Ask A Trooper: Specific rules for collector plates

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2022

By Sgt. Troy Christianson

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.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at, Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us)