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Ask A Trooper: Where must driver's licenses be when driving?

Question: I have a question about carrying a driver's license while operating a vehicle. It was passed on to me that in Minnesota one must have the driver's license in the front seat area or glove compartment. Having it in a purse or backpack in the backseat or trunk is not allowed. Is this correct information? If so, what is the reason?

Answer: Minnesota law states that a person shall have their license in immediate possession when operating a motor vehicle and show it when a law enforcement officer requests it. I believe being able to produce the driver's license while having contact with the law enforcement officer would still be sufficient. Let's use a traffic stop for example and your driver's license is in the trunk of the vehicle. As long as you are able to provide your driver's license when asked, you would be just fine.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow — Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us).

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