Welcome to the NRMA

NSW child restraint laws

The NSW laws mean:

  • Children younger than six months must be secured in a rearward facing restraint
  • Children aged six months to less than four years must be secured in either a rear or forward facing restraint
  • Children aged four years to less than seven years must be secured in forward facing child restraint or booster seat
  • Children younger than four years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows
  • Children aged four years to less than seven years cannot travel in the front seat of a vehicle with two or more rows, unless all other back seats are occupied by children younger than seven years in a child restraint or booster seat.

More information on Child Restraints including installation by NRMA car servicing

What to do if your child is too small or too large for the type of restraint specified for your child's age

If a child is too small for a restraint specified for their age, they should be kept in a previous level of restraint for as long as necessary.

If a child is too large for a restraint specified for their age, they may move to the next level of restraint.

A child aged between six months and four years of age will need to move to the next level of restraint when:

  • Their shoulders no longer fit comfortably within the restraint; or
  • Their eye-level is higher than the back of the restraint; or
  • The top insertion slots for the shoulder straps are below the level of the child's shoulders.


A child aged between four and seven years of age will need to move to the next level of restraint if:

  • Their shoulders no longer fit comfortably within the restraint; or
  • Their eye-level is higher than the back of the booster seat (when measured at right angles from the seat back).

Children should remain in a child restraint for as long as physically possible.

Choose the right child restraint

A child that is properly secured in an approved child restraint is less likely to be injured or killed in a car crash than one who is not.

Child restraints can be purchased from retail outlets or hired from some local councils, some maternity hospitals, community groups and from privately run rental companies.

Child restraints available in Australia must meet the Australian/New Zealand Standard 1754:2004 Child restraints for use in motor vehicles. The standard is one of the toughest child restraint standards in the world and child restraints manufactured to this Standard offer good protection in a crash.

A significant number of the restraints have been tested and assessed under the Child Restrain Evaluation Programme (CREP).

Find out more about the results of these tests and the guidelines you should follow when buying a child restraint

More information on Child Restraints including installation by NRMA car servicing

Remember

  • Using a restraint correctly greatly increases a child's safety during a crash
  • Placing a child in a restraint that is designed for a larger/older child increases the risk of serious injury in a crash
  • In NSW, it is illegal to use a child restraint in the front passenger seat of a vehicle if a passenger airbag is fitted
  • Ensure the restraint is installed correctly. See a restraint fitter if in any doubt
  • Always use the top tether strap where required
  • Always use the centre rear seat position a first preference for fitting a child restraint if it is fitted with a 3 point seat belt
  • Teach your child to always keep both arms within the harness system of the child seat or the seat belt of the booster seat
  • When using a seat belt with a booster, ensure the seat belt is correctly fitted over the child's shoulder
  • Move your child into a forward-facing restraint only when they no longer fit into a rearward-facing restraint
  • Move your child into a booster seat only when they no longer fit into a forward-facing restraint
  • Always refer to the manufacturer's instructions.  

Using a restraint correctly greatly increases a child's safety during a crash. 

Find an RTA Authorised Child Restraint Fitting Station (PDF 209KB/14 pages)

More information on Child Restraints including installation by NRMA car servicing