Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–1703. Requirements.

(a) The operator of a motor vehicle may not transport any child of less than 3 years of age unless the child is properly restrained in a child restraint seat; provided, that, if the child weighs less than 40 pounds or measures less than 40 inches in length, and is under 2 years of age, the child shall be properly restrained in a rear-facing child restraint seat.

(b) The operator of a motor vehicle shall not transport any child under 16 years of age unless the child is properly restrained in an approved child safety restraint system or restrained in a seat belt. Children under 8 years of age shall be properly seated in an installed infant, convertible (toddler) or booster child safety seat, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. A booster seat shall only be used with both a lap and shoulder belt.

(c) A parent or legal guardian may transport his or her own child without restraint herein if that person is transporting a number of his or her own children of less than 16 years of age which exceeds the number of passenger positions equipped with safety belts in the motor vehicle. However, an unrestrained child may not be transported in the front seat of a motor vehicle.

(d) Automobile rental companies shall be required to inform each customer of the provisions of this chapter and provide educational materials to the customer. The educational materials shall be provided by the Department of Transportation.


(Mar. 10, 1983, D.C. Law 4-194, § 4, 30 DCR 49; Mar. 7, 1992, D.C. Law 9-57, § 2(b), 38 DCR 7283; Oct. 19, 2002, D.C. Law 14-212, § 2(a), 49 DCR 8137; Mar. 13, 2019, D.C. Law 22-237, § 2, 66 DCR 592.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 40-1203.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 50-1706.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-212 rewrote subsec. (b) and added subsec. (d). Prior to amendment, subsec. (b) read as follows: “(b) The operator of a motor vehicle may not transport any child between 3 years of age and 16 years of age unless the child is properly restrained in an approved child restraint seat or safety belt.”