North Dakota Car Seat Laws in 2019

Under North Dakota law, a child under eight years old and under fifty-seven inches tall must be properly secured in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions in a child restraint system complying with United States Department of Transportation standards when being transported in a moving motor vehicle. A child between the ages of eight and seventeen years old or at least fifty-seven inches tall must be properly secured in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions in a child restraint system complying with United States Department of Transportation standards or must be correctly buckled in a safety belt when being transported in a moving motor vehicle. A child restraint system is defined as a car seat or booster seat. A motor vehicle must be equipped with at least one child restraint system for each child being transported, unless the motor vehicle was manufactured prior to January 1, 1965 and was not originally equipped with seat belts.

Babies and Children Up to Eight Years Old and Under Fifty-Seven Inches Tall

A child under eight years old and less than fifty-seven inches tall must be properly secured according to manufacturer’s instructions in a child restraint system meeting United States Department of Transportation standards when being transported in a motor vehicle in motion. The motor vehicle must be equipped with at least one child restraint system for each child.

Children Eight to Seventeen Years Old or At Least Fifty-Seven Inches Tall

A child between the ages of eight and seventeen years old or at least fifty-seven inches tall must be properly secured according to manufacturer’s instructions in an approved child restraint system meeting United States Department of Transportation standards or in a correctly buckled safety belt when being transported in a motor vehicle in motion.

Penalties for Violations

If you are driving a motor vehicle in North Dakota, you are responsible for ensuring that all children under eighteen years of age are properly restrained in a child restraint system, such as a car seat or booster seat, or by a safety belt. You may be fined $25.00 and have one point assessed against your driver’s license for a violation of North Dakota’s child restraint device law, which includes the requirement that a child between the ages of eight and seventeen years old or at least fifty-seven inches must be restrained in a child restraint system or by a safety belt.

In North Dakota, You May Be Stopped by a Peace Officer for a Suspected Violation of the Child Restraint Device Law Even Though You May Not Be Stopped by a Peace Officer for a Suspected Violation of the Safety Belt Law

North Dakota’s safety belt law is a secondary law. A peace officer may not issue you a citation for a suspected violation of the safety belt law unless he or she has stopped or detained you for a suspected violation of another primary law. However, North Dakota’s child restraint device law is a primary law. A peace officer may stop or detain you for a suspected violation of the child restraint device law. This law includes the requirement that a child between the ages of eight and seventeen years old or at least fifty-seven inches must be restrained in a child restraint system or safety belt.

Exemptions

Your child may be exempt from North Dakota’s child restraint device law if he or she is being transported in a motor vehicle which was not equipped with safety belts at the time of manufacture.

Your child may be exempt from North Dakota’s child restraint device law if he or she is being transported in an emergency situation.

* Ms. Blake is licensed in the state of Maryland. The information provided in this article does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship.


Attorney Denise A. Blake*

Denise practices family law at Blake Law, LLC in Westminster, Maryland. She holds a Juris Doctor with an emphasis in Family Law from the University of Baltimore School of Law.