Montana Car Seat Laws

According to Montana State Law, Children under the age of six and weighing less than 60 pounds must be in an appropriate child safety restraint. The safety restraint must be appropriate the the child’s height and weight as indicated by the car seat manufacturer.

Go here for a list of 2018’s top rated Rear-Facing Car Seats.

Some of America’s finest national parks are in the northwestern state of Montana. Millions of families drive into “The Treasure State” annually to see Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park and admire the beauty of Glacier National Park. If you’re planning on visiting Big Sky Country in the near future, or if you happen to be a parent in this great state, then you’d better know Montana’s child car seat regulations. Below, we’ll give you the lowdown on Montana’s safety seat laws and supply you with some great informational resources.

Montana Car Seat Laws

Children under the age of six and weighing less than 60 pounds must be in an appropriate safety restraint for their height and weight.  Montana law requires parents to use the manufacturer’s guidelines for height and weight restrictions when choosing a safety seat for their child.

  • Birth to 2yrs of age: Rear-Facing Car Seat. Children can start off in an infant-only rear facing car seat and move up to a convertible, 3-in-1 or other rear-facing car seat until they reach the height and weight limits of the car seat which is usually just after age 2.
  • Age 2-4 or 5:  After the child has outgrown the rear-facing car seat, they move on to a forward facing car seat. Forward facing car seats include forward-facing only, convertible, 3-in-1 and Combination car seats. Children should remain in a forward facing car seat until they have outgrown the manufacturer’s guidelines for height and weight restrictions.
  • About age 5-8: Once children have outgrown their forward facing seat, they can move on to a booster seat. Children should remain in a booster seat until they are at least 4’9. This height usually occurs when the child is 8 – 12 years old. NEVER use only a lap belt with a booster seat.
  • Children should ride in the back of a car until they are 13 years old.

Additional resources

  • The top rated Rear-Facing Car Seats.
  • Free car seat installation inspections: Almost all fire departments, police stations and EMTs offer installation checks. For a complete list, visit the bottom of this page on the NHTSA’s website. Additional child safety seat inspection locations in Montana can be found by visiting by calling (877) 330-2825.
  • Montana’s KHLH News recently published this short child seat safety video on YouTube. In the video, you’ll learn about common mistakes parents make installing child safety seats from Helena Police Department Officer Tyler Wood.
  • The Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) put together this excellent pamphlet with even more detailed information on the state’s safety seat laws.
  • Montana Statute 61-9-420: Child Safety Restraint Systems

Parents caught with children improperly secured in their vehicle can face a fine of up to $100.