Car Seats Have Expiration Dates Too!

Blast from the Past! We decided to re-visit one of our more popular product topics–car seat expiration. Many people are not even aware that car seats have expiration dates. But they do! Below are some helpful tips to find out if your car seat has expired.

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 is still in good standing:

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?

Your model # and manufacture date is on the under side of your car seat. For more detailed information on this check out our useful guides.

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

Twice a year, Babies R Us, hosts a Trade-In event that you can trade in your old car seats (or any baby gear item) and you receive money off a new gear item. If you need to dispose of your car seat and Babies R Us is not hosting their Trade-In event, then you should cut the straps of the harness so someone doesn’t try to re-use the expired seat for their child.

I hope this clears up some questions you may have had regarding car seat expiration. If your car seat is expired, please dispose of it properly & have fun picking out a new one for your little one!

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

  1. Rita Leferink September 7, 2012 at 2:02 pm #

    Just wondering about car seats used by grandparents and stored in the basement between grandkids. Obviously they are not used every day, 20 times at most, perfect condition. Does the 6 year expiry still count?

  2. Jessica September 28, 2012 at 2:26 am #


    The expiration most certainly still counts. :)

  3. Stephanie Tombrello October 2, 2012 at 7:02 am #

    Live in Los Angeles Co, CA? Have unusable safety seats due to crash-involvement, damage, age? Have we a resource for you: TMC Horizon in Pomona, CA, really RECYCLES safety seats! We called 15 certified-for-plastic-disposal companies before finding him. If you are within 40 miles of TMC and have 10 or more unusable safety seats, you can arrange for pick up and know the seats will be recycled, NOT sent to the landfill. Ask your friends and relatives–we bet you’ll find aged seats lingering! And thank Tony Chang for stepping up to recycle seats for real!!

  4. sara langford November 5, 2012 at 6:06 pm #

    It seems wasteful to simply dispose of the carseat…does graco have recycling program?

  5. raje November 13, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Oh it is a good to know that car seats also has expiry date

  6. Les Wilder November 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm #

    Expiration date on a car seat? Your marketing team must be patting themselves on their backs right now. I’ve always thought most baby products were overpriced but now it seems like y’all are just taking advantage of idiots.

  7. Truck Under Seat Storage December 18, 2012 at 12:27 am #

    Is that true? I wasn’t really aware of such information.

  8. Ryann Craig December 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm #

    Its amazing that people didn’t know this. EVERY seat expires! Look on the bottom of the seat, it tells you! Its dangerous people, don’t be cheap. Throw the seats away and buy a new one. Good job Graco reminding people!

  9. Maria December 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm #

    We re-purpose our crashed and expired seats. we use them for the kids when they have friends over as movie chairs in front of the big screen (cup holders!!!) we also use them out around the fire pit when we roast marshmallows :)

    I like the condom/car seat analogy. Would you reuse a condom? Trust an expired condom to not break when used? No! Car seats and condoms are alike in that they are only god for one bout of excitement and cannot be trusted to work properly after the expiration date.

  10. LJ April 4, 2013 at 9:28 pm #

    If that is the case then car interiors should aslo have expiration dates. They are made of much of the same materials as car seats. They have fabric and plastic and metal and are exposed to extreme heat and cold. So one could say that a car over 6 years old is not safe for a child? or for anyone really. So can you explain then why car’s interiors don’t expire too?

  11. MG April 21, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    Likening a car seat to a condom? REALLY?? A condom is MADE for a ONE TIME USE…that is what it made to do…a car seat is not. smh.

  12. Stacie August 29, 2013 at 12:37 am #

    Ryann Craig says:Its amazing that people didn’t know this. EVERY seat expires!

    how is that surprising to you? my son is working on being 21yrs old. NEVER were there expiration dates on car seats. this is fairly new and you weren’t born “knowing” this, someone taught you this. So as far as it being “amazing” someone else didn’t know, no it really isn’t amazing. oh and way back in the day when your parents were little. they didn’t even have a car seat except the one that was made for the actual car. now THAT’S amazing!!

  13. Carolyn November 5, 2013 at 1:23 pm #

    “Question #4: What do I do with an expired car seat?
    If you need to dispose of your car seat and Babies R Us is not hosting their Trade-In event, then you should cut the straps of the harness so someone doesn’t try to re-use the expired seat for their child.
    If your car seat is expired, please dispose of it properly…!”

    SO…Cut the straps and dispose of it properly. Gee, thanks, Graco. What, exactly, is ‘properly’? Can any of it be recycled? Are there any programs available (such as BabyEarth RENEW)? Should all of it be garbage, non recycleable? Some of it? “Dispose” Doesn’t exactly answer the questions. You need to be more clear if you mean “cut the straps and put it in the garbage.”

  14. Kayla January 21, 2014 at 12:26 am #

    It says above that all car seats have an expiration date on the bottom. Well mine however does NOT it has a manufacture date and I have researched and researched your site to find out how long it’s good for after the manufacture date with no luck what so ever. This is very frustrating!!!!! I have a Graco Snugride 30. And the approximate 6-10 years above is not enough information. I want an exact amount of time instead you want us to guess at it.

  15. Bhan February 2, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

    This is the MOST STUPID thing ever. Just a money-making piece of junk.

  16. Joan February 5, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

    Kayla, your seat will have a expiration date stamped in the plastic. It can be harder to see since it blends in. If you flip the seat over and look near where the child’s feet goes it may be there. When in doubt call Graco and ask.

  17. Corinne Kelly February 14, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    Not True that you imprint DO NOT Use by on every seat I have a model 8682SMT TurboBooster It has the manufacture date only sticker with the serial number. I am pretty sure this seat is expired but just checking. Thanks Corinne Kelly 925-462-6960

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  19. John April 9, 2014 at 1:11 am #


    I also have a Snug Ride 30 and it IS IMPRINTED on the bottom, as it states (which I didn’t catch the first time). It is kind of hard to see, but its on the bottom on one of the black on black areas stamped into the plastic. Mine says 7 years.

  20. carrie carter August 27, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    Hello my name is carrie mae I am 36 and 5 months pregnant with my first baby I am overwhelmed at how much the must haves cost I was very excited to see this NAutilus Plus 3in1 give away I was blessed with this pregnancy and would be blessed to win this car seat I was handed down a infant car seat but I just noticed it is only good up to 22pounds so now I am in search of a safe and comfortable car seat that will last through my baby’s growing years. Thank you Graco!