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Maine Car Seat Laws You Need To Know (2023)

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When you’re planning a family trip to Maine, it’s important that you make sure to follow local (or exceed) the child passenger safety laws. Maine has some of the strictest car seat laws in America, so pay attention!

Official Maine Car Seat Laws

You can find the official Maine car seat law in MRS 2081.


Maine Rear-Facing Car Seat Law

Maine rear facing car seat law requires children to remain rear facing until at least 2 years old unless they exceed the manufacturer’s height or weight limits.

Rear-facing is significantly safer for children as it dramatically decreases the risk of head and neck injuries. This resource is full of great information.

The current guidance from the American Academy of Pediatrics is that children should remain rear-facing to the limits of their convertible car seat. Nearly all convertible car seats today will accommodate kids up to 40 pounds (they have variable height limits so read your manual) – the size of an average 4 year old – rear facing.

ME car seat law requires that children ride in a forward-facing harnessed car seat until they reach 55lbs unless they have outgrown the maximum height. This is stricter than most states. A child may not legally transition to a booster seat in Maine until she has reached one of those limits. An average sized child won’t hit those limits until around 8 years old.


Maine Booster Seat Law

Maine’s law for booster seats is structured differently than other states. Children can’t ride in a booster seat until they have reached 55lbs or the maximum height to forward face in their harnessed car seat.

Just keep this law in mind if you’re choosing a forward-facing harnessed seat for a petite child, as some of the longest-lasting options may legally force you to harness until close to 10 years old.

Maine requires children to ride in a booster seat (or harnessed car seat) until they reach 8 years old or 80 pounds or 57″. Most children do not fit properly in an adults seatbelt until 10-12 years old, when they pass the 5-step test.


When Can Kids Ride In the Front Seat In Maine?

The Maine front seat age minimum is 12 years old, though many car manufacturers specify that kids can’t safely ride up front until 13. Here’s an excellent explanation of why.


Upcoming Changes To Maine Car Seat Law

Maine has some of the strongest car seat laws in the US thanks to the 2019 update. There are no pending changes to ME car seat laws at this time.

Get the latest on child car seat laws from Maine Bureau of Highway Safety


If you’ll be flying to Maine, be sure to bring one of these travel car seats. If you’re planning a family road trip, consider one of these comfortable convertible car seats or comfortable booster seats. Check more car seat laws by state as you plan your route.

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