Minnesota Car Seat Laws

Minnesota Car Seat Laws

  • In the State of Minnesota all children under the age of seven (7) must be secured in a car seat or booster seat that is federally approved.
  • Children must continue to ride in an approved booster seat or car seat until they reach the age of eight (8) or reach the height of four-feet, nine inches (4’9”) tall.
  • All children under the age of one (1) and under twenty (20) pounds in weight must be secured in a rear facing infant safety seat.

Child Passenger Safety Seat Step Guide

Rear Facing Car SeatRear Facing Car Seat

  • Children from birth to one (1) year of age and twenty (20) pounds must ride in a rear facing infant or convertible car seat.
  • It is recommended to keep a child in a rear facing car seat until the age of two (2) or the upper weight limit defined by the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Using a convertible car seat will allow your child to stay in a rear facing position longer based on the manufacturer’s recommended seat weight limits.
  • Always place a rear facing car seat in the back seat of the vehicle.
  • Never place a rear facing car seat in the front seat of a vehicle with an airbag.

Forward Facing Car SeatForward Facing Car Seat

    • Children should be placed in a forward facing car seat with a harness in the back seat of a vehicle after they have outgrown a rear facing car seat.

  • Children should stay in the forward facing car seat until they reach the weight limit suggested in the manufacturer’s instructions (Typically 40-60 Pounds)

Booster SeatBooster Seat

    • Booster Seats are required by laws in the State of Minnesota
    • All children must use a booster seat after they outgrow their forward facing harnessed car seat.
    • Children must stay in a booster seat until they reach the age of eight (8) or until they reach the height of four-feet, nine inches (4’9”) tall.
    • Booster seats must be used with a lap and shoulder belt combination.
    • The lap portion of the belt should fit comfortably across the upper thigh of the child and the shoulder belt should fit across the chest, not the neck.

Seat BeltsMinnesota Seat Belt Law

  • All passengers over the age of eight (8) or four-feet, nine inches (4’9”) tall must wear an adult safety belt.
  • The Minnesota Seat Belt Law is a primary enforcement law; this means a driver may be detained for suspected non-use of safety belts.

More on the Minnesota Car Seat Law

  • The Minnesota Child Passenger Restraint Law applies to all seating positions and to all vehicles with factory installed seat belts.
  • Child safety seats must be installed per the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • The Minnesota Child Passenger Restraint Law applies to residents and non-residents of Minnesota.
  • The Minnesota car seat law is a primary enforcement law; this means a driver may be detained for suspected non-use of child safety seats.
  • The driver of a vehicle is responsible for making sure passengers are properly secured.
  • The fine for a violation of the Minnesota car seat law is $50, this fine may be waived under certain circumstances.

Exceptions to the Minnesota Car Seat Law

  • Children with a certifiable medical condition that would make restraint inadvisable.
  • Children riding in a taxi, airport limousine, bus or other motor vehicle for hire excluding rental and leased vehicles.
  • Children riding in emergency or peace office vehicles where medical needs or restraint options do not allow compliance with the criteria listed above.

Source Links for this Page

Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety

Minnesota Passenger Restraint Law

The Minnesota “Don’t Skip a Step” Brochure

Other Minnesota Laws

Minnesota Traumatic Brain Injury Laws