Several states have enacted laws which exempt children from passenger restraint laws in certain circumstances or under unique circumstances. These vary widely from state to state. The following is a list of some of the most common exemptions:
- Overcrowded vehicles. In nearly half of the states, children can ride unsecured if all safety belts are otherwise in use.
- “Attending to the personal needs of the child.” This vague exemption may cover many activities.
- Medical waivers for children with special medical needs. These exemptions may disappear as advances in child restraint systems make it possible to accommodate children with most types of physical disabilities.
- Out-of-state vehicles, drivers, and children. Children in many states are frequently exempted if the vehicle or driver is from another state.
- Drivers who are not the vehicle owner or who are not related to the children being carried. Some states have laws that do not hold the driver responsible for unrestrained children.