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Ask a Trooper: License plate tabs explained

Question: I've noticed that the tabs on our license plates change color every year. Who decides what color the Minnesota registration tabs on license plates should be? Can you talk about the law that pertains to license plates in Minnesota?...

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Under Minnesota law, license plates must display the expiration month in the lower left corner of each plate and the year of expiration in the lower right corner. BrainerdDispatch.com Illustration

Question: I've noticed that the tabs on our license plates change color every year. Who decides what color the Minnesota registration tabs on license plates should be? Can you talk about the law that pertains to license plates in Minnesota?

Answer: The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services use five colors for registration stickers: red, gold, blue, green and white. DVS chose those colors with the intention that they will be easily visible and recognizable for law enforcement.

Under Minnesota law, license plates must display the expiration month in the lower left corner of each plate and the year of expiration in the lower right corner.

Remember that both the rear and front license plates must be visible at all times. Keep your license plates clear of dirt or snow. It is unlawful to cover any assigned letters and numbers or the name of the state of origin of a license plate with any material whatever, including any clear or colorless material that affects the plate's visibility or reflectivity.

Also, displaying the license plate in the dash or window of any vehicle is not legal, even for car dealers, for any length of time at all. In all cases, required license plates have to be properly and securely fastened to the front and to the rear of a vehicle.

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If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Neil Dickenson, Minnesota State Patrol, 1131 Mesaba Ave., Duluth, MN, 55811; on Twitter @MSPPIO_NE; or by email at neil.dickenson@state.mn.us .

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