How Do I Ship a Car Air Bag?

Updated March 23, 2017

The United States Postal Service (USPS) and other shipping services have special regulations for the transportation of hazardous materials. While this includes obvious hazards such as acid, weaponry and explosives, these guidelines also regulate the shipment of airbags. Airbags are considered to be miscellaneous hazardous items for their explosive potential. Accidental airbag deployment may be harmful to mail handlers, factory personnel and postal machinery. To minimise these dangers, airbags are classified as mailable consumer products with ORM-D labelling.

Purchase packaging that meets International Safe Transit Association (ISTA) 3A testing standards. (i.e., a minimum 90.7kg. Burst Strength).

Place the airbag in the burst-proof packaging and seal it according to the instructions.

Label the package clearly with the technical name, specific name and ID number of the air bag. Include the full names of both the shipper and the recipient. Hazard labels cannot be wrapped around edges or bent.

Complete the shipping paper or similar form to document the transportation of the airbag. Obtain shipping papers from your shipping service.

Inform the shipper of hazardous contents when purchasing shipping service.


Gas airbags are placed in class 2.2, while pyrotechnic devices are in class 9. Regulation of hazardous transportation is handled by the Department of Transportation (DOT). Standards are published in "49, Code of Federal Regulations" (49 CFR) parts 100-185.


In addition to 49 CFR, you must adhere to the regulations of your shipping provider.

Things You'll Need

  • Burst-proof packaging
  • Hazard labels
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About the Author

Sylvia Cini has written informative articles for parents and educators since 2009. Her articles appear on various websites. Cini has worked as a mentor, grief counselor, tutor, recreational leader and school volunteer coordinator. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Clark University of Worcester, Massachusetts.