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 resource?

Only currently certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians can use the NDCF. CPSTs have the necessary knowledge to provide current and technically correct information to parents and caregivers. Learn more about CPSTs at https://cert.safekids.org/

How do I access the National Digital Check Form?

Nationally certified child passenger safety technicians can create a free account.

Once a CPST creates an account, how soon will they be able to access and use this resource?

Allow three to five business days to activate a new account. Technicians will receive an email to confirm account activation.

  • CPSTs must plan ahead to ensure the account has been approved prior to a car seat check event. Technicians are strongly encouraged to practice using the NDCF prior to their first event.

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

No. Agency affiliation is not required to use the NDCF. Any currently certified technician can use the NDCF to track seat check data.

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 data 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 car seat check form

What resources are included with the NDCF?

The NDCF contains the following:

  • NHTSA recall sites are included to check for car seat and vehicle recalls
  • State Laws

Links require internet connection. CPSTs should have a printed copy of a current car seat recall list when using the app without internet connection, or in case connection is lost when using the web-based platform.

Why is demographic Personally Identifiable Information (PII) not collected on the NDCF?

PII is not collected through the NDCF and all data is saved on a secure HIPAA–compliant server to respect the privacy rights of caregivers.

  • This National Digital Car Seat Check Form is meant to serve as a tool to assist certified child passenger safety technicians and instructors in collecting car seat data on the seats they inspect. We have an obligation to respect the privacy rights of caregivers, therefore, demographic data is not collected through this digital resource.
  • All local level data and information not collected on the NDCF may be collected and stored on a separate document.
  • Local data can help plan for programming needs, apply for grants and funding sources, and is sometimes requested by state agencies. As an alternative, demographic data is available by zip code at the US Census Bureau.

Since the NDCF does not contain family identifiers, how can I easily find the 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 a CPST needs to review a submitted form.

Caregivers can sign in on a paper form and the technician 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.

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.

Who has access to data collected through the NDCF?

The NDCF includes a tiered-access system:

  • Technicians – Currently certified CPSTs, who have created 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 Coordinators – State CPS Coordinators can request access to data that is collected in their state. Access can be requested by emailing [email protected]
  • Indian Health Service – Indian Health Service (IHS) program managers have access to all data collected in their IHS area. Access can be requested by emailing [email protected]

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

Data is currently exported in CSV but can be opened in Microsoft Excel or any spreadsheet reader (LibreOffice, OpenOffice, etc.).

  • Click on the “Home” tab and then click on the “Download Check Form Data” button.

The NDCF Dashboard uses cleaned data and statistical analysis to produce visualizations of misuse, car seat information, and vehicle information.

  • Technicians and program managers can download a cleaned data file.

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

Yes. The data from that car seat check will be available to all CPSTs listed on the check form.

  • Each technician must have a current account and all technicians must be listed in the “Additional Techs” field.

Our agency has a specific liability statement that we are required to use. How can an agency liability statement be added to the National Digital Car Seat Check Form?

The caregiver must read the liability statement (or have it read to them), sign and date the form prior to the car seat check. There are four 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.

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.
  • Logos cannot be added to the digital form.

Do CPSTs need liability insurance?

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

Is there a way 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 seat check taking place in?”

  • Always select “Training” for any practice checks or mock seat check sign offs for recertification.
  • Seat checks submitted using the “Training” option will not be added to state data.

How can I correct a mistake on a seat check form?

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 form 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 to the submitted form.

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

Option 1: Each technician/technician team should log into a separate device to create a new check form for the seats they personally work on.

  • Only enter information for each seat in one digital check form.
  • Each check form will have its own unique ID number. This will be a different ID number than the one created on a separate device.
  • 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 use a paper form.

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

How do I find an existing Tech ID number when creating a check form?

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

  • Up to three technicians may be added to the 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.).

  • Use this field to differentiate between multiple events hosted by an agency on the same day.

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

Yes. Enter the name in the “Final Inspection Sign-Off” field at the end of section 5. Document a final sign off by a senior checker, an Instructor, or a Technician Proxy prior to departure, if required. If not required, leave blank.

Are car seat checks submitted through the National Digital Car Seat Check Form uploaded to my individual Safe Kids certification profile for recertification?

No. CPSTs will need to sign into their Safe Kids certification profile and enter seat checks for recertification.

  • Technicians are responsible for uploading new certification cards to their NDCF account.
  • Technicians will be locked out of their account until a new certification card is uploaded into their profile.

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

No. An active account will be suspended until current proof of certification has been submitted. Upload a copy of the updated wallet card located in your individual Safe Kids certification profile online.

Can I provide feedback about the NDCF?

Yes. Log in to carseatcheckform.org and click on “Report Feedback”. Complete the form and submit.

  • All feedback submitted through org is reviewed by the NDCF program.
  • Improvements to this resource will be made annually based on updates in technology as well as feedback submitted by CPSTs to best meet the needs of the child passenger safety field overall.

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].

How often will the form be updated?

The NDCF will be updated on an annual basis. Much like the curriculum for the National Child Passenger Safety Technician Certification Training, 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.

Where do I find the app?

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

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

Is there a specific browser I should use?

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 does my device need?

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

  • Apps cannot be used until an account has been approved on the web-based platform. Please allow 3 to 5 business days to activate a new account.
  • Please review the National Digital Car Seat Check Form App User Guide for more information.

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 National Digital Car Seat Check Form prior to your first car seat check.
  • Consider working with a partner who is using a hard copy (PDF/printable version) of the form 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 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 car seat check form on hand as a backup in the event of unexpected challenges with the device. Verify the version by visiting org.

Additional questions can be directed to [email protected].