Child Restraint ("Booster Seat") Law (Public Act 43 of 2008)

  • Michigan's child booster seat law requires children to be properly buckled in a car seat or booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4-feet-9-inches tall. Children must ride in a seat until they reach the age requirement or the height requirement, whichever comes first.
  • The child restraint system may be either a child seat with harness straps or a booster seat (no-back or high-back), depending on the child's weight. It must be used in accordance with the child restraint manufacturer's and vehicle manufacturer's instructions and applicable federal standards.
  • An operator of a motor vehicle transporting a child who is found responsible for not placing the child in a child restraint can be fined for a civil infraction.
  • The child restraint requirement does not apply to passengers of a school bus or those in other motor vehicles not required to be equipped with safety belts under federal law.
  • The law was amended to require child restraints because of serious injuries that can result when a child is too small to wear a seatbelt properly. When a child's lap belt is worn on the abdomen rather than the pelvis, or when a shoulder strap is worn across the neck rather than the shoulder and ribcage, severe bodily injuries can result if an accident occurs.
  • According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in 2003, children between the ages of 4 and 7 who use child restraint systems are 59 percent less likely to be injured than children secured by seatbelts alone.
  • For more information on child passenger safety,