Why Do Car Seats Expire? And How Long Is Mine Good For?

Why do car seats expire?

A question we are asked frequently, and a good one!  All manufacturers of car and booster seats in Canada set an expiry date on their seats.  The length of useful life varies and is most often a set amount of time from the date of manufacture.  The date of manufacture is found on a sticker somewhere on the seat, but sometimes not visible unless the seat is uninstalled.  Every manufacturer sets their own expiration dates, but may not list it with the date of manufacture. It may be on a separate sticker on the seat, in raised lettering in the plastic somewhere on the underside, or written in the manual.

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Seats expire for a number of reasons.  A specific reason (such as an unknown history) may not apply to you, but cumulatively the reasons are compelling to replace a seat after it expires.  Per a March 2011 statement from Transport Canada:

Manufacturers give an expiry or useful life date because over time:

  • frequent use and exposure to sunlight can damage and weaken plastic (think of plastic sand toys or patio furniture after a few years of use);
  • safe-use labels on the products fade, fall off, or become hard to read;
  • instruction manuals may have been lost;
  • food, cleaners, drinks and other materials that have been spilled or used on webbing, buckles, adjusters and other parts may prevent them from working safely;
  • the history or condition of the car seat or booster seat becomes hard to check (was it in a crash, was it stored in a place or in a way that caused damage to parts, etc.?  We discourage the use of used seats – here’s why);
  • safety regulations and standards may have changed, so safer products may now be on the market;
  • second or subsequent owners may not get product safety recall notices if problems arise; and
  • beyond the expiry date the manufacturer is no longer monitoring the integrity of the seat.

Once a seat has expired please destroy it. Do not give it to a friend or relative to use, don’t donate it to charity, and don’t keep it “as a back-up.”  Remove the cover (which CAN be saved for use on another identical seat), cut the harness, and write “expired – do not use” in marker. If possible take it to a recycling facility near you (they’re few and far between unfortunately), or bag it up and put it out with your garbage, or take it to the dump. Make it unusable for anyone else so they don’t unknowingly compromise the safety of their child by using an expired seat.

Has your seat expired and you’re in the market for a new one?  We have favourite lists of seats in all categories – infant seats, infant/child seats, child/booster seats, and dedicated boosters.  What do you get for more money? Read here.

Not sure how long your seat is good for? Start here, and then CONFIRM WITH THE MANUFACTURER! This list may not be comprehensive, nor apply to every single seat on the market at the time of writing.  We’ve done our best to ensure its accuracy but the manufacturer always has the final say.

Note: I = infant, C = child, B = booster

(Infant seats are rear-facing only; I/C are also known as convertibles; C/B are also known as combination seats; I/C/B are also known as 3-in-1s)

Click below on the Manufacturer name bolded in green for a link to the customer service page for that brand. Please comment below if there are any dead links.

Manufacturer Brand Type Expiry
Apramo Apramo B 10 years
Baby Trend Baby Trend I & C/B 6 years
Britax Britax I 6 years
Britax Britax I/C white shell 6 years
Britax Britax I/C black shell 7 years
Britax Britax I/C "ClickTight" 10 years
Britax Britax B 6 years
Britax Britax C/B 9 years
Chicco Chicco I 6 years from date of manufacture OR purchase but proof of purchase required
Clek Clek I/C & B 9 years *retroactive change to all seats except Oto (7 years)
Diono Diono Radians I/C/B 8 years in harness mode / 10 years in booster mode
Diono Diono Rainier/Pacifica/Olympia I/C/B 8 years in harness mode / 12 years in booster mode
Diono Diono Monterey B 6 years
Diono Diono Cambria B 10 years
Diono Little Tikes B 6 years
Dorel Cosco B "Top Side" December 31st 6 years after date of manufacture for seats made as of Jan 2014
Dorel Cosco & Eddie Bauer & Safety 1st & Quinny & Lux & Schwinn & Maxi Cosi I and some I/C December 31st 8 years after date of manufacture for seats made as of Jan 2014
Dorel Cosco & Eddie Bauer & Safety 1st & Quinny & Lux & Schwinn & Maxi Cosi some I/C & C/B & B & some I/C/B December 31st 10 years after date of manufacture for seats made as of Jan 2014
Dorel Cosco & Eddie Bauer & Safety 1st & Quinny & Lux & Schwinn & Maxi Cosi I & B & some I/C 6 years for seats made prior to Dec 2013
Dorel Cosco & Eddie Bauer & Safety 1st & Quinny & Lux & Schwinn & Maxi Cosi I/C/B & some I/C 8 years for seats made prior to Dec 2013
Evenflo Evenflo I & I/C & C/B & B except where noted below 6 years
Evenflo Evenflo I/C/B Symphony and C/B Evolve and Transitions 8 years
Evenflo Evenflo I/C/B SafeMax All-In-One 10 years
Ferrari Ferrari B 10 years
Goodbaby GB I 6years
Graco Graco I & I/C & C/B & B with dates of manufacture earlier than mid-2011 December of 6th year
Graco Graco I & I/C with dates of manufacture later than mid-2011 and model numbers beginning with '18' or '19' 7 years
Graco Nautilus (backless booster portion only on seats with dates of manufacture earlier than mid-2011) B 9 years
Graco Graco C/B & B with dates of manufacture later than mid-2011 and model numbers beginning with '18' or '19' 10 years
Harmony Harmony C/B Defender 10 years
Harmony Harmony B & C/B V7 6 years
KidsEmbrace KidsEmbrace C/B 7years
Little Tikes see Diono
Nuna Nuna I 7 years from date of manufacture OR purchase but proof of purchase required
Orbit Baby Orbit Baby I 7 years
Peg Perego Peg Perego I & B 7 years
Peg Perego Peg Perego I/C manufactured 2011 – Nov 2015 7 years
Peg Perego Peg Perego I/C (all seats manufactured Nov 2015 and later) 10 years
Recaro Recaro I/C 6years
Sunshine Kids Sunshine Kids I/C 8 years
Sunshine Kids Sunshine Kids B 6 years
Tomy First Years/Compass/Lamaze/Learning Curve/Tomy I & I/C & B 7 years
UPPAbaby UPPAbaby I 7 years
Urbini see Evenflo

96 comments to Why Do Car Seats Expire? And How Long is Mine Good For?

  • This is one awesome blog.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  • Chris Connell

    What kind of ductility testing was used to determine the degradation of plastic when exposed to the sun What were the temps and exposure times How long does a seat potentially sit on a store room shelf before being sold What sort of food, cleaner, or drink erodes plastic or nylon Please clarify as I will avoid ingesting such food or drink.

    • jshapka

      Good questions Chris, and ones best sent to the manufacturers of the individual seats as they are the ones setting the limits. There is info in the testing procedures available online as to time/temp/humidity length of exposure if you’re interested in reading those technical documents. How long a seat sits on a store shelf of course varies by store.

      • Daisy

        Hello just wondering my x has a cosco juvinile booster seat made 2006 I’m sure it’s expired is it

        • jshapka

          Yes, it would have expired in 2012 or 2014 depending on what it was exactly. Please recycle if possible, or destroy it otherwise.

  • Chris Lavall

    This is the most silly, most outrageous SCAM I have seen in years. Expiry date on a seat! This is not only stupid, this is an attack on our intelligence. The only reason manufacturer put an expiry date on their product is to make sure they will be selling off their quota per year forever. I have a car seat I bought 15 years ago, and it is still in perfect condition. Why would I put it to garbage and spend another $100 to buy a new one I cant believe this is happening. How stupid stupidity can be

    • jshapka

      The manufacturer no longer tests, nor guarantees the integrity, safety, and functioning of a seat after its expiry date. You are of course free to use your own child as a crash test dummy to test your theory of ‘stupidity.’ Without a doubt seats produced today are safer than a seat from 15 or 10 or even 5 years ago; technology has improved drastically. Why would you take the risk Why wouldn’t you spend $100 to buy something that has a much greater chance of saving your irreplaceable child’s life

  • Tracey

    Since there is no like button here I just had to post to high-five Jen for her responses to these two posts.

  • Charlotte

    this following info came straight from CSC instructor…Canada doesn’t do testing but the USA DOES! for a fee people can bring their seats in to be inspected and have a new expiry sticker issued if the seat passes safety.My daughter used a booster seat for maybe 1.5 yrs before she out grew it so now ive just spent a ton of money on something I only used for a year, its never been in an accident, i can guarantee the plastic didn’t break down in 1 yr…or sitting on the shelf for 3, I would take mine in to be tested. The comment about spending the $$…if you hadn’t noticed what is the minority having children today TEENS…where does a teenager get the money for a car seat, and not all teens parents can afford to spend that kind of money on one either so to have a friend who used theirs for only 1 yr and it has passed the requirements after testing its safe to use

    • jshapka

      I am not familiar with what a “CSC Instructor” is, but if you’re able to provide contact information I would be interested in what this person has to say. There is no way to re-certify a specific seat for use past its expiry date — that is an urban myth that will be discounted by any certified Children’s Restraint System Technician (Canada) or Child Passenger Safety Technician (USA), or by the manufacturer of said seat. Occasionally manufacturers will give a retroactive extension of the useful life of a seat due to their own internal testing, for example Diono/Sunshine Kids retroactively allowing 8 years from date of manufacture despite early (2006ish) models of the seat stating a 7 year useful life span, or Clek going to 9 years on all of its seats despite a time frame of 6 years originally on their earlier boosters such as the Otto. The only way to test a specific seat for continued safety is to crash test it…at which point it is of course no longer safe to use.

      Regarding people not being able to afford appropriate seats for their children: there are organizations in various places that do help families in need purchase seats, some organizations have a seat donation program, and those on social assistance have access to some assistance as well. Failing that ANY restraint is better than no restraint at all, although certainly the risk of injury or death increases with each instance of misuse.

  • thesupergenius

    So the immediate question would be whose kid can fit in the same car seat for over 1 maybe years at the max my kids out grew their car seats at infant, toddler, and child although their last booster I used for many years and well over its expiration date as it was a booster so was basically a lifting cushion, which raised the child to use the seatbelts properly.
    Now my though for anyone with some common sense is that the child seat is held in by the cars seatbelts as are the adults in the car. If it was necessary to replace a childs car seat cause the restraints (expire), do you also replace your cars seatbelts. Cause they do wear and fray, What about the locking mechanism, ever had those replaced If not, your new unexpired car seat might just end up flying right out of the car.

    • jshapka

      It is certainly advisable to inspect and replace belts on older cars. Generally at age 20-25 years it would be recommended to have the belts replaced, which may include the retractor as well if that’s what you’re referring to (belts can lock in a variety of ways). Although the booster’s function is to properly position the belt the components of it serve to hold the lap belt down; if that plastic was to fail after expiry you increase the risk of spinal injuries if the belt rides up too high in the belly in a crash event. Backless boosters are as inexpensive as $10 on a good sale; barring no other options it’s not worth the risk to test the integrity of the “well expired” plastic.

  • […] Looking for expiration dates on seats not listed here ?Expiry dates on products new and old can be found?here. […]

  • Sue

    There was a comment earlier that asked what cleaners and food and drink erodes car seats. Well the one famous soft drink would be Coke It will erode a iron nail, it is used to get grease out of my husbans work clothing. I paid $360 for my car seat and if they said I should replace it in a year I would. It is a small price to pay to save your child’s life. The car seat that I bought is also a forward facing, rear facing and a booster seat so my daughter will be in it for 5 or 6 years. I will get my money’s worth out of it.

  • Emily

    How long does a Quinny car seat last, manufactured 2011’06’20
    Thank you

    • jshapka

      Depends on the type of seat – infant most likely 6 years, the date will be in raised plastic lettering on the underside of the seat.

  • nathalie

    Jai un si?ge satery alpha om?ga 2009 yer tu encore bon

  • Susan

    any idea when a safety 1rst alpha omega elite 65 3in1 car seat would expire if it was manufactured in 2011

    thanks

  • Sasha

    I see that the Maxi Cosi Mico infant seat had its usable life extended from 6 to 8 years in December of 2013. Does that extended life only apply to Mico seats manufactured after the December 2013 change If the Mico seat was manufactured in 2011, it would still only have the 6 year life I hope that doesn’t sound like a silly question. Thanks!!

    • jshapka

      It is not retroactive as far as I know, but best bet would be to call Dorel directly and ask. Not a silly question at all!

  • Caroline

    Hi, I am curious about a child Alpha Omega seat manufactured in 2010. I can’t find the amount of years before the expiry date. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    • jshapka

      The expiration date on that one is in raised plastic lettering on the back around where the child’s lower back would be. It should expire in 2018.

  • Susan Love

    I have an Alpha Omega car seat SF ALPHA OMEGA DLX L#14 B 034661 manufactured 2010 03 23. Wanting to know the expiry date.
    Thank you.

    • Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs

      Hi Susan, the expiry date of that seat is 8 years, so it would be March 23, 2018. ~Lindsay

  • Annie

    I have an infant car seat made by baby trend the flex loc it has a maf date of 2008 is it still good

    • Vancouver Island Car Seat Techs

      Hi Annie, unfortunately no, that seat would have expired last year sometime. Do you need some help picking a new seat ~Lindsay

  • Annie

    No just need help getting a new one paid 40$ thinking it was a good date wish I would had just went & spent the 80$ for a new one but where my father passed away & i am having to pay house insurance & property tax now it is hard , darn I still get no good luck thank you for answering me back

  • Annie

    wish I had knew this b4 hand is kinda what i was getting at she told me it was good for 9 years from the maf date should have known it was a lie

  • Sherry

    A cosco seat was given to me it’s a booster model # 22297-AOR a pears manufactured In Jan 2010, can someone please tell me if it is safe to use.

  • Lacey

    Hi,

    I just purchased an Alpha Omega Elite 65 3 in 1 ( Rear, Front, Booster) car seat Manufacturing Date of March 27, 2015 can you please let me know that expiry date please thanks

    8 years or 10 years

    and where would I find the expiry date the the car seat can’t seem to locate it

    Thanks again

    • jshapka

      Ten years on that one as far as I know. On the underside there will be raised lettering that says “do not use after 20XX” where I expect it would say 2025.

  • Lacey

    Hi,

    Thanks so much, I did find the expiry date December 31, 2025 Wow I did good lol

    Thanks so much

  • Amber

    I have a Greco seat that was maf in 2009 is it still any good

    • jshapka

      What seat is it Did you consult the list in this post It is comprehensive by type. There will also be an expiry date in raised plastic lettering on the underside of the seat.

  • Tesia Taylor

    I have an Safety 1st Omega Elite 65 car seat which has been used three times for visiting grandchild I have had it in original box since then.Mint condition The date on the seat says March 5 2013 However I purchased it from Toys R Us in August 2014. I have put it up on Kijiji for sale and people ask expiry date I believe it is 8 years but I am not sure Can anyone tell me expiry date..Mint condition

  • Heather

    A safety 1st Onboard35 Air infant car seat with a manufacturer date of 2011. How long is it good for before it expires

  • Lisa

    I have a track graco snug ride manufactured in 2012 when would it expire.

    • jshapka

      Did you consult the list on this page Graco infant seats of that era are good for 7 years from date of manufacture.

  • Amanda

    My Britax Chaperone 2009 infant car seat doesn’t have an expiry date sticker on it, but I am wondering if it is infant expired I think it is 6 years giving your chart above

    • Amanda

      And what is a “click tight” lol

    • jshapka

      Britax tends to put the expiry dates only in the manual, but yes, it would be six years. If it hasn’t already expired it will by the end of the year. A ClickTight is a line of seats with an installation method unique to Britax where the whole seat panel lifts up and clamps down on the seat belt to install it.

  • Adina

    Hi, I have a Maxi Cosi Mico purchased in March 2010. Model number 22377TRL and UPC 884392222437. How would I find the expiration date on the seat I have it in storage at the moment so I can’t check the expiration date on the seat itself. Thanks!

    • jshapka

      I’m fairly certain that it was good until December of the 6th year (so Dec 2016) from that era. However, it’s best to look on the seat itself to know for sure.

  • Suzanne Boisvenue

    I wrote to you tuesday to know if my car seat is still good .It a Evenflo Reg. # 26L5001 pack date 10/123/2009. Name Titan 3702195c . Made on 2009/11/17.Please give me an answer as soon as possible Thank you
    Suzanne Boisvenue

    • jshapka

      We don’t see any message from you Suzanne – where did you send it An Evenflo Titan with that date of manufacture has just expired as it had a useful life of six years from date of manufacture. Do you need recommendations for a new seat You will get a much quicker response by posting on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/VICarSeatTechs/ as comments are moderated and we don’t check them nearly as often.

  • Sandy

    I check this website and see that it says the Peg Perego car seats manufactured after 2011 are good for 7 years. This information is incorrect. I called Peg Perego and they said it wasn’t until 2013 that their car seats were made with an expiration date of 7 years.

  • Amanda

    I have a Alpha Omega Elite that I bought brand new. The manufacture date is 2010. Would it expire 8 or 10 years after that date Thanks. 🙂

  • Dustin

    Quick question, how long is reasonable for a retailer to have a car seat before it is sold. I just bought a Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 5-65 and it was manufactured in Oct 2014. I don’t feel great about it being 14 months old already but I’m not sure if this is common Do I have a reasonable complaint for the retailer to provide one with a better date

    Thanks!

  • lacey

    I dont see safety 1st car seats

  • barbara

    What is the expiration of the Graco 1762268 manufactured Dec. 2009
    Thanks.

    • jshapka

      It expired 31-Dec-2015 – unless it says 2016, sometimes seats made right at the end of the year get bumped to the following year. Look for raised lettering on the underside of the seat, kind of where baby’s thighs would be but on the bottom. Scratch for it with your nails. Failing that call Graco to double check.

  • Deb

    After reading this blog, I started checking sites that sell car seats, such as Amazon, Walmart, and the manufacturer websites, and none of them list on the item description or details the expiration term. As a child care provider, buying a car seat with a longer like means I’m getting more use for my dollar. It doesn’t affect parents as much, because their child will likely outgrow the seat before it expires. Child care providers are required to stop using the seat when it expires. Replacing multiple seats every six years (or less if the seat sat in a warehouse for awhile before purchase) is expensive. It seems like manufacturers don’t want consumers to have this information when we select a car seat.

    • jshapka

      Depending on the retailer you may be able to get this information – but if you buy in store you definitely can as the date will be listed on the box. If I’m buying a seat I certainly look for the “youngest” one.

  • Kim

    I have a peg perego infant car seat manufacturing date of 2008 just wondering if it’s still good to use or not as I’m having my baby in July and need to know if I should get a new one of if this one will still be good to use. It was only used for under a year with my 2 kids and has sat in the closet with the base till now. It’s in amazing condition and never been in an accident.

    • jshapka

      Unfortunately that seat expired in 2013. If you’d like suggestions for replacement seats please post on our Facebook page where we check much more often than here!

  • Tracie

    I have Graco myride 65 2009. When does it expire, if it hasn’t already.

  • Shannon bowen

    When does a graco snug rider @30 model # 1786087 expire

    • jshapka

      There should be an expiration date on the underside of the seat in raised lettering in the plastic. It is either December of 2017, or 03/10/2018, I’m afraid I don’t know for sure. If you can’t find it then it would be best to call Graco and ask.

  • Shannon bowen

    Manufacture date 03/10/2011

  • Esther

    Is the peg perego car seat base have expire Everyone are talking on the car seat, how about the base
    I want to buy a used one car seat base for my other car. Can anyone tell me, is the base also have expire on it Thanks !!

    • jshapka

      The base expires at the same time as the seat it came from. Depending on when it was made it either was good for five years or seven. Be aware that the same risks that apply to a used seat also apply to a used base.

  • I have a infant car seat that was made Dec. 9th 2010. When is it good til. It’s a safety 1st.

    • jshapka

      Per the list in this post it would be good for six years from the date of manufacture. There is a date on the underside in raised plastic lettering that will show the expiry.

  • Jasey

    why are some seats good for 10 yrs and others only 6 they’re all made of plastic and styrofoam; shouldn’t they breakdown the same over time

    • jshapka

      Honestly we don’t know. Manufacturers are the experts on their products, and if they aren’t guaranteeing their product beyond a set time frame then it’s not a risk worth taking.

  • Jacqueline

    I have 2 saftey 1st complete air convertable car seats. One was manufactured in 2009 the other 2012. My question is both have an 8 yr expiration stamped on them. However. Saftey 1st website says seat manufacturered after jan 1, 2014 have a 6 yr expiration. Which should I go by

    • jshapka

      By what’s on your seat, and if in doubt, contact Safety 1st with your seat’s specs and confirm with them!

  • Lia

    Can I sell or give away a Peg Preggo Villagio SIP manufactured in 2011

    • jshapka

      It would be best to contact Peg directly for this one and ask whether it’s “2012 compliant” – they have been somewhat erratic in their answers and I don’t want to say yes if the answer is no, or vice versa.

  • Amy

    I have a Graco my ride 65 made in 2010 is it expired The seat had no expiry s date on it. Thanks so much

    • jshapka

      Hi Amy – it expires end of December 2016. The expiry date is imprinted into the plastic on the underside of the seat but can be hard to see. It will say “do not use after December 2016” somewhere there, scratch with your nails or use a flashlight to find the wording.

  • jshapka

    Hi Sherry – there is raised lettering on the underside of the seat that will indicate the expiry date. According to my info it will expire end of December 2018. You can always call Graco to confirm.

  • Tasha

    I am just wondering I have a safety first alpha omega that was manufactured in 2011. I checked and believe it is an 8 year expiry am I correct

    • jshapka

      It should be 8, yes. Look for raised lettering on the underside of the seat, it will say something like “do not use after Dec 2019.”

  • KAROL

    Hi i have a Quinny car seat manufacture date 2011. Don’t they have 7 years to expired date This article from transport Canada is confusing. Considering if it was made in 2011 why would I get ride of it when it has 7 years but yet I have to destroy it because transport Canada says SO

    • jshapka

      It would have six years of life on it. There will be raised plastic lettering on the underside of the seat that says “Do not use after…”. Dorel, the parent company of Quinny, says that is its useful life because that is how they have designed, tested, and engineered it. They are not standing behind its performance after that time.

  • Michelle

    I saw a car seat I wanted for sale at winners but it was manufactured two years ago. It is suppose to be good for 8 years. Is it good from the date you buy it for the 8 years or do you go by the manufacturer date and would only get to use out of it for 6 years! Thanks

  • Jaclyn

    I have an EB Excursion CR/HBB, model#22806C-VNC. Date of manufactured May 10 2013, what would be the expiry date

    • jshapka

      It should be on the back, underside somewhere in raised plastic lettering. I think that seat would have six years from date of manufacture but it’s always best to check on the seat itself.

  • […] Check your child car seat on Transport Canada’s list of recalls and notices to see if your current one is safe and how to check your seat’s expiry date. […]

  • Erika

    Hi! This is a bit confusing but we have an Eddie Bauer November 2009 DLX model 22800C. Can you confirm when this expires

  • Erika

    Hi Sorry, I don’t have a facebook account. This model is a Child Restraint/High back booster. Does this help

    • jshapka

      It should be six years from date of manufacture (or possibly to end of December, six years after date of manufacture). There should be raised plastic lettering on the back that says “DO NOT USE AFTER 20XX” somewhere around the lower back area.