Limits on driver’s license suspensions, property forfeiture among new Minnesota laws taking effect on Jan. 1

As Minnesotans celebrate the new year, some new laws are also set to take effect.

Below are some of the state’s new laws, effective Jan. 1, 2022.

  • A person’s driver’s license can’t be suspended based solely on their failure to pay traffic tickets, parking fines or surcharges following a conviction for vehicle operation or parking citation. The Department of Public Safety also can’t suspend a driver’s license for failure to appear in court on a petty misdemeanor.
  • Law enforcement can’t seize a person’s vehicle through civil forfeiture for failing to appear in court. Forfeiture notices also have to warn others with an ownership interest in the vehicle and explain how to assert an innocent owner claim. Additionally, forfeiture in connection to DWIs can be stayed if the driver participates in the ignition interlock program.
  • Another change to forfeiture laws will stop police from taking cash or items totaling less than $1,500. Changes to Minnesota’s civil forfeiture laws gained traction after extensive reporting by 5 INVESTIGATES’ Eric Rasmussen.
  • The dispensing fee for prescription drugs will increase 29 cents from $10.48 to $10.77.
  • Rates for substance abuse disorder treatment services provided by culturally specific or responsive programs, as well as disability responsive programs, are increasing by 5%.
  • Procedures and documentation requirements for homeless youth trying to obtain a certified birth record or a state identification card will be updated, including waiving transaction and filing fees for ID cards.
  • A few new license plates will be created, highlighting the Minnesota 100 Club, agriculture and honorary consul.
  • Any member of the 11 federally recognized tribes in the state can get an annual state park permit for free.
  • Employers with at least 15 employees will be required to provide "reasonable accommodations" to employees for pregnancy and childbirth-related health conditions, which could include things like frequent bathroom breaks, limits to heavy lifting or temporarily moving to a less strenuous or hazardous position.
  • Medical assistance will have to cover screenings and urinalysis tests for opioids.

For more information on Minnesota laws passed in 2021, click here.