Ask A Trooper

Sgt. Jesse Grabow

Question: Hi, I was wondering if you are stopped at a stop light and in a left turn lane and an emergency vehicle with lights and sirens come in behind you (either in the turn lane or the lane to your right), what is the proper procedure? Thank you!

  Answer: When it comes to encountering emergency vehicles while stopped at a stop light and the only place to move is the actual intersection, it is best to stay in place and let the emergency vehicle maneuver around your vehicle. Unless otherwise directed by a police officer, stay put.

  Otherwise, for an emergency vehicle, such as an ambulance, fire truck or police car, displaying flashing red lights and sounding a siren or bell approaches your vehicle on a two-way road, you must pull to the right and stop. If you are traveling on a one-way road, you must pull to whichever side is nearest and stop. If you are within an intersection, proceed through it before stopping. Remain stopped until all emergency vehicles have passed.

  A law enforcement officer with probable cause to believe a driver has violated this law may arrest the driver within four hours of the violation. You are not required to stop if the emergency vehicle that is approaching you is separated from your lane of traffic by a physical barrier such as a fence, wall, or median strip.

Question: Can a truck with collector plates on it be used in a snow plow business? Is it legal to use collector plates on a vehicle driven on a daily basis?

  Answer: Driving a vehicle for general transportation with collector plates on is illegal.  It is also illegal to use collector plates for business purposes.

There are several different requirements for “collector” license plates.

• The vehicle needs to be at least 20-years-old, or older. 

• The owner shall also prove that they also have one or more vehicles with regular license plates. 

• The vehicle is owned and operated solely as a collector’s item, and not for general   transportation purposes. 

  What are general transportation purposes? To law enforcement, it means the vehicle can be driven to show it but you cannot use it to go to work, school, shopping, and other everyday activities.  It is going to be a judgment call on the part of the officer, but the intent of the law is to only use it for fairs, shows, etc., and not as another vehicle for your family.

  An owner is responsible for maintaining the proper registration on the vehicle.  Violations include:

• “Improper use of registration” – a misdemeanor (90 days and/or $1,000 fine).

• “Intent to escape tax” – a gross misdemeanor (up to one year and/or $3,000 fine) depending on the situation.

Those using the vehicle for other purposes should purchase the standard Minnesota plates for it.

  Below is a list of some of the other common special plates that can be applied for:

Pioneer plates for vehicles made before 1936.

Classic plates for vehicles made from 1925 to 1948.

Collector plates at least 20 years old and made after 1935.

Street rod plates for vehicles made before 1949 or made to look like a vehicle from before 1949.

Classic motorcycle plates for motorcycles that are 20 years old or older.

Original Minnesota plates for any collector vehicle OR vehicle 20 years old or older.