New Mexico car seat law is unique in that it has two parts: criteria based on age (without reference to weight) and criteria based on weight (without reference to age).
Age requirements state that infants under 1 year old must ride in a rear facing infant seat. Toddlers from age 1 through age 4 must ride in a forward facing seat. Kids age 5 and 6 must travel in a booster seat, as well as any kids under 13 who don’t yet properly fit a seat belt.
Weight requirements, without an age limit, state that children under 40 pounds must ride in a car seat appropriate for their weight (according the manufacturer’s recommendations). Children under 60 pounds must travel in a booster seat or other car seat (like a forward facing seat) as appropriate for their weight.
In New Mexico, all kids under 18 are required to buckle up. (All adults are, too, but that’s covered under the seat belt law.) The penalty for car seat law violations includes a fine and driver’s license points.
Refer to the links below for additional information. The safercar.gov link has a short list of questions to help you determine if your child can correctly wear a seat belt and graduate out of a booster seat.
State Resources for New Mexico Car Seat Law
Safer New Mexico Now – New Mexico car seat law
Safer New Mexico Now – car seat fitting station locations
Safer New Mexico Now – low cost car seat and booster seat program information
National Resources for New Mexico Car Seat and Booster Seat Laws
nhtsa.gov – U.S. Department of Transportation / National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website
safercar.gov – The NHTSA publishes this site. Parents Central is the child safety section. This is a great info packed site, so if you have questions about almost anything related to car seats or booster seats, definitely check this one out.
iihs.org – Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, child safety page
safekids.org – A global organization about keeping children safe, especially from preventable injuries or fatalities. Their site includes tips on car seat choice and car seat inspection events, among other things.