The National Digital Check Form is an electronic car seat check form and data
collection platform. This free, optional resource is available to all currently certified Child Passenger
Safety Technicians, program managers and State CPS Coordinators as well as vehicle and
car seat manufacturers.

Use of the NDCF provides the opportunity to streamline data collection and reduce reporting
burdens. Immediate access to collected data provides the opportunity to monitor trends, track car
seat distribution, and accurately report car seat check activity throughout a given service area.

Benefits of the NDCF

  • Streamlines seat check data collection
  • Eliminates missing data fields
  • Reduces efforts required to store, manage, and clean up paper forms
  • Eliminates the need for paper check forms
  • Provides links to the NHTSA website to check for car seat and vehicle recalls
  • Check form data is available immediately. There is no delay in processing information
  • Agencies have access to check form data entered by all technicians associated with the
    agency

Who can use the NDCF?

All currently certified CPSTs can use the NDCF. Learn more about CPSTs at https://cert.safekids.org/

How do I access the NDCF?

Currently certified CPSTs can create a free NDCF user account at www.carseatcheckform.org

Once I create an account, how soon will I be able to access and use the NDCF?

Allow 1 to 3 business days for a new NDCF user account to be created. You will receive an email to confirm account activation.

  • CPSTs must plan ahead to ensure the NDCF user account has been approved prior to a car seat check event.

Do I need to have an agency affiliation to use this resource?

No. Agency affiliation is not required to use the NDCF.

What type of device do I need to use the NDCF?

The NDCF can be used on any device that has data/internet access or the ability to download the App to use when internet access is unavailable. The check form can be used in one of three ways:

  • Web-based check form (requiring internet access) on a computer, tablet, or phone
  • Mobile App available in iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon
  • NDCF paper check form

Where do I find the NDCF app?

The NDCF app is available free of charge for iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle devices. Visit the app store and search “car seat check form”. Look for the green and white icon.

  • A NDCF user account must be created and approved at carseatcheckform.org before the NDCF app can be downloaded and used.

Is there a specific browser that should be used?

The NDCF has been extensively tested using Google Chrome and is the preferred browser when working with the web application. However, it will work on other current browsers.

What operating system is needed?

Devices must have an operating system of 8.0 or newer to run smoothly.

I often work in areas with limited data connection, how can I use the NDCF?

Follow these simple tips to ensure a successful experience while using electronic devices:

  • Preparation is key. Familiarize yourself with the NDCF prior to your first car seat check.
  • Consider working with a partner who is using a hard copy (PDF/printable version) of the NDCF for the first few car seat checks. One CPST can enter data on a device as the other CPST conducts the car seat check using a paper form.
  • ALWAYS be sure to check that the device has not been left in a vehicle before the caregiver leaves.
  • Familiarize yourself with how the device operates and the life of the device battery.
  • Be sure to charge electronic devices before a car seat check event.
  • Have portable chargers on hand to recharge the device if necessary.
  • Consider purchasing an antiglare screen protector for events held outside in the sun.
  • Be prepared in the event a device overheats and becomes non-operational.
  • Have up-to-date copies of the NDCF paper form on hand as a backup in the event of unexpected challenges with the device. Verify the current version by visiting carseatcheckform.org.

What resources are included with the NDCF?

The NDCF contains the following live links when using with data/internet access:

  • NHTSA recall site (car seat recalls)
  • Check To Protect recall site (vehicle recalls)
  • GHSA website (state laws)

Links require internet connection.

Why is Personally Identifiable Information (PII) or local level information not collected on the NDCF?

The NDCF is a tool to assist CPSTs in collecting data on the car seats they inspect. Respecting the privacy rights of caregivers, demographic PII including name, address, phone number is not collected through the NDCF.

Additionally, all collected data is saved on a secure HIPAA–compliant server.

  • All local level data not collected on the NDCF may be collected and stored on a separate document. A sample Sign In Sheet is available in the “Resources” section of carseatcheckform.org

Since the NDCF does not contain family identifiers, how can I easily find the check form later?

Each family is assigned a unique Form ID number when a new car seat check form is created using the web-based platform. This unique Form ID number may be used to reference specific car seat check information if the form needs to be reviewed after submission.

  • The corresponding NDCF paper car seat check form contains a Caregiver Information section. Local agencies may choose to gather and maintain local level data collection, as needed.
  • Caregivers can sign in on a paper form and the CPST can record the corresponding NDCF ID number for the caregiver on the sign in form.
  • The caregiver sign in form should be maintained with all other local level records.

A sample Sign In Sheet is available in the “Resources” section of carseatcheckform.org

Who has access to data collected through the NDCF?

The NDCF includes a tiered-access system:

  • Child Passenger Safety Technicians – Currently certified CPSTs, who have created NDCF user accounts, have access to their own car seat check data that has been entered.
  • Program Managers – Program managers can request access to data that is collected for their agency by emailing [email protected]
  • State CPS Coordinators – State CPS Coordinators can request access to data that is collected in their state by emailing [email protected].
  • Indian Health Service – Indian Health Service (IHS) program managers can request access to all data collected in their IHS area by emailing [email protected]
  • Car Seat Manufacturers and Vehicle Manufacturers – Car seat manufacturers and vehicle manufacturers can request access to data collected about their product(s) by emailing [email protected]

I worked with another Technician on a car seat check and the information was entered into their NDCF user account. Will I be able to retrieve data from the car seat check in my NDCF user account?

Yes. The data from that car seat check will be available to all CPSTs listed on the check form. The data will be added to the cleaned data file for the NDCF account holder and made available in a raw data format to all other CPSTs listed on the check form.

  • Each CPST must have a current NDCF user account.
  • All CPSTs must be listed in the “Additional Techs” field.

How do I generate a report with the car seat check data submitted?

Data is available to users in three different platforms:

  • Raw Data: Real time data can be downloaded in a CSV file and can be opened in Microsoft Excel or any spreadsheet reader (LibreOffice, OpenOffice, etc.). Click on the “Data” tab on the NDCF home page at carseatcheckform.org and then click on the “Download Check Form Data” button.
  • Data Dashboards: Data are cleaned monthly and a statistical analysis is completed to produce visualizations of misuse, car seat information, and vehicle information. Technicians and program managers can view their customized cleaned data file by selecting the appropriate dashboard. Data are analyzed, cleaned and customized files made available to users monthly. Dashboards and clean data files are produced on a one-month delay. This means that any data entered in October (for example) will be added in early December. The one-month delay allows about two weeks for agencies to upload checks completed in the previous month, and about two weeks for data processing and dashboard creation.
  • Table Tool: The table tool allows users to create custom tables by selecting and analyzing specific variables and provides the ability to filter information.

Our agency has a specific liability statement that we are required to use. How can an agency liability statement be added to the NDCF?

There are two liability statement options:

  • General liability statement: The NDCF general liability statement is available in English and Spanish.
  • Agency liability statement: A customized liability statement may be added to an agency account in English and Spanish. Once uploaded, it will automatically appear as a menu option when choosing a liability statement.

Agencies may request a customized NDCF paper form with an agency liability statement and logo. Complete the Custom PDF form or contact [email protected] for more information.

  • Allow 1 to 4 weeks for edits to be made.
  • Note: Logos cannot be added to the digital check form.

Do CPSTs need liability insurance?

Supporting information to answer this question can be found in the following links:

Can I can practice using the NDCF prior to using it in the field?

Yes. When creating a new seat check form, select “Training” in the state drop down menu “What state is this car seat check taking place in?”

  • Always select “Training” for any practice car seat checks.
  • Car seat checks submitted using the “Training” option will not be added to user or state data.

Can I correct a mistake on a car seat check form after it is submitted?

Car seat check forms can be edited until the form is submitted. Once submitted, the form cannot be edited.

  • If a mistake was made and the NDCF submission must be corrected, complete the “Report Feedback” form at org
  • To protect the fidelity of the information collected, a record is kept of changes made.

What if there is more than one CPST assisting the same family in the same vehicle, checking different seats on separate devices?

Option 1: Each CPST/CPST team should log into a separate device to create a new car seat check form for the car seats they are inspecting.

  • Each car seat check form will have its own unique ID number.
  • This will be a different ID number than the one created on a separate device for the car seat being checked by the other CPST/CPST team.
  • Record the unique ID numbers for each car seat check form associated with the family if you are collecting PII on a separate form.

Option 2: If only one device is available, have one CPST team use the corresponding paper form.

  • The information collected on the paper form can be entered manually into the mobile app once the device is available at the check event or on a computer after the event.

How do I find an existing Technician ID number when creating a car seat check form?

Begin typing the CPST’s last name or Technician number. If the CPST has an account, the last name will auto-populate. Select the CPST’s name.

  • Up to three additional CPSTs may be added to a car seat check form.

My agency is hosting multiple events at different locations on the same day (e.g. National Seat Check Saturday). How is data separated?

Provide a description of the event in the event field. (i.e. Seat Check Saturday, one-on-one appointment, etc.).

Is there a place for a Senior Checker/Supervisor/Technician Proxy to sign off?

Yes. The individual responsible for a final inspection sign off should enter their name in the “Final Inspection Sign-Off” field at the end of section 5, On Departure.

Are car seat checks submitted through the NDCF uploaded to my Safe Kids Certification profile for recertification?

No. CPSTs must sign into their Safe Kids certification profile and enter individual car seat checks for recertification.

Do I have to update my recertification information to use the NDCF?

Yes, Technicians are responsible for uploading their new Safe Kids Certification wallet card to their NDCF user account when recertifying.

Technicians will be locked out of their NDCF user account at their expiration date until a proof of current certification is uploaded.

  • All previously entered car seat check data will not be removed or deleted.
  • All previously entered car seat check data will be available to the NDCF account holder once current proof of certification is received.

What if my CPST certification expires? Can I continue using the NDCF?

 No. An active NDCF user account will be suspended until current proof of certification has been submitted.

Can I provide feedback about the NDCF?

Yes! The NDCF programs welcomes your feedback. Log in to carseatcheckform.org and click on “Report Feedback”. Complete and submit the form.

  • All feedback submitted through carseatcheckform.org is stored and reviewed by the NDCF Program.
  • Improvements to this resource will be made annually as a direct result of feedback received from the field and well as advancements in technology.

Who should I contact with technical questions?

Email technical questions to [email protected]

How can I schedule a training for CPSTs or organizations to learn how to use the National Digital Car Seat Check Form?

Orientation trainings are available to all CPS programs interested in learning more about the use and benefits of the NDCF. Email [email protected] to schedule a training.

How often will the form be updated?

The NDCF will be updated on an annual basis. Much like the National Child Passenger Safety Technician Certification Training curriculum, the National Digital Car Seat Check Form is an evolving resource and will continue to be updated in order to meet the changing needs of the field.