Using A Locking Clip

A locking clip is necessary for use on seat belts that do not lock (see Seat Belt Types for more information). It works by clamping the lap & sash portion of the seat belt, near the buckle, together to prevent slack. It improves the install of your car seat also, by achieving a tight secure install.

So what does it look like?
How can I tell if I need one?
How do I fit it?

A locking clip is a metal, or plastic clamp. They are a variety of colours and some are attached by cord to the seat, others are in wee slots on the back of the car seat and some seats do not come with one at all. If your seat does not come with one, it does not mean you do not need to use one, you will need to purchase one for use with your car seat to achieve a secure install if your seat belts are do not lock. For more on seat belt type click here.

The locking clip prevents the seat belt from moving and allowing the belt to slacken over time. Not all seats some with a locking clip, and some seats have ones built in to the car seat or detachable base. If your seat does not come with these, you will need to purchase one separately and know how to use it.

Locking clips
Exactus locking clip | Safe-n-Sound 3-bar grated clip | Classic locking clip

To achieve a secure install follow these steps:

  • Buckle your car seat in
  • Pull any slack out (towards the retractor) and pull seat belt tight
  • Undo the buckle while firmly holding the lap & sash portion together at the buckle end
  • Feed the locking clip as shown in the image below, or clamp clip over the belt webbing
  • Re-thread the seat belt through the car seat
  • You will probably need to kneel into your car seat to allow the buckle to engage as the clip will have made the belt slightly shorter
  • With the clip in place the seat should sit firm and not move, if it moves repeat above steps with the belt shorter each time (you may wish to kneel in the seat, then attach the clip, again using more force on the seat when re-engaging the buckle).

Some car seats have a lock-off attached to a string that works in the same way. These need to be placed within 1cm of the latch plate (the same as locking clips above).

Locking Clip on BeltLocking Clip Install

Classic locking clip attached to latch end of lap/sash belt

The Exactus clip is easy to use, much like a bread clip. Check before closing that the seat belt rests inside the edges of the clip so it does not catch when closing. To release pull back on the tab at the front of the closed clip the same way you would open a bread clip. A "snap" will be heard when the clip is correctly closed.

The clip may come apart when opening, this is normal, if however it happens while you are closing the clip, with the seat belt inside, the belt is outside of the guide, place the clip back together and check guides before closing.

The Classic and 3-bar grated clip must be placed on the seat belt correctly otherwise they will not hold and will not prevent slack.

When using a locking clip to convert a lap/sash seat belt to a lap only belt (when using the seat belt with a Child Safety Harness) the locking clip must sit at the opposite end to the latch plate, or where there is not enough room at the buckle end, or the locking clip crunches against the seat, move it further in from the buckle.


Built in lock-offs, shown below, are easy to use. Simply open the clip, pull the seat belt tight, being sure to reduce any slack from the lap portion, thread the belt through the lock-off and close the clip.

Front clip lock off top

Built in restraint lock-offs

Rear facing lock off (left) and forward facing lock off (right) fitted on Safe-n-Sound car seats*

*not all models.

Use the links below to find out more:

| Essential information
| Knowing the type will help achieve a correct install
| Find out what to do with the tether strap and bolt
| Find out what to do with the tether bolt
| Lower tether system to use in place of the seat belt
| External link to technicians list by area
| Why wont my seat install correctly? Help!