Traffic Safety Laws in Minnesota



Helmets must be worn by riders under 18 years old and by instructional permit holders.


Helmets are not required, regardless of age.



Headlights must be used:

  • Between sunset and sunrise
  • When visibility dims to 500 feet or less
  • When windshield wipers are used in rain, snow, hail, sleet or fog


Daytime use is required by law.

Cell Phones and Texting

Cell phone restrictions:

  • Provisional license, permit holders and those under 18 years old are banned from all cell phone usage unless calling 911.
  • School bus drivers are also banned from using a cell phone.

Texting restrictions:

  • All drivers, regardless of age or license status, are banned from texting while behind the wheel.

Child Car Seat Laws

  • Children must be at least 8 years old or be at least 4 ft 9 inches tall in order to just use a seat belt when riding in a car. Otherwise, they must use a federally-approved safety or booster seat.
  • Infants weighing less than 20 lbs. must ride in a rear-facing car seat

If you're in the market for one, you can shop for a car seat online at any time. When ordering, be sure the car seat matches your child's height, weight and age.

Visit Minnesota's Child Passenger Safety Program for more information, and links to certified specialists who can ensure proper installation of your child safety seat. The state recommends ― although it's not the law ― that children use a safety seat until they are at least 4 ft 9 inches tall, even if they're 8 years old.

Reporting Drunk or Dangerous Drivers

Dial 911. Provide the vehicle's license plate number, make, model, location and travel direction.

Reporting Unattended Kids in Vehicles

Dial 911 if you suspect an unattended child left in a vehicle is in danger from excessive heat or cold. Remain with the vehicle, if possible, until authorities arrive.

Reporting Unattended Pets in Vehicles

Call the local police department or animal control unit if you feel an unattended pet inside a vehicle is at risk.

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