169.79 VEHICLE REGISTRATION; DISPLAYING LICENSE PLATES.
Subdivision 1. Registration required.
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 or permit confirming that valid registration or operating authority has
been obtained, except as provided in sections
168.12, subdivision 2f
, as assigned to it
by the commissioner of public safety, conspicuously displayed thereon in a manner that the view
of any plate or permit is not obstructed. A plate issued under section
or a permit issued
under chapter 168 may be displayed on a vehicle in conjunction with expired registration whether
or not it displays the license plate to which the last registration was issued.
Subd. 2. Semitrailer.
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.
Subd. 3. Rear display of single plate.
If the vehicle is a motorcycle, motor scooter,
motorized bicycle, motorcycle sidecar, trailer registered at greater than 3,000 pounds gross
vehicle weight (GVW), semitrailer, or vehicle displaying a dealer plate, then one license plate
must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle.
Subd. 3a. Small trailer.
If the vehicle is a trailer with 3,000 pounds or less GVW with
lifetime registration, the numbered plate or sticker must be adhered to the side of the trailer
frame tongue near the hitch.
Subd. 4. Collector's vehicle.
If the vehicle is (1) a collector's vehicle with a pioneer, classic
car, collector, or street rod license; (2) a vehicle that meets the requirements of a pioneer, classic,
or street rod vehicle except that the vehicle is used for general transportation purposes; or (3) a
vehicle that is of model year 1972 or earlier, not registered under section
168.10, subdivision 1c
and is used for general transportation purposes, one plate must be displayed on the rear of the
vehicle, or one plate on the front and one on the rear, at the discretion of the owner.
Subd. 5. Truck-tractor, road-tractor, or farm truck.
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 must be displayed on the front of the vehicle.
Subd. 6. Other motor vehicles.
If the motor vehicle is any kind of motor vehicle other
than those provided for in subdivisions 2 to 4, one plate must be displayed on the front and one
on the rear of the vehicle.
Subd. 7. Plate fastened and visible.
All plates must 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 is 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.
Subd. 8. Plate registration stickers.
License plates issued to vehicles registered under
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. License plates
issued to vehicles registered under section
must display either fleet registration validation
stickers in the lower right corner as viewed facing the plates or distinctive license plates, issued
by the registrar, with "FLEET REG" displayed on the bottom center portion of the plate.
History: (2720-268) 1937 c 464 s 118; 1961 c 622 s 1; 1967 c 464 s 2; 1977 c 248 s 4; 1981
c 357 s 62; 1981 c 363 s 27; 1985 c 291 s 18; 1995 c 120 s 4; 1995 c 145 s 2; 1997 c 240 s 5;
1997 c 250 s 6; 2000 c 280 s 1; 1Sp2001 c 8 art 2 s 45; 2002 c 371 art 1 s 46-48