South Dakota Car Seat Laws & Requirements

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South Dakota’s government keeps a close eye on all its citizens, and it will not let anyone get hurt—especially kids. That’s why the state has strict car seat laws and rules for 2022.

Car seat laws in South Dakota clearly explain that children under the age of 8 must be in a booster seat. Children aged between8 and 12must use a belt-positioning booster seat.

Children between 12 and 16 years old must be using an adult belt-positioning booster seat. All children under 18 have to ride in an appropriate car seat.

If you’re driving in South Dakota, ensure that your child is buckled up in his or her car seat.

South Dakota Car Seat Requirements By Ages

Learn what is the child car seat guideline in South Dakota

South Dakota has placed specific requirements for car seats to accommodate children of all ages, shapes, and sizes.

For your convenience, I’ve assorted all of them according to your child’s age.

1 Year Old

Children under the age of 1 must be in a rear-facing car seat, secured in the rear passenger seats until they are older than one or weigh more than 25 pounds.

The law requires that you use a car seat until they reach 40 lbs.

2 Year Old

A 2-year-old child weighing more than 20 pounds must be seated and buckled in a rear-facing car seat with the harness on the upper back.

It is important to note that a child cannot weigh more than 35 pounds.

3 Year Old

Children as old as three should be using a rear-facing till they weigh 40 pounds or are at least three years old.

Once they meet either of those requirements, they can switch to forward-facing seats.

4 Year Old

Children four years of age and weighing 40 pounds or heavier are too big for a rear-facing car seat, in that case, you must use a booster seat or belt-positioning booster.

5 Year Old

The age of 5 is the minimum age for a child to use a booster seat. This must be used until the child is at least 4’9″ tall.

You may use a seat belt and/or lap strap appropriate for the child’s height and weight in conjunction with this booster seat.

6 Year Old

Similar to 5-year-olds, children who are six must sit in a booster seat until they are at least 4’9”s tall. The child may continue to use a booster seat until age 12.

7 – 9 Year Old

Children between the ages of 7 and 9 must use a Booster seat.

To meet this requirement, the child’s booster seat should be installed in the vehicle’s backseat and fastened with straps that are at least as long as the distance between the top and bottom of the vehicle seat.

For children who weigh more than 50 pounds, the lap/shoulder strap should be up to the required standards stated by the Law.

10 Year Old

A 10-year-old must use a booster seat until they are 12 years old. Once the child is 12, they can move up to an adult seat belt and no longer require a booster seat.

They must also be at least 4’9″ tall and less than 80 pounds to ride without using a booster seat.

Car Seat Weight And Height Requirements In South Dakota

In 2022, the state of South Dakota will require children under age 8 to use rear-facing car seats until they reach the height or weight limit of their seats.

This means that if your child is between 30 and 80 pounds, they can only sit in a forward-facing car seat until they reach around 65 pounds, and if they weigh between 65 and 120 pounds, they can ride in a booster seat until they reach around 120 pounds.

If your child is between the ages of 8 and 12 (or weighs over 80 pounds), they must use an adult-sized backless booster seat to the point that they reach the absolute weight and height limits of their seat.

Type Of Car Seat Laws In South Dakota

In South Dakota, there are three types laws related to car seats. Each type of seat has its own set of requirements and guidelines.

1. Rear Facing Car Seat

These seats are designed to fit in a vehicle’s back seat and protect infants from crash injuries. These are typically used until the child is at least one year old and weighs at least 20 pounds.

2. Forward Facing Car Seat

These offer extra protection from side collisions or rollovers. These seats are for children between 40 and 65 pounds. They must be used until the child reaches 65 pounds.

3. Booster Seat

A booster seat is for children who are still too small to use a regular car seat. According to the law, children in a booster seat should be secured by either a seat belt or a lap belt.

If the child is less than 8 years and weighs less than 80 pounds, they should have a lap belt on for their security, but if they are older than eight and weigh less than 80 pounds, they must be secured by a seat belt.

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

In South Dakota, if your child is under the age of 8, they are required to be in a car seat if they are riding in a passenger area of the vehicle and are not under the direct supervision of an adult.

If a child is between the ages of 8 and 12 years and has outgrown their booster seat, they may ride in the front seat with an adult who is at least 16 years old.

However, it is considered unsafe for children to ride in the front seat if they are eight or older than 50 pounds.

What Happens If You Leave Your Child In A Car In South Dakota?

If you leave your child unattended in a vehicle, you may be charged with reckless endangerment or child neglect.

These charges can result in fines and jail time, depending on the severity of the situation.

If you leave your child unattended or improperly secured inside a vehicle, you could be charged with a misdemeanor crime punishable by up to one year in jail and/or up to $3,000 in fines.

Taxi Car Seat Laws In South Dakota

In South Dakota, the law requires that children under the age of eight be in a child restraint system when riding in a vehicle.

Hence taxi drivers must use a child safety seat or booster seat for children younger than eight who ride in their vehicle.

If a child is not in a safety seat, law enforcement may cite the driver for failing to use one.

South Dakota Law Regarding Car Seats In Accidents

The first law regarding car seats in accidents that all drivers must follow is that all children under eight years old are required to be seated in a child restraint system at all times, whether they are riding in the backseat or front seat of their parent’s vehicle.

The second law that must be followed is that whenever there is an accident involving a motor vehicle, regardless of who was at fault for causing it, both parties are required to exchange information about their identities and addresses with one another so that each can file claims against each other if necessary.

Uber Car Seat Laws In South Dakota

Ensure your Uber driver uses a certified child restraint system like a car seat or booster seat to ensure that your child is properly secured using one of these systems.

If they do not have these certifications in their vehicle, they can be fined up to $500 per violation by law enforcement officers.


In conclusion, South Dakota car seat laws have made great strides since 2010. These regulations have been designed with the needs and safety of children in mind.

This is mainly because South Dakota attracts tourists from all over the country each year because of its vast and scenic national parks and the historical monument of Mount Rushmore.

Traveling with your child, you should always follow the car seat laws in every state you visit.

This article includes everything you need, from how to select a car seat to which ones are safest for young children.