|Minnesota Impoundment of License Plates, Minnesota Plate Impoundments.
Under Minnesota law, the Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety is allowed to impound license plates of vehicles for certain violations of the law.
License plates may be impounded for certain offenses related to DWI under
Minn. Stat. §169A.60. Specifically, plates may be impounded for any vehicle involved in a impoundment violation as well as all motor vehicles owned by, registered to, or leased in the name of the violator.
A plate impoundment for an impaired driving violation may occur
when there are aggravating factors, such as any of the following:
- the present impaired driving violation occurs within ten years
of a qualified prior impaired driving violation by that person;
- the present impaired driving violation involved a blood alcohol reading of .20 or more;
- the present impaired driving violation occurred where the
vehicle was also occupied by a child under the age of 16;
- the present impaired driving violation occurred while the
driver's license was cancelled for the person being inimical to public safety.
A person that is issued with an impoundment notice must surrender their plates within seven (7) days to a Minnesota Police department, sheriff or state patrol office along with a copy of the impoundment order. In many cases the license plates are simply seized by the law enforcement officer when the violation occurs.
If the vehicle involved in the violation is not owned by the violator, the owner of the vehicle may seek to avoid the license plate impound order by filing a sworn statement with the commissioner within seven days of the issuance of an impoundment order. To prevail, the person must demonstrate that the no longer have the vehicle in their possession, (eg. it was sold or destroyed), and supplying the date, name, location, and address of the person or entity that purchased or destroyed the vehicle; or that they were unaware that the violator would be using their vehicle in violation of the law and that the violator will no longer have access to that vehicle. Information to seek an administrative review or to seek permission to sell a vehicle with special series plates may be found at the Department of Public Safety.
If the sworn statement is not effective, a person who has his/her plates impounded may ask for an administrative review at any time during the impoundment period and a judicial review within thirty (30) days after the impoundment is effective.
The impoundment period ends when the underlying license revocation ends. The reissued plates will cost $50.
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