New Mexico has very clear requirements and recommendations to protect your child when traveling in a car. MVD Express cares about your children and we want them to be safe while in a vehicle. Therefore, we have compiled the state recommendations and laws to ensure your child is in the best hands when on the road.

Requirements and Recommendations for Child Safety Seats in New Mexico

The following are requirements for children based off their age and weight according to New Mexico state law:

Children under the age of one and/or fewer than 20 pounds

Requirements: Rear-facing in a harnessed car seat

This is considered the safest mode of travel for your child. During a car crash, occupants typically will travel towards the point of impact placing stress on their spine and neck. When a child is rear-facing, their neck and spine is held in line, and the crash impact is equally diffused along the shell of the seat.

Recommendations: The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division recommends extended rear-facing until the child has reached the car seat manufacturer’s weight limit, often around 35 pounds.

Children younger than five and/or fewer than 40 pounds

Requirements: Harnessed car seat (may be forward-facing)

Recommendations: It is recommended the child stays in a harnessed car seat until he/she has reached the car seat manufacturer’s maximum height and weight, typically around 60 pounds.

Children older than five and weigh more than 40 pounds

Children of appropriate age/size are eligible to use a booster seat with the lap and shoulder strap seat belt.

Buckle up!

Seat belts are required by state law for all children. A child is ready to use a seat belt only (instead of using it with a car seat or booster seat) when the belt crosses over their hips and their knees are able to bend over the edge of the seat. If the child does not meet those requirements and is not at least seven years old, you must continue using the booster seat or harnessed car seat. Children between the ages of 13 and 17 must wear a safety belt at all times when in a vehicle. If the child is under age 12, it is recommended they only ride in the back seat.

Fines and Fees Associated with Not Following State Laws

If you are stopped for a traffic violation and it appears you or your children are not properly restrained according to New Mexico law, you may receive a citation. This citation could include a $25 fine, two points deducted from your license and possibly other fees. Stay safe on the road and keep these laws in mind whenever you get in your vehicle