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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1989 

                        CHAPTER 140-H.F.No. 218 
           An act relating to motor vehicles; defining terms; 
          including station wagon and certain passenger-carrying 
          vans as passenger automobiles for all purposes; 
          providing for registration of certain vehicles; 
          requiring commissioner of public safety to conduct 
          background study on applicant for school bus 
          endorsement; amending Minnesota Statutes 1988, 
          sections 65B.001, subdivision 3; 65B.43, subdivision 
          12; 116.60, subdivision 7; 168.011, subdivisions 7, 
          and 28; 168.012, subdivision 1; 168.017, subdivision 
          1; 168.12, subdivisions 2b and 2c; 168.124, 
          subdivision 5; 168.125, subdivision 1; 168.126, 
          subdivision 2; and 171.321, by adding a subdivision; 
          repealing Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 168.011, 
          subdivision 23; and 168.101, subdivision 5. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 65B.001, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  "Private passenger vehicle" means a passenger 
automobile or station wagon, as those terms are defined in 
section 168.011, or a jeep type automobile, which vehicles are 
that is not rented to others or used as a public or livery 
conveyance for passengers.  
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 65B.43, 
subdivision 12, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 12.  "Commercial vehicle" means: 
    (a) any motor vehicle used as a common carrier, 
    (b) any motor vehicle, other than a passenger vehicle or a 
station wagon, as those terms are defined in section 168.011, 
subdivisions subdivision 7 and 23, which has a curb weight in 
excess of 5500 pounds apart from cargo capacity, or 
    (c) any motor vehicle while used in the for-hire 
transportation of property. 
    Commercial vehicle does not include a "commuter van", which 
for purposes of this chapter shall mean a motor vehicle having a 
capacity of seven to 16 persons which is used principally to 
provide prearranged transportation of persons to or from their 
place of employment or to or from a transit stop authorized by a 
local transit authority which vehicle is to be operated by a 
person who does not drive the vehicle as a principal occupation 
but is driving it only to or from the principal place of 
employment, to or from a transit stop authorized by a local 
transit authority or for personal use as permitted by the owner 
of the vehicle.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 116.60, 
subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 7.  [MOTOR VEHICLE.] "Motor vehicle" means a 
passenger automobile, station wagon, pickup truck, or van, as 
defined in section 168.011, licensed for use on the public 
streets and highways. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.011, 
subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 7.  [PASSENGER AUTOMOBILE.] "Passenger automobile" 
means any motor vehicle designed and used for the carrying of 
not more than ten 15 persons including station wagons but 
excluding the driver.  "Passenger automobile" does not include 
motorcycles and motor scooters.  For purposes of taxation only, 
"passenger automobile" includes pickup trucks and vans. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.011, 
subdivision 28, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 28.  [VAN.] "Van" means any vehicle of box-like 
design with no barrier or separation between the operator's area 
and the remainder of the passenger-carrying or cargo-carrying 
area, and with a manufacturer's nominal rated carrying capacity 
of three-fourths ton or less and commonly known as a van.  
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.012, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  (a) The following vehicles are exempt from 
the provisions of this chapter requiring payment of tax and 
registration fees, except as provided in subdivision 1c:  
    (1) vehicles owned and used solely in the transaction of 
official business by representatives of foreign powers, by the 
federal government, the state, or any political subdivision; 
    (2) vehicles owned and used exclusively by educational 
institutions and used solely in the transportation of pupils to 
and from such institutions; 
    (3) vehicles owned by nonprofit charities and used 
exclusively to transport handicapped persons for educational 
purposes; 
    (4) vehicles owned and used by honorary consul or consul 
general of foreign governments. 
    (b) Vehicles owned by the federal government, municipal 
fire apparatus, police patrols and ambulances, the general 
appearance of which is unmistakable, shall not be required to 
register or display number plates.  
    (c) Unmarked vehicles used in general police work, and 
arson investigations, and passenger vehicles, station wagons 
automobiles, pickup trucks, and buses owned or operated by the 
department of corrections shall be registered and shall 
display passenger vehicle classification appropriate license 
number plates which shall be furnished by the registrar at 
cost.  Original and renewal applications for these passenger 
vehicle license plates authorized for use in general police work 
and for use by the department of corrections must be accompanied 
by a certification signed by the appropriate chief of police if 
issued to a police vehicle, the appropriate sheriff if issued to 
a sheriff's vehicle, the commissioner of corrections if issued 
to a department of corrections vehicle, or the appropriate 
officer in charge if issued to a vehicle of any other law 
enforcement agency.  The certification must be on a form 
prescribed by the commissioner and state that the vehicle will 
be used exclusively for a purpose authorized by this section.  
    (d) All other motor vehicles shall be registered and 
display tax exempt number plates which shall be furnished by the 
registrar at cost, except as provided in subdivision 1c.  All 
vehicles required to display tax exempt number plates shall have 
the name of the state department or public subdivision on the 
vehicle plainly displayed on both sides thereof in letters not 
less than 2-1/2 inches high and one-half inch wide; except that 
each state hospital and institution for the mentally ill and 
mentally retarded may have one vehicle without the required 
identification on the sides of the vehicle.  Such identification 
shall be in a color giving contrast with that of the part of the 
vehicle on which it is placed and shall endure throughout the 
term of the registration.  The identification must not be on a 
removable plate or placard and shall be kept clean and visible 
at all times; except that a removable plate or placard may be 
utilized on vehicles leased or loaned to a political subdivision.
    Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.017, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  All passenger automobiles, ambulances, 
hearses, and pickup trucks, and station wagons shall be 
registered by the registrar according to the monthly series 
system of registration prescribed by this section. 
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.12, 
subdivision 2b, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2b.  [FIREFIGHTERS; SPECIAL LICENSE PLATE.] The 
registrar shall issue special license plates to any applicant 
who is both a member of a fire department receiving state aid 
under chapter 69 and an owner or joint owner of a passenger 
automobile, station wagon, van, or pickup truck, upon payment of 
a fee of $10 and upon payment of the registration tax required 
by law for the vehicle and compliance with other laws of this 
state relating to registration and licensing of motor vehicles 
and drivers.  In lieu of the identification required under 
subdivision 1, the special license plates shall be inscribed 
with a symbol of a Maltese Cross together with five numbers.  No 
applicant shall receive more than two sets of plates for 
vehicles owned or jointly owned by the applicant.  
    Special plates issued under this subdivision may only be 
used during the period that the owner or joint owner of the 
vehicle is a member of a fire department as specified in this 
subdivision.  When the person to whom the special plates were 
issued is no longer a member of a fire department or when the 
vehicle ownership is transferred, the special license plates 
shall be removed from the vehicle and returned to the 
registrar.  Upon return of the special plates, the owner or 
purchaser of the vehicle is entitled to receive regular plates 
for the vehicle without cost for the remainder of the 
registration period for which the special plates were issued. 
Firefighter license plates issued pursuant to this subdivision 
may be transferred to another motor vehicle upon payment of $5, 
which fee shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to 
the highway user tax distribution fund.  
    The commissioner of public safety may adopt rules under the 
administrative procedure act, sections 14.01 to 14.69, to govern 
the issuance and use of the special plates authorized in this 
subdivision.  All fees from the sale of special license plates 
for firefighters shall be paid into the state treasury and 
credited to the highway user tax distribution fund.  
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.12, 
subdivision 2c, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2c.  [NATIONAL GUARD; SPECIAL LICENSE PLATE.] The 
registrar shall issue special license plates to any applicant 
who is a regularly enlisted or commissioned member of the 
Minnesota national guard, other than an inactive or retired 
member, and is an owner or joint owner of a passenger 
automobile, station wagon, or van, or pickup truck included 
within the definition of a passenger automobile upon payment of 
a fee of $10, payment of the registration tax required by law, 
and compliance with other laws of this state relating to 
registration and licensing of motor vehicles and drivers.  The 
adjutant general shall design these special plates subject to 
the approval of the registrar.  No applicant shall be issued 
more than two sets of plates for vehicles owned or jointly owned 
by the applicant.  The adjutant general shall estimate the 
number of special plates that will be required and submit the 
estimate to the registrar.  
    Special plates issued under this subdivision may only be 
used during the period that the owner or joint owner of the 
vehicle is an active member of the Minnesota national guard as 
specified in this subdivision.  When the person to whom the 
special plates were issued is no longer an active member of the 
Minnesota national guard, the special plates must be removed 
from the vehicle and returned to the registrar.  Upon return of 
the special plates, the owner or purchaser of the vehicle is 
entitled to receive regular plates for the vehicle without cost 
for the remainder of the registration period for which the 
special plates were issued.  While the person is an active 
member of the Minnesota national guard, plates issued pursuant 
to this subdivision may be transferred to another motor vehicle 
owned or jointly owned by that person upon payment of a fee of 
$5.  
    All fees collected under the provisions of this subdivision 
shall be paid into the state treasury and credited to the 
highway user tax distribution fund.  
    The registrar may adopt rules under the administrative 
procedure act to govern the issuance and use of the special 
plates authorized by this subdivision.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.124, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [MOTOR VEHICLE; SPECIAL DEFINITION.] For purposes 
of this section, "motor vehicle" means a vehicle for personal 
use, not used for commercial purposes, and may include a 
passenger automobile, station wagon van, pickup truck, 
motorcycle, or recreational vehicle.  
    Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.125, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [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 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 van, pickup truck, 
motorcycle, or recreational vehicle.  
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.126, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [LICENSE PLATES.] The registrar shall issue 
special license plates for a commuter van as defined in section 
221.011, subdivision 22, paragraph (l) 27, upon the applicant's 
compliance with the laws of Minnesota relating to registration 
and licensing of motor vehicles and drivers.  
    Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 171.321, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [STUDY OF APPLICANT.] Before issuing or renewing 
a school bus endorsement, the commissioner shall conduct a 
criminal records check of the applicant.  The commissioner may 
also conduct the check at any time while a person is so 
licensed.  The check shall consist of a criminal records check 
of the state criminal records repository.  If the applicant has 
resided in Minnesota for less than five years, the check shall 
also include a criminal records check of information from the 
state law enforcement agencies in the states where the person 
resided during the five years before moving to Minnesota, and of 
the national criminal records repository including the criminal 
justice data communications network.  The applicant's failure to 
cooperate with the commissioner in conducting the records check 
is reasonable cause to deny an application or cancel a school 
bus endorsement.  The commissioner may not release the results 
of the records check to any person except the applicant. 
    Sec. 14.  [REPEALER.] 
    Minnesota Statutes 1988, sections 168.011, subdivision 23, 
and 168.101, subdivision 5, are repealed. 
    Sec. 15.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1 to 14 are effective January 1, 1990. 
    Presented to the governor May 15, 1989 
    Signed by the governor May 16, 1989, 6:24 p.m.