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

  
    
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     underscored = new language to be added
    
                            CHAPTER 435-H.F.No. 2402 
                  An act relating to motor vehicles; abolishing vehicle 
                  registration tax exemption for representatives of 
                  foreign powers; allowing special license plates for 
                  certain persons to be issued to owner of certain 
                  trucks; removing restriction on time to apply for 
                  disability plates; changing fee and certain 
                  administrative procedures relating to the registration 
                  program for fleet vehicles; abolishing requirements to 
                  keep records of motor vehicles not using the highways 
                  and to prepare certain unnecessary reports; defining 
                  motorized bicycles to include electric-assisted 
                  bicycles; providing for operation of electric-assisted 
                  bicycles; making various technical changes; amending 
                  Minnesota Statutes 1994, sections 65B.001, subdivision 
                  5; 65B.43, subdivision 13; 168.011, subdivision 27; 
                  168.021, subdivision 1; 168.12, subdivisions 2a and 
                  2b; 168.127; 168.325, subdivision 1; 168.33, 
                  subdivision 6; 168.34; 169.01, subdivision 4a, and by 
                  adding a subdivision; 169.223, subdivisions 1 and 5; 
                  and 171.01, subdivision 20; Minnesota Statutes 1995 
                  Supplement, sections 168.012, subdivision 1; and 
                  168.10, subdivision 1i; repealing Minnesota Statutes 
                  1994, section 168.33, subdivisions 4 and 5. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 65B.001, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [MOTORCYCLE.] "Motorcycle" means a self-propelled 
        vehicle designed to travel on fewer than four wheels that has an 
        engine rated at greater than five horsepower, and includes a 
        trailer with one or more wheels, when the trailer is connected 
        to or being towed by a motorcycle.  For purposes of this 
        chapter, motorcycle includes a motorized bicycle as defined in 
        section 169.01, subdivision 4a, but does not include an 
        electric-assisted bicycle as defined in section 169.01, 
        subdivision 4b.  
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 65B.43, 
        subdivision 13, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 13.  "Motorcycle" means a self-propelled vehicle 
        designed to travel on fewer than four wheels which has an engine 
        rated at greater than five horsepower, and includes (1) a 
        trailer with one or more wheels, when the trailer is connected 
        to or being towed by a motorcycle; and (2) a motorized bicycle 
        as defined in section 169.01, subdivision 4a, but does not 
        include an electric-assisted bicycle as defined in section 
        169.01, subdivision 4b.  
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168.011, 
        subdivision 27, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 27.  [MOTORIZED BICYCLE.] "Motorized bicycle" means a 
        bicycle that is propelled by a motor of a piston displacement 
        capacity of 50 cubic centimeters or less, and a maximum of two 
        brake horsepower, which is capable of a maximum speed of not 
        more than 30 miles per hour on a flat surface with not more than 
        one percent grade in any direction when the motor is 
        engaged.  "Motorized bicycle" includes an electric-assisted 
        bicycle as defined in section 169.01, subdivision 4b. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1995 Supplement, 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 used solely in driver education programs at 
        nonpublic high schools; 
           (4) vehicles owned by nonprofit charities and used 
        exclusively to transport disabled persons for educational 
        purposes; 
           (5) vehicles owned and used by honorary consul or consul 
        general of foreign governments; and 
           (6) ambulances owned by ambulance services licensed under 
        section 144.802, the general appearance of which is unmistakable.
           (b) Vehicles owned by the federal government, municipal 
        fire apparatus including fire suppression support vehicles, 
        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, liquor 
        investigations, arson investigations, and passenger automobiles, 
        pickup trucks, and buses owned or operated by the department of 
        corrections shall be registered and shall display appropriate 
        license number plates which shall be furnished by the registrar 
        at cost.  Original and renewal applications for these 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) Unmarked vehicles used by the departments of revenue 
        and labor and industry, fraud unit, in conducting seizures or 
        criminal investigations must be registered and must display 
        passenger vehicle classification license number plates which 
        shall be furnished at cost by the registrar.  Original and 
        renewal applications for these passenger vehicle license plates 
        must be accompanied by a certification signed by the 
        commissioner of revenue or the commissioner of labor and 
        industry.  The certification must be on a form prescribed by the 
        commissioner and state that the vehicles will be used 
        exclusively for the purposes authorized by this section. 
           (e) 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 political subdivision, or 
        the nonpublic high school operating a driver education program, 
        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, and county 
        social service agencies may have vehicles used for child and 
        vulnerable adult protective services 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 
        or to a nonpublic high school driver education program. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168.021, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [SPECIAL PLATES; APPLICATION.] (a) When a 
        motor vehicle registered under section 168.017, a motorcycle, a 
        truck having a manufacturer's nominal rated capacity of one ton 
        and resembling a pickup truck, 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 (1) immediately, 
        a temporary permit valid for 30 days, if the applicant is 
        eligible for the special plates issued under this paragraph, and 
        (2) 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 
        (i) immediately, a temporary permit valid for 30 days, if the 
        person is eligible to receive the special plates issued under 
        this paragraph, and (ii) 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. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1995 Supplement, section 
        168.10, subdivision 1i, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 1i.  [COLLECTOR PLATE TRANSFERS.] Notwithstanding 
        section 168.12, subdivision 1, on payment of a transfer fee of 
        $5, plates issued under this section may be transferred to 
        another vehicle owned or jointly owned by the person to whom the 
        special plates were issued or the plate may be assigned to 
        another owner.  In addition to the transfer fee a new owner must 
        pay the $25 plate fee tax or any fee required by section 168.12, 
        subdivision 2a.  The $5 fee must be paid into the state treasury 
        and credited to the highway user tax distribution fund.  License 
        plates issued under this section may not be transferred to a 
        vehicle not eligible for the collector's vehicle license plates. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168.12, 
        subdivision 2a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2a.  [PERSONALIZED PLATES; RULES.] Personalized 
        license plates must be issued to an applicant for registration 
        of a passenger automobile including a passenger automobile 
        registered as a classic car, pioneer car, collector car, or 
        street rod; van; pickup truck as defined in section 168.011, 
        subdivision 29, and any other truck with a registered gross 
        weight of 9,000 pounds or less and commonly known as a pickup 
        truck; motorcycle including a classic 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 that is 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 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 as long as current registration is 
        maintained.  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.  A personalized license plate issued for a 
        classic car, pioneer car, collector car, street rod, or classic 
        motorcycle may not be transferred to a vehicle not eligible for 
        such a license plate. 
           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 the fee required 
        by section 168.29.  
           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. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, 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, van, or pickup truck, with a manufacturer's nominal 
        rated capacity of one ton and resembling a 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 14.001 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 1994, section 168.127, is 
        amended to read: 
           168.127 [FLEET VEHICLES; REGISTRATION, FEES.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [REGISTRATION CATEGORY.] A unique 
        registration category is established for vehicles and trailers 
        of a fleet.  Vehicles registered in the fleet must be issued a 
        distinctive license plate.  The design and size of the fleet 
        license plate must be determined by the commissioner.  
           Subd. 2.  [ANNUAL REGISTRATION PERIOD.] Instead of the 
        registration period assigned for vehicles registered under 
        sections 168.014, 168.017, and 168.12, subdivisions 1 and 2a, a 
        person may register a fleet on an annual basis.  The annual 
        registration period for vehicles in the fleet will be determined 
        by the commissioner.  By January 1, The applicant must provide 
        all information necessary to qualify as a fleet registrant 
        including a list of all vehicles in the fleet.  On initial 
        registration, all taxes and fees for vehicles in the fleet must 
        be reassessed based on the expiration date.  Gross weights for 
        fleet vehicles may not be changed during the registration period.
           Subd. 3.  [REGISTRATION CARDS ISSUED.] On approval of the 
        application for fleet registration the commissioner must issue a 
        registration card for each qualified vehicle in the fleet.  The 
        registration card must be carried in the vehicle at all times 
        and be made available to a peace officer on demand.  Validation 
        stickers must be issued to vehicles The registered by gross 
        weight must be indicated on the license plate. 
           Subd. 4.  [FILING REGISTRATION APPLICATIONS.] Initial fleet 
        applications for registration and renewals must be filed with 
        the registrar or authorized representative at the main 
        headquarters offices of the department of public safety in St. 
        Paul deputy registrar.  
           Subd. 5.  [RENEWAL OF FLEET REGISTRATION.] On the renewal 
        of a fleet registration the registrant shall pay full licensing 
        fees for every vehicle registered in the preceding year unless 
        the vehicle has been properly deleted from the fleet.  In order 
        to delete a vehicle from a fleet, the fleet registrant must 
        surrender to the commissioner the registration card, validation 
        stickers, and license plates.  The registrar may authorize 
        alternative methods of deleting vehicles from a fleet, including 
        destruction of the license plates and registration cards.  If 
        the card, stickers, or license plates are lost or stolen, the 
        fleet registrant shall submit a sworn statement stating the 
        circumstances for the inability to surrender the card, stickers, 
        and license plates.  The commissioner shall assess a penalty of 
        20 percent of the total tax due on the fleet against the fleet 
        registrant who fails to renew the licenses issued under this 
        section or fails to report the removal of vehicles from the 
        fleet within 30 days.  The penalty must be paid within 30 days 
        after it is assessed. 
           Subd. 6.  [FEES.] Instead of the $3.25 filing fee for each 
        vehicle described in section 168.33, subdivision 7, the 
        applicant shall pay a $3.25 an equivalent administrative fee for 
        each vehicle in the fleet.  The administrative fee must be 
        deposited in the state treasury and credited to the highway user 
        tax distribution fund.  A filing fee of $3.25 must be collected 
        by the processing office for an application regardless of the 
        number of vehicles listed. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168.325, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  A division in the department of public 
        safety to be known as the division of motor vehicles driver and 
        vehicle services is hereby created, under the supervision and 
        control of the director.  The commissioner may place the 
        director's position in the unclassified service if the position 
        meets the criteria established in section 43A.08, subdivision 1a.
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168.33, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [APPLICATION FORMS FURNISHED.] The registrar 
        shall furnish, from time to time, to the county recorder of each 
        county in the state those deputy registrars not equipped with 
        electronic transmission technology, forms for listing and for 
        applications for registration, as provided herein, and shall, 
        before January first in each year, furnish to the county 
        recorder of each county those deputy registrars, and to such 
        others as the registrar shall deem advisable, charts or lists 
        setting forth the tax to which each motor vehicle is subject.  
        The registrar and deputy registrars shall immediately destroy 
        all number plates surrendered to the registrar which are 
        unsuitable for further issue, and shall cancel all certificates 
        so surrendered. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168.34, is 
        amended to read: 
           168.34 [INFORMATION TO BE FURNISHED.] 
           The registrar shall maintain in the registrar's office an 
        information bureau to answer questions, through electronic 
        transmission, personal inquiry, telephone, or letter.  
        Registrations shall be completed with the utmost dispatch to 
        render the most efficient service to the public.  The registrar, 
        or any deputy or employee, shall not be liable to any person for 
        mistake or negligence in the giving of information not willfully 
        calculated to injure such person.  The registration system shall 
        be so conducted, and the requirements thereof so construed, as 
        to furnish to the public immediate, accurate information as to 
        any single car about which the inquiry may be made, and to 
        furnish the registrar a means of checking back during any year 
        to determine that all motor vehicles subject to taxation and 
        licensing have had the proper tax or fee paid thereon.  
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.01, 
        subdivision 4a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4a.  [MOTORIZED BICYCLE.] "Motorized bicycle" means a 
        bicycle that is propelled by a motor of a piston displacement 
        capacity of 50 cubic centimeters or less, and a maximum of two 
        brake horsepower, which is capable of a maximum speed of not 
        more than 30 miles per hour on a flat surface with not more than 
        one percent grade in any direction when the motor is 
        engaged.  "Motorized bicycle" includes an electric-assisted 
        bicycle as defined in subdivision 4b. 
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.01, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 4b.  [ELECTRIC-ASSISTED BICYCLE.] "Electric-assisted 
        bicycle" means a motor vehicle with two or three wheels that: 
           (1) has a saddle and fully operable pedals for human 
        propulsion; 
           (2) meets the requirements of federal motor vehicle safety 
        standards in Code of Federal Regulations, title 49, sections 
        571.01 et seq.; and 
           (3) has an electric motor that (i) has a power output of 
        not more than 1,000 watts, (ii) is incapable of propelling the 
        vehicle at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour, (iii) is 
        incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when 
        human power alone is used to propel the vehicle at a speed of 
        more than 20 miles per hour, and (iv) disengages or ceases to 
        function when the vehicle's brakes are applied. 
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.223, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [SAFETY EQUIPMENT; PARKING.] Except as 
        otherwise provided in this section, section 169.974 relating to 
        motorcycles is applicable to motorized bicycles, except that: 
           (1) protective headgear includes headgear that meets the 
        American National Standard for Protective Headgear for 
        Bicyclists, ANSI Z90.4-1984, approved by the American National 
        Standards Institute, Inc.; 
           (2) a motorized bicycle equipped with a headlight and 
        taillight meeting the requirements of lighting for motorcycles 
        may be operated during nighttime hours; 
           (3) except as provided in clause (5), protective headgear 
        is not required for operators 18 years of age or older; and 
           (4) the provisions of section 169.222 governing the parking 
        of bicycles apply to motorized bicycles; 
           (5) the operator of an electric-assisted bicycle must wear 
        properly fitted and fastened headgear that meets the American 
        National Standard for Protective Headgear for Bicyclists, ANSI 
        Z90.4-1984, approved by the American National Standards 
        Institute, Inc., when operating the electric-assisted bicycle on 
        a street or highway; and 
           (6) eye protection devices are not required for operators 
        of electric-assisted bicycles. 
           Sec. 16.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 169.223, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [OTHER OPERATION REQUIREMENTS AND PROHIBITIONS.] 
        (a) A person operating a motorized bicycle on a roadway shall 
        ride as close as practicable to the right-hand curb or edge of 
        the roadway except in one of the following situations: 
           (1) when overtaking and passing another vehicle proceeding 
        in the same direction; 
           (2) when preparing for a left turn at an intersection or 
        into a private road or driveway; or 
           (3) when reasonably necessary to avoid conditions, 
        including fixed or moving objects, vehicles, pedestrians, 
        animals, surface hazards, or narrow width lanes, that make it 
        unsafe to continue along the right-hand curb or edge.  
           (b) Persons operating motorized bicycles on a roadway may 
        not ride more than two abreast and may not impede the normal and 
        reasonable movement of traffic.  On a laned roadway, a person 
        operating a motorized bicycle shall ride within a single lane. 
           (c) This section does not permit the operation of a 
        motorized bicycle on a bicycle path or bicycle lane that is 
        reserved for the exclusive use of nonmotorized traffic. 
           (d) Subject to the provisions of section 160.263, 
        subdivision 3, a person may operate an electric-assisted bicycle 
        on a bicycle lane.  A person may operate an electric-assisted 
        bicycle on the shoulder of a roadway if the electric-assisted 
        bicycle is traveling in the same direction as the adjacent 
        vehicular traffic. 
           Sec. 17.  Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 171.01, 
        subdivision 20, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 20.  [MOTORIZED BICYCLE.] "Motorized bicycle" means a 
        bicycle that is propelled by a motor of a piston displacement 
        capacity of 50 cubic centimeters or less, and a maximum of two 
        brake horsepower, which is capable of a maximum speed of not 
        more than 30 miles per hour on a flat surface with not more than 
        one percent grade in any direction when the motor is 
        engaged.  "Motorized bicycle" includes an electric-assisted 
        bicycle as defined in section 169.01, subdivision 4b. 
           Sec. 18.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1994, section 168.33, subdivisions 4 and 
        5, are repealed. 
           Presented to the governor April 1, 1996 
           Signed by the governor April 3, 1996, 3:55 p.m.