Government of New Brunswick

About the Booster Seats Regulation

Seat Belt Regulation (83-163) under the Motor Vehicle Act requires that drivers ensure all children in their vehicle are properly secured in a child seat until the child reaches:

  • nine (9) years of age;
  • 36 kilograms (79 lbs) in weight; or
  • 145 centimetres (57 inches) in height

When these criteria have been met by the child, the driver will no longer be required to ensure that the child is occupying and properly secured in a child restraint system. A seat belt only is required for the child at that time.

The regulation protects children who have outgrown their car seats but are still too small to be properly protected by a seat belt alone.

The regulation is supported by the New Brunswick Medical Society, Child Safety Link, the Canadian Pediatric Society and the National Occupant Restraint Program Task Force of the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators.

Research indicates that the use of appropriate child passenger restraints reduces the risk of serious injury by 40 to 60 percent.

In a collision, a child restrained with only a seatbelt and not in a booster seat is 3.5 times more likely to suffer serious injuries, and 4 times more likely to suffer a head injury.



Booster Seat Regulation Exemptions

Exemptions to the Booster Seat Regulation include:

  • Drivers of buses (including school buses),
  • Taxis,
  • Authorized emergency vehicles (including police cars and ambulances),
  • Drivers of privately-owned vehicles registered in another province are also exempt, however are subject to the requirements of their home jurisdiction.

Note: A driver of a vehicle that is rented in New Brunswick (even if it is registered in another province) must comply with the regulations.


Approved Booster Seats


All seats manufactured after March 15, 1998 for sale in Canada must bear the National Safety Mark, as shown below, to indicate compliance to the applicable Canadian standards. Look for this mark. Do not buy a seat without it.

Child seats bought in other countries are not legal for use in Canada and may not properly protect your child in a collision.

There are different types of booster seats ranging from $40 to $160 depending on the model. These models include:

  • High-Back Booster Seat
  • 2-in-1 Child/Booster Seat and 3-in-1 Infant/Child/Booster Seat
    (combination harness/booster seat)
  • Backless (No-Back) Booster Seat

Be careful about buying a used child seat. Buy new, or from someone trusted who knows that the child seat meets the safety standards. Make sure any child seat you buy has:

  • manufacturer's instructions
  • all necessary hardware, straps, buckles, harnesses and chest clip
  • not been in a collision
  • not been recalled
  • not expired (check the expiry date, if one is not visible contact the manufacturer)
  • no discolored (stress) marks or cracks and the harness is not worn or torn.


Safety tips


  • Always follow the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Do not purchase booster seats in the United States since they do not comply with Canadian safety regulations.
  • Check the upper weight and height limits on the booster seat, as these can vary for different seats. If the child outgrows their seat and they have not reached one of the required criteria (age, weight, height), another booster seat with a higher weight limit will need to be used.
  • The safest location to install a booster seat is the back seat.
  • Make sure the booster seat has the National Safety Mark.
  • Booster seats with no back may only be used if the seat has an adjustable or non-adjustable headrest that ensures that the mid-point of the child’s ears does not extend above the seatback. Refer to the manufacturer's guidelines.
  • Do not use a booster seat if it has been in a motor vehicle collision.
  • Make sure the booster seat is secured when not being used by a child so that it does not fly around in a collision.
  • If there is no expiry date on the seat check with the manufacturer.

Rules for 15-Passenger Vehicles

Manufacturer's guidelines require booster seats to be used with a 3-point seatbelt system. This means that booster seats can only be placed in the outside seating positions in most of these vehicles since most have center seats with only lap belts.

As with every other vehicle, booster seats used in 15-passenger vehicles must:

  • bear the National Safety Mark;
  • be appropriate for the height and weight of the child;
  • be installed and used in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Depending upon the size and age of children being transported, some vehicle users may need to make some passenger placement or vehicle usage adjustments in order to comply with the new requirements.

Remember, the objective is to protect our province's children.