Motor Vehicle Safety

Maryland’s Child Passenger Safety Law


  • A person may not transport a child younger than 6 years (regardless of the child’s weight) or who weighs 40 pounds or less (regardless of the child’s age) unless the child is secured in a federally-approved safety seat according to the safety seat and vehicle manufacturer's instructions.
    • (For example, a 7 year old who weighs only 38 pounds, or a 3-½ year old who weighs 42 pounds still would be required to use child safety seats.)
  • A person may not transport a child younger than 16 years of age unless the child is secured in a child safety seat or a vehicle’s seat belt in all seating positions in all vehicles.
  • A child younger than 16 years may not ride in an unenclosed cargo bed of a pick-up truck.

Maryland’s Adult Seat Belt Law


  • Police officers are able to ticket drivers and/or adult passengers for not wearing a seat belt even if no other violation is observed.
  • This covers motor vehicles covered in Maryland as:
    • Class A, passenger
    • Class E, truck
    • Class F, truck tractor
    • Class M, multipurpose
    • Class P, passenger bus
  • The law covers the driver and the front seat passenger next to the door; each or both of whom may receive a ticket for not wearing a seat belt. If neither the driver nor the front seat passenger are buckled up, each of them will receive a $25 ticket.
  • If neither the driver nor any passenger 15 years of age or younger are buckled up, the driver will receive a ticket for both - a $25 adult seat belt ticket for the driver and a $48 ticket for the passenger 15 years of age or younger.
  • The law includes exceptions for “those who have a written certificate from their doctor stating a medical reason for not using their seat belt,” or for “drivers and passengers of Class L, historical, motor vehicles and of vehicles" not required to be equipped with seat belts.
Call the Motor Vehicle Administration for information at 888-963-0307.