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Canada Child Car Seat Laws by Province / Territory

Canada Child Car Seat Laws by Province / Territory

Total Provinces
13
Whether you reside in Canada or are visiting, understanding the laws in relation to the use of child car seats and restraint systems is equally important. What’s also important to understand is how the laws change by province / territory, so whilst you may meet the requirements in Ontario, a short hop over the border into Quebec could be a different story. Wherever you plan to drive in Canada, you should ensure that any children travelling with you meet the minimum standards required in law for the most onerous province in which you are travelling.

It's important to stress that whilst some provinces have limited laws regarding the use of child car seats (for example, Alberta has no booster seat laws whatsoever and technically a child is no longer required to use a child seat beyond the age of 6 and/or 40lbs, it's widely accepted that children should use a suitable car seat until at least 4'9" (145cm) tall, at which time they should be passing the 5 Step Test.
 

Select Province using our interactive map, or scroll down.

 

73%

Car seats installed / used incorrectly

52%

Children in seat belts still needed a booster

30%

Children in booster seats not 40 lb (min weight)

FACTFILE: Child Car Seats in Canada

A roadside study in Canada by the The Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada concluded that whilst 99% of children travelling in a motor vehicle where travelling in a car seat, around three quarters were found to be in a car seat that was not installed correctly, nearly a third of kids using a booster seat did not meet the mandatory 18 kg (40 lb) minimum weight and a little over half were using adult seatbelts without a booster where they should have. Using the correct child car seat in Canada and using it correctly is critical to ensuring children travel safely by car and is governed and enforced by law throughout Canada. If you are found to be in breach of the law, expect a fine and demerit points (penalty points) on your licence.
 
  • Road traffic accidents are the leading cause of death of children in Canada
  • A correctly used child seat can reduce the risk of a fatal injury by 71%
  • 99% of children travelling in a car use a car seat / restraint system
  • Only 27% were using the correct child seat / installed correctly
Source: cpsac
 

Do children need to travel in a car seat in a taxi in Canada?

Generally speaking, whilst the driver is responsible for all passengers under the age of 16 and must ensure they are using a suitable car seat / restraint system, taxi drivers are exempt meaning you can travel in a taxi with children, without a child car seat in Canada. It is however wise to avoid this situation where at all possible and either book a taxi with a car seat (advise the taxi provider in advance so they can provide a suitable seat), or find an alternative means of transport. Whilst not illegal to travel in a taxi* in Canada without a child seat, it represents significant danger to the child in the event of an accident.
 

Can I rent a child car seat with a rental car?

Yes, this is a good option for anyone renting a car and travelling with children. Whilst you can bring your own car seat, it is unlikely that your car seat will meet the legal requirements for travelling with children in Canada and whilst you may be satisfied that it is safe, should you car seat be found not to comply with the relevant road traffic laws in Canada (in whichever province you may be travelling within), you are likely to receive a fine. All car seats supplied by car rental agents in Canada will be fully compliant with the current regulations and be professionally installed into the rental car prior to your arrival.

*laws regarding taxi exemptions should be checked by province.

Select province from the drop down or click the starting letter for the province / territory below:

Show all

Alberta

What car seat do you need in Alberta?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing 12 10 kg (22 lb) N/A
Forward Facing 6 18 kg (40 lb) N/A
Booster No law No law N/A
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

There is no legal requirement beyond 18 kg or SIX years of age, however a booster seat / cushion is recommended. Seat manufacturer guidelines (age / weight / height restrictions) must be followed, failure to do so will result in a fine.

Applicable Law
Traffic Safety Act - Chapter/Regulation: T-6 RSA 2000

Fines
Information not available

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021
Source: alberta.ca

British Columbia

What car seat do you need in British Columbia?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing 12 months 9 kg (20 lb) N/A
Forward Facing N/A 18 kg (40 lb) N/A
Booster 9 see notes 145 cm
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021

Manitoba

What car seat do you need in Manitoba?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing N/A see notes N/A
Forward Facing see notes see notes N/A
Booster 9 36 kg (80 lb) 145 cm
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

Applicable Law:
The Highway Traffic Act, CCSM c H60

The Act requires a child to travel in a suitable seat / restraint for their age, weight and height. It is advised that your check the seat manufacturers recommendations. Children under 9 years old, uner 145 cm tall or under 36 kg (80 lb) are required to use a booster seat until any of these criteria are exceeded.

Fines:
No information available

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021
Source: gov.mb.ca

New Brunswick

What car seat do you need in New Brunswick?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing see notes N/A N/A
Forward Facing N/A see notes N/A
Booster 9 36 kg (80 lb) 145 cm
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

Children are required to travel in an appropriate child seat / restraint system for their age, weight and height, refer to seat manufacturer limitations.

Applicable Laws
Motor Vehicle Act
(O.C. 83-893)

Fines
No information available

Last updated 19 Jan 2021
Source: laws.gnb.ca

Newfoundland and Labrador

What car seat do you need in Newfoundland and Labrador?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing N/A 9 kg (20 lb) N/A
Forward Facing N/A 18 kg (40 lb) N/A
Booster 9 37 kg (81.5 lb) 145 cm
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

Appliable Law:
Highway traffic act: RSNL1990 CHAPTER H-3

Fines:
No information available

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021
source: assembly.nl.ca

Northwest Territories

What car seat do you need in Northwest Territories?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing N/A 9 kg (20 lb) N/A
Forward Facing N/A 18 kg (40 lb) N/A
Booster N/A N/A N/A
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

There is currently no legislation around the use of booster seats, however it's recommended that children travel in a suitable booster seat for their height / weight when progressing from a forward facing car seat (above 18 kg / 40 lb).

Applicable Law:
Motor vehicles act R.R.N.W.T. 1990,c.M-35

Fines:
No information available

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021
Source: ctvnews.ca

Nova Scotia

What car seat do you need in Nova Scotia?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing 24 months 10 kg (22 lb) N/A
Forward Facing see notes see notes N/A
Booster 9 N/A 145 cm
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

Applicable Law
Motor Vehicle Act R.S.N.S. 1989, c. 293

Fines
No information available

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021
Source: novascotia.ca

Nunavut

What car seat do you need in Nunavut?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing N/A 9 kg (20 lb) N/A
Forward Facing see notes 18 kg (40 lb) N/A
Booster N/A N/A N/A
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

Applicable Law
Seat Belt Assembly and Child Restraint System Regulations, RRNWT (Nu) 1990 c M-35

Fines
No information available

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021
Source: canlii.org

Ontario

What car seat do you need in Ontario?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing N/A 9 kg (20 lb) N/A
Forward Facing N/A 18 kg (40 lb) N/A
Booster 8 36 kg (80 lb) 145 cm
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that all passengers under the age of 16 are seated / using the correct child car seat / restraint correctly.

Children are not required to use a child seat when they reach any of the following criteria;

  • are at least 8 years old
  • are at least 145 cm tall
  • are at least 36 kg (80 lb) in weight
APPLICABLE LAW
Highway Traffic Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8

FINES
Up to $240 and 2 demerit points.

Last updated: 12 Jan 2021
Source: mto.gov.on.ca

Prince Edward Island

What car seat do you need in Prince Edward Island?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing 12 months 10 kg (22 lb) N/A
Forward Facing N/A 18 kg (40 lb) N/A
Booster 10 see notes 145 cm
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

Children must meet BOTH criteria of weight and age to progress from a rear facing seat. Has the highest minimum age in Canada to move out of a booster seat of 10 years of age.

Applicable Law
Highway Traffic Act, RSPEI 1988, c H-5,

Fines
No information available

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021
Source: canlii.org/en/pe/laws

 

Quebec

What car seat do you need in Quebec?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing N/A see notes N/A
Forward Facing N/A see notes N/A
Booster 9 N/A 145 cm
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

A booster seat must be used until 145 cm (4’9”) tall OR 9 years old.

Applicable Law
Motor Vehicle Safety Act (S.C. 1993, c. 16)

Fines:
No information available

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021
Source: legisquebec.gouv.qc.ca

Saskatchewan

What car seat do you need in Saskatchewan?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing N/A see notes N/A
Forward Facing N/A 18 kg (40 lb) N/A
Booster 7 36 kg (80 lb) 145 cm
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

Children must use a booster seat until they are 7 years old, or are both;

  • over 36 kg (80 lb) in weight
  • at least 145 cm tall
Applicable Law
4 c. H-3.1. HIGHWAY TRAFFIC

Fines
No information available

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021
Source: cpsac.org

Yukon

What car seat do you need in Yukon?
Seat type Age Weight Height
Rear Facing N/A 10 kg (22 lb) N/A
Forward Facing N/A 22 kg (48 lb) N/A
Booster N/A 45 kg (100 lb) 145 cm
Table shows respective up to age, weight, height values for each seat type.

More Information

A rear facing child seat must be used until the child is 10 kg (22 lb) in weight AND can walk unassisted - the only province to have such a requirement. It also has the highest threshold for transition out of a booster seat at 45 kg (100 lb) in weight.

Applicable Law
No information available

Fines
No information available

Last updated: 19 Jan 2021
Source: cpsac.org

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