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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1989 

                        CHAPTER 234-S.F.No. 169 
           An act relating to motor vehicles; allowing custodial 
          parent of handicapped minor to obtain special license 
          plates for the handicapped; allowing second set of 
          handicapped license plates to be issued to physically 
          handicapped person who is furnished a vehicle as part 
          of employment; defining a handicapped person for 
          purposes of parking privileges; allowing commissioner 
          of public safety to waive requirement of physician's 
          statement in certain circumstances; amending Minnesota 
          Statutes 1988, sections 168.021, subdivisions 1 and 3; 
          and 169.345, subdivisions 2, 2a, and 3. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.021, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [SPECIAL PLATES; APPLICATION FOR ISSUANCE.] 
(a) When a motor vehicle registered under section 168.017, or a 
self-propelled recreational vehicle, is owned or primarily 
operated by a permanently physically handicapped person or a 
custodial parent or guardian of a permanently physically 
handicapped minor, the owner may apply for and secure from the 
registrar of motor vehicles two license plates with attached 
emblems, one plate to be attached to the front, and one to the 
rear of the vehicle.  Application for the plates must be made at 
the time of renewal or first application for registration.  When 
the owner first applies for the plates, the owner must submit a 
physician's statement on a form developed by the commissioner 
under section 169.345, or proof of physical handicap provided 
for in that section. 
     (b) The owner of a motor vehicle may apply for and secure a 
set of special plates for a motor vehicle if: 
    (1) the owner employs a permanently physically handicapped 
person who would qualify for special plates under this section; 
and 
    (2) the owner furnishes the motor vehicle to the physically 
handicapped person for the exclusive use of that person in the 
course of employment. 
     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 168.021, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [PENALTIES FOR UNAUTHORIZED USE OF PLATES.] (a) A 
person who uses the plates provided under this section on a 
motor vehicle in violation of this section is guilty of a 
misdemeanor, and is subject to a fine of $500.  This subdivision 
does not preclude a person who is not physically handicapped 
from operating a vehicle bearing the plates if:  
    (1) the person is the owner of the vehicle and permits its 
operation by a physically handicapped person, or if; 
    (2) the person operates the vehicle with the consent of the 
owner who is physically handicapped; or 
    (3) the person is the owner of the vehicle, is the 
custodial parent or guardian of a permanently physically 
handicapped minor, and operates the vehicle to transport the 
minor. 
    (b) A driver who is not handicapped is not entitled to the 
parking privileges provided in this section and in section 
169.346 unless parking the vehicle for a physically handicapped 
person. 
     Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 169.345, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [DEFINITIONS.] For the purpose of this section, 
"physically handicapped person" means a person who: 
    (1) because of disability cannot walk without significant 
risk of falling; 
    (2) because of disability cannot walk 200 feet without 
stopping to rest; 
    (3) because of disability cannot walk without the aid of 
another person, a walker, a cane, crutches, braces, a prosthetic 
device, or a wheelchair; 
    (4) is restricted by a respiratory disease to such an 
extent that the person's forced (respiratory) expiratory volume 
for one second, when measured by spirometry, is less than one 
meter; 
    (5) has an arterial oxygen tension (PAO2) of less than 60 
mm/hg on room air at rest; 
    (6) uses portable oxygen; or 
    (7) has a cardiac condition to the extent that the person's 
functional limitations are classified in severity as class III 
or class IV according to standards set by the American Heart 
Association; or 
    (8) has lost an arm or a leg and does not have or cannot 
use an artificial limb. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 169.345, 
subdivision 2a, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2a.  [PHYSICIAN'S OR CHIROPRACTOR'S STATEMENT.] (a) 
The commissioner shall develop a form for the physician's or 
chiropractor's statement.  The statement must be signed by a 
licensed physician or chiropractor who certifies that the 
applicant is a physically handicapped person as defined in 
subdivision 2.  The commissioner may request additional 
information from the physician or chiropractor if needed to 
verify the applicant's eligibility.  The statement that the 
applicant is a physically handicapped person must specify 
whether the disability is permanent or temporary, and if 
temporary, the opinion of the physician or chiropractor as to 
the duration of the disability.  A physician or chiropractor who 
fraudulently certifies to the commissioner that a person is a 
physically handicapped person as defined in subdivision 2, and 
that the person is entitled to the license plates authorized by 
section 168.021 or to the certificate authorized by this 
section, is guilty of a misdemeanor and is subject to a fine of 
$500. 
    (b) The commissioner may waive the requirement of providing 
a statement of a licensed physician or chiropractor, if the 
applicant has previously filed with the commissioner a statement 
of a licensed physician or chiropractor certifying that the 
applicant has a permanent physical handicap.  
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1988, section 169.345, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [IDENTIFYING CERTIFICATE.] (a) The division of 
driver and vehicle services in the department of public safety 
shall issue a special identifying certificate for a motor 
vehicle when a physically handicapped applicant submits a 
statement of a physician or chiropractor proof of physical 
handicap under subdivision 2a.  The commissioner shall design 
separate certificates for persons with permanent and temporary 
disabilities that can be readily distinguished from each other 
from outside a vehicle at a distance of 25 feet.  The 
certificate is valid for the duration of the person's 
disability, as specified in the physician's or chiropractor's 
statement, up to a maximum of six years.  A person with a 
disability of longer duration will be required to renew the 
certificate for additional periods of time, up to six years 
each, as specified in the physician's or chiropractor's 
statement. 
    (b) When the commissioner is satisfied that a motor vehicle 
is used primarily for the purpose of transporting physically 
handicapped persons, the division may issue without charge a 
special identifying certificate for the vehicle.  The operator 
of a vehicle displaying the certificate has the parking 
privileges provided in subdivision 1 while the vehicle is in use 
for transporting physically handicapped persons.  The 
certificate issued to a person transporting physically 
handicapped persons must be renewed every third year.  On 
application and renewal, the person must present evidence that 
the vehicle continues to be used for transporting physically 
handicapped persons. 
    (c) A certificate must be made of plastic or similar 
durable material, must be distinct from certificates issued 
before January 1, 1988, and must bear its expiration date 
prominently on its face.  A certificate issued to a temporarily 
disabled person must display the date of expiration of the 
duration of the disability, as determined under paragraph (a).  
Each certificate must have printed on the back a summary of the 
parking privileges and restrictions that apply to each vehicle 
in which it is used.  The commissioner may charge a fee of $5 
for issuance or renewal of a certificate, and a fee of $5 for a 
duplicate to replace a lost, stolen, or damaged certificate. 
    Sec. 6.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1 to 5 are effective the day following final 
enactment. 
    Presented to the governor May 22, 1989 
    Signed by the governor May 25, 1989, 5:20 p.m.