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  • Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements in Minnesota

    To legally operate a motorcycle on Minnesota roads, you must have motorcycle insurance. When you register your motorcycle, you are certifying you have a policy that meets all of the state's minimum insurance requirements.

    Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility

    You can establish financial responsibility―prove you're financially able to cover the cost of damages sustained in an accident―when you purchase an insurance policy with liability coverage.

    Purchasing a motorcycle insurance policy is not difficult, but it does require some comparison shopping if you are on a tight budget. Get several different insurance quotes to compare rates and ask about discounts such as savings for having your auto and home insurance with the same company. Raising your deductible can give you lower rates, but keep in mind you'll need to have the cash available to pay this charge if you ever need to make a claim on the policy.

    Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

    In Minnesota, two-wheel vehicles are defined as follows:

    • Motorcycle―A motorcycle:
      • Is a motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the use of the rider.
      • Is designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground.
      • Includes motor scooters and bicycles with motor attached.
    • Motorized foot scooter―A motorized foot scooter has:
      • Handlebars designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator.
      • No more than two 12-inch or smaller diameter wheels.
      • An engine or motor that is capable of a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour on a flat surface with not more than one percent grade in any direction when the motor is engaged.
      • An internal combustion engine or electric motor that is capable of propelling the device with or without human propulsion.
    • Motorized bicycle―A motorized bicycle:
      • Is propelled by an electric or a liquid fuel motor of a piston displacement capacity of 50 cc or less
      • A maximum of 2 brake horsepower.
      • Can reach a maximum speed of not more than 30 mph on a flat surface with not more than one percent grade in any direction when the motor is engaged.

    If your vehicle requires motorcycle registration, you must meet the state's motorcycle insurance requirements for proof of financial responsibility. Call the Driver and Vehicle Services Offices at (651) 215-1328 if you have questions about whether your two-wheeled vehicle meets the state's definition of a motorcycle.

    Minnesota Insurance Requirements for Motorcycles

    In comparison to other states, Minnesota has fairly strict laws regarding insurance coverage. Not only does the state require drivers to purchase motorcycle liability insurance, Minnesota also requires underinsured motorist and uninsured motorist coverage. (The state requires personal injury protection (PIP) for cars and trucks, but PIP is not required for motorcycles or snowmobiles.)

    Liability Insurance

    Liability insurance pays for claims that are the result of an accident that is determined to be your fault. Coverage must be at least:

    • Injuries to one person covered for $30,000
    • Injuries to two or more people covered for $60,000
    • Property damage covered for $10,000

    Underinsured Motorist Coverage

    Underinsured motorist coverage pays for medical claims if the other driver is responsible for the accident and does not have the proper amount of insurance. Minimum requirements for this policy are:

    • Injuries to one person covered for $25,000
    • Injuries to two or more people covered for $50,000

    Uninsured Motorist Coverage

    Uninsured motorist coverage pays for medical expenses if the other driver is responsible for the accident and has no insurance coverage. Uninsured motorist policies must provide the following:

    • Injuries to one person covered for $25,000
    • Injuries to two or more people covered for $50,000

    The amounts listed above are the bare minimum state insurance requirements, but many drivers chose to purchase policies offering additional protection. Extensive insurance coverage can give you added peace of mind when you're traveling on the state's roads.

    How Coverage Affects Helmet Requirements

    According to state law, riders younger than 18 years old and those with instructional permits must wear motorcycle helmets. The amount of motorcycle insurance coverage you carry does not affect this requirement.

    Proof of Insurance and Financial Responsibility

    You should keep your insurance card with you at all times. You must be able to submit your proof of financial responsibility in the event of an accident or if a police officer asks to see it when you are stopped for a moving violation.

    Penalties for Failure to Maintain Financial Responsibility

    Being caught with no proof of motorcycle insurance can be a very costly mistake. You may not only have to pay heavy fines, but you may also be sentenced to mandatory jail time. You may also have your license suspended or revoked, although this can sometimes be avoided if you are able to purchase a valid insurance policy before your court appearance.

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