169.974 MOTORCYCLE, MOTOR SCOOTER, MOTOR BIKE.
Subdivision 1. Definition.
Motorcycles as used herein shall mean the vehicles defined in
169.01, subdivision 4
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
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
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
(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
shall also apply to motorcycles.
History: 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; 2000 c
489 art 6 s 30; 2001 c 60 s 1; 2002 c 364 s 18; 2002 c 371 art 1 s 49