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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1988 

                        CHAPTER 636-H.F.No. 1526 
           An act relating to transportation; including certain 
          all-terrain vehicles in the definition of motor 
          vehicle for registration purposes; defining limousines 
          and providing for their registration; allowing seven 
          digits on personalized license plates and providing 
          for personalized plate fees; authorizing special 
          license plates for veterans; allowing the commissioner 
          of public safety to determine the fee for ex-POW 
          license plates; restricting certain farm trailers to 
          being towed at a maximum speed of 30 miles per hour; 
          exempting certain vehicles from brake requirements; 
          permitting tinted glass on side and rear windows of 
          limousines; providing for star county signs; providing 
          for a tax on sale of collector vehicles in lieu of the 
          motor vehicle excise tax; imposing a penalty; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.011, subdivision 
          4, and by adding a subdivision; 168.12, subdivision 
          2a; 168.125; 169.145; 169.67, subdivisions 3 and 4; 
          169.71, subdivision 4; 169.82; 173.085; 297B.02, 
          subdivision 2, and by adding a subdivision; and 
          297B.025; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
          Statutes, chapter 168. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.011, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 4.  [MOTOR VEHICLE.] (a) "Motor vehicle" means any 
self-propelled vehicle not operated exclusively upon railroad 
tracks and any vehicle propelled or drawn by a self-propelled 
vehicle and includes vehicles known as trackless trolleys which 
are propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley 
wires but not operated upon rails, except snowmobiles and 
manufactured homes.  After July 31, 1985, 
    (b) "Motor vehicle" also includes an all-terrain vehicle, 
as defined in section 84.92, subdivision 8, which (1) has at 
least four wheels, (2) is owned and operated by a physically 
handicapped person, and (3) displays both physically handicapped 
license plates and a physically handicapped certificate issued 
under section 169.345, subdivision 3. 
     (c) Motor vehicle does not include a three-wheel 
off-road an all-terrain vehicle as defined in section 84.92, 
subdivision 8; except that if the three-wheel off-road (1) an 
all-terrain vehicle described in paragraph (b), or (2) an 
all-terrain vehicle was licensed as a motor vehicle before 
August 1, 1985, in which case the owner may continue to license 
it as a motor vehicle until it is conveyed or otherwise 
transferred to another owner, is destroyed, or fails to comply 
with the registration and licensing requirements of this chapter.
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.011, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 35.  [LIMOUSINE.] "Limousine" means a passenger 
automobile for hire, other than a taxicab or a van, that is 
regularly engaged in the business of transporting persons and 
that has a rear seating capacity of not more than nine 
passengers. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.12, 
subdivision 2a, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 2a.  [PERSONALIZED LICENSE PLATES.] Personalized 
license plates must be issued to an applicant for registration 
of a passenger automobile, van, or pickup truck, motorcycle, or 
self-propelled recreational vehicle, upon compliance with the 
laws of this state relating to registration of the vehicle and 
upon payment of a one-time fee of $100 in addition to the 
registration tax required by law for the vehicle.  The registrar 
shall designate a replacement fee for personalized license 
plates calculated to cover the cost of replacement.  This fee 
must be paid by the applicant whenever the personalized license 
plates are required to be replaced by law.  In lieu of the 
numbers assigned as provided in subdivision 1, personalized 
license plates must have imprinted on them a series of not more 
than six seven numbers and letters in any combination.  When an 
applicant has once obtained personalized plates, the applicant 
shall have a prior claim for similar personalized plates in the 
next succeeding year that plates are issued if application is 
made for them at least 30 days before the first date that 
registration can be renewed.  The commissioner of public safety 
shall adopt rules in the manner provided by chapter 14, 
regulating the issuance and transfer of personalized license 
plates.  No words or combination of letters placed on 
personalized license plates may be used for commercial 
advertising, be of an obscene, indecent, or immoral nature, or 
be of a nature that would offend public morals or decency.  The 
call signals or letters of a radio or television station are not 
commercial advertising for the purposes of this subdivision. 
    Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivision 1, 
personalized license plates issued under this subdivision may be 
transferred to another motor vehicle owned or jointly owned by 
the applicant, upon the payment of a fee of $5, which must be 
paid into the state treasury and credited to the highway user 
tax distribution fund.  The registrar may by rule provide a form 
for notification.  
    Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, if the 
personalized license plates are lost, stolen, or destroyed, the 
applicant may apply and shall receive duplicate license plates 
bearing the same combination of letters and numbers as the 
former personalized plates upon the payment of a $5 fee.  
    The fee prescribed for personalized license plates must be 
paid only in those years in which the number plate itself is 
issued, and must not be payable in a year in which a year plate, 
tab, or sticker is issued in lieu of a number plate. 
    Fees from the sale of permanent and duplicate personalized 
license plates must be paid into the state treasury and credited 
to the highway user tax distribution fund. 
    Sec. 4.  [168.123] [VETERANS; SPECIAL LICENSE PLATE.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [GENERAL REQUIREMENTS; FEES.] The registrar 
shall issue special license plates to an applicant who served in 
the active military service in a branch of the armed forces of 
the United States, was discharged under honorable conditions, 
and is an owner or joint owner of a motor vehicle included 
within the definition of a passenger automobile, on payment of a 
fee of $10 for each set of two plates, payment of the 
registration tax required by law, and compliance with other laws 
relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles and 
drivers.  The additional fee of $10 is payable for each set of 
plates, is payable only when the plates are issued, and is not 
payable in a year in which tabs or stickers are issued instead 
of number plates.  An applicant must not be issued more than two 
sets of plates for vehicles owned or jointly owned by the 
applicant. 
    The veteran shall have a certified copy of the veteran's 
discharge papers, indicating character of discharge, at the time 
of application. 
    Subd. 2.  [DESIGN.] The commissioner of veterans affairs 
shall design the special plates, subject to the approval of the 
registrar, that satisfy the following requirements:  
    (a) For a Vietnam veteran who served after July 1, 1961, 
and before July 1, 1978, the special plates must bear the 
inscription "VIETNAM VET" and the letters "V" and "V" with the 
first letter directly above the second letter and both letters 
just preceding the first numeral of the special license plate 
number. 
    (b) For a veteran stationed on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, 
or offshore, during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 
1941, the special plates must bear the inscription "PEARL HARBOR 
SURVIVOR" and the letters "P" and "H" with the first letter 
directly above the second letter and both letters just preceding 
the first numeral of the special license plate number. 
    (c) For a veteran who served during World War I or World 
War II, the special plates must bear the inscription "WORLD WAR 
VET" and: 
    (1) for a World War I veteran, the characters "W" and "I" 
with the first character directly above the second character and 
both characters just preceding the first numeral of the special 
license plate number; or 
    (2) for a World War II veteran, the characters "W" and "II" 
with the first character directly above the second character and 
both characters just preceding the first numeral of the special 
license plate number. 
    (d) For a veteran who served during the Korean Conflict, 
the special plates must bear the inscription "KOREAN VET" and 
the letters "K" and "V" with the first letter directly above the 
second letter and both letters just preceding the first numeral 
of the special license plate number.  
    Subd. 3.  [NUMBER ESTIMATED.] The commissioner of veterans 
affairs shall estimate the number of special plates that will be 
required and submit the estimate to the registrar.  
    Subd. 4.  [PLATE TRANSFERS.] On payment of a fee of $5, 
plates issued under this section may be transferred to another 
motor vehicle owned or jointly owned by the person to whom the 
plates were issued.  
    Subd. 5.  [FEES CREDITED.] Fees collected under this 
section must be paid into the state treasury and credited to the 
highway user tax distribution fund. 
    Subd. 6.  [RULES.] The registrar may adopt rules under the 
administrative procedure act to govern the issuance and use of 
the special plates authorized by this section. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 168.125, is 
amended to read:  
    168.125 [SPECIAL LICENSE PLATES FOR FORMER PRISONERS OF 
WAR.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [SPECIAL PLATES; APPLICATION; FEE; TRANSFER 
ISSUANCE AND DESIGN.] The registrar shall issue special license 
plates bearing the inscription "EX-POW" to any applicant who is 
both a former prisoner of war and an owner or joint owner of a 
motor vehicle upon the applicant's compliance with all the laws 
of this state relating to the registration and licensing of 
motor vehicles and drivers.  The special license plates shall be 
of a design and size to be determined by the commissioner.  
Plates bearing the "EX-POW" inscription may be issued for only 
one motor vehicle per applicant.  
    Application for issuance of these plates shall be made at 
the time of renewal or first application for registration.  The 
application shall include a certification by the commissioner of 
veterans affairs that the applicant was a member of the military 
forces of the United States who was captured, separated, and 
incarcerated by an enemy of the United States during a period of 
armed conflict.  
    The applicant shall pay, in addition to the registration 
tax required by law, a fee of $10 for the special license plates 
issued under this section, in an amount calculated by the 
commissioner to cover the cost of the license plates.  The 
additional fee is payable only when the plates are issued and no 
additional fee is payable in any year in which tabs or stickers 
are issued in lieu of number plates.  All fees from the sale of 
the special license plates shall be paid into the state treasury 
and credited to the highway user tax distribution fund.  
    Notwithstanding the provisions of section 168.12, 
subdivision 1, the special license plates issued under this 
section may be transferred to another motor vehicle owned or 
jointly owned by the former prisoner of war upon the payment of 
a fee of $5.  This fee shall be paid into the state treasury and 
credited to the highway user tax distribution fund.  
    For purposes of this section, "motor vehicle" means a 
passenger automobile, station wagon, pickup truck, motorcycle, 
or recreational vehicle.  
    Subd. 2.  [SPECIAL PLATE PLATES; EX-POW AND HANDICAPPED 
INSIGNIA.] The registrar shall issue special license plates 
bearing both the "EX-POW" and handicapped insignia to any 
applicant who is entitled to the special license plates provided 
under this section and who is also entitled to special license 
plates for the physically handicapped under section 168.021 upon 
compliance with the provisions of both sections.  The special 
license plates shall be of a design and size to be determined by 
the commissioner.  
    Subd. 3.  [RULES; COMMISSIONER OF PUBLIC SAFETY.] The 
commissioner of public safety may promulgate by rule, in 
accordance with the provisions of chapter 15 14, the procedures 
for issuance or transfer of the special license plates 
authorized under this section.  
    Subd. 4.  [RULES; COMMISSIONER OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.] The 
commissioner of veterans affairs shall promulgate by rule, in 
accordance with the provisions of chapter 14, establish the 
procedure for obtaining the certification of former prisoner of 
war status. 
    Subd. 5.  [SAVINGS PROVISION.] Nothing in this section 
shall alter the exemption for disabled war veterans provided for 
in section 168.031. 
    Sec. 6.  [168.128] [LIMOUSINE; LICENSE PLATES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [UNIQUE REGISTRATION CATEGORY.] A unique 
vehicle registration category is established for limousines as 
defined in section 2. 
    Subd. 2.  [LICENSE PLATES.] The registrar shall issue 
limousine license plates upon the applicant's compliance with 
laws relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles 
and drivers.  The applicant must provide the registrar with 
proof that the passenger automobile license tax and a $10 fee 
have been paid for each limousine receiving limousine license 
plates.  The limousine license plates must be designed to 
specifically identify the vehicle as a limousine.  Limousine 
license plates may not be transferred upon sale of the 
limousine, but may be transferred to another limousine owned by 
the same person upon notifying the registrar and paying a $5 
transfer fee. 
    Subd. 3.  [INSURANCE.] The application must include a 
certificate of insurance verifying that a valid commercial 
insurance policy is in effect and giving the name of the 
insurance company and the number of the insurance policy.  The 
policy must provide stated limits of liability, exclusive of 
interest and costs, with respect to each vehicle for which 
coverage is granted, of not less than $100,000 because of bodily 
injury to one person in any one accident and, subject to said 
limit for one person, of not less than $300,000 because of 
injury to two or more persons in any one accident.  The 
insurance company must notify the commissioner if the policy is 
canceled or if the policy no longer provides the coverage 
required by this subdivision. 
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 169.145, is 
amended to read:  
    169.145 [IMPLEMENTS OF HUSBANDRY; SPEED; PENALTY.] 
    No person shall drive a self-propelled implement of 
husbandry, nor shall any person tow a self-propelled implement 
of husbandry, nor shall any person tow a farm trailer not 
equipped with brakes and exceeding 6,000 pounds, at a speed in 
excess of 30 miles per hour.  Violation of this section is a 
misdemeanor. 
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 169.67, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 3.  [TRAILERS, SEMITRAILERS, TANK TRAILERS.] Every 
trailer, semitrailer, or other vehicle of a gross weight of 
1,500 pounds or more, when drawn or pulled upon a highway, shall 
be equipped with brakes adequate to control the movement of and 
to stop and to hold such vehicle, and so designed as to be 
applied by the driver of a towing motor vehicle from its cab, 
except (a) trailers owned by farmers when transporting 
agricultural products produced on the owner's farm or supplies 
back to the farm of the owner of the trailer, (b) custom service 
vehicles drawn by motor vehicles equipped with brakes capable of 
stopping both vehicles within the distance required by law for 
vehicles with four-wheel brakes and contractors' custom service 
vehicles not exceeding 30,000 pounds gross weight and 45 miles 
per hour when drawn by a motor vehicle capable of stopping the 
combination within the performance standards of subdivision 5, 
(c) trailers or semitrailers when used by retail dealers 
delivering implements of husbandry, (d) motor vehicles drawn by 
motor vehicles equipped with brakes capable of stopping the 
combination of vehicles within the performance requirements of 
this section, (e) tank trailers not exceeding 8,500 pounds gross 
weight used solely for transporting liquid fertilizer or gaseous 
fertilizer under pressure, or distributor trailers not exceeding 
8,500 pounds gross weight used solely for transporting and 
distributing dry fertilizer, when hauled by a truck capable of 
stopping with loaded trailer attached in the distance specified 
by subdivision 5 for vehicles equipped with four-wheel brakes, 
providing the gross weight of such trailer or semitrailer other 
than those described in clause (e) when drawn by a pleasure 
vehicle shall not exceed 3,000 pounds, or when drawn by a truck 
or tractor shall not exceed 6,000 pounds, or may exceed 6,000 
pounds but not exceed 15,000 pounds for a trailer described in 
clause (a) when drawn by a truck or tractor at a speed not 
exceeding 30 miles per hour, and except disabled vehicles towed 
to a place of repair. 
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 169.67, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 4.  [SERVICE BRAKES ON ALL WHEELS; EXCEPTIONS.] Every 
new motor vehicle, trailer, or semitrailer, sold in this 
state manufactured after June 30, 1988, and operated upon the 
highways shall be equipped with service brakes upon all wheels 
of every such vehicle, except mobile cranes not exceeding 45 
miles per hour and capable of stopping within the performance 
standards of subdivision 5, and except that any motorcycle, any 
semitrailer of less than 1,500 pounds gross weight, a third 
wheel, of a swivel type, on a house trailer, a temporary 
auxiliary axle attached to a motor vehicle during the period of 
road restrictions for the purpose of relieving weight of another 
axle, when the temporary auxiliary axle and the axle to be 
relieved do not exceed the combined gross weight of 18,000 
pounds, and the vehicle to which such temporary axle is attached 
meets the brake requirements of this section, need not be 
equipped with brakes; and except, further, that brakes are not 
required on the front wheels of vehicles manufactured before 
July 1, 1988, having three or more axles or upon more than one 
wheel of a motorcycle provided the brakes on the other wheels 
are adequate to stop the vehicle in accordance with the braking 
performance requirements of subdivision 5.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 169.71, 
subdivision 4, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 4.  No person shall drive or operate any motor 
vehicle required to be registered in the state of Minnesota upon 
any street or highway under the following conditions:  
    (a) when the windshield is composed of, covered by, or 
treated with any material which has the effect of making the 
windshield more reflective or in any other way reducing light 
transmittance through the windshield;  
    (b) when any window on the vehicle is composed of, covered 
by, or treated with any material that has a highly reflective or 
mirrored appearance;  
    (c) when any side window or rear window is composed of or 
treated with any material so as to obstruct or substantially 
reduce the driver's clear view through the window or has a light 
transmittance of less than 50 percent plus or minus three 
percent in the visible light range or a luminous reflectance of 
more than 20 percent plus or minus three percent; or 
    (d) when any material has been applied after August 1, 
1985, to any motor vehicle window without an accompanying 
permanent marking which indicates the percent of transmittance 
and the percent of reflectance afforded by the material.  The 
marking must be in a manner so as not to obscure vision and be 
readable when installed on the vehicle.  
    This subdivision does not apply to glazing materials which: 
    (a) have not been modified since the original installation, 
nor to original replacement windows and windshields, that were 
originally installed or replaced in conformance with Federal 
Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 205;  
    (b) were are required to satisfy prescription needs of the 
driver of the vehicle and if the driver is in possession of such 
the prescription; or 
    (c) were are applied to: 
    (1) the rear windows of a pickup truck as defined in 
section 168.011, subdivision 29, or to; 
    (2) the rear windows or the side windows on either side 
behind the driver's seat of a van as defined in section 168.011, 
subdivision 28, or; 
    (3) the side and rear windows of any a vehicle used to 
transport human remains by a funeral establishments 
establishment holding a permit under the provisions of section 
149.08; or 
    (4) the side and rear windows of a limousine as defined in 
section 2.  
    Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 169.82, is 
amended to read:  
    169.82 [TRAILER EQUIPMENT.] 
    Except as provided in section 169.67, any trailer exceeding 
a gross weight of 6,000 pounds shall be equipped with brakes 
adequate to stop and hold such trailer, and which are so 
constructed that they will so operate whenever such trailer 
becomes detached from the towing vehicle.  
    When one vehicle is towing another the drawbar or other 
connection shall be of sufficient strength to pull all weight 
towed thereby, and said drawbar or other connection shall not 
exceed 15 feet from one vehicle to the other except the 
connection between any two vehicles transporting poles, pipe, 
machinery or other objects of structural nature which cannot 
readily be dismembered.  
    When one vehicle is towing another and the connection 
consists of a chain, rope, or cable, there shall be displayed 
upon such connection a white, red, yellow or orange flag or 
cloth not less than 12 inches square.  
    Every trailer or semitrailer shall be hitched to the motor 
vehicles furnishing the tractive power for it by a device 
approved by the commissioner of public safety as safe and in 
addition shall be equipped with safety chains permanently 
attached to the trailer except that where the coupling device is 
a regulation fifth wheel and king pin assembly approved by the 
commissioner of public safety such safety chains shall not be 
required.  In towing, such chains shall be carried through a 
ring on the towbar and attached to the towing vehicle, and shall 
be of sufficient strength to control the trailer in event of 
failure of the towing device.  
    No person may be charged with a violation of this section 
solely by reason of violating a maximum speed prescribed in 
section 169.145 or 169.67. 
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 173.085, is 
amended to read:  
    173.085 [STAR CITY SIGNS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORITY TO ERECT.] (a) A county or 
lesser populated statutory or home rule charter city of 
Minnesota that has received instruction and expertise from the 
department of energy and economic development on attracting and 
retaining businesses for the county or city and subsequently has 
been designated and annually recertified as a star county or 
star city for economic development by that department may 
erect star county or star city signs upon payment of a fee 
required under section 173.13, subdivision 4, to the department 
of transportation.  In the case of star cities, one sign may be 
erected at each approach to the city within the right-of-way of 
an interstate or other highway that passes inside the city 
limits.  In the case of star counties, one sign may be erected 
within the right-of-way of an interstate or other highway at or 
near the point where the highway enters the county.  
    (b) Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph (a), a 
lesser populated statutory or home rule charter city that has an 
official sign in an adjacent area of an approach of an 
interstate highway passing through or near the city as of August 
1, 1985 may replace that sign with a star city sign upon payment 
of a fee required under section 173.13, subdivision 4, to the 
department of transportation.  A county that has an official 
sign on the right-of-way or adjacent area of an interstate 
highway at the point where the highway enters the county may 
replace that sign with a star county sign on payment of a fee 
required under section 173.13, subdivision 4, to the department 
of transportation.  
    Subd. 2.  [SIGN STANDARDS.] The department of 
transportation shall design and manufacture the star county and 
star city sign signs to specifications not contrary to other 
federal and state highway sign standards and substantially 
similar to those star city signs approved for display on state 
highways as of August 1, 1985. 
    Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 297B.02, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read:  
    Subd. 2.  [IN LIEU TAX FOR OLDER PASSENGER AUTOMOBILES.] In 
lieu of the tax imposed in subdivision 1, there is imposed a tax 
of $10 on the purchase price of any passenger automobile 
described in section 297B.025, subdivision 1. 
    Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 297B.02, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [IN LIEU FOR COLLECTOR VEHICLES.] In lieu of the 
tax imposed in subdivision 1, there is imposed a tax of $90 on 
the purchase price of a passenger automobile described in 
section 297B.025, subdivision 2. 
    Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 297B.025, is 
amended to read:  
    297B.025 [OLDER PASSENGER AUTOMOBILES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [NONCOLLECTOR VEHICLES.] Purchase or use of 
a passenger automobile as defined in section 168.011, 
subdivision 7, shall be taxed pursuant to section 297B.02, 
subdivision 2, if the passenger automobile is (1) in the tenth 
or subsequent year of vehicle life, (2) is currently registered 
in Minnesota other than registration under section 168.10, 
subdivisions 1a, 1b, 1c, and 1d, and (3) (2) is not an 
above-market automobile as designated by the registrar of motor 
vehicles. 
    The registrar of motor vehicles shall prepare, and 
distribute to all deputy motor vehicle registrars by July 15, 
1985, a listing by make, model, and year of above-market 
automobiles.  Except as provided by subdivision 2, the registrar 
must include in the list all automobiles with a resale value of 
$3,000 or more, as determined using nationally recognized 
sources of information on automobile resale values.  The 
registrar shall revise the list by February 1 of each year.  The 
initial list and all subsequent revisions must include only 
those automobiles which are in the tenth or subsequent year of 
vehicle life.  
    Subd. 2.  [COLLECTOR VEHICLES.] A passenger automobile that 
is currently registered under section 168.10, subdivisions 1a, 
1b, 1c, and 1d, shall be taxed under section 297B.02, 
subdivision 3, and the registrar shall not designate as an 
above-market automobile a passenger automobile registered under 
those subdivisions.  
    Sec. 16.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1 and 3 are effective the day following final 
enactment.  Sections 7, 8, 9, and 11 are effective July 1, 1988. 
Sections 13 to 15 are effective for a sale or transfer occurring 
after July 30, 1988. 
    Approved April 26, 1988