Is A Front License Plate Required In Minnesota?
There are many rules of the road and it can be hard to remember ones that you don't have to think about too much. Most of the things we learn when getting behind the wheel for the first time become second nature but what about the ones that aren't?
A good example of this would be something like decking your car out in Christmas lights. While this is a bit extra, you may want to get into the holiday spirit one year and decorate your car. How would you know if that's allowed or not. You probably wouldn't!
That got me wondering about something else: license plates. Obviously, you have to have a license plate or plates depending on which state you live in. You also have to have an updated registration, which may be going up in the state soon.
However, do you need both license plates? Can you just have one and call it a day? I decided to do some digging to find this answer. I looked at the 2022 statute regarding this topic online and found the answer.
The answer does come with a few stipulations, which I will get to in a bit. First and foremost, let's talk about if you can legally drive without a front license plate in Minnesota. The answer to that question is no! Here's what that particular statute says;
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.
There you have it! You do need a license plate in front and one in back. Everyone seems to know that you need one in the back but aren't sure when it comes to the front plate. So what about those motor vehicles that are mentioned in the subdivisions mentioned?
According to the law, there are three instances in which you do not need to have both a front and a rear license plate. The first is if you are operating a semitrailer. The second is small trailers. Last but not least, the third exemption to this rule is for collector's vehicles. This includes any that has "a pioneer, classic car, collector or street rod license" as stated in the list of statutes.
That means you pretty much need a front and back license plate, unless you happen to be driving either of those types of motor vehicles, in which case you likely already know that! In case you want to be really sure you don't get a ticket or a fine, you must also have both required plates attached to the car so they aren't swinging around, which is pretty much common sense.
You should also make sure they are displayed horizontally and free from anything that obstructs the letters and numbers. The more you know! By the way, Wisconsin also requires a front license plate.