Michigan booster seat Law 2023


One of the leading causes of child death under 13 is car accidents. What is more regrettable is that most of the children did not even use seat belts or car seats during the car crash. However, using the right kind of car seat, along with the seat belt, reduces the chance of getting fatal injuries up to 71% in the case of infants, and for toddlers, it reduces to 54%. All these data are as per the National Safety Council. Nobody wants to get their child’s health at risk, but if they fail to install or use the car set properly, they will run into trouble. Whatever you want to do, like if you want to go on a road trip or run errands, it becomes important to understand the Michigan car seat law for safety while going out on an outing. There is various type of car seat available, which are being divided based on the safety of the child.

Child safety restraint systems

Michigan booster seat Law
Michigan booster seat Law

The child restraint system is meant for the safety of the child. It can be using a child car seat along with the harness strap or a booster seat without a high back or no back. It depends on the weight of the child. Mostly children between the age group of 4 to 8 are required to use the booster seats.

Here is a look at Michigan child safety restraints laws:

  • Children who are not more than eight years and have a height of not more than 4’9” are required to sit in booster seats.
  • The provision for booster seats is the first enforcement law. In simple terms, police officers have the right to pull over any vehicle that violates the law.
  • It also includes fines and various penalties, which can cost between $65 and $160.

These are some important child safety restraints per the booster seat law.

Age and weight requirements for booster seats

The main purpose of using the booster seat is to raise the children higher so that they can fit perfectly inside the seatbelt. It also prevents injuries. As per the Michigan Car seat law, the child should be buckled up in the booster seat till they reach the age of eight years and the weight requirement of 50 lbs. Another major factor to be considered is height. It should be no more than 4’9”. The reason for choosing this height is that after this, the shoulders of the child will remain stable. Once they cross this height, they can shift to the normal car seat, but the only thing required is a seatbelt. The seat belt is a must. However, if you are sitting in the car’s backside, you do not need to use the seatbelt.

Proper use and installation of booster seats

When the child outgrows and reaches the harness’s maximum weight and height limit, the hardness can be removed, and the children can use the seat as the booster seat. For converting the seat, you can follow the instructions provided in the manufacturer’s booklet.

Some younger kids might outgrow a forward car seat’s height or weight restrictions but still be unable to buckle up securely inside a booster seat using the shoulder belts and the lap. If so, seek a strapped car seat with a larger height restriction.

How to Use the Michigan booster seat Law 2023

  1. Keep the booster seat in the back seat of the car. Ensure that the booster seat will remain flat on the actual seat of the vehicle.
  2. Have the child sit on the seat that you have placed.
  3. The car seat belt is on the child’s body instead of harness using. Buckle up the car seat belt properly.
  4. Ensure that the seat belt sits right on the child. If you find any difficulty, you can use the guide provided with the seat. It will give you an idea of how to position the belt.
  • Adjust the car lap, so it lies tightly on the child’s upper thigh. It should not be placed on the stomach.
  • Adjust the shoulder belt, so it rests on the chest.
  1. Check the seatbelt fit.

While using the booster seat, go through the manual provided by the vehicle owner to see important installation safety tips. Additionally, look for the procedure in the manual for installing the seat. The booster seat consists of a plastic clip and guide, which helps to position the shoulder and lap belt correctly. It’s always recommended to install the shoulder and lap belt properly. There are a few things to keep in mind while installing the booster seat:

  • Lap belt should lie at the lower position so that it snugs correctly on the upper thighs
  • Check if the shoulder belt goes from the middle side of the child’s chest.

If the booster seat comprises tether attachment and lower anchors, then take the help of a manual.

Fines for violating booster seat law

If the children are not in the right position or booster seat as per their size and age, they must pay their penalties. This rule is common for all the states in the USA. If, for the first time, any law is broken, then there will not be any penalties. However, it will be considered an offence of city traffic rules. Moreover, in some cases, even the first offence comes with a penalty charge of $65 – $165. But sometimes, the offender must pay great penalties and high fines, including the point on the license. In most cases, if a person breaks the rule multiple times or if a serious injury happens to the children, then apart from paying the fine, they might need to go to jail as well.

Exemptions to booster seat law

If the child is not more than eight years and has any medical condition or disability, then they are allowed not to follow any rules provided under the Michigan booster seat law.

The parents can apply for the exemption certificate, which the government provides. The health professionals verify the situation, and according to that, they permit the child to sit in the front or back seat as per their choice.

Best practices for keeping children safe in vehicles

The most important concern of a parent is the safety of their child. There are a few steps to consider which are important in terms of the safety of the children:

  1. Buckle up the child properly. It will keep them secure and safe inside the vehicle, whereas if they are not buckled up, there are chances that if the vehicle gets crashed, the child may fall out of the seat, which could lead to severe injuries.
  2. Airbags are not sufficient to protect the child. Sometimes the force exerted by the airbag can cause serious injuries. In some cases, it has been found that it can even kill the child.
  3. Proper installation of the seat belt is also important. It involves proper putting up of the strap below the arm level. It can put your child at high-risk.

There are various benefits of proper buckling up:

If the child is properly buckled up while sitting in the front seat, the chance of injuries is reduced to 45%. Whereas it also reduces critical injuries by approximately 50%.

Car seat inspection stations

These are very special places where the caregivers and parents make the appointment, where the technician checks the car safety seat and whether it is properly placed. After that, they also provide certification. There are various inspection stations that you can find in Michigan. However, they charge a small fee. But it’s crucial for the safety of your child. At the time of inspection, the car owner should bring the following things:

  • Vehicle manual
  • Car seat manual

Education and resources for parents and caregivers on car seat safety

NHTSA is working on protecting against fatal injuries that could happen at the time of car accidents. It includes several users, including teenagers, children, bicyclists, drivers, and paediatricians. On the website of NHTSA, you will find various resources needed for car seat safety.

Comparison of different types of car seats and booster seats

There are different types of car seats and booster seats[5], so it becomes important to understand the difference between them. So you know what seat will be good for your child.

1.    Rear-Facing Car Seat

These are meant for children who are under the age of 1. It can be of a different type:

  • Infant-only seat, which can only work as rear-facing.
  • Convertible seats have high weight and height limits from the actual position rear-facing.

Apart from their children under the age of 3 are also required to sit in rear-facing seats. It will keep them safe. They should remain in the rear seat until they reach the maximum height and weight limit. Afterwards, they can sit in the forward-facing seat with a tether and harness.

2.    Forward-Facing Car Seat

It is for children between the age group of 4 to 7 years. These seats are composed of tethers and harnesses. Once they reach the maximum weight and height limit, they can sit in the booster seats.

3.    Booster Seat

Booster seats are meant for children who are under the age of 12. Instead of a harness, a seat belt and lap belt are there in this type of seat. They snug over the chest region, but it doesn’t cross over the face or neck region.

The booster seats are further divided into three main types: the Booster Seat With High Back, Backless Booster Seat and the all-in-one seat.

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) guidelines for car seat use

The NHTSA, USA, has set some rules and regulations regarding the use of car seats. This will give you an idea of how to choose the right kind of seat which meets the requirement of your child:

  • Choose the car seat based on your child’s size and age, depending on whether it fits in the vehicle correctly.
  • Refer to the specific instructions provided with the car seat.
  • To maximize safety, keeping your children in the right car seat for as long as possible is essential.
  • Check for the weight and height requirement as per the manufacturer’s guidelines
  • The child should sit in the back seat until 12.

Frequently Asked Question

1.    Michigan booster seat law weight

The maximum weight should be at least 40 lbs to sit in the booster seat. If the child weighs less than this, they must sit in the forward or rear-facing seat.

2.    Michigan backless booster seat law

It is designed to boost the child’s height so that the seat or lap belt sits properly. It doesn’t have neck and head support.

3.    High back booster seat requirements

The high back seat is mainly designed to support the head and neck region. It’s good for those seats which don’t have a high seat and headrest backs. Once they reach the age of 12, children can sit in the back seat.

4.    Michigan car seat height and weight requirements

As per the Michigan car seat law, children under 12 have a height of more than 4 feet 9 inches and weigh at least 50 pounds.

5.    Can a 4-year-old sit in a booster seat in the front?

They are allowed to sit in the booster seat once they reach the age of 8 years. Children, four or under four years, can only sit in the forward-facing seat.

6.    What kind of booster seat does a 4-year-old need?

Children at least four years old can sit in the forward-facing seat. Below that are required to sit in the rear car seat. Whereas those above the age of 4 can sit in the forward-facing seat.

7.    What car seat should a 5-year-old be in?

A 5-year-old kid should only sit in the forward-facing seat as directed by the NHTSA.

8.    What is the minimum fine for an unrestrained child in Michigan?

The government of Michigan charges fines if they do not obey the rules for car safety. The fine ranges from $65 to $165.

About The Author

Hassan Zaka

I am an expert in accounting and have diverse experience in technical writing. I have written for various industries on finance, business, and technology. My writing style is clear and simple, and I use infographics and diagrams to make my writing engaging. I can benefit any organization needing technical writing services.

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