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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 120-H.F.No. 383 
                  An act relating to traffic regulations; clarifying 
                  conditions when covering motor vehicle head lamp, tail 
                  lamp, or reflector is unlawful; providing that only 
                  certain trailers required to have brakes are also 
                  required to have break-away brakes; requiring 
                  inspector of commercial motor vehicle to retain report 
                  for at least 14 months; prohibiting the covering of a 
                  license plate with any material or substance; amending 
                  Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 169.64, by adding a 
                  subdivision; 169.67, subdivision 3; 169.781, 
                  subdivision 4; and 169.79. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.64, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [COVERING LAMPS AND REFLECTORS.] (a) Except as 
        provided in paragraph (b), it is prohibited for any person to: 
           (1) equip a motor vehicle with any equipment or material 
        that covers a head lamp, tail lamp, or reflector; or 
           (2) operate a motor vehicle fitted with or otherwise having 
        equipment or material that covers a head lamp, tail lamp, or 
        reflector. 
           (b) Paragraph (a) does not apply to: 
           (1) any manufacturer's original equipment or material; 
           (2) any equipment or material that is clear and colorless; 
        or 
           (3) the covering for auxiliary lights required under 
        section 169.56. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.67, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [TRAILERS, SEMITRAILERS.] (a) No trailer or 
        semitrailer with a gross weight of 3,000 or more pounds, or a 
        gross weight that exceeds the empty weight of the towing 
        vehicle, may be drawn on a highway unless it is equipped with 
        brakes that are adequate to control the movement of and to stop 
        and hold the trailer or semitrailer. 
           (b) No trailer or semitrailer with that is required to have 
        brakes and that has a gross weight of more than 6,000 pounds may 
        be drawn on a highway unless it is equipped with brakes that are 
        so constructed that they are adequate to stop and hold the 
        trailer or semitrailer whenever it becomes detached from the 
        towing vehicle. 
           (c) Except as provided in paragraph (d), paragraph (a) does 
        not apply to: 
           (1) a trailer used by a farmer while transporting farm 
        products produced on the user's farm, or supplies back to the 
        farm of the trailer's user; 
           (2) a towed custom service vehicle drawn by a motor vehicle 
        that is equipped with brakes that meet the standards of 
        subdivision 5, provided that such a towed custom service vehicle 
        that exceeds 30,000 pounds gross weight may not be drawn at a 
        speed of more than 45 miles per hour; 
           (3) a trailer or semitrailer operated or used by retail 
        dealers of implements of husbandry while engaged exclusively in 
        the delivery of implements of husbandry; 
           (4) a motor vehicle drawn by another motor vehicle that is 
        equipped with brakes that meet the standards of subdivision 5; 
           (5) a tank trailer of not more than 12,000 pounds gross 
        weight owned by a distributor of liquid fertilizer while engaged 
        exclusively in transporting liquid fertilizer, or gaseous 
        fertilizer under pressure; 
           (6) a trailer of not more than 12,000 pounds gross weight 
        owned by a distributor of dry fertilizer while engaged 
        exclusively in the transportation of dry fertilizer; and 
           (7) a disabled vehicle while being towed to a place of 
        repair. 
           (d) Vehicles described in paragraph (c), clauses (1), (3), 
        and (4), may be operated without complying with paragraph (a) 
        only if the trailer or semitrailer does not exceed the following 
        gross weights: 
           (1) 3,000 pounds while being drawn by a vehicle registered 
        as a passenger automobile, other than a pickup truck as defined 
        in section 168.011, subdivision 29; 
           (2) 12,000 pounds while being drawn by any other motor 
        vehicle except a self-propelled implement of husbandry. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.781, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [INSPECTION REPORTS.] (a) A person performing an 
        inspection under this section shall issue an inspection report 
        to the owner of the commercial motor vehicle inspected.  The 
        report must include: 
           (1) the full name of the person performing the inspection, 
        and the person's inspector certification number; 
           (2) the name of the owner of the vehicle and, if 
        applicable, the United States Department of Transportation 
        carrier number issued to the owner of the vehicle, or to the 
        operator of the vehicle if other than the owner; 
           (3) the vehicle identification number and, if applicable, 
        the license plate number of the vehicle; 
           (4) the date and location of the inspection; 
           (5) the vehicle components inspected and a description of 
        the findings of the inspection, including identification of the 
        components not in compliance with federal motor carrier safety 
        regulations; and 
           (6) the inspector's certification that the inspection was 
        complete, accurate, and in compliance with the requirements of 
        this section. 
           (b) The owner must retain a copy of the inspection report 
        for at least 14 months at a location in the state where the 
        vehicle is domiciled or maintained.  The inspector must maintain 
        a copy of the inspection report for a period of 14 months 
        following the inspection in a location in the state where the 
        inspector conducts business.  During this period the report must 
        be available for inspection by an authorized federal, state, or 
        local official. 
           (c) The commissioner shall prescribe the form of the 
        inspection report and revise it as necessary to comply with 
        state and federal law and regulations.  The adoption of the 
        report form is not subject to the administrative procedure act. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.79, is 
        amended to read: 
           169.79 [VEHICLE REGISTRATION.] 
           No person shall operate, drive or park a motor vehicle on 
        any highway unless the vehicle is registered in accordance with 
        the laws of this state and has the number plates for the current 
        year only, as assigned to it by the commissioner of public 
        safety, conspicuously displayed thereon in a manner that the 
        view of any plate is not obstructed.  If the vehicle is a 
        semitrailer, the number plate displayed must be assigned to the 
        registered owner and correlate to the certificate of title 
        documentation on file with the department and shall not display 
        a year indicator.  If the vehicle is a motorcycle, motor 
        scooter, motorized bicycle, motorcycle sidecar, trailer, 
        semitrailer, or vehicle displaying a dealer plate, one plate 
        shall be displayed on the rear thereof; if the vehicle is a 
        truck-tractor, road-tractor or farm truck, as defined in section 
        168.011, subdivision 17, but excluding from that definition 
        semitrailers and trailers, one plate shall be displayed on the 
        front thereof; if it is any other kind of motor vehicle, one 
        plate shall be displayed on the front and one on the rear 
        thereof.  All plates shall be securely fastened so as to prevent 
        them from swinging.  The person driving the motor vehicle shall 
        keep the plate legible and unobstructed and free from grease, 
        dust, or other blurring material so that the lettering shall be 
        plainly visible at all times.  It is unlawful to cover any 
        assigned letters and numbers or the name of the state of origin 
        of a license plate with any material whatever, including any 
        clear or colorless material that affects the plate's visibility 
        or reflectivity.  License plates issued to vehicles registered 
        under section 168.017 must display the month of expiration in 
        the lower left corner as viewed facing the plate and the year of 
        expiration in the lower right corner as viewed facing the plate. 
           Presented to the governor May 4, 1995 
           Signed by the governor May 5, 1995, 9:03 a.m.