Missouri Car and Booster Seat Laws

Compared to even a few decades ago, modern cars are much safer than their predecessors. However, just because they are safer doesn’t mean people no longer get into accidents. And those accidents still result in injuries to the passengers, especially when they aren’t properly secured.

That is scary enough when an adult is involved in a car accident. But it can be terrifying when a young child is involved. Thankfully, the car industry has created effective means of protecting young children from harm in collisions. And Missouri statutes require all drivers to use these protective devices when driving with children.

What Is a Car Seat/Booster Seat?

Modern vehicles have a suite of safety features, including:

Unfortunately, most of these safety features don’t provide much protection for young children. For example, seat belts and airbags are designed to prevent you from being thrown from the car in a head-on collision. But young children are too small to be protected by these devices.

Car seats and booster seats are portable devices that replace seat belts for young children. They are rated for children of specific ages, weights, and heights. When used properly, they provide as much or more protection than a seat belt provides for an adult passenger.

Missouri Laws Regarding Car Seats and Booster Seats

Car seat laws in Missouri require children to use car seats or booster seats while they are below a certain age, height, and weight.

Children Younger Than Four Years Old or Weighing Less Than Forty Pounds

If a child is under four years old or under forty pounds, the child must be placed in a car seat appropriate to the age, weight, and height of the child.

Older Children

When a child is at least eight years old, over 80 pounds, or taller than four feet nine inches, they may wear a standard seat belt or may continue to use an age-appropriate car seat.

Children in Between

If your child is between the above two categories, they are required to sit in a car seat or a booster seat, whichever you choose to use. They are not yet allowed to use a seat belt without these devices.


Missouri makes exceptions when the back seat of the car lacks a shoulder belt needed to safely use a car seat or booster seat. In this case, your child may sit in the back with only a lap belt. 

Additionally, when you are transporting children who are part of your immediate family, if you run out of child safety devices, any child not using a safety device must sit in the seat directly behind the driver’s seat.

Age-Appropriate Child Safety Devices

The safest child safety devices change in design depending on the age of the child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends using a rear-facing car seat to transport infants and toddlers. When your child outgrows this seat, you should transfer them to a new seat that is designed for the height and weight of your child.

Typically, booster and car seats are designed for use in the rear seats of the car. But some are designed for front-seat use. Always read the instructions before using a new safety device.

Missouri Car Seat Laws Protect Your Children

Children are extremely vulnerable to injury from a car accident if not properly protected. Missouri car seat laws ensure that your children are as protected as possible while you drive them around the state. Since using car seats protects your children and prevents you from getting ticketed, you should always follow these laws when driving with children.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today

For more information, please contact Bradley Law Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free case evaluation today.

St. Louis Office
1430 Washington Ave Suite #226 St. Louis, MO 63103
(314) 400-0000

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1509 NE Parvin Rd, Suite A., Kansas City, MO 64116
(816) 408-3448

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1201 Bellevue Ave,Richmond Heights, MO 63117
(314) 207-4399

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