Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1991 

                        CHAPTER 301-S.F.No. 765 
           An act relating to transportation; clarifying parking 
          provisions for physically disabled persons; 
          authorizing special license plates for motorcycles; 
          authorizing tinted windshields for medical reasons; 
          abolishing requirement to impound vehicle registration 
          certificates; making technical changes; amending 
          Minnesota Statutes 1990, sections 168.021, subdivision 
          1; 168.041; 169.123, subdivision 5b; 169.345, 
          subdivision 1; 169.346, subdivisions 1 and 2; 169.71, 
          subdivision 4; 169.795; and 171.29, subdivision 3. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, 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, a 
motorcycle, or a self-propelled recreational vehicle, is owned 
or primarily operated by a permanently physically disabled 
person or a custodial parent or guardian of a permanently 
physically disabled 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 
disability 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 disabled 
person who would qualify for special plates under this section; 
and 
    (2) the owner furnishes the motor vehicle to the physically 
disabled person for the exclusive use of that person in the 
course of employment. 
     Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 168.041, is 
amended to read: 
    168.041 [IMPOUNDING REGISTRATION PLATES AND CERTIFICATES.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [DRIVING AFTER LICENSE INVALIDATED.] When a 
person is convicted of driving a motor vehicle after the 
suspension, revocation, or cancellation of the person's driver's 
license or driving privileges, the court shall require the 
registration plates and registration certificate of the motor 
vehicle involved in the violation owned by the person or 
registered in the person's name to be surrendered to the court.  
The court shall issue a receipt for the surrendered registration 
plates and registration certificate. 
    If the violator is not the owner of the motor vehicle, the 
court shall require the registration plates and registration 
certificate of the motor vehicle to be surrendered to the court 
if the vehicle was used by the violator with the permission of 
the owner and the owner had knowledge of the fact that the 
violator's driver's license had been revoked or suspended prior 
to the commission of the offense. 
    Subd. 1a.  [FAILURE TO PRODUCE PROOF OF INSURANCE.] When an 
owner is convicted under section 169.791, the court shall 
require the registration plates of the motor vehicle or 
motorcycle involved in the violation owned by the person to be 
surrendered to the court for the longer of the following: 
    (1) the remainder of the period of revocation to be served 
under section 169.792; or 
    (2) until the owner obtains proof of insurance referred to 
in section 169.792, subdivision 10, satisfactory to the 
commissioner of public safety.  
    Subd. 2.  [MOVING VIOLATION FOLLOWING PREVIOUS CONVICTION.] 
If a person is convicted of violating a law or municipal 
ordinance, except a parking law or ordinance, regulating the 
operation of motor vehicles on the streets or highways, and the 
record of the person so convicted shows a previous conviction 
for driving after suspension or revocation of the person's 
driver's license or driving privileges, the court may direct the 
commissioner of public safety to suspend the driver's license of 
the person for a period not exceeding one year.  The court may 
also require the registration plates and registration 
certificate of any motor vehicle owned by the violator or 
registered in the violator's name to be surrendered to the court.
    Subd. 3.  [OTHER CONVICTIONS.] Except as otherwise provided 
in section 168.042, if a person is convicted of an offense that 
makes mandatory the revocation of the person's driver's license, 
or is convicted of driving a motor vehicle without having a 
valid driver's license in force, the court may require the 
registration plates and registration certificate of any motor 
vehicle owned by the person or any motor vehicle registered in 
the person's name to be surrendered to the court. 
    Subd. 4.  [IMPOUNDMENT ORDER; PLATES SURRENDERED.] If the 
court issues an impoundment order, the registration plates and 
certificates must be surrendered to the court either three days 
after the order is issued or on the date specified by the court, 
whichever date is later.  The court shall forward surrendered 
registration certificates to the registrar of motor vehicles 
within seven days after their surrender.  The court may destroy 
the surrendered registration plates.  Except as provided in 
subdivision 1a, 6, or 7, no new registration plates may be 
issued to the violator or owner until the driver's license of 
the violator has been reissued or reinstated.  The court shall 
notify the commissioner of public safety within ten days after 
issuing an impoundment order. 
    Subd. 5.  [REVOCATION RESCINDED.] If the driver's license 
revocation that is the basis for an impoundment order is 
rescinded, the registrar of motor vehicles shall issue new 
registration plates and a registration certificate for the 
vehicle at no cost, when the registrar receives an application 
that includes a copy of the order rescinding the driver's 
license revocation.  
    Subd. 6.  [SPECIAL SERIES NUMBER PLATES.] (a) A violator or 
owner may apply to the commissioner for new registration plates, 
which must bear a special series of numbers or letters so as to 
be readily identified by traffic law enforcement officers.  The 
commissioner may authorize the issuance of special plates if a 
member of the violator's household has a valid driver's license, 
the violator or owner has a limited license issued under section 
171.30, or the owner is not the violator and the owner has a 
valid or limited license or a member of the owner's household 
has a valid driver's license.  The commissioner may issue the 
special plates on payment of a $25 fee for each vehicle for 
which special plates are requested.  The commissioner may not 
authorize the issuance of special plates unless the court that 
impounded the vehicle's plates gives written approval for the 
issuance of the special plates.  
    (b) Until the driver's license of the violator is 
reinstated or reissued, the violator shall inform the 
commissioner that an impoundment order is in effect when 
requesting any new registration plates.  
    Subd. 7.  [TRANSFERRING VEHICLE WHEN PLATES IMPOUNDED.] A 
registered owner may not sell a motor vehicle during the time 
its registration plates and registration certificate have been 
ordered surrendered or during the time its registration plates 
bear a special series number, unless the registered owner 
applies to the court that impounded the plates and certificate, 
for consent to transfer title to the motor vehicle.  If the 
court is satisfied that the proposed sale is in good faith and 
for a valid consideration, that the registered owner will be 
deprived of the custody and control of the motor vehicle, and 
that the sale is not for the purpose of circumventing the 
provisions of this section, it may certify its consent to the 
registrar of motor vehicles.  The registrar shall then transfer 
the registration certificate of title to the new owner upon 
proper application and issue new registration plates.  After the 
registration plates and registration certificate have been 
ordered surrendered to the court under this section, if the 
title to the motor vehicle is transferred by the foreclosure of 
a chattel mortgage, the cancellation of a conditional sales 
contract, a sale upon execution, or by decree or order of a 
court of competent jurisdiction, the court shall order the 
registration certificate surrendered to the new registered 
owner. the registrar of motor vehicles shall then transfer 
the registration certificate of title and issue new registration 
plates to the new registered owner.  
    Subd. 8.  [APPLICATION TO REGISTRATION TAX.] Nothing 
contained in this section or section 168.042 is intended to 
change or modify any provision of this chapter, with respect to 
the taxation of motor vehicles or the time within which motor 
vehicle taxes must be paid.  
    Subd. 9.  [PENALTY.] A person who fails to surrender any 
registration plates or a registration certificate to the court 
upon demand under this section, who operates a motor vehicle on 
a street or highway at a time when a court has ordered the 
surrender of its registration plates and registration 
certificate, or who fails to comply with subdivision 6, 
paragraph (b), is guilty of a misdemeanor. 
    Subd. 10.  [DEFINITION OF RENTAL MOTOR VEHICLE.] "Rental 
motor vehicle" means a passenger vehicle, truck, motorcycle, or 
motorized bicycle: 
    (1) that is leased in the name of the violator, or leased 
jointly in the name of the violator and the violator's spouse; 
and 
    (2) that is one of a fleet of two or more vehicles rented 
for periods of 30 days or less. 
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 169.123, 
subdivision 5b, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5b.  [ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW.] At any time during a 
period of revocation imposed under this section or a period of 
disqualification imposed under section 171.165, a person may 
request in writing a review of the order of revocation or 
disqualification by the commissioner of public safety, unless 
the person is entitled to review under section 171.166.  Upon 
receiving a request the commissioner or the commissioner's 
designee shall review the order, the evidence upon which the 
order was based, and any other material information brought to 
the attention of the commissioner, and determine whether 
sufficient cause exists to sustain the order.  Within 15 days of 
receiving the request the commissioner shall report in writing 
the results of the review.  The review provided in this 
subdivision is not subject to the contested case provisions of 
the administrative procedure act in sections 14.001 to 14.69.  
    The availability of administrative review for an order of 
revocation or disqualification has no effect upon the 
availability of judicial review under this section.  
    Review under this subdivision shall take place, if 
possible, at the same time as any administrative review of the 
person's impoundment order under section 168.041, subdivision 4a 
168.042, subdivision 9. 
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 169.345, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [SCOPE OF PRIVILEGE.] A vehicle that 
prominently displays the certificate authorized by this section, 
or that bears license plates issued under section 168.021, may 
be parked by or for a physically disabled person: 
    (1) in a designated parking space for disabled persons, as 
provided in section 169.346; and 
    (2) in a metered parking space without obligation to pay 
the meter fee and without time restrictions unless time 
restrictions are separately posted on official signs.  
    For purposes of this subdivision, a certificate is 
prominently displayed if it is displayed on the dashboard in the 
left-hand corner of the front windshield of the vehicle with no 
part of the certificate obscured. 
    Notwithstanding clauses (1) and (2), this section does not 
permit parking in areas prohibited by sections 169.32 and 
169.34, in designated no parking spaces, or in parking spaces 
reserved for specified purposes or vehicles.  A local 
governmental unit may, by ordinance, prohibit parking on any 
street or highway to create a fire lane, or to accommodate heavy 
traffic during morning and afternoon rush hours and these 
ordinances also apply to physically disabled persons. 
     Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 169.346, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [PARKING CRITERIA.] A person shall not: 
    (1) park a motor vehicle in or obstruct access to a parking 
space designated and reserved for the physically disabled, on 
either private or public property; 
    (2) park a motor vehicle in or obstruct access to an area 
designated by a local governmental unit as a transfer zone for 
disabled persons; or 
    (3) exercise the parking privilege provided in section 
169.345, unless:  
    (i) that person is a physically disabled person as defined 
in section 169.345, subdivision 2, or the person is transporting 
or parking a vehicle for a physically disabled person; and 
    (ii) the vehicle visibly displays one of the following:  a 
license plate issued under section 168.021, a certificate issued 
under section 169.345, or an equivalent certificate, insignia, 
or license plate issued by another state, a foreign country, or 
one of its political subdivisions. 
    Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 169.346, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
     Subd. 2.  [SIGNS; PARKING SPACES TO BE FREE OF 
OBSTRUCTIONS.] (a) Parking spaces reserved for physically 
disabled persons must be designated and identified by the 
posting of signs incorporating the international symbol of 
access in white on blue and indicating that the parking space is 
reserved for disabled persons with vehicles displaying the 
required certificate, license plates, or insignia, and 
indicating that violators are subject to a fine of up to 
$200.  These parking spaces are reserved for disabled persons 
with vehicles displaying the required certificate, license 
plates, or insignia.  Signs sold after August 1, 1991, must 
conform to the design requirements in this paragraph.  For 
purposes of this subdivision, a parking space that is clearly 
identified as reserved for physically disabled persons by a 
permanently posted sign that does not meet all design standards, 
is considered designated and reserved for physically disabled 
persons.  A sign posted for the purpose of this section must be 
visible from inside a vehicle parked in the space, be kept clear 
of snow or other obstructions which block its visibility, and be 
nonmovable or only movable by authorized persons. 
    (b) The owner or manager of the property on which the 
designated parking space is located shall ensure that the space 
is kept free of obstruction.  If the owner or manager allows the 
space to be blocked by snow, merchandise, or similar 
obstructions for 24 hours after receiving a warning from a peace 
officer, the owner or manager is guilty of a misdemeanor and 
subject to a fine of up to $500. 
     Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, 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) are required to satisfy prescription or medical needs 
of the driver of the vehicle or a passenger if the driver or 
passenger is in possession of the prescription or a physician's 
statement of medical need; or 
    (c) are applied to: 
    (1) the rear windows of a pickup truck as defined in 
section 168.011, subdivision 29; 
    (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; 
    (3) the side and rear windows of a vehicle used to 
transport human remains by a funeral establishment holding a 
permit under section 149.08; or 
    (4) the side and rear windows of a limousine as defined in 
section 168.011, subdivision 35. 
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 169.795, is 
amended to read: 
    169.795 [RULES.] 
    The commissioner of public safety shall adopt rules 
necessary to implement sections 168.041, subdivisions 1a, and 4, 
and 4a; 169.09, subdivision 14; and 169.791 to 169.796.  
    Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 171.29, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  A person whose license has been revoked under 
section 169.121 or 169.123 may not be issued another license at 
the end of the revocation period unless the person has complied 
with all applicable registration plate impoundment provisions of 
section sections 168.041 and 168.042. 
    Sec. 10.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
    Sections 1, 4, 6, and 7 are effective the day following 
final enactment. 
    Presented to the governor May 30, 1991 
    Signed by the governor June 3, 1991, 4:24 p.m.