169.974 Motorcycle, motor scooter, motor bike.
Subdivision 1. Definition. Motorcycles as used herein shall mean the vehicles defined in section 169.01, subdivision 4.
Subd. 2. License requirements. No person shall operate a motorcycle on any street or highway without having a valid standard driver's license with a two-wheeled vehicle endorsement as provided by law. No such two-wheeled vehicle endorsement shall be issued unless the person applying therefor has in possession a valid two-wheeled vehicle instruction permit as provided herein, has passed a written examination and road test administered by the department of public safety for such endorsement, and, in the case of applicants under 18 years of age, shall present a certificate or other evidence of having successfully completed an approved two-wheeled vehicle driver's safety course in this or another state, in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner of children, families, and learning for courses offered through the public schools, or rules promulgated by the commissioner of public safety for courses offered by a private or commercial school or institute. The commissioner of public safety may waive the road test for any applicant on determining that the applicant possesses a valid license to operate a two-wheeled vehicle issued by a jurisdiction that requires a comparable road test for license issuance. A two-wheeled vehicle instruction permit shall be issued to any person over 16 years of age, who is in possession of a valid driver's license, who is enrolled in an approved two-wheeled vehicle driver's safety course, and who has passed a written examination for such permit and has paid such fee as the commissioner of public safety shall prescribe. A two-wheeled vehicle instruction permit shall be effective for one year, and may be renewed under rules to be prescribed by the commissioner of public safety.
No person who is operating by virtue of a two-wheeled vehicle instruction permit shall:
(a) carry any passengers on the streets and highways of this state on the motorcycle which the person is operating;
(b) drive the motorcycle at nighttime;
(c) drive the motorcycle on any highway marked by the commissioner as an interstate highway pursuant to title 23 of the United States Code; or
(d) drive the motorcycle without wearing protective headgear that complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, the commissioner of public safety may, however, issue a special motorcycle permit, restricted or qualified in such manner as the commissioner of public safety shall deem proper, to any person demonstrating a need therefor and unable to qualify for a standard driver's license.
Subd. 3. Vehicle equipment. (a) No person shall operate any motorcycle equipped with handlebars if any part of such handlebars extend above the shoulders of the operator while seated with both feet on the ground.
(b) Any motorcycle with a seat designed or suited for use by a passenger shall be equipped with foot rests for the passenger. No person shall operate any motorcycle on the streets and highways after January 1, 1971, unless such motorcycle is equipped with at least one rear view mirror so attached and adjusted as to reflect to the operator a view of the roadway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of the motorcycle and is equipped with not less than one horn which shall be audible at a distance of at least 200 feet under normal conditions.
(c) All other applicable provisions of this chapter pertaining to motorcycle and other motor vehicle equipment shall apply to motorcycles, except those which by their nature have no application.
Subd. 4. Equipment for operator and passenger. (a) No person under the age of 18 shall operate or ride a motorcycle on the streets and highways of this state without wearing protective headgear that complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety; and no person shall operate a motorcycle without wearing an eye-protective device.
(b) The provisions of this subdivision shall not apply to persons during their participation in a parade for which parade a permit or other official authorization has been granted by a local governing body or other governmental authority or to persons riding within an enclosed cab.
Subd. 5. Driving rules. (a) An operator of a motorcycle shall ride only upon a permanent and regular seat which is attached to the vehicle for that purpose. No other person shall ride on a motorcycle; except that passengers may ride upon a permanent and regular operator's seat if designed for two persons, or upon additional seats attached to the vehicle to the rear of the operator's seat, or in a sidecar attached to the vehicle; provided, however, that the operator of a motorcycle shall not carry passengers in a number in excess of the designed capacity of the motorcycle or sidecar attached to it. No passenger shall be carried in a position that will interfere with the safe operation of the motorcycle or the view of the operator.
(b) No person shall ride upon a motorcycle as a passenger unless, when sitting astride the seat, the person can reach the foot rests with both feet.
(c) No person, except passengers of sidecars or drivers and passengers of three-wheeled motorcycles, shall operate or ride upon a motorcycle except while sitting astride the seat, facing forward, with one leg on either side of the motorcycle.
(d) No person shall operate a motorcycle while carrying animals, packages, bundles, or other cargo which prevent the person from keeping both hands on the handlebars.
(e) No person shall operate a motorcycle between lanes of moving or stationary vehicles headed in the same direction, nor shall any person drive a motorcycle abreast of or overtake or pass another vehicle within the same traffic lane, except that motorcycles may, with the consent of both drivers, be operated not more than two abreast in a single traffic lane.
(f) Motor vehicles including motorcycles are entitled to the full use of a traffic lane and no motor vehicle may be driven or operated in a manner so as to deprive a motorcycle of the full use of a traffic lane.
(g) A person operating a motorcycle upon a roadway must be granted the rights and is subject to the duties applicable to a motor vehicle as provided by law, except as to those provisions which by their nature can have no application.
(h) Clause (e) of this subdivision does not apply to police officers in the performance of their official duties.
(i) No person shall operate a motorcycle on a street or highway unless the headlight or headlights are lighted at all times the motorcycle is so operated.
Subd. 6. Repealed, 1999 c 230 s 46
Subd. 7. Noise limits. After December 31, 1978, noise rules adopted by the pollution control agency for motor vehicles pursuant to section 169.693 shall also apply to motorcycles.
HIST: 1967 c 875 s 1-5; 1969 c 1123 s 1-3; 1969 c 1129 art 1 s 18; 1971 c 226 s 1; 1971 c 491 s 35; 1974 c 133 s 1; 1975 c 29 s 3-5; 1976 c 295 s 1; 1977 c 17 s 1-4; 1977 c 134 s 1; 1981 c 357 s 63; 1982 c 548 art 4 s 13; 1983 c 216 art 1 s 29,30; 1983 c 345 s 8; 1984 c 549 s 32,33; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1986 c 444; 1995 c 40 s 1; 1997 c 159 art 2 s 31; 1998 c 398 art 5 s 55
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes