February 07, 2023

How Do I ...

Police Department

Child Restraint Seat Information

 Question: What is the law regarding the age and or weight a child should be before they can ride in the front seat?

Answer: Michigan law requires:

  • Children under age 8 must ride in a properly installed car seat or booster seat, unless 4'9" tall.
  • Passengers age 8-15 must be buckled up at all times, in all seating positions.

Question: I have a 5-month-old that weighs 20 pounds, and has outgrown his infant car seat. Can he be placed in a convertible car seat facing forward?

Answer: It is VERY important that an infant stay rear-facing until at least age one and 20 pounds. The vertebrae in a child's neck are not completely developed until age one. Infants have large, heavy heads on a "weak" stem (neck). That is why infants face the rear of the vehicle - so that their entire body will take the force in a crash. If you turn them around to face forward too soon, their large heavy heads are thrown forward which presents a very high risk of a brain injury, broken neck, spinal cord damage, etc. Your infant should remain rear-facing in a convertible seat until at least age one. You should look for a convertible model that goes rear-facing to at least 30 pounds. Be sure to check the manufacturer's directions on the seat.

Q uestion: Where can I find a list of technicians that can make sure my child safety seat is properly installed?

Answer: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (website http://www.nhtsa.gov/cps/cpsfitting/index.cfm) maintains the list of all certified child passenger safety technicians.

Question: How can I find a list of recalls for my car or child safety seat?

Answer: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (website http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/recalls/) maintains the list of all recalls. You can also register your child safety seat, so the manufacturer can automatically contact you if there is a recall for your child's seat. If your car is registered with the Michigan Secretary of State, and a part on your car is recalled, the car manufacturer will contact you through the Michigan Secretary of State's list of registered vehicles.

Restraint Use Requirements




All passengers shall be properly secured in an approved Child Restraint System in a rear seat.


& under 4’9”

All passengers shall be property secured in an approved child restraint system.

4-7 & 4’9” or over

All passengers shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt


All passengers shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt.

10 and older

Driver and front seat passengers shall wear a properly adjusted and fastened safety belt.

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Marshall Police Officer Drew Groeneveld to go over the rules and regulations with you and/or to show you proper child seat restraint procedures, please e-mail Officer Groeneveld at agroeneveld@cityofmarshall.com to schedule this appointment.  If you have any other questions or concers regarding this, please don't hesitate to contact the office Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. at 269-781-2596.  The office is closed on holidays.

posted 07-09-2010 [Police Department]