LivingTravelLearn the Minnesota Car Seat Law

Learn the Minnesota Car Seat Law

If you are visiting Minnesota with your family and planning to rent or drive a car, you should know the car seat law. Minnesota state and federal laws require infants and young children to ride in car seats.

The breakdown of age and size

In Minnesota, all infants under the age of 1 and all children under 20 pounds must ride in a rear-facing infant or convertible seat in the rear seat of the car.

After a baby’s first birthday and when the baby weighs more than 20 pounds, he or she must ride in a car seat or booster until his or her eighth birthday or be 4 feet 9 inches or taller.

The law is the minimum standard for child safety, but you can keep your child in a car seat or booster for longer, depending on your child and your parental beliefs.

More car seat recommendations

Additionally, the American Academy of Pediatrics offers car seat safety recommendations to improve the safety of infants and children in automobiles.

The AAP recommends that infants and young children ride rear-facing in a suitable seat for as long as possible until the child reaches the top height or weight limit of the seat.

The Academy then recommends that toddlers and preschoolers ride in a car seat with a five-point harness for as long as possible.

Once a child has outgrown their child seat, the Academy recommends that he or she ride in a booster seat until the child is big enough for the adult seat belts to fit properly. The academy recommends booster seats for all children under 4 feet 9 inches and that booster seats be used until the child is between 8 and 12 years of age.

Traveling with car seats

Some car rental companies offer booster seats or car seats that you can rent with your car. But if you want to be more careful, have a specific car seat that you prefer, or want the seat to be as familiar to your child as possible, you can travel with one.

All airlines allow you to check your car seat in oversized luggage for free. You can also check your child’s stroller at no additional charge. Keep your child’s car seat protected by placing it inside a large duffel bag. This protects it from stains, tears, or missing parts and ensures it arrives safely. If you don’t have a large enough duffel bag, you can also use a thick plastic bag designed for air travel. Tuck all straps and parts firmly inside. You may even want to record them.

When it comes to traveling with car seats, look for a smaller, more compact version, if possible. Some brands are small enough to carry on board, which can save time waiting for oversized luggage to be deployed. Also, a smaller car seat is more likely to fit in a rental car; some of them can be quite compact and not have a comfortable space for a bulkier seat.

When can a child ride in the front seat?

Minnesota does not have a specific law against children riding in the front seat, although it is considered safer to keep children in the back seat until at least 13 years old.

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