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Articles written by Jesse Grabow


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  • ASK A MN TROOPER

    Jesse Grabow|Nov 6, 2021

    Question: I heard somewhere that proof of insurance does not need to be in paper form and can be maintained electronically. Does that mean that each family member and myself who drives can photograph current insurance cards for our vehicles that they drive on a cell phone and that is acceptable, or does the electronic version need to be something sent by insurance company? Answer: Every driver must keep in their possession proof of insurance while driving. They also must produce that proof of insurance to an officer when requested during a...

  • Lost and Found Driver's License

    Jesse Grabow|Jan 16, 2021

    Question: Is it true that if you drop a lost driver’s license in a mailbox, the United States Postal Service will mail it to the owner? I’ve heard that you can just put it in the drop box and they will get it to them. Answer: This is a good question. I visited the USPS website and was unable to find an answer. So I contacted one of the local post offices and was advised by the postmaster they would indeed forward it on. You could also send it to Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) in St. Paul, or bring it to a deputy registrar, dri...

  • Seat Belt Reminder

    Jesse Grabow|Nov 7, 2020

    Question: How can someone drive without a seat belt on? Doesn't the dinging annoy them? Answer: This is a good question as I've observed numerous ways some folks have tried to get around wearing their seat belt. Around the mid-'70s, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) added a seat belt reminder signal to the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The new standard required vehicles to have a seat belt reminder (SBR) system that gave an audible signal after the driver...

  • ASK A MN TROOPER "How To Get The Help You Need Despite a 911 Outage"

    Jesse Grabow|Oct 24, 2020

    Question: I thought I heard something in the news about 911 not working. What can a person do when needing to report an emergency and having issues getting through? Answer: Here is some information in our Department of Public Safety’s blog we recently posted: “If you had an emergency on the night of Sept. 28 and tried to call 911 for help, it’s possible you couldn’t get through for about one hour and 17 minutes. Because of a multi-state outage of the 911 system, at least 1,187 calls to 64 Minnesota public safety answering points (PSAPs)...

  • ASK A MN TROOPER "Collector Plate Question"

    Jesse Grabow|Mar 14, 2020

    Question: Can a vehicle with a Minnesota collector plate be driven legally in Arizona? Is it legal to drive it to and from both states? Answer: Can’t speak for Arizona’s laws, but the general rule is to follow all of the current registration laws and rules from the state on where the vehicle is registered. Best practice is to call Department of Vehicle Services in the states that you plan on driving through and verify it is for sure legal. There are several different requirements for “collector” license plates. •The vehicle needs to be at lea...

  • ASK A MN TROOPER "Controlled Substance DWIs"

    Jesse Grabow|Feb 29, 2020

    Question: I read somewhere that the number of DWI arrests had declined recently? This this true? What about non-alcohol related DWI arrests? Answer: While alcohol-related DWI incidents have dropped over the past 10 years in Minnesota, controlled substance-related DWI incidents have increased over the past 30 years. Controlled Substance Convictions •1990: 5 controlled substance-related DWIs •1997: 128 •2007: 659 •2017: 1,982 We believe that most drivers know when to get a sober ride when they had consumed too many alcoholic beverages. Illicit...

  • REAL ID Question

    Jesse Grabow|Feb 15, 2020

    Question: Do I need to obtain the new Real ID and Driver’s License when my license expires? Answer: The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) began issuing REAL ID-compliant driver’s licenses and ID cards on Oct. 1, 2018, to comply with the federal REAL ID Act. Minnesotans are not required to obtain a REAL ID driver’s license or ID card; however, starting Oct. 1, 2020, a REAL ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID card, passport or passport card or another acceptable form of identification will be...

  • Ask a MN Trooper "Safe Following Distance"

    Jesse Grabow|Jan 4, 2020

    Question: What is the legal following distance? What can I do when someone is following too close behind me? Isn’t there a rule of so many vehicle lengths for miles per hour to use as a guide? Answer: The only law regarding following distance pertains to vehicles pulling trailers. This includes trucks as well as semi-truck tractors with trailers. They must maintain a minimum distance of 500 feet. While state law does not require a specific distance for vehicles not pulling trailers, it does say that you shall not follow another vehicle more c...

  • "Hands Free State to State"

    Jesse Grabow|Dec 14, 2019

    Question: Minnesota just recently enacted a hands-free while driving law, but many states do not have such a law. How is this enforced when people from out of state are traveling on our Interstate highways? I have not seen any signs go up stating that Minnesota is Hands-Free. Would violators just be issued a warning? Answer: The law will be enforced for all drivers on Minnesota roadways. Minnesotans and all drivers traveling through the state are responsible for knowing the law. It is important to know that the laws in Minn. may be different...

  • ASK A TROOPER "Winter Driving Tips"

    Jesse Grabow|Dec 7, 2019

    In the past five years, officers reported snowy or icy road conditions in more than 79,569 crashes (2014-2018). These crashes resulted in 214 traffic deaths and 20,761 injuries. During the winter, it’s important to drive at safe speeds according to road conditions, and give yourself plenty of travel time. State law requires the use of headlights when precipitation is present. Increase stopping distance between vehicles. Expect bridges and overpasses to be icy during winter conditions, slow down accordingly and never use cruise control on s...

  • Ask a Trooper "Hand Free Info"

    Jesse Grabow|Oct 26, 2019

    Question: The new hands-free law, does that apply to tractors, lawn mowers and UTV’s? Answer: The hands-free law applies to all motor vehicles. A motor vehicle would include tractors and lawn mowers on a street or highway. The hands free law would not apply if someone was in a ditch or on private property. The UTV is not considered a motor vehicle, so they are not allowed on any state or federal roadway no matter how they are licensed. UTVs are allowed on certain county and township roads if licensed properly. In that case, the hands-free law w... Full story

  • Ask a Trooper "Sharing the Road with Farm Vehicles"

    Jesse Grabow|Oct 26, 2019

    Question: Thank you for the work you do and for your service with the Minnesota State Patrol. I have a rather random, but seasonally appropriate question: with harvest season upon us and with slow moving farm vehicles/implements on roadways, is it permissible to pass a slow-moving farm implement on Minnesota highways in a delineated no-passing zone? If passing is prohibited, maybe this is something to feature in the 'Ask a Trooper' segments in various media outlets. Answer: Thank you for the question. This is perfect timing going into harvest s... Full story

  • Ask a Trooper - School Bus Stop Arm Fine

    Jesse Grabow|Sep 28, 2019

    Question: I was told the fine for passing a school bus, when the red lights are activated and the stop arm is extended, had recently increased. Answer: In 2017, the fine for a school bus stop arm/red lights violation increased from $300 to $500 here in Minnesota. Motorists must stop at least 20 feet from a school bus that is displaying red flashing lights and/or its stop arm is extended when approaching from the rear and from the opposite direction on undivided roads. Red flashing lights on buses indicate students are either entering or...

  • Ask a Trooper - Window Tint Law

    Jesse Grabow|Jun 8, 2019

    Question: I moved to Minnesota from Arizona about a year ago and I have a car that has tinted windows. What is the window tint law in Minnesota? Answer: Even if your previous state allowed tinted windows, you will now need to comply with Minnesota law: • No vehicle can have ANY tint to the front windshield. • Passenger cars are limited to 50% on all side and rear windows. • Pickups, vans, and SUV's are limited to 50% on the front side windows. • Pickups, vans, and SUV's are NOT limited on the...

  • "Unmarked Squad Cars"

    Sgt. Jesse Grabow|Apr 1, 2017

    Question: Is it legal for local police or highway patrol to make regular traffic stops with an unmarked vehicle (no markings at all) or does the vehicle have to have some kind of markings? Answer: The Minnesota State Patrol has 15 unmarked squad cars operated by troopers whose primary job function is road patrol. Per state statue, these unmarked patrol cars are required to have a door shield (MSP decal). Key words in the statute are "primary function." Our other unmarked patrol units may not hav...

  • Driver's License Renewal

    Sgt. Jesse Grabow|Nov 12, 2016

    Question 1: How long do I have before I need to update my address on my driver’s license after moving? Answer 1: Anytime a person moves in Minnesota to a new address within this state, they need to update their driver’s license within 30 days. If a person moved to Minnesota from another state, they have 60 days to change their driver’s license and address over to Minnesota. The same also applies to those changing their name on a driver’s license. Note - Students that are attending college are generally exempt and can still use their parents add...

  • Ask a Trooper - VIN Question

    Sgt. Jesse Grabow|Oct 1, 2016

    Question: I’ve been helping my neighbor prep for sale a 1955 Ford pickup that has been in her family since new. I noticed the other day that the VIN plate is missing from the glove box door (the rivet holes are still there). It must have been lost by the body shop that painted the truck about 15 years ago, and is now out of business. I was able to locate the VIN stamped into the frame and it matches the VIN listed on the Title. I don’t believe the engine or any sheet metal had VIN numbers back then. Can we legally sell this truck without tha...

  • Ask a Trooper - Displaying Collector Plates

    Sgt. Jesse Grabow|Oct 1, 2016

    Question: Read your article from 2014 concerning collector plates. I have a related question. I have a 20 year old car that would qualify for collector plates. Collector plates are usually a single plate if I’m not mistaken. I currently have regular passenger car plates on the vehicle. Can I run a single regular plate on the car and be in compliance? For me the yearly registration fee is not an issue. Look forward to your reply. Answer: If a vehicle has regular plates issued, it must display both the front and back plate. Displaying only a sing...

  • Ask a MN Trooper

    Sgt. Jesse Grabow|Aug 13, 2016

    Question: I just wanted to suggest a topic for your Ask a Trooper column in the paper, and on the radio: What are the rules when a traffic light is out, because of a power outage for example? I treat them as a four-way stop, which I believe is correct. It seemed, however, that not everybody that was driving through this intersection agreed with me. My daughter nearly got hit in the intersection, from a driver that felt they had the right of way. Answer: Due to recent storms, many areas experienced power outages where motorists encountered inope...

  • Ask a Trooper

    Sgt. Jesse Grabow|Jul 30, 2016

    Railroad Crossing Safety Question: Can you talk about railroad crossing safety and the laws that cover it? Answer: In my career, I had responded and investigated train/vehicle crashes where the majority of them resulted with a fatality or a serious injury to the vehicle occupants. Collisions with trains are mostly preventable. In Minnesota, failure to yield the right of way, disregard of a traffic control device, improper turn and inattention and impatience are cited as the most common factors contributing to motor vehicle/train crashes. The...

  • Hit and Run Crashes

    Jesse Grabow|Jul 9, 2016

    Question: There was a story in the news about a recent hit and run fatal crash where the State Patrol was looking for the public’s help in locating the vehicle that fled. How many hit and run incidents are there in Minnesota and what is the law that covers this? Answer: As a State Patrol public information officer, I will ask the media and public to assist us in identifying a driver or vehicle in a hit and run type incident. Below are “Hit and Run” crash statistics from the past two years. 2014 “Hit-and-Run” Crashes -8 Fatal Crashes -1,096 Pe...