Michigan Car Seat Laws - Updated & Simplified
Table of Contents
Michigan Car Seat Laws
The State of Michigan Car Seat Laws (MI Statute 257.710e and 257.710d)
MCL Statute 257.710d – Child Restraint System
What do the child passenger restraint system laws in Michigan say?
Each driver in the State of Michigan transporting a child in a motor vehicle shall have that child properly secured in a child restraint system as follows:
- Infants and toddlers under 2 years or weighing less than 30 lbs. must be positioned in a rear-facing child seat in the vehicle’s back seat.
- Toddlers and preschoolers aged 2-5 years or weighing 30-50 lbs. shall be seated and positioned in a forward-facing child seat in the rear seat.
- A child lesser than 57 inches in height and weighing 50 lbs. or more, or is between 5-and 8 years, shall be seated and positioned in a booster seat in the back seat.
MCL Statute 257.710e – Seat Belt Laws
- A child 8-16 years shall be secured in a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt.
More on the Law
- Front-seat law: if all available back seat positions are occupied by other children, then a child may be positioned in a child restraint system in the front seat and only if the front passenger seat airbag is deactivated.
- A child who, for physical unfitness, body size or a medical problem, may not be able to use a child restraint system may be exempted from the law. A written statement from a physician shall be provided.
- Violation and Penalty: A person who violates the child restraint and seat belt laws commits a civil infraction and shall be subjected to a fine of $10 and $25, respectively.
Michigan Car Seat Laws Rear Facing
Michigan car seat laws require that children under 2 years or weighing less than 30 lbs. ride in a rear-facing car seat installed in the vehicle’s back seat.
This agrees with the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that children under 2 years ride in a rear-facing car seat.
Therefore, a child under 2 years must be properly secured in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat in Michigan.
Michigan Car Seat Laws Forward Facing
Michigan car seat laws require that children 2-5 years or weighing 30-50 lbs. ride in a forward-facing car seat installed in the back seat.
To save you more money in the long term, a convertible car seat can be used. This type of car seat can be used in a rear-facing and later converted to forward-facing. This will be a good option when considering a car seat to buy during pregnancy. This guide will help you in choosing a convertible car seat.
Michigan Booster Seat Laws
The State of Michigan requires that a child lesser than 57 inches and weighing 50lbs. or more, or is between 5-and 8 years, shall be secured in a belt-positioning booster seat installed in the back seat.
A child is to ride in such a booster seat until they reach the height and size that can fit properly in a safety seat belt.
A belt-positioning booster seat must be used with both the lap and shoulder belt. The lap belt must not be used alone.
Michigan Child Seat Belt Laws
Michigan requires that a child between 8-and 16 years be secured in a properly adjusted safety belt.
Other Safety Seat Laws You Need to Know About in Michigan
Michigan Safety Seat Laws for Other Passengers in a Car
The driver and all other occupants in a vehicle must fasten a safety belt.
Michigan Car Seat Laws Front Seat – Can A Child Sit in The Front Seat?
Michigan laws permit that a child can ride in the front seat if all seat positions in the back seat are occupied by other children; however, the front seat airbag must be deactivated.
Generally, children under 13 years are to ride in the rear seat with the vehicle seat belt fastened correctly or in an appropriate child restraint system.
In a vehicle like a single cab truck, a car seat may be used. The car seat laws have this clause, “if the vehicle is equipped with a rear seat.” In such a vehicle you can have a car seat in the regular truck.
The safest spot to install a restraint system is the middle back seat, away from the side windows.
Michigan Car Seat Laws for Ubers, Taxis, or Cabs
Michigan exempts taxi drivers from the car seat laws.
Nonetheless, you are still responsible for your child’s safety. As such, you should use the appropriate car seat when in a taxi, cab, or Uber.
This resource on installing an infant seat without base will come in handy when taking a taxi.
Leaving a Child Alone in a Vehicle in Michigan
The State of Michigan has a law that prohibits leaving a child alone in a car. A child under 6 years must not be left unattended in a car without the supervision of a person that’s at least 13 years old.
A person in violation of this law is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a prison sentence of 93 days or a fine of not more than $500, or both.
If this violation results in physical harm that is not serious to the child, such person is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a prison sentence of not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.
If this violation results in serious physical harm to the child, such person is guilty of a felony and is subject to a prison sentence of not more than 10 years or a fine of not more than $5,000, or both.
If this violation results in the child’s death, such person is guilty of a felony and is subject to a prison sentence of not more than 15 years or a fine of not more than $10,000, or both.
Every year, it is estimated that between 30-and 50 babies die due to hypothermia and heat illness in the U. S. after being left in a car.
Therefore, you should ensure not to leave your child alone in the car.
Smoking Around Children in a Car in Michigan – is it illegal?
Michigan doesn’t yet have a law that bans smoking in a car around a minor; however, the Michigan Department of Community Health highly discourages smoking around children and has a note for parents to serve as a guide, reminder, and help manage this smoking when around children, here.
Secondhand tobacco smoke is dangerous for a child’s health and causes several health problems, including severe asthma attacks, pneumonia, ear infections, respiratory infections, bronchitis, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
Helpful Resource for Michigans
Here are some go-to resources for more help on car seat safety, installation, and inspection in Michigan: