Why You Should Register Car Seats

Sticker on car seat with all needed information to register
Jennifer White

It really is imperative for owners of car seats to have their car seats registered with the manufacturers. By law, manufacturers are required to send out notices by mail if a seat has been recalled. Therefore, it is important that not only are car seats registered but that you update your information if in the event that you move.

Registering Car Seats Without the Registration Card

As a person who is well-known for misplacing everything from car keys to grocery lists (and for the record, those items are just misplaced not lost!), I can fully commiserate with those of you who misplaced your registration card. Or, perhaps in your situation is that you obtained a ​used car seat and you do not have a card. Rest assured you can still register your seat.

There are a couple of ways to go about registering the car seat sans registration card.

The quickest way to register a car seat without a registration card may be to visit the manufacturer's website and register it online, fast and easy.

Here are links to some car seat manufacturers' online registration forms:

If you prefer old-fashioned snail-mail to send in your registration, you can send a note to the manufacturer with the detailed information that follows. If you are having trouble locating the address, you can send your registration directly to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. They will pass along the registration to the company for you. They even have a handy registration form you can print out. You can send the information to U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of Defects Investigation, Correspondence Research Division (NVS-216), Room W48-301, 1200 New Jersey Avenue S.E., Washington, DC 20590. Include the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your current mailing address
  • Manufacturer's Name (Example: Graco, Britax, Evenflo, Combi, etc.)
  • Date of Manufacture (Example: Label says "Manufactured in" )
  • Model Number (Example: 8643CDR2, 808688, 317147P1, etc.)
  • Model Name (if known) (Example: Snugride, Centre EX, Embrace, etc.)

Locating the Information

In all likelihood, you will find the above information on a plate or sticker on the back of the child restraint. If you cannot find it, particularly if the seat was used by someone else, I would strongly recommend replacing it.

Update Your Information As Needed

The above information will also be helpful if you wind up moving or relocating. Make sure that the company has the most accurate and up-to-date contact information. You definitely want to be the first to know if your child's car seat has a problem. If the manufacturer doesn't have current contact info, you will be out of the loop.

Just a side note: if you register your car seat, it is unlikely that you will be notified when the car seat expires. You'll definitely need to keep track of when the time is up, and when that time comes, you really must quit using your car seat.

By Jennifer White
Jennifer White has authored parenting books and has worked in childcare and education fields for over 15 years.