Missouri’s Child Safety Seat and Seatbelt Laws

Missouri’s child safety seat laws and the penalties of a violation.

Missouri requires all passengers under the age of 16 to wear seatbelts. However, younger children are subject to more safety requirements including the use of rear-facing and forward-facing car seats and booster seats. The proper safety seat for a child depends on the child’s age, weight, and height. This article includes detailed state recommendations and requirements, as well as the penalties for a child seat or seatbelt violation.

Child Seat and Seatbelt Requirements

In Missouri, the driver is liable for any passenger seatbelt or child restraint violation. However, bus drivers and for-hire drivers are exempt from the normal requirements.

Children under four years old. All children under four years old, regardless of weight, must be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system. Also, all children under 40 pounds, regardless of age, must be properly secured in an appropriate child passenger restraint system.

Children who are at least four years old. A child who’s at least four but less than eight years old and is at least 40 but less than 80 pounds must use a booster seat. A booster is required until the child is at least 80 pounds or at least four-feet, nine inches tall. If no shoulder strap seatbelt is available in the vehicle, a booster seat is not required.

Child Seat and Seatbelt Violations

A child restraint or booster seat violation will result in the driver being fined up to $50, plus court costs. The ticket will be dismissed if the driver shows proof of obtaining and installing a child safety seat.

A seatbelt violation carries a $10 fine.

Recommendations

To promote child safety and to help parents choose an appropriate seat, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration provides restraint system recommendations.

Birth

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

13+

Rear-facing

Forward-facing

Booster

Seat Belt

Registration

While most car seats are federally approved, it’s a good idea to register your car seat to be notified regarding recalls.

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