Ask a Trooper: Is it legal to have a scanner in your car?
Published 8:45 pm Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson
Question: I have a friend who drives around with a scanner in his vehicle. He says because he has a ham radio license it’s legal, is that true?
Answer: Your friend is correct. Peace officers, the State Patrol and people with an amateur radio license issued by the Federal Communications Commission are allowed to have a scanner in their vehicle. Emergency response personnel are also allowed to use scanners if they’re employed or authorized by the federal government, the state or a political subdivision to provide fire suppression, police protection, emergency medical services or emergency activities relating to health and safety and in compliance with the requirements of the state statute.
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People not authorized to use a scanner could be found guilty of a misdemeanor. Second and subsequent offenses are gross misdemeanors.
People using such devices while committing or attempting to commit a felony could be convicted of a felony.
You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention, and always drive sober. Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.
If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848; or reach him at Troy.Christianson@state.mn.us.
Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.