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2013 Minnesota Statutes

169.974 MOTORCYCLE, MOTOR SCOOTER, MOTOR BIKE.

Subdivision 1.Definition.

Motorcycles as used herein shall mean the vehicles defined in section 169.011, subdivision 44.

Subd. 2.License endorsement and permit requirements.

(a) 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. The commissioner of public safety shall issue a two-wheeled vehicle endorsement only if the applicant (1) has in possession a valid two-wheeled vehicle instruction permit as provided in paragraph (b), (2) has passed a written examination and road test administered by the Department of Public Safety for the endorsement, and (3) in the case of applicants under 18 years of age, presents 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 adopted by the commissioner of public safety for courses offered by a public, 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.

(b) The commissioner of public safety shall issue a two-wheeled vehicle instruction permit to any person over 16 years of age who (1) is in possession of a valid driver's license, (2) is enrolled in an approved two-wheeled vehicle driver's safety course, and (3) has passed a written examination for the permit and paid a fee prescribed by the commissioner of public safety. A two-wheeled vehicle instruction permit is effective for one year and may be renewed under rules prescribed by the commissioner of public safety.

(c) No person who is operating by virtue of a two-wheeled vehicle instruction permit shall:

(1) carry any passengers on the streets and highways of this state on the motorcycle while the person is operating the motorcycle;

(2) drive the motorcycle at night;

(3) drive the motorcycle on any highway marked as an interstate highway pursuant to title 23 of the United States Code; or

(4) drive the motorcycle without wearing protective headgear that complies with standards established by the commissioner of public safety.

(d) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), (b), or (c), the commissioner of public safety may issue a special motorcycle permit, restricted or qualified as the commissioner of public safety deems proper, to any person demonstrating a need for the permit and unable to qualify for a standard driver's license.

Subd. 3.Vehicle equipment.

(a) Any motorcycle with a seat designed or suited for use by a passenger shall be equipped with footrests 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.

(b) 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 footrests 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) Paragraph (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.

(j) A person parking a motorcycle on the roadway of a street or highway must:

(1) if parking in a marked parking space, park the motorcycle completely within the marked space; and

(2) park the motorcycle in such a way that the front of the motorcycle is pointed or angled toward the nearest lane of traffic to the extent practicable and necessary to allow the operator to (i) view any traffic in both directions of the street or highway without having to move the motorcycle into a lane of traffic and without losing balance or control of the motorcycle, and (ii) ride the motorcycle forward and directly into a lane of traffic when the lane is sufficiently clear of traffic.

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.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569