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Five FAQs about Minnesota traffic laws

Sept. 25, 2017

Photo of a state patrol squad car.
​Photo: Ever wonder what Minnesota traffic laws have to say about tinted windows and RVs? The Minnesota State Patrol answers these and other questions in this FAQ.

As you can imagine, Minnesota state troopers get the same questions about traffic laws over and over again. So if there’s something you’ve always wanted to know about the rules of the Minnesota road, chances are you’re not the first.

We asked Lt. Tiffani Nielson to tell us answers to a few of the questions she hears most often. Not surprisingly, most of them were about recreational vehicles. We Minnesotans love our trips to the lake! Here are the top five most frequently asked questions about Minnesota traffic laws, along with their answers.

Are tinted windows allowed?

Yes, but with restrictions. Specifically, there must be at least 50 percent light transmittance on passenger cars. For SUVs, vans, and pickups, the law is slightly different. It requires at least 50 percent light transmittance on the front windows, but the rear windows can be darker if the tint is factory installed. If you aren’t sure how much light transmittance your tinted windows allow, you can have them tested by a law enforcement officer or a body shop that does window tinting.

Do I need a special license to drive a recreational vehicle?

No. If you only use the vehicle for recreational purposes, all you need to drive most RVs is a class D license (that’s the same kind of license you need to drive a passenger vehicle).

What’s the widest vehicle I can legally drive on the road?

The vehicle width limit in Minnesota is 102 inches (that’s 8 feet 6 inches). So before you load your fish house onto your trailer, measure it first. If it’s too wide, you’ll need a special permit from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to move it.

What’s the longest vehicle I can take on the road?

The maximum length allowed on the road in Minnesota is 75 feet. That’s for a vehicle and trailer combined.

What do I need to know if I want to tow my RV and my boat with my truck at the same time?

In Minnesota, a three-vehicle RV combination can be no more than 70 feet long. The middle unit can be a gooseneck or fifth wheel trailer, and the rear unit can be a boat, snowmobile, or ATV trailer. The vehicle must be driven by a fully licensed driver of at least 18 years of age. Three-vehicle RV combinations are not allowed in the seven-county metro area during rush hour (6-9 a.m. and 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday).