when do car seats expire

Is it Illegal to Use an Expired Car Seat

Keeping your child safe when they are riding in a car is one of your most critical parental duties.

As long as it is suitable for their age, weight, and height, children 12 years of age and less must always be properly restrained in the backseat in a car seat, booster seat, or seat belt.

Although car crashes are a significant cause of death for children between the ages of one and thirteen, car seats and boosters can protect infants and children in the event of a collision.

The Need and the Importance of Car Seats

Children in the US die from motor vehicle accidents more often than any other cause, however many of these deaths are avoidable. Fastening kids into booster seats, car seats, and seat belts suitable for their age and size decrease catastrophic injuries and fatalities by up to 80%.

In the event of a collision or accident, car seats and other restraint systems can prevent your child from being flung forward, which significantly reduces the severity of their injuries and increases their chances of survival.

When used properly, car seats have been shown to benefit young passengers by minimizing injuries and saving lives. In fact, using a car seat correctly reduces the chance of a fatal injury by 71% for newborns and 54% for toddlers.

how long are car seats good for

Why do Car Seats Expire?

Parental confusion might arise around car seat expiration dates. After all, the car seat for your child is not a carton of milk that can spoil. However, there are valid explanations for why seats have expiration dates.

Car seats expire between six and ten years from the date of manufacture.

Standards Change

The product you bought might no longer be compliant if requirements change.

New Technology

Manufacturers of car seats regularly alter their designs to enhance the functionality of their products.

Materials Wear Down

The lifespan of car seats is limited. The plastic in a car seat can become brittle from being subjected to temperature extremes (a hot summer or a freezing winter).


When a car seat is involved in an accident, the damage from the collision may make it dangerous. Make sure you are aware of the complete history of the car seat you are using.


If a car seat is being recalled but hasn’t yet run out of warranty, make sure you follow the repair instructions to make the seat safe to use.

Where to Find the Expiration Date?

Where is the expiration date on a car seat, you may be wondering as a new parent.  By looking for a label bearing the date of manufacture, you may determine whether your car seat is still in use (DOM).

While the expiration date for some chairs is printed directly on the plastic shell, for others, it is listed on the same label as the DOM.

Additionally, you can use the DOM and the expiration timeframe to perform the arithmetic on your own using the information in your car seat’s handbook.

Are Manufacturers required to give an expiration date?

In the United States, there is no law requiring car seats to have an expiration date. Instead, a set of generic standards are used by car seat manufacturers to make these decisions.

Is it Ok to use an Expired Car Seat?

You might ask yourself, but is it Illegal to use an Expired Car Seat?  Expiring vehicle seats are not covered by the legislation. It is totally up to the parent to decide whether or not the car seat can still be used.

While each state is free to set its own car seat regulations, the federal government oversees the approval of car seats and booster seats. The car seat manufacturers certify that it complies with the regulations, and the federal government subsequently conducts spot checks to confirm this.

Recommended Article: What are Seat Belt Injuries and Its Types?


What to do and whom to contact if the Car Seat is Expired?

It’s not always as simple as putting a used car seat in the trash or a donation box to dispose of it safely and properly. Here are some of your choices.

Car seats can sometimes be recycled locally; however, accessibility varies by location. During specific periods of the year, some large shops and organizations offer trade-in programs where they accept car seats in any condition for recycling.


Should you require more information on your little one’s car seat expiration, don’t hesitate to contact Coluccio Law for a free quotation today!

Recommended Article: Seattle Car Accident

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