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License Plate Impoundment



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Definition - What does License Plate Impoundment mean?

License plate impoundment allows states to impound a driver's license plate for certain criminal violations. In Minnesota, license plates may be impounded under Minn. Stat. §169A.60 for DWI offenses. According to Minnesota law, plates may be impounded, not only for the car involved in the violation, but also for all other vehicles which are leased or registered to the offender.

In Minnesota the plates may be turned in to the police department, state patrol or sheriff within 7 days from the date of the impoundment order. Law enforcement officers may also have the right to claim the plates when the accident or infraction occurred. There is a fee to have new plates reissued, and the license impoundment will cease when the underlying license revocation period ends.

If the violator has an accident or is arrested for DUI while driving a vehicle which they do not own, the owner of the car has the option to avoid the impoundment order by filing the appropriate paperwork to the commissioner within 7 days from the date of the impoundment order.

Plates may be impounded in the state of Minnesota if a violation occurs with any of the following aggravating factors:

  • The driver was driving under the influence and had a blood alcohol concentration level of 0.20% or higher.
  • The driver was driving under the influence of alcohol with a child under the age of 16 in the car.
  • The driver was driving under the influence of alcohol and their driver's license had previously been revoked.
  • The driver was driving under the influence of alcohol and the second driving violation occurred within 10 years from the date of their prior DUI violation.





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