car seat laws.

Rear-Facing Car Seats

Wyoming Car Seat Laws Explained

Like we said earlier children under 12 months need to have a rear-facing car seat. Rear-facing car seats are generally considered to be the safest type of car seat for young children. However, for children over this age, the Wyoming car seat laws are vaguer.

They don’t suggest one specific kind of car seat. However, we believe that opting for a rear-facing car seat, would be for the best. This opinion isn’t just ours though it is backed-up by professionals. 

Rear-facing car seats are best suited for younger children. Although some models can fit children up to 4 years of age. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines as well, to ensure your child fits within the height and weight limits.

Front-Facing Car Seats

Due to the Wyoming car seat laws, being somewhat vague, there isn’t a recommendation for which kind of car seat to use. Front-facing car seats are a popular choice for children, however, they are only suitable for children over 2 years old.

A child will also need to weigh over 20 pounds as well. While front-facing car seats do have their benefits, most professionals agree rear-facing seats are better. Convertible car seats are also an option.

These seats can be switched, between rear and front-facing modes. To get an example of how they work, check out our review for the Alpha Omega Elite Convertible Car Seat.

Backless or High-Back Booster Seats

Under Wyoming car seat laws children under 8 need to travel in a “child safety restraint system”, this basically means a seat or safety belt of some kind. Booster seats can only be used by children who are 4 or over.

There will also be weight requirements to take into account as well. This can vary depending on the manufacturer, although it is generally considered to be over 40 pounds at a minimum. Under Wyoming car seat laws, a child under 9 can sit without a booster seat.

However, for this to apply both the lap and shoulder safety belts will need to fit securely. This means the belts must fit across all areas of the child’s body. This includes the collarbone, chest, and hips.

Seat Belts – What You Need To Know

Wearing a seat belt is very important! That is common sense but remember seat belts are designed for adults. Seat belts shouldn’t be used with young children, as they can end up causing more harm.

Under Wyoming car seat laws children over 9 can use a belt, as long as it fits securely and doesn’t pose any risk. Children under 9 can also do this without the need for a booster, as we highlighted in the previous section.

Generally, if a child is above 4’9” then booster seats are likely to be unsuitable. In these circumstances switching to a seat belt may be your best course of action. Seat belt extenders can also be used as well.

Extenders are commonly used in conjunction with booster seats. Because the Wyoming car seat laws are a little vague in this area. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines as well, if you’re thinking of using an extender.

What are the Penalties for Violating Wyoming Car Seat Laws?

Wyoming Car Seat Laws Explained

There are penalties to be aware of when it comes to Wyoming car seat laws. First, let’s look at the penalties for violating car seat laws.

Under Wyoming car seat laws a car seat violation is considered a primary offense. This carries with it the risk of a $60 fine and court costs. However, the fine can be waived if you acquire the right car seat, within the time frame imposed by the court/ authorities.

Further violations will double the fine to $110, plus any additional court costs. Seatbelts violations are classed as secondary offenses. This basically means that the authorities can’t stop you just for this violation alone.

However, it does still carry a $25 fine. In the case of a passenger violation, the fine total can vary, from $10 to a maximum of $100. While the fines may not seem overly high they still should not be something a responsible parent will want to receive.

What are the Exemptions to the Wyoming Car Seat Laws?

There are some notable exemptions to the Wyoming car seat laws to be aware of. We have included detailed information below.

Medical Exemptions

If a child is unable to use a car seat or seat belt because of a medical reason like a disability, then they will be exempt. However, you will need a written certificate from a physician that clearly states why they are exempt.

Emergency Exemptions

The Wyoming car seat laws are again a little vague here. However, we can say that if the driver or passenger of a vehicle is offering assistance or aid to any other occupant in an emergency, the laws regarding seat belts/ car seats are likely to be waived.

Vehicle Exemptions

There are some vehicles that are exempt from the Wyoming car seat laws. This includes public transport vehicles and school buses. Vehicles that carry more than 11 people are also exempt as well.

I live in Wyoming and Can’t Afford a Car Seat. What Should I Do?

Cosco Backless Seat

It’s a common misconception that you need to spend a lot to buy a high-quality car seat! While there are some expensive, luxurious models out there, you can still get a good car seat on a budget.

The Cosco’s Topside Backless Booster Car Seat we reviewed is an excellent example of this. However, support is available if you need extra help. Many local community groups offer support as do hospitals/ medical centers. We also recommend checking out Safe Kids Central Wyoming.

Safe Kids Central Wyoming

Safe Kids Central is an excellent resource for parents when it comes to car seats. The program is led by the Wyoming Medical Center Foundation. It offers a wide range of different support options including safety checkups for car seats.

It can also help parents who are struggling to afford a car seat as well. Be aware however that it may not be able offer assistance depending on your location. However, they may be able to recommend a local resource/ group who can help. So, they are well worth contacting.

FAQs

Question: When Can My Child Ride in the Front Seat?

Answer: Under Wyoming car seat laws, all car seats (regardless of their type) must be placed at the back of your vehicle. Only children 9 or over can sit without a car seat (under most circumstances) so once they reach this age, they can sit at the front.

If there is no back seat a child can be placed at the front with you. However, they will still require the right car seat for their age, and the airbag will need to be turned off. Remember even if your child can legally sit at the front, that doesn’t mean they should.

Sitting in the front seat does pose more risk. So, it’s generally advised for children to always sit at the back of a vehicle when possible. Yes, we know children love to sit at the front. But it’s safer for them to take the back seat.

Question: Can I Buy A Car Seat Second Hand?

Answer: Many states do have rules about car seats when it comes to their age. This is a big issue when it comes to buying them secondhand. However, the Wyoming car seat laws don’t really offer any guidance on this issue.

So, it’s best to go with the safest option. This means buying a new car seat! Judging a car seat on appearance alone isn’t easy. While there is some room for debate, we find it always the safest option to buy new.

Question: Can I Reuse A Car Seat?

Answer: Reusing a car seat you bought previously is fine. However, you will need to ensure the car seat is still in good enough condition and isn’t too old. Generally, if a car seat is more than 6 years old it’s best to get a new one.

You might not always be able to tell, but car seats/ booster seats can collect wear and tear over time. Again this is something that really comes down to common sense. If you can afford to get a new car seat, then we don’t really recommend reusing one.

Question: Can’t I Use A Seat Belt?

Answer: It’s likely already clear by now that you can’t. Seat belts are designed for adults and simply don’t provide the safety children need. Under Wyoming car seat laws children also require a “safety restraint system”, this can only be a seat belt under certain circumstances. Which we detailed earlier.

So, your child should use the car seat most appropriate for their age/ height. As children get older you can likely expect the odd complaint about this. However, it’s important to remember that car seats greatly reduce the risk of injury. So, don’t give in, be smart and be safe, and use a car seat.

Question: When Should A Car Seat Be Replaced?

Answer: Car seats that are over 6 years old should be replaced. If your car seat is damaged in some way then it should be immediately replaced as well. Any car seat involved in an accident (no matter how minor) should also be replaced.

Our Final Thoughts on The Wyoming Car Seat Laws

The Wyoming car seat laws are certainly quite strict and clear in places. However, it can’t be denied that they are a little vague in certain areas as well. This means that if you are ever unsure about something always check the manufacturer’s guidelines.

For example, when shopping for a car seat look out for Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 213. This is commonly abbreviated as FMVSS 213. Any car seat with this marker has officially met the federal safety standards. Be sure to check out our guide on how to find the best car seat too!

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