Mississippi is known for being the most religious state in the country. However, this state also has one of the strictest laws on car seats for children. The Mississippi car seat law is one of the most important laws in Mississippi. At least, it should be. It’s a good idea to have your children riding in an appropriate car seat for their age and size as long as you’re driving with them on the highway.

The following article will explain how these laws have evolved over time and their impact on drivers, parents, and children.

Mississippi Car Seat Law

Mississippi Car Seat Laws

According to the car seat law of Mississippi,

“Every person transporting a child under the age of four (4) years in a passenger motor vehicle, and operated on a public roadway, street or highway within this state, shall provide for the protection of the child by properly using a child passenger restraint device or system meeting applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.”

Mississippi Car Seat Laws

Mississippi Rear-facing Car Seat Law

The Mississippi State Department of Health recommends children ride rear-facing until they are at least 2 years old or reach the car seat manufacturer’s maximum height and weight specifications, whichever comes first.

Mississippi Forward-facing Car Seat Law

Children who outgrow the rear-facing seat should ride in front-facing seats. Forward-facing seats must be used until the youngster outgrows the seat and is ready to use a booster seat.

Mississippi booster seat law for young kids

In the state of Mississippi, children 4 years old or older but under the age of seven who are less than 4’9″ tall and weigh less than 65 pounds must use federally certified booster seats.

This type of seat is used to raise a kid so that they can fit in lap-shoulder belts. The seat should not be secured with only lap-only seat belts. It must cover the upper thighs (not the stomach) and fit snuggly across the chest. Lap-only seat belts should not be used to secure the chair.

There are 2 types of booster seats:

  • High-back booster seats – If your car’s seat back is lower than your child’s ears, you have to use a high-back booster seat to protect your child’s head and neck.
  • Backless booster seats – If your car’s seat back is higher than your child’s ears, you can use a backless booster seat.

Requirements for children to use the front seat in Mississippi 

Under Mississippi law, there isn’t a specific age at which your child may sit in the front seat. However, you are not allowed to use a rear-facing car seat in the front seat according to legislation. After they’ve outgrown the booster seat and the adult seat belt fits them properly, experts recommend that children sit in the front seat.

If you are confused about whether your child should use a booster seat or an adult seat belt, this simple test will help you decide.

The Five-Step Seat Belt Fit Test:

  1. Is the child able to sit all of the way back against the auto seat?
  2. Are the child’s knees able to bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?
  3. Is the belt crossing over the shoulder between the neck and arm?
  4. Is the lap belt as low as possible, with the thighs?
  5. Is it possible for the child to remain in this position the whole journey?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions, your kid is not ready for an adult seat belt and requires a booster seat to travel safely in the car. Boosters are popular with kids since they are more comfortable!

Mississippi car seat replacement law after Accident

There is no specific legislation on replacing car seats. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, on the other hand, advises that car seats be replaced following a moderate or serious accident. Manufacturers also have expiration dates for their car seats, so make sure you check them.

NHTSA recommends that car seats be replaced following a moderate or severe crash in order to ensure a continued high level of crash protection for child passengers. Car seats do not automatically need to be replaced following a minor crash.”

Law on leaving a child in a car in Mississippi 

There are no laws in Mississippi restricting parents from leaving children unattended in a vehicle seat. Depending on the state in which you reside, it is possible that leaving your kid unattended inside a car could be considered reckless behavior under various laws. We advise that you never leave your child alone in the vehicle for any length of time, regardless of where you live.

Car Seat Law Exemptions in Mississippi 

According to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety, children riding in cars for hires such as taxis and limousines, and those riding with a peace officer on duty are not subject to vehicle seat laws.

Children who are riding in emergency vehicles because of medical reasons that render child safety seats unusable are also exempt. Individuals who have a medical condition that makes the use of child safety seats impractical for them must be certified by a physician as having a condition that necessitates exemption from using such devices.

Penalties For Violating Mississippi Car Seat Laws

You could face a $25 fine for the first time you break Mississippi’s child passenger restraint law. If you can show that you have installed a child passenger restraint device or system, your violation may be dropped. You may be fined $25 for failing to use your safety belt correctly in accordance with state law.

When Can My Child Sit in the Front Seat in Mississippi ?

In Mississippi, there is no specific age at which your kid can sit in the front. However, there is a prohibition on using rear-facing seats in the front seat. The state also advises that children should remain in the back of a car until they are 13 years old.

Is it Illegal to Smoke in a Car with a Child in Mississippi ?

The state attempted to pass a bill that would have made it illegal for people to smoke in vehicles with children present.

However, the law failed to pass, therefore it is not against the law to smoke in a vehicle with a kid. It is not suggested that you smoke while transporting a child passenger.

Child passenger safety related videos Mississippi 

Installing a Rear-facing Car Safety Seat

Car Seat Safety: Front-facing Install & Child Placement

The car seat safety check that could save your child’s life

Is your child’s car booster seat safe?

USA Child Passenger Safety Laws by State


Click on your state on the map below to see your state’s car seat law

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