What are the Minnesota Car Seat Laws?


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


You have found the perfect place to get informed about current car seat laws for the state of Minnesota, you not only will find out what’s the safest for your kids, but you can avoid fines.


I’m a mom of 3 devils (who turn into angels when they sleep), and since they are in different age ranges, I have to be on point because we travel a lot. Plus, in my early years, I was a paralegal, so I had a thing for finding the laws fast and interpreting them without lawyer talk.

This is why I put together this article to make it easy for you to find the right laws and to, understand them and apply them for the protection of your kids.

No matter your questions, I probably have the answers below. Maybe you want to know the current booster seat laws, or maybe you want to know when you can transition your child to forward-facing mode, or if you need a cart seat when going with a taxi. All this 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.


Minnesota Booster Seat Laws


According to the booster seat law in the state of Minnesota, all kids have to be in a booster seat until the age of 8 or when they reach the height of 57”. They can transition into a booster seat if they have outgrown their forward-facing car seat around the age of 4.


Minnesota Rear-facing Car Seat Laws

The car seat law is a bit of a blanket law, so for rear-facing, you need to default to the manufacturer’s recommendations. In most cases, the minimum time is the age of 1 until they recommend keeping kids rear-facing.

However, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety suggests keeping kids rear-facing until the age of 2. I highly agree with this statement because this is the safest for babies and toddlers.


Minnesota Forward-facing Car Seat Laws

There’s no specific law to handle forward-facing car seats, so you have to go with the manufacturer’s recommendations.

They state that kids should be forward-facing when they outgrow their rear-facing car seat around the age of 2. And the forward-facing car seat typically lasts until the age of 4.


Minnesota Taxi Car Seat Laws

Taxis are exempt from the above-mentioned car seat laws. However if you want to protect your kids even on short trips, bring your own car seat.


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

There’s no exact law when a child can legally stay in the front seat; however the Office of Traffic Safety recommends 13.


Minnesota Car Seat Laws at a Glance

Here you can find the entire law in one place:

Car Seat Law (169.685-Subd. 5)

Law: According to the law, all kids under the age of 8 (eight years old) have to use the appropriate car seat that meets all federal safety standards. The only exception is if the child has reached the height of 57 inches.

Location in car: There’s no law mentioning where and when a child should sit.

Taxi: In the state of Minnesota, all taxis are exempt from the car seat rules mentioned above.

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

Fines: $50

Seat Belt Law

  • Law: According to the law, all occupants in the vehicle have to wear a seat belt.
  • Fine: $25
  • RVs: The RV’s car seat rules follow the regular rules as in all occupants have to wear a seat belt, and for kids, the car seat rules apply.


What is the law concerning Leaving kids in the Car in Minnesota?

There are no laws governing the banning of leaving kids unattended in vehicles. If you want to be extra safe and can’t take the child with you, then have at least a 12-year-old next to them.


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

According to, smoking laws in Minnesota smoking in a private vehicle is not banned. However, I wish you reconsider smoking while kids are riding with you because secondhand smoke is known to cause disease.


Conclusions on Minnesota Car Seat Laws

We have reached the end of this article.

I hope by now you have found all the answers you need. I’ve done my best to make things simple and easy to apply. Now it’s your turn to protect your kids with this newfound knowledge.

If you happen to have more questions or concerns, let me know by shooting a message, and I’ll get right back to you.

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!


Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the law for booster seats in Minnesota?

According to the booster seat laws in Minnesota, all kids under the age range of 4-8 have to use a booster seat. The only exception will be if the child has reached the height of 57” to transition for the seat belt.

How old does a child have to be to sit in the front seat in Minnesota?

There’s no law saying when a child can legally sit in the front. Although this is a suggestion, not a law, the Office of the Traffic Safety recommends the age of 13.

When can my child ride without a booster?

In the state of Minnesota, a child can ride without a booster if they either are older than 8 or their height surpasses 57 inches.

When can babies face forward in 2021?

In the state of Minnesota, there’s no exact law so you have to rely on the manufacturer’s recommendation. Most of them agree that after your baby ways more than 20 pounds, they can do forward facing this happens around 1-2 years old.

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

A child passenger safety technician is a certified professional who can help you pick the right child safety seat (child restraint) according to weight and height limits. Also they can help your properly install car seats (child restraint systems) according to the car seat law (minnesota law).

Do 2 years old need rear facing car seats?

According to minnesota law the limit is set at 2 years old. However if your child didn’t reach the child safety seat higher limits you can keep them rear facing because this is the safest traveling position. In some countries in Europe even 4 years old travel in rear facing car seats.  So if your using a rear facing child restraint at the age of 2 years old it’s just makes the ride safer.



Last Updated on November 7, 2023 by Brian Beasley

Written by Linda Reid

Hey there, I'm Linda, a mom of three cool kids. I've tried so many car seats, you could call me a "Car Seat Detective." Searching for the perfect car seat can feel like finding a needle in a haystack, but don't worry! I've committed to researching and reviewing car seats that are super safe, cozy, and great for growing kids. Together, we'll find the perfect car seat that keeps your child safe and cozy, and makes you feel like a super-parent!