Michigan Car Seat Laws: What You Need to Know

June 18, 2023 - 7:36 am - 3 min read


Car seat laws in Michigan are put in place to ensure the safety of children who are traveling by car. These laws specify the type of car seats that a child should be placed in, the age, height, and weight requirements, as well as in which direction the car seat should face.

Michigan Child Passenger Safety Laws

In Michigan, drivers are required by law to adhere to the child safety seat laws. These laws vary depending on the age of the child. All children under the age of four are required by law to ride in an approved child safety seat in the rear seat of the vehicle. Children who are four years old but are less than five years old can sit in the rear seat with a seatbelt on.

Types of Car Seats

Michigan Law requires child restraint systems that meet federal safety standards. The types of car seats required by law include rear-facing car seats, forward-facing car seats, and booster seats. Rear-facing car seats are recommended for infants and toddlers up to two years old or until the child reaches the highest weight or height allowed by the manufacturer. Forward-facing car seats are recommended for children from two to four years old or until they reach 40 pounds. Booster seats are recommended for children over four years old and who meet the height and weight requirements.

Exceptions to Michigan Car Seat Laws

There are a few exceptions to the Michigan car seat laws. For instance, if the vehicle only has a front seat or when all the rear-seat positions are occupied by children under four years, children under four years and less than 40 pounds can be secured in a child safety seat in the front seat of the vehicle. Also, if a child is not able to sit in a child restraint due to medical reasons, a physician’s written statement should be presented to the driver.

Penalties for Violating Michigan Car Seat Laws

Car seat laws violations in Michigan lead to fines of up to $50 for the first offense and any subsequent violations a fine of up to $100. Additionally, court costs may be added to the fines.


It’s crucial to always adhere to the Michigan car seat laws to ensure that your child is safe while on the road. All parents are encouraged to double-check that their child’s safety seat is installed correctly and is appropriate for your child’s age, weight, and height. If you are not sure whether your child’s car seat is adequate, seek help from a certified child passenger safety technician.

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