Green Vehicle Laws and Regulations in Minnesota
Minnesota has a few laws specific to green vehicles and eco-friendly driving—particularly when it comes to certain electric vehicles. Read through the following driving-related regulations for more on how MN aims to protect the environment.
The laws below are subject to change, as are money-saving incentives for MN's green-minded drivers. To stay informed, also consult your local Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) branch and the Alternative Fuels Data Center.
Minnesota Smog and Emissions Tests
Minnesota doesn't require smog or emissions testing for any vehicles—electric, hybrid, fuel-efficient, or otherwise—when it comes to vehicle registration and registration renewal. However, it's still a great idea to know how you can do your part in reducing pollution from car emissions.
Medium-Speed and Neighborhood Electric Vehicle (NEV) Road Restrictions
Minnesota deems high-speed roadways a public safety hazard for medium-speed electric vehicles and neighborhood electric vehicles (NEV). In fact, you may only operate these EVs on Minnesota's public streets and highways that have a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour (mph) or fewer. The only exception is when you are directly crossing roads that have a speed limit greater than 35 mph. (In other words, you're not actually traveling on that road; you're just crossing it to get to the other side.)
Additionally, your medium-speed EV or NEV must:
- Meet all equipment and vehicle safety requirements spelled out in the Code of Federal Regulations (Title 49, Section 571.500).
- Be appropriately titled.
Keep in mind that local authorities can further restrict access to roadways within their jurisdiction. For specifics, refer to Minnesota Statutes 169.224.
Medium-Speed and Neighborhood EVs Defined
Minnesota defines medium-speed electric vehicles and neighborhood electric vehicles as:
Neighborhood electric vehicle—A four-wheel, electrically powered motor vehicle that can travel at least 20 miles per hour (mph), but not more than 25 mph on a paved level surface.
Medium-speed electric vehicle—A four-wheel, electrically powered motor vehicle that can travel at a maximum speed of 35 mph and has:
- A roll cage (or crush-proof body design).
- At least one entry door.
- A wheelbase of 40 or more inches.
- A wheel diameter of 10 or more inches.
Auto Insurance Requirements for Green Vehicles
Fuel-efficient vehicles and alternative fuel vehicles (such as electric cars and hybrids) registered in Minnesota must be insured in line with its minimum state requirements for coverage.
Fortunately, numerous car insurance companies offer discounts to customer with green vehicles and eco-friendly driving habits. For example, you might get a discount for driving an electric car. That's great, BUT depending on the insurance company, you might also get a discount for keeping your monthly miles low. Talk with your current car insurance provider about these discounts, and if your provider doesn't offer them, consider shopping around for a new provider.
Learn more on these money-saving perks on our page covering green driver incentives.