Montana Car Seat Laws (2024) – Rules to Secure A Child Properly

According to the Montana State Law, children under the age of six and weighing less than 60 pounds must be in an appropriate safety restraint for the child’s age and size following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

What is the car seat law in Montana?

Montana Legislature Law in Section 61-9-420. (1) on Child safety restraint systems reads: "Each motor vehicle passenger who is under 6 years of age and weighs less than 60 pounds must be transported and properly restrained in a child safety restraint. The child safety restraint must be appropriate for the height and weight of the child as indicated by manufacturer standards."


Montana Rear-facing Car Seat Laws


Montana Forward facing Car Seat Rules


Montana Booster Seat Laws

Front Seat Laws

When can child sit in front seat Montana

Car Seats List

Best car seat to meet Montana laws

US Car Seat Laws

Seat Laws across the United States

Montana Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws

In Montana Legislature section 61-9-420. (1), the law requires a child should be secured in a child restraint system until the age of 6 and a weight limit of 60 pounds.

No rules on rear-facing seats.

It’s best to interpret this regulation according to expert recommendations: keep using a rear-facing car seat as long as possible until the child reaches the weight or height limit of the car seat.

The infant car seats will be good to ride your child to 12 or 18 months. If you prefer to keep your child facing the back for a longer period of time, for example over 2 years of age, the convertible and all-in-one car seats are available for help.

They are generally designed with higher rear-facing weight or height limits.

Montana Forward Facing Car Seat Laws

The Montana law does not say anything about forward-facing seats. According to the rules and regulations from AAP and NHTSA, a child must ride in a forward-facing seat until they exceed the height or weight limit of rear-facing car seats.

The forward-facing car seats are typically required for toddlers and preschoolers aged between 2 to 5 years old and between 40-80 pounds in weight.

Child Booster Seat Laws in Montana

Although Montana law requires a child restrain system to be used until age 6, it’s not aligned with the safest practices. 

When a child outgrows the forward-facing car seat, they should travel in a booster seat until the age of 8 and 4’9″ in height.

Seat Belt Laws for Child in Montana

The Montana law is not clear on the requirements for a child to use a seat belt.

It’s best to stick to the booster seat until the child outgrows their booster seats or when he or she is big enough and ready to wear a seat belt like an adult.

The Montana Department of Transportation quotes the rules from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and recommends graduating the child from a booster seat to a lap and shoulder belt when they are at least 4’9” tall, which is about eight years or older.

Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in Montana

Failure to properly restrain a child violates the Montana law and results in a fine of up to $100.

Montana Car Seat Laws Apply for

Drivers are responsible for keeping a child secured properly.

The rule in section 61-9-420. (1) tells an exception. If the child can not be placed in child safety restraint for a physical or medical reason, the driver shall be considered violating the rule.

When can a child sit in the front seat in Montana?

How old does a child have to be to sit in the front seat in Montana?

The law does not state the age or weight requirement for a child to sit in the front seat in Montana.

However, according to child safety experts, a child should be at least 13 years old to sit in the front seat. That’s the common age allowed to sit in the front seat in-laws of most US states.

Taxi Car Seat Law in Montana

Laws in Montana are not clear if the taxis should follow child restraint laws.

Age, Weight, Height Requirements in Montana Law

Six years old and 60 pounds in weight are the two factors stated in Montana car seat laws. At this point, Montana is not one of those states with strict age, weight, and height requirements on child car seats.

However, it’s STRONGLY recommended to follow those suggestions and tips from the AAP and NHTSA experts to ride your child safely through four car seat stages.

  • Rear-facing (stage 1): birth to 2 years or older
  • Forward-facing (stage 2): 2-5 or 6 years of age
  • Booster (stage 3): 4-8 years old, at least 40 pounds, under 4’9″
  • Seat belt (stage 4): 8 years or older, higher than 4 feet 9 inches

Best Car Seats to Work with Montana Laws

Based on the Montana child car seat laws, here are the best car seats that will ride your boys or girls safely without breaking the rules.

To help parents quickly find the best option based on your child’s current age, this list is made by age.

Newborn - 2 Years Old

Rear-facing car seats

Birth - 4 Years Old

Convertible car seats for use

4-8 Years Old

Booster seats for use

With Special Functions

Car seats with Unique Features

Birth - 2 Years

30-lb rear-facing maximum weight

Further Information

Best Car Seats for One Year Old

Birth - 4 Years

4-8 Years

  • Best to Fit 3 Across – Diono Radian 3R
  • Best with backless booster – Graco 4Ever DLX
Diono Cambria 2 XL

The Diono Cambria 2 XL combines a highback and backless booster into one. It provides spacious room for growing big kids.

Diono Cambria 2 XL

The Good
The Bad

Car Seats with Unique Functions

For Travel

Further Information

Best car seat with wheels

Slim Fit to Do 3 Across


Car seat with 5-point harness

Further Information

Best purple car seats for girls