What are the Michigan Car Seat Laws?


Welcome to the Michigan Car Seat Law Explained in Simple, Plain English!


You have found the right place to brush up on your car seat knowledge for the state of Michigan.


I’m a mom of 3 adorable angles (when they go to sleep, mostly…), and we travel a lot, so I have no choice but to keep myself updated with car seat laws.

Plus, my paralegal past helps me find the right laws fast, which I can translate from lawyer talk into something that even the most sleep-deprived parent understands.

This is why I’ve created this article to help you out. I will promise you there’s no fluff and no dry lawyer talk, only simple-to-digest and actionable tips.

Now you might be looking for some answers to specific questions such as what’s the booster seat law or do I need a car seat in a taxi, or when can my child ride in the front legally. No worries, I have you covered. All these questions and more are answered below.

Let’s get started already!


By reading this article you agree that it’s for informational purposes and I can’t be held liable for the best advice ask the appropriate person.


Michigan Booster Seat Laws


According to the booster seat laws in the state of Michigan, kids between the age of 4 and 8 have to be secured in a booster seat until they reach the height of 57 inches.


Michigan Rear-facing Car Seat Laws

The car seat law is a blanket at this point. It says that kids under the age of 4 have to be in the appropriate car seat federally approved.

This means that according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, a child can sit in a rear-facing car seat until the age of 1 or under the weight of 20 pounds. Experts agree that the longer you keep your child rear-facing, the safer they are. So if it’s possible, keep your child rear-facing until the age of 2.

Also, the law states that these car seats (rear-facing ones) have to be installed in the rear seat. They can only be installed in the front if there’s no back seat, and the airbag can be disabled.


Michigan Forward-facing Car Seat Laws

Continuing with the blanket car seat law, you can transition to a forward-facing car seat following the recommendation of the manufacturer. This means that usually, from the age of two, you can upgrade to a forward-facing car seat. Typically it’s used until the age of 4, keeping count of the weight and height limits.

Also, these forward-facing car seats have to be installed in the back seat if there’s one.


Michigan Taxi Car Seat Laws

In the state of Michigan, taxis are exempt from the car seat laws mentioned above. This means that you have to bring your own car seat if you want to keep your kids safe on short rides.


When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Michigan?

According to the law, kids under the age of 4 have to ride in the back seat if it’s available.

If there’s no back seat, they can sit in the front; if the seat is a rear-facing one the airbag needs to be disabled.


Michigan Car Seat Laws at a Glance

Here you can find the entire law in one place:

Car Seat Law (Section 257.710d and Section 257.710e(3b))

Law: According to the law, kids under the age of 4 have to be secured following FMVSS 213 rules. Also, kids under the age of 4 have to be placed in the back seat if available. If it’s not, they can be placed on the front seat if the airbag is deactivated.

  • If your child is in the age range of 4-8 and is shorter than 57” (4 feet 9 inches), then they have to be in the appropriate car seat (booster seat).

Location in car: According to the law, kids under the age of 4 have to be in the back seat. If it’s available, if it’s not, then the front seat airbag needs to be deactivated.

Taxi: Taxis are exempt from the car seat laws mentioned above. This means that if you want to keep your kids safe on short trips, you will need to bring your own car seat.

RideSafer legal: Yes. The Ride Safer travel vest qualifies for children who are at least age 3 and 30 pounds.

Fines: $10 for children under 4; $25 for children ages 4 to 8 and under 57″

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: According to the law, all front occupants must wear a car seat belt.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: The RV car seat laws follow the general one as in all front occupants have to wear a seat belt, and for kids, car seat laws apply.


What is the law concerning Leaving kids in the car in Michigan?

According to the law, you can’t leave a child under the age of 6 unattended in a vehicle. It will be considered a felony, and there’s a hefty price to pay, both monetary and jail time, if serious harm happens.

However, it’s acceptable to leave a child under the age of 6 with the supervision of a child above the age of 13.


Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Michigan?

There are currently no laws banning smoking while driving kids in a vehicle. I strongly advise holding off smoking while transporting kids because secondhand smoke is known to cause illness.


Car Seat Laws in Michigan Conclusions 

We have reached the end of this article. By now, you should know exactly how to protect your kids best and avoid those fines.

As I’ve promised there’s an only simple language, and I’ve intentionally avoided lawyer jargon.

Now, if you happen to have other questions or observations, let me know, and I will do my best to help you out.

Maybe you can help me out by sharing this post so other parents can know exactly how to keep their kids safe and avoid fines in the process. Thank You!


Before going on a road trip to Indiana, be sure to update yourself on the car seat laws

If you have a child, it is your responsibility to keep them safe. Make sure you know the latest Indiana car seat laws so you can follow them.


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the weight requirement for a booster seat in Michigan?

The minimum weight requirement is 40 pounds for a booster seat in Michigan. The upper weight limit depends on the brand and model, and it can be anywhere from 80 pounds up to 100 pounds.

When can a child legally sit in the front seat in Michigan?

Above the age of 4, it’s not mandatory to install the car seat in the back row. However, many experts suggest that only kids above the age of 13 should be sitting in the front seat.

When can babies face forward in 2021 in Michigan?

From age 1 or weighing more than 20 pounds, a baby can face forward in Michigan. However, the ideal age would be around 2 because rear-facing gives the most protection for the little ones.

Do michigan car seat laws say when can I use a booster seat?

The michigan car seat laws says that kids of 4 years of age up 8 should be using booster seats to ride in a car.  And also below of 4 years of age kids should sitting in the rear seat.

Who is a child passenger safety technician and what can they do?

A child passenger safety technician can help you picking out the best car seats for your kids like rear facing car seats, booster seats and everything between. Also they can show you how to properly use a car seat or booster or any other child restraint system to get maximum protection. They are licensed experts in the field of car seat safety. They have experience with all types of child restraint system so your child can ride in car with safety. For car seat safety you can always turn towards them.

Should booster seats go to the rear seat?

According to the law car seats for kids under 4 years of age should be on the rear seat. If your child graduated before 4 years of age then it should go in the back seat. Also make sure you’re using the proper child restraint system for the particular years of age. Car seat safety is our top priority so it’s not enough to get the best car seats or child restraint system you will need to properly install those car seats for the very best car seat safety.

What are the front seat laws in Michigan?

In Michigan, the front seat law requires children under the age of 4 to ride in the rear seat(s) of the vehicle whenever possible. If the available rear seats are occupied by children under 4, a child under 4 may ride in the front seat.

What are the booster seat requirements in Michigan?

Children who are at least 4 years old but less than 8 years old and shorter than 57 inches must ride in a booster seat.

Car seat requirements Michigan

• Rear-facing car seats are required for children younger than age 4

• Children must be in a car seat or booster seat until they reach 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall

What are the MI car seat laws (state of Michigan car seat laws)?

MI car seat laws (state of Michigan car seat laws) require that all children under the age of 4 must be in a rear-facing car seat, and all children under the age of 8 or 4-feet-9-inches tall must be in a car seat or booster seat. Michigan’s car seat laws are designed to keep children safe while riding in a vehicle.

Last Updated on May 31, 2022 by Danny Reid