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Do livestock trailers need to be licensed?

By. Sgt. Jesse Grabow, Minnesota State Patrol

Question: Hello. I appreciate your weekly newspaper column and find it quite informative.  I'm hoping you can provide some clarification for me. As I understand it, livestock trailers don't need to be licensed if they are solely used for active farming purposes (hauling cattle to pasture). Is this correct? How about a livestock trailer used for 4H, purely leisure purposes?

Answer: As far as trailer registration, this is what Minnesota State Statute says: “168.012 Vehicles exempt from tax or license fees. Subdivision 2a. Small farm trailer. Farm trailers with a gross weight of less than 10,000 pounds, drawn by a passenger automobile or farm truck and used exclusively for transporting agricultural products from farm to farm and to and from the usual marketplace of the owner, shall not be taxed as motor vehicles using the public streets and highways and shall be exempt from the provisions of this chapter.”

A reminder of rear lighting and reflectors are still required along with the proper hookups (hitch, safety chain/cable, etc.)

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,