Can a Baby Sit on Your Lap in a Taxi? Rules Around the World

Prior to tackling a vacation or long trip with a baby, you may have a lot of thoughts running through your mind. I generally plan our trip out in fair amount of detail, but there can always be some last-minute changes, which mean time and circumstances force us to take a cab, when we’d planned otherwise.

Can a baby sit on my lap in a taxi? This really depends on the country. While in many countries like France, China, Thailand, Italy, Turkey, and the UK you are allowed to have your child ride on your lap, other countries such as Spain and Germany do not allow it. In the United States and Mexico it depends on the location within the country, leaving it up to local traffic laws. 

If plan on taking any car journeys and if you can take your own car seat, it will always be safest travelling in a car using a car seat, especially for babies and young children.

It is important to know what the regulations are in order to prepare ahead of time and make your travel experience easier. While, on average, your baby is allowed to sit on your lap in a taxi, you may want to take more factors than just the legality into consideration with this. 

For example, if you are going to be in a high volume of traffic or an area with more erratic drivers, you may want to consider taking more safety precautions. It is always best to err on the side of caution when it comes to safety. Below is a breakdown of some major travel destinations, and their laws concerning young children in taxis. 

Note: our research has shown that although some countries have taxis that do have safety provisions for children, these are usually only booster seats for children, but are not suitable for babies or toddlers

From a safety point of view if you are going to travel by car, book a transfer service who have seatbelts fitted and can provide appropriate car seats.

France

Yes, your baby can sit on your lap in a taxi in France. No law prohibits a child or baby to sit on a lap in a taxi in France. Although there are laws to enforce children under 13 being in car seats, taxis are exempt from these policies under R.412-1 of the French Highway Code. This law is nationwide and does not change if you are in the beautiful countryside or in the heart of the “city of love”.

Here is a company in France that can provide car seats with their taxi service: https://www.g7.fr/. This can provide a more convenient option than providing your own car seat or travelling without one.

Spain

Spain does not allow young children to sit on your lap, even in a taxi. The child must be seated in a child safety device in the back of the car. Although your chances of getting caught may be slim – the taxis here are often equipped to deal with this. However, you might find your taxi driver only carries a booster seat instead of an infant car seat.

Here are two options when looking for a taxi with a child seat. The first is to go to the TAXI area of the airport, where the operator is able to call for a taxi with a child seat. The second is to book ahead online.

United States

In most cases, your child can sit on your lap in the United States. Most states allow taxis to be exempt from child restraint safety laws throughout the United States.

Despite the majority of states allowing exemptions, each state has the authority to make its own rules. California still requires everyone in the vehicle to be buckled in, and Massachusetts requires all young children to be in a child safety device. If you are unsure of the regulations in your state, you may search for this information with the individual state transportation authorities in your area of interest. Here is a great resource for checking the current laws, if there are any, for each state.

China

Yes, your baby can sit on your lap in China. China has no child safety regulations in taxis, or really in any car for that matter. On top of this, the Chinese taxis are notorious for having no seat belts at all or having seat belts that they refuse to wear. Before any trip to China, I would suggest researching your destination and ensuring there is a taxi provider that can arrange for everything you need to keep your child safe. During travel within your stay, you will want to be sure to do the same. 

Italy 

In Italy, the laws do not require children in taxis to have a car seat. 

On top of this, it is difficult to find a company that will be able to bring one for your child. You would be wise to bring your own child seat with you, especially if he or she is an infant. If you really don’t want to bring one on your flights, you have two options: rent or buy a car seat from a local company upon arrival. Companies like https://www.babyontournapoli.com/ allow rentals, but after a few days, the cost-benefit analysis makes it more efficacious to simply purchase one of your own. 

Turkey

Yes, your baby can sit on your lap in a Turkish taxi. In fact, you would be much harder pressed to find a taxi service that was able to provide a child seat than not. Many of the taxis here are older and do not have seat belts; however, the newer taxis are slowly becoming equipped. To ensure the safety of yourself and your child pick a newer cab.

Mexico

A baby may or may not be allowed to sit in your lap depending on which part of Mexico you are travelling in. In most places in Mexico, laws are not enforced, or do not exist, around children in taxis.

However, some local areas do have strict laws such as Jalisco, where all riders are required to wear seatbelts, and children must be in restraint systems. It is important, again, to know the region and the city you are travelling in and the local regulations and expectations before attempting to travel. In Mexico, each city has its own rules – so check with the local government if you can. 

Germany

No, your baby is not allowed to sit on your lap in a taxi in Germany. German law strictly enforces and requires taxis to have the child restraint safety systems available. This makes it all the more important to ensure that the taxi is equipped or you have a car seat that you have brought, rented, or purchased. 

Thailand 

Yes, your little one can sit in your lap while riding in a taxi around Thailand. The traffic laws in Thailand do not require the use of any child safety precautions, so while they are encouraged for the safety of the child, it is ultimately up to you to decide. 

A tuk tuk taxi in Jakarta, Indonesia

United Kingdom

Your child, under 3 years of age, can sit in your lap in a taxi in the United Kingdom. The only caveat is that they must remain in the back seat.  If they are over the age of three they are still not required to use the car seat but must be buckled in and remain in the back seat. The rules and regulations here are enforced rather strictly, so be sure to follow the law and ensure the safety of your child.

Related Questions

Can my child sit in my lap in an Uber or Lyft?

Uber and Lyft are falling into a notoriously grey area around most taxi laws. It is safe to assume that if a taxi is not exempt from child-safety laws, neither is the ride-sharing service. The companies are able to turn a blind eye, and it is up to the driver to follow the correct ruling.

Until governments are able to create laws for these services, it is safest to treat Uber and Lyft  as if they are just a personal vehicle in order to safely follow all laws. If you are an Uber or Lyft driver, it is recommended to enforce the laws for your passengers else you risk the fall out of the legal consequences.

Can I request an Uber to provide a car seat?

Yes, in many areas you are able to request that your Uber have a car seat. To do this, you will simply order an UberX and be charged a small fee for the additional service request. Keep in mind that there may be limited drivers available in your area who can fulfill this request, so be sure to schedule additional waiting time into your travel itinerary.

Some travel car seat options to consider.

Despite best attempts to schedule your trip and driver to have car seats available that you don’t have to tote around with you – it may be in your best interest in many cases to just bring your own. In this case, you will want something compact and lightweight. Here are some ideas, though the best seat is the one you already have!

Infants

  • Evenflo Tribute LX is good budget option for both rear and forward-facing children- this product for infants as it is a single piece and supports children from 2kg – 18kg (5lb – 40lb), making it last longer for your growing child. For travel it is relatively light-weight at 6kg / 12 lb.

Toddlers

  • If your child is already a little older, the Wayb Pico Travel Car Seat is unmatched. Weighing in at just under 4kg (8lbs), it can support a child from 10kg – 22kg (22lb – 50lb) and is able to fold up for easy carrying or packing. 

Children

Please share your experiences with travelling in a taxi with your little ones!

Pin, share and save for later:

Monika Roozen

Monika is a mum of 3, an avid traveller, who grew up travelling the world and has continued travelling ever since. She holds a degree in animal sciences, nutrition and business administration and has consulted for several years for the hospitality industry and customer service departments. Monika loves slow travel- taking time for immersive experiences in culture and nature- sailing and snowboarding. Her personal adventures are chronicled in Inspireroo Family Travel Magazine . (Click to see their family mad ventures)

One thought on “Can a Baby Sit on Your Lap in a Taxi? Rules Around the World

  1. Pingback: Can you sit with a baby carrier? – Family Flight Advisor

Leave a Reply

Recent Content

%d bloggers like this: