What are the car seat laws in Minnesota?

A child in Minnesota who is at least eight years old and 57 inches tall is allowed to use an adult seat belt. Drivers can be fined $50 for neglecting the state car seat laws.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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Things to remember...

  • The Minnesota car seat law is a primary law for children who are under the age of 18 years old
  • The transition into the use of an adult seat belt in Minnesota should be based on a combination of factors related to height and age
  • Minnesota car insurance companies take these laws seriously and will adjust rates if you fail to follow the rules
  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration may inspect your car seat at no cost to you at various stations throughout Minnesota to ensure that it is properly installed


In the United States, the use of car seats and seat belts by children is regulated by states rather than by the federal government.

As is the case with many other states, Minnesota has created and regularly enforces its child car seat and seat belt laws. However, some drivers strive to create an even safer riding experience for children in their vehicles, and they have turned to the American Academy of Pediatrics for guidance.

The AAP encourages all children to be secured in a car seat in the back seat, and this car seat should be in a rear-facing position until they are at least two years old. When a child reaches this age, the car seat can be turned around.

The child should remain in a front-facing car seat until he or she is at least eight to 12 years old and is at least 57 inches tall. At that time, he or she should use an adult seat belt in the vehicle. Make sure you check our FREE quote tool above to compare rates today! 

Car Seat Law for Minnesota

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In Minnesota, drivers must be aware of and comply with car seat laws and child seat belt law, but they may also choose to follow the AAP guidelines in addition to the Minnesota state laws.

The state law requires children who are less than the age of seven and who are short than 57 inches tall to sit in a car seat.

The car seat law does not dictate at what age, height or weight a child should be in a rear-facing versus forward-facing car seat, and some drivers may refer to the AAP guidelines for assistance with this.

Once a child is at least eight years old and is taller than 57 inches, he or she may use an adult seat belt in the car. The use of an adult car seat is mandated for all children who are older than eight years old and under the age of 18 years old in Minnesota.

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Consequences for Violations of These Laws

It is important for Minnesota drivers to understand the circumstances regarding when they may be cited for a violation of these laws.

The car seat and seat belt laws in Minnesota are primary laws, and this means that drivers may be pulled over if a law enforcement official suspects a violation of these laws until a child reaches the age of 18 years old.

Once over 18, the state’s general seat belts are effective and apply to the individuals.

Minnesota drivers may be fined up to $50 for each violation of the car seat law. For example, if you have two children in your car that are not in compliance with the child car seat law, you may receive two $50 fines. The seat belt law fine is $100 per incident.

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Provide for Child Safety in Minnesota

Installing car seats properly can be confusing and complicated for some drivers, but it must be accomplished correctly for the safety of children. After all, car seats will work effectively if they are not properly installed.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Association, or NHTSA, offers drivers a complimentary safety seat check. The team at NHTSA may also assist with the proper installation of your car seat to promote child safety on the road.

Buy the Right Car Insurance Coverage

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If a child is injured in your car in Minnesota, you may be required to pay for that child’s medical bills regardless of whether or not the child is your own. However, the state’s minimum liability insurance requirements do not cover medical bills for passengers in your own car, and you must take additional steps to obtain coverage for these expenses.

A comprehensive car insurance policy that includes personal injury benefits may provide you with the benefits that you need.

Minnesota drivers should get in the habit of shopping for new car insurance rates approximately every six months, and this is the ideal time to review your current coverage and to look for a better rate.

By comparing at least three to four different quotes online, you may be able to easily identify a better deal on your coverage.

However, before you finalize your buying decision, take the additional step to review the provider’s financial stability and reputation for providing good customer service to policyholders. Don’t miss out on our FREE insurance comparison tool below!

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