When you’re planning a family trip to Oregon, it’s important that you make sure to follow local (or exceed) the child passenger safety laws.
Official Oregon Car Seat Laws
You can find the official Oregon car seat law in Oregon Revised Statutes Chapter 811.210(2)
Oregon Rear-Facing Car Seat Law
Oregon rear facing car seat law requires children to remain rear facing (either in an infant car seat or a convertible car seat) until at least 2 years old. Unlike many other states that require rear facing until 2 years old, there is no provision for children under 2 to forward face if they have exceeded 40lbs.
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.
Though it’s not specified by the law, research indicates that kids should continue riding in a harnessed car seat (whether rear-facing or forward-facing) until at least age 5, 40 pounds and mature enough to sit properly for the whole drive.
OR car seat law requires that children ride in a harness car seat until they reach at least 40lbs, though there is no age requirement.
Oregon Booster Seat Law
Oregon’s law for booster seats requires children to ride in a booster seat (or harnessed car seat) until they reach 8 years old OR 4’9″ AND the adult seatbelt fits properly. The law even specifies that the booster seat must ensure that the “lap belt of the safety belt or safety harness is positioned low across the thighs and the shoulder belt is positioned over the collarbone and away from the neck”. That’s exactly what we’re looking for!
Most children do not fit properly in an adults seatbelt until 10-12 years old, when they pass the 5-step test. Oregon DOT rightly encourages parents not to rush out of the booster seat, as adult seatbelts are designed to fit a 165lb man.
When Can Kids Ride In the Front Seat In Oregon?
Oregon doesn’t specify when kids can ride in the front seat, but we know it’s not a safe choice for children. However, 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 Oregon Car Seat Law
Oregon instituted its 2 year old minimum to forward face back in 2017 and hasn’t made any changes since then, nor are there any pending proposals.
Get the latest from Oregon DOT
If you’ll be flying to Oregon, 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.