When you’re planning a family trip to Hawaii, it’s important that you make sure to follow local (or exceed) the child passenger safety laws.
Official Hawaii Car Seat Laws
Hawaii Rear-Facing Car Seat Law
New for 2022, Hawaii now requires kids to rear face until at least 2 years old. Thats a great development that will keep kids safer. That said, parents should also consider keeping their young children rear facing longer – whether to 3, 4 or even 5 years old
Rear-facing is significantly safer for children as it dramatically decreases the risk of head and neck injuries. This resource is full of great information.
The current guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics is that children should remain rear-facing to the limits of their convertible car seat. Nearly all convertible car seats today will accommodate kids up to 40 pounds (they have variable height limits so read your manual) – the size of an average 4 year old – rear facing.
Regardless of their size, HI car seat law requires that children ride in a harnessed car seat until at least their 4th birthday. Manufacturers also require that they are 40 pounds and mature enough to sit properly for the whole drive (often not until 5, 6 or even older).
Hawaii Booster Seat Law
Hawaii requires children to ride in a booster seat until they reach 10 years old or 4’9″ under the 2022 law. Most children do not fit properly in an adults seatbelt until 10-12 years old, when they pass the 5-step test.
Be sure to follow manufacturer minimum and maximum size requirements for your booster seat – most manufacturers now require a minimum of 4 years old, 40″ tall and 40 pounds.
When Can Kids Ride In the Front Seat In Hawaii?
Hawaii law generally requires children to ride in the back seat until age 8 or 4’9″, but many car manufacturers specify that kids should not ride in the front until age 13. Here’s an excellent explanation of why.
Upcoming Changes To Hawaii Car Seat Law
Hawaii just passed a great new law in 2022, Act 122. It increased the Hawaii rear facing age to 2 and the age to stop using a booster seat to 10.
One great HI car seat law feature for Hawaii residents is a $25 per year state tax credit toward the purchase of a car seat or booster seat. With so many cheap car seats on the market, Hawaiian families should be able to keep their kids safe even on a tight budget.
Get the latest from HI DoT
If you’ll be flying to Hawaii, be sure to bring one of these travel car seats. If you’re planning a family road trip, consider one of these comfortable convertible car seats or comfortable booster seats. Check more car seat laws by state as you plan your route.