Booster Seat Law in New Mexico

Booster seats are the best way to keep children safe in a car and are legally required in New Mexico.
Written by Sean Boehme
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
According to the laws in New Mexico, children under seven years of age or 60 pounds must sit in a child safety seat at all times. Children should remain in a booster seat until a standard seat belt can fit them properly.
Car seats and booster seats are the best way to protect children during a car ride, so it’s no surprise that states have implemented laws regarding their use. By following New Mexico’s car seat and booster seat laws, you’ll be able to keep your children safe and avoid any potential penalties
We've compiled this guide to break down everything you need to know about child safety seats and booster seats in the state of New Mexico.
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What is the booster seat law in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) states that children under the age of seven or weighing 60 pounds or less must ride in a child safety seat whenever they are in a vehicle. New Mexico’s laws also state that children between the ages of seven and twelve must ride in a booster seat until the car’s seatbelt can fit them properly.
New Mexico also provides drivers with more
in-depth guidelines
of what types of child safety seats are appropriate for what age and size of child:
Seat type
Child size
Rear-facing seat
Up to at least one year
At least 20 pounds, up to 35 pounds
Forward-facing seat
Up to at least seven years
20 to 60 pounds
Booster seat
Seven to twelve years
Until vehicle seat belt fits correctly
The general rule is that you’ll want to keep your child in a child safety seat until they reach the weight limit, which will vary from seat to seat. Considering the size of a vehicle and its seat belt will also vary, it's hard to say exactly when your child can stop using a booster seat.
Key Takeaway Children under one of age and weighing under 20 pounds should always use a rear-facing child seat. After that, parents should take note of the size limits of the seat they purchase.

How to safely install a booster or car seat

Making sure you purchase a car seat that’s the right size for your vehicle is important, so make sure to research both the seat and your car extensively. Luckily the
child car seat installation process
has become pretty standardized over the years, so you shouldn’t have any trouble following the directions provided by your seat.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) not only
provides guides
for how you can install whichever car seat you need, but they have also set up
inspection stations
that can help confirm you’ve done so correctly. 
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What are the penalties for breaking the booster seat law in New Mexico?

As long as you take all of the precautions outlined above, you’ll have nothing to worry about in regards to penalties. But if you don’t follow New Mexico’s car seat laws, you’ll face a $25 fine and have two points added to your license.
Although a $25 fine may not seem like much, the two points matter a lot. If you receive 12 points within a year, your will have your
license suspended
, so receiving even two is a big deal.
It should be noted that these penalties are only for first-time offenders, and repeatedly violating this law will result in much more extreme consequences. 

How breaking booster seat laws can impact car insurance in New Mexico

Even if the fine and points don’t seem like such a big deal, a car seat violation in New Mexico could cost you. Like many other traffic violations,
car insurance companies
will take note of a car seat violation and charge you more on your premiums. 
If you’ve already got a spotty record, even a minor violation can lead to your rates skyrocketing.

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