Farm work licenses for teens can turn badPublished 8:10am Sunday, March 10, 2013
Q: Is there still such a thing as a farm license for teens?
A: There is still a restricted farm work license in Minnesota. A 15-year-old may be issued a farm work license but with firm restrictions.
Minnesota State Statue 171.041, regarding farm licenses, states: “The restricted license shall be issued solely … to assist parents or guardians with farm work. A person holding this restricted license may operate a motor vehicle only during daylight hours and only within a radius of 20 miles … of the farmhouse; … in no case may (the license holder) … operate in a city of the first class (population over 100,000).”
Most people in law enforcement have been in contact with teens using the farm work license improperly; essentially, they are driving without out any license when they are violating the restrictions of this license. A teen with a farm license may not drive to school, sporting events or to meet friends, just to name a few temptations.
Parents are strongly urged to consider all the facts and restrictions before allowing their teen to obtain a restricted farm work license and to monitor its use very carefully. These teens have little to no formal driver training or practical experience on the road. The necessity of having a 15-year-old driver to assist on the family farm is understood; however, it would be wiser to avoid if there are other options.
Remember, the No. 1 cause of death for teens is motor vehicle crashes.
Jacalyn Sticha is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.