Michigan Car Seat Laws & Requirements

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If you are unaware, you will be shocked to know that vehicle accidents are the main cause of death for most children, and this is usually because people are not sure how to properly restrain their children in the car seats.

From birth to age 13, children are required to obey the car seat laws in Michigan, which state that up till three years old, children must use rear-facing car seats.

Once they outgrow the height and weight limit of the seat and are below six years, they can use a forward-facing car seat.

Finally, once they get between 8 and 12 or cross the limits of their current seat, they can start to use booster seats.

These are the main rules and regulations, but if you would like to learn more, make sure you stick around and read the rest of the article.

Michigan Car Seat Requirements By Ages

Do you know how much your child has to weigh to be in a booster seat in Michigan? Read my guide to find out

As the child continues to grow, the same old seat will not be enough to properly take care of them, which is why the state of Michigan has set rules based on the ages of the children and when they can sit in a particular seat.

1 Year Old

All infants and toddlers must use car seat that is rear-facing when traveling in a car. This includes children one-year-old who must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat.

2 Year Old

Beyond the age of 1, children are allowed to use car seat that is forward-facing, but only if they exceed the weight and height limit of their rear-facing seat.

More often than not, a two-year-old will require a car seat with rear-facing.

3 Year Old

Once a child hits the age of 3, they are no longer required to use a car seat that is rear-facing, meaning they should shift to a front-facing seat at their convenience.

This seat will now be used for the next few years.

4 Year Old

When your child hits the age of 4, the state of Michigan allows them to shift towards a booster seat but only if they surpass the limits of their front-facing car seat.

Sticking to the front-facing car seat is recommended until they reach the age of 5.

5 Year Old

Children should have no problem getting into a booster seat by five years old, but if they are still not tall enough or underweight, they are perfectly safe in sticking to their front-facing car seat.

6 Year Old

The same rules that apply to five-year-olds also apply to 6-year-olds. They can switch to a booster seat, but only if they fulfill the weight and height requirements required.

7 – 9 Year Old

Between the ages of 7 and 9, your child should easily be able to fit into a booster seat and have the correct heights and weights necessary to do so.

They should shift from a front-facing to a booster seat once they reach the age of 7. Starting from year 8, children can also simply use seat belts.

10 Year Old

If your ten-year-old is below the height of 4 feet 9 inches, then they are required by law to use a booster seat, but if they exceed this height, they can stop using booster seats and move up to using the seat belts of their car.

Car Seat Weight And Height Requirements In Michigan

There is not a lot of emphasis regarding height and weight in the car seat guidelines of the state of Michigan. Most of the importance is given to age as a factor.

Generally, children below 20 pounds should be kept inside a rear-facing car seat, but to move up to a front-facing car seat, you will have to outgrow car seat that is rear-facing in terms of weight and height if you are living in the state of Michigan.

It is the same for changing from a front-facing car seat to a booster seat. You have to break the limits of the front-facing car seat.

Once the child grows taller than 4 feet 9 inches, they can stop using seat belts and use the seat belts instead.

Type Of Car Seat Laws In Michigan

There are a few laws here and there when it comes to car seats that you have to make sure to follow when living in the state of Michigan.

1. Rear Facing Car Seat

Aside from the height and weight limits of the seat, which you should follow, you are required to use it for children below 20 pounds, and it must have a proper child restraint system.

2. Forward Facing Car Seat

Michigan state law for forward-facing car seats is that your child must travel inside it until they are at least four years old.

The state also recommends parents stick with a car seat that is rear-facing if that is still an option, as it is much safer.

3. Booster Seat

If your child is between 4 and 8, they must travel in a booster seat, but only if they exceed the limits of the front-facing car seat and only if they are below 4 feet 9 inches.

They can use seat belts instead of booster seats if they cross this height.

When Is The Time For My Child To Sit In The Front Seat In Michigan?

If your child is under the age of 4, they have to ride in the car’s rear seat. The only exemption to this is if children under the age of 4 occupy the entirety of the rear screen.

If this is the case, your child may ride in the car’s front seat as early as four years old, but only if the passenger seat’s airbag is off.

It is recommended to keep your children in the rear seat for extra safety.

What Happens If You Leave Your Child In A Car In Michigan?

You are not allowed to leave your child unattended in a car for extended periods while in the state of Michigan, especially if you risk injury and harm to the child.

This applies to children that are less than six years old.

If you are caught violating this law, then by state law, you will be accountable for a $500 fine and imprisonment for up to 93 days.

This counts as a misdemeanor; however, if there is physical harm to the child, the fine goes up to $1000, and the punishment is over a year of jail.

If there is serious harm, you can face $5000 in fines and ten years of jail time, and if the child dies, this goes up to $10,000 in fines and 15 years of jail time. Both of these are felonies.

Taxi Car Seat Laws In Michigan

Taxi cars are exempt from the state’s laws on car seats for children. This means you do not have to use a car seat if you are traveling in a taxi.

If you do want to provide your child with the safety they deserve, then you will have to bring a booster seat yourself.

Michigan Law Regarding Car Seats In Accidents

The state of Michigan does not talk about laws related to car seats when they go through an accident and does not talk about replacements in any form.

If your child’s car seat has been in an accident, you must make sure that it is replaced at the earliest.

Uber Car Seat Laws In Michigan

Uber and other shuttles for hire cars also have the same law apply to them as taxis and busses do in that you do not need to use a booster seat.

While it is recommended that you bring your own booster seat and set it up, you are not required by the law to do so.


To combat the excess mortality rate that children face while in motor vehicles, the state of Michigan has set these rules in an attempt to make sure that parents treat their children with the care they deserve and provide them with the protection they need when traveling in a car.

Michigan car seat laws have also broadly and with a lot of detail, listed out the punishments of abusing your child by leaving them in a car alone and various other rules related to car seat laws that you have to follow, so make sure you understand them to the letter.