North Dakota Car Seat Laws (2023) -Drive Your Child Safely

According to the North Dakota State Law, children under 8 years of age should be secured in a child restraint system ( car seat or booster) properly following the manufacturer’s instructions.

What is the car seat law in North Dakota?

The North Dakota Legislature Laws in 39-21-41.2 read: "If a child, under eight years of age, is present in a motor vehicle, that motor vehicle must be equipped with at least one child restraint system for the child. However, a child under the age of eight who is at least fifty-seven inches [1.45 meters] tall is not required to use a child restraint system, but must be correctly buckled in a safety belt."

North Dakota Rear-Facing Car Seat Laws

The North Dakota law does not have a specific requirement on the rear-facing car seats. But North Dakota Department of Health recommends that children under the age of 2 should be secured in a rear-facing car seat as long as they reach the height or weight limit allowed by the car seat manufacturer.

The NDDH also recommends using an infant car seat or convertible car seat for this stage.

North Dakota Forward Facing Car Seat Laws

While the ND law doesn’t specify the age, weight, or height requirements on the forward-facing position, it’s best to follow the guidelines of the North Dakota Department of Health:

Children who are at least two years old can use a forward-facing car seat with a harness as long as they fall without the highest weight or height Stated by the car seat manufacturers.

Some harnessed car seats can be used from 40 to 100 pounds until the child is big enough to use a seat belt.

However, weight is not the deciding factor for the seat belt law in North Dakota.

Child Booster Seat Laws in North Dakota

The North Dakota law children younger than 8 years of age to ride in a child restraint, including a car seat or booster seat.

According to the NDDH recommendation, the child should be at least 4 years of age and 40 pounds to use a booster until they are 4 feet 9 inches or taller, or until the seat belt fits correctly over the child’s body.

It’s best to keep using a booster as long as possible. Most boosters can be used up to 80-120 pounds.

Seat Belt Laws for Child in North Dakota

The North Dakota law says that children ages 8 through 17 must be properly secured in a seat belt or child restraint.

The best practice is to keep using a booster seat then switch to a seat belt after your child reaches the weight or height limit of their booster seats.

Penalty for Breaking Car Seat Laws in North Dakota

The penalty for violating the ND law is a fine of $25 and one point against the license of the driver.

North Dakota Car Seat Laws Apply for

The driver is responsible for ensuring that all occupants younger than 18 are buckled up in the appropriate restraint.

The law applies to all seating positions – front seat and back.

The rules in section 39-21-41.2 also indicate two exceptional cases: 

  1. The motor vehicle is not equipped with safety belts when manufactured.
  2. The child is transported in an emergency situation.

When can a child sit in the front seat in North Dakota?

How old do you have to be to ride in the front seat in North Dakota?

Although there is no exact age in North Dakota law when your child can sit in the front seat, ND law says that children who are taller than 57” or older than 8 years can travel without a car seat. 

However, AAP and the North Dakota Department of Health recommend that children 12 and younger should ride in the back seat, no matter the front seat has airbags or not.

Taxi Car Seat Law in North Dakota

No clear laws are present in North Dakota for using car seats in taxis. It is recommended you always use a car seat when you are on the road.

Age, Weight, Height Requirements in North Dakota Law

The ND law has several age requirements, no weight or height requirements mentioned.

Younger than 8 years of age
In a child restraint. It can be a car seat or booster seat.

Age between 8-17
Child restraint or seat belt is good based on the child’s age, weight, or height.

Younger than 18 years old
Properly restrained

However, the best practice is to follow the North Dakota Department of Health, which gives more details.

  • Rear-facing (stage 1): under 2 years old
  • Forward-facing (stage 2): 2 years of age or older and under 40 pounds
  • Booster (stage 3): 40 pounds or more and 4 years or older, below 4 feet 9 inches.
  • Seat belt ( stage 4): 8 years of age or older

Best Car Seats to Work with North Dakota Laws

Rear-Facing Car Seat for Infants and Small Toddlers

Doona Infant Car Seat and Stroller

Doona Infant Car Seat Stroller Combo

More than this Doona car seat and stroller combo, there are a few excellent options available for riding infants in rear-facing. But not all will perform as well as it to allow 1-year-old infants to face the back for this long time, Chicco KeyFit 30 for example, features a low 30-lb weight limit that might not go through the first year. 

Forward-Facing for Big Toddlers and Preschoolers

Graco Extend2Fit Convertible Car Seat

Graco Extend2Fit

This convertible car seat is great enough to meet the parent’s need to ride their kids in the rear- and front-facing for a longer time. It features 50-lb rear-facing weight limit to be one of the best rear-facing car seats for 2 years old.

When using it facing front, the 65-lb weight limit makes it go through the preschool ages – 3 years old, 4 years old, and 5 years old.

Booster Seats for Big Kids

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster

Graco TurboBooster Backless Booster


The Graco TurboBooster is the most popular and best budget car seat to meet the North Dakota State Law to ride older children, six or seven years old, or even bigger.