Car Seats Have Expiration Dates Too!

It’s midnight and you’re wearing your comfy flannel PJs and savoring a delicious warm & chewy double chocolate chip cookie. Mmmm …now for a cold glass of milk. But it’s late so you pop the lid and gulp right out of the carton.

Eeeeeee Yuck! Spoiled milk :( Lesson learned – always check the expiration date.

Did you know car seats expire too?

Question #1: How many years can I use my car seat?
Six (6) years is the general recommendation. Each manufacturer determines the specific useful life for its seats. The reason for these limits involve possible degradation of the plastic shell or other parts, the possible loss/breakage of parts, and the fact that older seats sometimes do not meet current government safety standards (

Question #2: How do I find out when my car seat expires?

There are two things that can help you find out your car seat’s expiration date:

1. Expiration Date Imprint:
We imprint “DO NOT use this car seat after Month, Year” on the bottom of every car seat.

2. Registering Your Product: 
We place a sticker with the model # and date of manufacture OR serial # on every car seat. This information can then be used to register your Graco car seat in one of three ways: mail in card that comes the seat, call Graco’s consumer service center 1-800-345-4109 or register your product online.  

Once your product is registered, Graco can notify you in the event of a recall or you can more easily order replacement parts like a new car seat pad.

Question #3: Where do I find the expiration date, model # and serial #/manufacture date on my Graco car seat?

Here’s a guide based on the type of car seat:







Question #4: What do I do with an expired car seat?

Right now, your local Babies R Us is hosting the Great Trade-In Event where you can bring in your expired car seat or trade in other baby gear products and receive coupons to use on your next car seat and/or other baby products.

If a local store isn’t doing some kind of trade in event, we recommend cutting the straps of the harness so someone doesn’t try to reuse an expired seat for their child before you dispose of the seat.

Golden rules from Mommy … “don’t drink out of the carton”
And from Graco …“car seats expire too”

Lesson Learned:
Always check the expiration date :)

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56 Responses to “Car Seats Have Expiration Dates Too!”

  1. Lauren February 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm #

    Thanks for the information! Hopefully this will allow people to learn further about them!

  2. Cole March 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm #

    Wow! Nice tip there. People should really be aware of this. Expiration dates must really be checked for safety purposes.

  3. Combi Car Seat March 14, 2010 at 2:59 am #

    wow never new that. i need to check my car seats to make sure. thanks for sharing this information. very helpful

  4. Belinda March 14, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    Thanks so much! After reading in my car seat manual that the expiration date is imprinted on the seat, I looked all over my SafeSeat looking for that imprint, without any luck. The pictures provided here showed me exactly where to look– and I found that my seat will not expire until well after my new baby (due in August) turns one year! :D Thanks again for providing such clear pictures.

  5. Baby Car Seats May 18, 2010 at 9:44 am #

    Great article. Many parents are not aware that car seats have expiration dates so this is a good awareness article or a reminder to parents who already knew this. The diagrams are excellent too, as most parents probably don’t know how they can check the expiration date.

  6. Lisa July 30, 2010 at 1:55 am #

    This info was very helpful. Glad to know I can pass on my seats to a friend’s twins. I just don’t know what the lb limit is on my seats. It’s not on the seats or the literature I kept that came with them. If I register the seats will that tell me the lb limit? Thanks!

  7. Karie Flanders August 4, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    I was glad that summer came. I was seriously tired of the winter. You know it really sucks because now its way too hot and i wish that it would be winter again. I don’t know where you live but that’s how I feel it. Insane right?,Sincerely, Sun Auto Sales, 1835 Glenwood Ave, Youngstown, Ohio 44511 330-746-6022

  8. Lisa August 5, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    Since you the manufacturer are putting a lifespan on the product you should also have a recycling program for the car seats.

  9. audrin August 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm #

    Thanks very much for the pictures. I could see the manufacture date, but did not notice the expiry date until I saw your photos. Now I know my infant car seat expires at the end of this year.

  10. Bablitz October 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm #

    Very convenient for manufacturers, rinse and repeat…

  11. Lauren October 27, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    I am curious if the infant carseat BASE also expires???

  12. Anne Marie October 27, 2010 at 5:06 pm #

    Hi Lauren! Graco reccommends that additional infant car seat bases that are purchased be replaced six years from the date of manufacture. The date of manufacture can be found on the model number sticker.

    Bases that were included with the original carrier should use the date of manufacture that is printed on the carrier.

    Please see the article above if you need help locating the model number sticker or the location of the expiration date imprint on the carrier.

  13. Ericka December 10, 2010 at 2:19 am #

    We have the Graco Metro lite travel system. I see that the car seat part expires this month. Does the stroller have an expiration also?

  14. Lori January 8, 2011 at 1:05 am #

    I saw a video on,55 about strapping a baby into a car seat. Is it a Graco car seat in the video or a different brand?

  15. Lori January 8, 2011 at 1:07 am #

    I saw a video on,55 about strapping a baby into a car seat. Is it a Graco car seat in the video or a different brand? Do all of the straps work the same no matter what the brand?

  16. Kelly Voelker February 1, 2011 at 3:24 am #

    Hi Lori – I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to you until now! Yes, that is a Graco car seat, but no, the straps don’t work the same on every seat or brand. Some models adjust in the front, others adjust in the back of the seat. Let me know if you have other questions or are looking for something specific. Thanks! Kelly

  17. Car Roof Racks UK February 4, 2011 at 12:49 pm #

    Never knew regarding the expiration date of the car. Read something very new. Liked a lot! I think your post could be very useful while people plans to buy a new car or planning to change the car seat. Thanks for the post!

  18. baby car seats world February 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    wow, nice information. never thought car seat can have expiration date.

  19. Jeff February 21, 2011 at 3:13 am #

    Yet, our car seat didn’t last a year before the plastic, which attaches the shoulder straps to the buckle, cracked on both sides.

  20. EliteCarSeats August 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    6 years is the standard expiration date for most car seat manufacturers. All manufacturers should list this information on their websites.

  21. bilbarnstol October 9, 2011 at 8:58 am #

    Very good article, Many people uses too old car seats. This is a great article that you easy can check the age of you car seat.

    Ylva Janssom From bilbarnstol

  22. Tips for Car Donation October 26, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

    I am now not positive where you are getting your information, but great topic. I must spend some time learning much more or working out more. Thanks for excellent info I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

  23. Get a Free Roof Replacement in 1 Day! November 13, 2011 at 6:19 am #

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  24. Victoria January 6, 2012 at 2:18 am #

    I have a graco travel system I was given for my son (born 11/05). I just washed up my car seat and stroller for my new little one expected to arrive 2/12 only to realize that the seat expired on 12/11. Is there any way to bring the seat up to code so that it can be used? I only used it for 6 months and it’s never been in an accident.

  25. UsedCarsLouisvilleGuy99 January 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

    As a child gets older is it ok to use a booster seat with a seat belt instead of a full car seat?

  26. Used Cars Louisville Guy99 January 14, 2012 at 5:31 am #

    Is a booster seat safe to use on a child that might meet certain age/weight requirements as they get older as opposed to leaving them in a traditional car-seat?

  27. Buy Here Pay Here Louisville Guy 12 January 16, 2012 at 10:19 am #

    Thanks to this article I will now be able to be a little more at ease and confident that I have my son in the right car seat and will be able to know when he upgrades to a booster seat safely.

  28. sing.mutdfc January 20, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    It’s good to offer. And I have been taught about this article. And will be used in everyday life.

  29. Carrie May 7, 2012 at 2:02 am #

    Did you ever find out if there’s a way to bring a expired car seat up to code, or once it’s expired do you have to get rid of it?

  30. bubba May 12, 2012 at 12:17 am #

    My comment is this. Why aren’t car seats made better so that they do not expire? Seems like a rip-off to me. I am not a conspiracy theorist in general, but I am very perturbed by this “Expiration” of car seats. It seems like just a money-making scheme on the part of the manufacturers. MAKE BETTER SEATS. Of course, that just means they will be an even huger rip-off than the current plastic seats.

  31. Samantha June 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm #

    I knew carseats expire, but, do strollers expire too?

  32. Paintless Dent Removal August 2, 2012 at 8:40 pm #

    Its obvious ! every thing has its expiry date even a man himself!

  33. e August 14, 2012 at 4:42 am #

    wondering if you do not intend to use a car seat in the car (only in a stroller) do they have to be valid, or can they be expired by a month?

  34. Vanessa August 30, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Hi there, I just bought the Graco Junior Maxi Car Seat in the Asda baby event at The Great Yarmouth store & we can see the box for the exiration date but do not see a date on it!

    Can you please help us, thanks Vanessa

  35. Rachel October 10, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    ?? Do the bases expire too or just the seat?????

  36. Lyndsey November 4, 2012 at 9:18 pm #

    Well I’ve looked all over my Graco seat, and there is NO expiration date on it. It is old, but not quite 6 years old yet. Not very helpful really!

  37. Mary January 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm #

    I have a carseat and can not find the expiration date.

    Put I would like to make a point. I know all new parents would love to have a new carseat for safety, but not all can efford a new carseat.

    So in my opinion a carseat that has been maintained well but is out of date, is better than no car seat at all.

  38. Heather Mom of 4 March 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm #

    So if a carseat is only used for about 18 months between two children, but spans over 6 years, is it still expired? Not sure what to do with my “in perfect shape” carseat!!!

  39. Laura W March 4, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    I wish Graco would keep up with this blog and answer people’s questions! But since they won’t, I want to address one of the primary questions people are asking. WHY do the seats expire after 6 years? *BECAUSE THEY ARE MADE OUT OF PLASTIC.* After a period of time the plastic degrades, largely due to fluctuating temperatures, and the seat becomes brittle. So it may *look* perfect, but if you get in an accident and stress is put on the seat it could crack very easily and injure your baby. If you live in an extremely hot or cold climate and you always leave your seat in your car it could actually “expire” and become brittle before the expiration date. I live in Southern California. I used the same Graco Snugride for my first two boys, who are 2.75 years apart but I will get a new seat for the next baby. It is just too hot here and I regularly leave the seat in the car. I want to be sure it works when I need it. There are lots of other things that you can skip, get from friends or buy used to save money. A car seat may not be one of them.

  40. Heather May 22, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

    My graco carseat doesn’t have an actual expiration date imprinted on it. It says that it expires seven years from manufacture date, which is on the sticker behind the straps.

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  45. yuval November 3, 2013 at 10:13 pm #


    I have a Graco car seat and I would like to know what is the expiration date.

    the serial number is:

    8426gloe3159870424r013552 s/nr013552 mdl8426gloe PO#dav06-30 date042407


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  47. jesica wolff June 2, 2014 at 11:11 pm #

    I have a product from you guys that I got 5-6 it was the stroller/carseat my question is I have never used it because at the time when we bought it we thought were pregnant and found out it was faults so we kept it as we are trying to start a family now can I still use the car seat

  48. Jessica June 25, 2014 at 7:18 pm #

    This information is great, but what would be really useful would be if Graco took its products back to be recycled properly. It seems to me like many of these products are designed to become obsolete. And that’s good! Car seats get better all the time, and you should get the latest and greatest for your kid. But after a few years, it’s a pile of plastic, fabric, and metal that just goes in a landfill, and that seems wrong. If Graco designed products to be recycled, they’d save a lot of materials and probably money, and I would be in love with them forever. Well, at least until my kids are grown.

    Seriously, guys. Think Cradle-to-Cradle. You make baby gear; it’s a no-brainer.

  49. Nav August 16, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    I have a Graco Snug Ride car seat/travel system. This item was purchased in June 2009 when I was pregnant with my first child. Unfortunately I had a full term pregnancy loss in July 2009. The Car Seat has been sitting in its original wrapping in the basement since then – never used. I am now expecting and I see the expiry to be Dec 2013 and manufactured in 2007. Everything I have read about expiry has to do mosly with a product being USED beyond its expiry, and more worrisome when looking at getting a used car seat.

    Since this is a brand new unused seat, can it be used?

  50. Mel August 22, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    If the car seats expire in 6 years how is the Graco 4 in 1 going to last until my child outgrows it or turns 8?


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