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Is a passenger-side mirror necessary under the law?

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News Wadena, 56482
Wadena PJ
(218) 631-1621 customer support
Wadena Minnesota 314 S. Jefferson 56482

Question: Does my grandson's pick-up need to have a mirror on the outside passenger side of the door? It has one on the driver's side and a rear view on the windshield.

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Answer: Being that his pickup has one on the windshield and one on the driver's side he is legal. Minnesota State Statute (M.S.S.) 169.70 states, "Every motor vehicle which is so constructed, loaded or connected with another vehicle as to obstruct the driver's view to the rear thereof from the driver's position shall be equipped with a mirror so located as to reflect to the driver a view of the highway for a distance of at least 200 feet to the rear of such vehicle."

Sometime M.S.S. language can be a bit confusing, so I will try and clarify with what is printed and taught in the Minnesota Driver's Manual. All passenger vehicles must be equipped with rearview mirrors. Vehicles such as rental moving trucks, which are not designed to allow a view through the rear window, must be equipped with an additional side mirror. Pickup trucks, which are often used for hauling purposes, must also be equipped with an additional side mirror. The side mirror will provide the driver with a clear view when transported materials obstruct sight through the rearview mirror.

I'm not sure of a new vehicle sold nowadays that is not equipped without a rearview, and two side mirrors. It is my understanding that this is part of the federal motor vehicle safety standards. I know that many years ago it was an option to have the passenger side mirror when you purchased a new car and cost extra. But most definitely when hauling or pulling something behind you, not only do you need a rearview mirror, but a side mirror as well.

If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws in Minnesota, please send your questions to: Trooper Jesse Grabow - Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. Or reach me at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us.

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