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Are Swivel Car Seats Legal in the US?

Traveling with a child through different US states can make you wonder about US car seat laws. To be precise, there is no hard and fast answer to the question about swivel car seats. Recently, the federal government has permitted each state to construct a law about car seats themselves. If you frequently travel through different states, it can be challenging to comply with the laws of each state. 

baby in a car seat

The government built this law to ensure the safety of citizens. Hence, it is essential to understand and follow each rule. We made a complete guide to the laws of every state in this article. Moreover, we will go through safety measures and essential regulations one by one. 

Car Seat Laws By State

The car seat laws in the US depend on your state. The swivel car seat got introduced in the states recently, and its laws are still pretty vague. So, it is essential to undermine its safety and other concerns. 

Safety Standards

The safety standards ensure your child remains safe during the journey. There are well-defined laws about a child’s positions, seat belts, and weight. The federal government itself approves the car seats. Hence, it is essential to have thorough research before installing a car seat. In the case of the swivel car seat, it avoids head-on collision during an accident. 

In Connecticut, a rear-facing child seat with a five-point harness is compulsory for a child less than two years of age. You must get this seat for babies under 30 pounds, and almost the same rules apply to a forward-facing car seat. If your child’s age is two to five years, a booster seat is compulsory. However, if a baby is 40 to 60 pounds, you must use a booster seat with a lap seat belt. These safety rules minimize significant injuries during a car collision or accident.

The seat belt and booster seat rules are almost similar in every American state. Seat belts are necessary regardless of age and weight. Moreover, children must always be placed in the backseat of the car. These are some necessary rules that should be revised whenever you travel with a child. 

Rules and Laws Regarding Swivel Car Seats in the US

As stated earlier, it is a state’s choice to permit a swivel car seat. Regardless of the state, specific rules are associated with swivel car seats.


You need formal documentation if your car has a swivel car seat. Also, you must take care of these documents while installing any seats, such as convertible car seats, infant car seats, rear-facing car seats, or a rotating car seat. The application helps you in moving through the country without any problem. 

Seat Belt Requirements

Safety belts requirement depends upon age and weight in swivel car seats. Swivel car seats require seat belts to be placed in different angles and orientations. Children under five need to have lap belts on rotating car seats during their journey. You should not place a child in a swivel car seat if they cannot use a seat belt because of the seating position. Using lap belts, seat belts, or shoulder belts is mandatory while using rotating car seats. 

Safety Standards At Home

It is better to keep a step ahead in case of safety. Doing complete research about federal laws can help you during your journey. For instance, laws of multiple states require the baby to be kept in the rear-facing car seat. Swivel car seats can help in this situation, as they can rotate in 360-degrees. Similarly, it is safer to keep an infant of age two to five in a forward-facing five-point harness. You must ensure all the safety standards before setting out for traveling. Visiting different states of the US without following federal and local rules can be problematic. Moreover, it can also be dangerous for you and your child’s safety. Hence, it is better to keep safe by sticking to the laws. 

Frequently Asked Questions

When do you need a swivel car seat?

There is no particular answer to tell when you need a swivel car seat. However, most parents prefer it when traveling with their young ones. Traveling with children can be risky and requires a lot of pre-traveling preparation. Installing a swivel car seat or rotating car seat can be beneficial during travel, and children require a perfectly sized seat to remain safe. Moreover, it would be best if you had a rotating car seat when your infant reaches the minimum age of two. 

Joie Spin 360 Car Seat

You will need a swivel seat sooner or later. You might get it installed as soon as you purchase a car or might get it done later. We highly recommend the seats, especially while traveling through rough or rural areas. So, if you frequently travel with your family or your child, we highly recommend getting a rotating chair. Your child will remain safe and will let you enjoy your ride peacefully.

What are the factors to look for when choosing a swivel car seat?

Height and weight are essential factors to consider while switching to swivel car seats. Read the instructions about a car seat thoroughly before installing it. Purchase the most suitable seats for your child’s weight and height. Moreover, comply with the rules and federal laws. Traveling through a state where a particular type of seat is prohibited can be problematic. 

Are rotating car seats or swivel car seats worth it?

People always ask this before investing in a car seat. Similarly, the question of why you should buy a rotating car seat comes along. The answer is safety and comfort. Traveling with a child involves a lot of risks. Moreover, you might also suffer if your child is not comfortable. Swivel car seats are also portable, and you can fold, bend, and move the seats in and out of the car conveniently. To conclude, we can say, the swivel car seats are worth a try and investment. 

Are rotating car seats safe?

Rotating car seats can help you effortlessly take your child in and out of the car. You can swivel easily through the door and make easy adjustments. Moreover, rotating car seats will keep your baby safe during the journey. According to a survey, 70% of fatal accidents are head-on collisions. The rotating car seats combined with seat belts keep infants safe during frontal car collisions. So, it reduces the chance of any damage or serious injury.

Children’s bones and muscles keep developing until the age of 10 to 12. Any car collision can become severely dangerous for the body of an infant. Rotation and bending of swivel car seats can avoid such situations and injuries.  


As a swivel car seat is capable of moving 360-degrees, it can transform into a rear-facing seat, forward-facing car seat, or any other angled seat. Swivel car seats or rotating car seats are a new trend and definition of safety for children.

Each state individually defines the legalities of swivel car seats.

Britax Romer DUALFIX 2 R Group Car Seat

So, if you want to know whether the swivel seat is legal in the state you are visiting, you must check the specific laws from each state.

Swivel car seats themselves, however, can be regarded as a safe baby car seat. The rotating seat will always keep your child in the safest position for their age and size. Read more about how long your baby can be in a car seat.

In conclusion, it is better to take all the precautionary measures beforehand. Do not travel without knowing the laws of any state. Safety and comfort come before anything else and should always be prioritized. 

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