Montana’s Child Safety Seat and Seatbelt Laws

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

Whether traveling to Yellowstone or just commuting, all Montana passengers are required to wear seatbelts. Montana also has special rules for children, requiring safety seats appropriate for the child’s age, weight, and height. Here are Montana’s car seat and seatbelt requirements and the penalties for a violation.

Child Seat and Seatbelt Requirements

Montana requires all children who are both under six years old and under 60 pounds to be properly restrained in a child safety restraint system. This rule requires the child to be secured per the child seat manufacturer’s instructions.

Recommendations

The Highway Traffic Safety Division is tasked with educating the public on car seat safety. There are many choices for car seats. So the division has created guidelines to help parents choose. These guidelines are not requirements, and all car seats should be used according to manufacturer instructions.

Birth

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Rear-facing

Forward-facing

Booster

Seat Belt (Rear Seat)

Child Seat and Seatbelt Violations

Failure to properly restrain a child under six years old and 60 pounds will result in a maximum $100 fine. However, a first-offense violation can be dismissed if the offender shows proof of acquiring a proper car seat within seven days of the violation.

A seatbelt violation carries a $20 fine. Seatbelt violations will also result in additional penalties for first-year drivers and instruction permit holders.

Take note that while drivers cannot be stopped solely for a seatbelt violation, they can be stopped for a child restraint violation.

Exceptions

Certain occupations like garbage collectors, rural postmen, and newspaper deliverers are exempt from seatbelt requirements. Also, the requirements do not apply to persons with physician-certified medical conditions that prohibit the use of safety restraints.

Seatbelt requirements do not apply to vehicles designed for two passengers if both passengers are at least four years old.

Registration

For more information about child restraint systems, check the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control. It’s also a good idea to register your car seat to be notified regarding recalls.

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