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Ask a Trooper: General public not allowed to carry scanner in a motor vehicle

Questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota may be sent to Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow at 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56560. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or email him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us

Close-up of Minnesota State Patrol trooper's squad vehicle
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Question: I have a buddy 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.

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.

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Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow
Minnesota State Patrol Sgt. Jesse Grabow
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