Missouri Car Seat Laws: Everything You Need to Know

Did you know that more than 70% of children's car seats are not installed correctly?

This may result in severe injuries or even fatality in case of an accident.

The problem around this issue is the parents' negligence for car seat laws and recommendations.

In fact, they seldom follow through all the steps recommended for 100% assurance of a child's safety in a vehicle.

If you reside or stay in Missouri, today is the day when you can make the first step towards maximum protection of your child in traffic.

Please read our article, and get familiar with Missouri car seat laws, federal recommendations, and expert's tips

Don't leave your child's safety to chance!

Now, before we proceed to the official Missouri laws, check out this video on the importance of using the appropriate child passenger safety restraint system.

Missouri Car Seat Law

missouri car seat laws front seat

According to the Missouri Highway Patrol, section 307.179 of Missouri law requires all drivers transporting a child younger than sixteen to protect that child using the appropriate child restraint system.

1. Infant Car Seat Law in Missouri

According to Missouri law, children less than four years of age must be secured in a child passenger restraint system suitable for that child no matter how much they weigh.

The restraint system must have a label indicating that it meets the federal standards or the USDOT.

What does this mean?

Since Missouri law requires that the restraint system meet federal standards, we refer to the NHTSA recommendations.

Therefore, infants up to one year of age must be secured in a rear-facing car seat and should remain in this restraint system until they surpass the weight and height limit.

2. Forward-facing Car Seat Law in Missouri

The same principle works for forward-facing car seats.

Since there are no specific recommendations in the Missouri law, we will refer to the official guidance that says a child can ride in a forward-facing car seat once he/she turns one or exceeds the rear-facing size limits restraint system.

They should remain in a forward-facing restraint system up to seven years of age, if possible.

3. Booster Car Seat Law in Missouri

Now, the booster car seat law is specified in the Missouri law system, and it requires a child older than four but younger than eight who also weighs between 40-80 pounds and is less than 4'9" tall to ride in a booster seat.

4. Seat Belt Law in Missouri

missouri car seat laws rear facing

According to Missouri law, once your child weighs at least eighty pounds, or is more than 4'9" tall, he/she can be secured with a safety belt only.

Furthermore, if your car's back seat does not have a combination of shoulder and lap belt, the child that should be secured in a booster seat is allowed to use a lap belt only.

Also, when there are more children in the driver's immediate family than seated positions, the child who can not be in the appropriate child passenger restraint system must sit in the back seat.

The Penalties

Every driver who violates Missouri law sections regarding child passenger safety will be charged $50 plus court expenses.

However, if a driver requires and proves the appropriate child restraint system's possession to the court, he can be released of charges.

The Exceptions

The Missouri Car Seat Law does not refer to taxis, buses, or school buses.

When Can My Child Sit in The Front Seat?

Even though the Missouri law does not have a specific subsection about this issue, it does recommend that the safest place for your child until thirteen is in the back seat.


missouri car seat laws forward facing

Since 2004 The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety has been working hard to improve traffic safety in Missouri.

Among many other issues, this coalition has been dealing with the problem of insufficient child passenger safety in traffic.

They have been organizing many campaigns to raise awareness and teach parents how to protect their children in vehicles adequately.

An essential aspect of this campaign is that anyone can participate.

Aside from going to events and learning more about the issue, you can print out and share the official brochure they have created to raise the awareness of the importance of using the child restraint system.

It has the tips for how to explain the Missouri car seat laws to parents and how to enforce child passenger safety among parents. 

In fact, from 20-26 September, they are organizing a Child Passenger Safety Week to learn more about this issue and educate yourself on how to improve your child's safety on the road.

However, If you can't make it this time, check the future events on their website

On their webpage, you can likewise find instructions on how to install:

Rear-facing car seat

Forward-facing car seat

Booster seat

To make sure you installed the restraint system correctly, you should get your car seat inspected by a CPS technician.

For check locations in Missouri, refer to this link, or some of the places noted below:

1. Missouri Department of Health

2. National CPS Technician Search: Find a CPS Technician

3. Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital

Additionally, The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety organizes another campaign called Saved by The Belt.

This campaign was organized to educate people about the significance of using a safety belt and celebrates the people who survived the car crashes due to buckling up

You can share your experience and help the program by making your contribution.

Registering Car Seat

If you believe that your job is done once you installed and checked the car seat, I will have to disappoint you.

Although most of the parents stop the process of ensuring their children's safety in a vehicle here, there is one more vital step to take.

You should register your seat to get the feedback on recalls or safety issues that may occur.

The manufacturer will inform you of all the updates you need to know about the car seat model you have, so never skip this vital step!

Additional Information

In addition to everything previously discussed, we provide a couple of useful videos to help you understand better child passenger safety significance:

Child Passenger Safety Tips and Guidelines

The way children from 4 years old and up should be seated

Child Passenger Safety - Common Mistakes

Final Thoughts

In the state of Missouri, statistics have shown six hundred and fourteen fatalities just in 2020, and 68% of participants in the crashes were not using a seat belt.

The statistics demonstrate that drivers are not aware of the significance that restraint systems have in a vehicle.

What is more, the leading cause of death among kids are car crashes exactly. Therefore, it is essential for parents to know how to restrain their kids in a car properly. 

This article of ours is the contribution that we make to worldwide campaigns for raising awareness about child passenger safety in traffic.

We surely hope that it helped you understand the Missouri car seat laws better and that you will follow the recommendations.

Drive safely!

Avatar of Kathy Warner

Kathy Warner

Kathy is a busy mother of two and a CPS technician for more than eight years. Her mission is to awaken parents to the importance of child passenger safety and show them the right practice. You can read more about her here

2 thoughts on “Missouri Car Seat Laws: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. The Guardian ad Litem at Family Court has concerns with your pictures shown as illustrations. You show at baby in the front seat of a car. You also show a baby forward facing that is clearly too young to be forward facing. Would you change these pictures so this isn’t misleading?


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