Child Safety Seats

Children must be in a booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4’9” tall.

Children must be in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first. For example:

  • If your child is 8 years or older, but under 4'9" tall, the law does not apply.
  • If your child is under 8 years old, but over 4'9" tall, the law does not apply.

Types of booster seats

  • A booster is a seat that boosts a child up so that the seat belt fits properly. There are two types of booster seats, no-back and high-back.
  • A no-back booster can be used when the vehicle seat/head rest supports the child’s head.
  • A high-back provides head and neck support and can be used on vehicle seats with or without head restraints.
  • ALL booster seats MUST be used with a lap/shoulder safety belt.

More information

Best practice is to keep your child in a car seat with a “5-point” harness until they are at least 40 lbs. before using a booster seat. Some car seats have higher forward-facing harness weight limits of 40-65 lbs. Some forward-facing seats also convert to a high-back booster. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions and choose a seat that is right for your child and fits in your vehicle.
Booster seats are readily available in many retail stores. A no-back booster costs about $15 and a high-back ranges from $20-$100 or more depending on the style.


All children ages 12 and under should be properly restrained in a back seat on every ride.

Choose and use correctly the right restraint for your child.

  • Infants should ride in rear-facing car seats as long as possible, until they are at least 12 months old and weigh at least 20 pounds. Keep children rear-facing to 30-35 pounds if your car seat allows it.
  • Children, who are at least 1 year old, weigh 20 to 40 pounds and can no longer ride rear-facing should ride in forward-facing car seats secured with harnesses.
  • Children more than 40 pounds should be correctly secured in belt-positioning booster seats or other appropriate child restraints until the adult lap and shoulder belts fit correctly (usually around age 8 and when the child is about 4.9. tall).

Any car seat must be installed and used according to the manufacturer's instructions and vehicle owner's manual.

  • Check  for car seat recalls.
  • Return the product registration forms for all new car seats to the manufacturer to ensure you will be notified of any recalls.
  • Only use a seat with all parts, instructions and labels.
  • Check to see if a car seat that has been in a crash passes NHTSA.s test for continued use.

Obey all traffic laws, including those for child restraint use.

  • All 50 states and the District of Columbia have child occupant protection laws, which vary widely in their age requirements, exemptions, enforcement procedures and penalties. Many states have improved their laws to require some older children to ride in booster seats, and some require children of certain ages to ride in the rear seat of a motor vehicle. Check to find out about the laws currently in effect for your state.

Source:  Michigan State Police
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