Child Seats

Minnesota State Statute 169.685
Our Minnesota law is a minimum safety standard and doesn’t necessarily reflect best practices for properly securing children within motorized vehicles.

In Minnesota:
  • Children under age 8 and shorter than 4 feet 9 inches tall must be secured in a safety seat or booster seat that meets federal safety standards
  • Children cannot ride in a seat belt alone until they are age 8 or 4 feet 9 inches tall - whichever comes first
  • Safety seats must be installed and used according to the manufacturer's instructions
  • Child must be secured in the safety seat
  • Seat must be secured to the vehicle - unless a booster seat
  • Infants (under 20 pounds and one year of age) must be in a rear-facing safety seat
  • Law applies to all motor vehicles originally equipped with factory-installed seat belts
  • Law applies to all seating positions
  • Driver is responsible
  • Petty misdemeanor fine for violation is $50 (may be waived if violator shows proof of obtaining a safety seat within 14 days)
  • Applies to both residents and non-residents of Minnesota
  • Suspected non-use is a valid basis to stop a motor vehicle
Exceptions
  • Children riding in emergency medical vehicles, when medical needs make use of a restraint unreasonable
  • Children riding in a motor vehicle for hire, including a taxi, airport limousine or bus, but excluding a rented, leased or borrowed motor vehicle
  • Children riding with a peace officer on official duty, when a restraint is not available (a seat belt must be substituted)
  • Children certified by a licensed physician as having a medical, physical or mental disability that makes restraint use inadvisable
  • Passengers in school buses without factory installed seat belts