Can You Deck Out Your Car With Christmas Lights In Minnesota?
Here's something you may not have thought of before: hanging Christmas lights in your car! Maybe you have thought about it. Maybe you haven't. Either way, do you know whether or not you legally can do so?
Christmas light displays, by the way, are not hard to come by here in Duluth. In fact, we are famous for Bentleyville, which is a massive light display that sets up in Canal Park every year. People come from everywhere to see the lights in our little town.
There are also other holiday light events, like the light display at the Lake Superior Zoo. This year, there is also a light display that is a punk rock take on Bentleyville! It is called Boubville, and is put on for three different nights and raises money for charity.
The list doesn't end there. There are nearly thirty other light displays in Minnesota and Wisconsin so you can get in the holiday spirit in Duluth and then branch out if you see fit! However, you may not want to get your car into the holiday spirit.
This may seem random but did you know that people actually deck their cars out with holiday lights? I am not going to lie but every time I think of that, I can't think of anything other than The Purge movies. If you know, you know.
Even if you aren't going for that and just want to simply make your car festive, think again! I did some research to see if this is legal or what. I found a few statutes that reference lighting in cars and I learned you should probably just skip the whole Christmas light thing all together.
There are a ton of statutes referencing lights in vehicles. Everything from blue lights to white lights to strobe lights have some sort of statute but what about Christmas lights? Here's what I learned:
- Colored lights are prohibited on or in a car unless you get permission or authorization from the commissioner of public safety. According to the statute, no vehicle can have nor can a person drive or move a car "upon any highway with any lamp or device displaying a red light or any colored light other than those required or permitted in this chapter."
- Things are different if you drive an emergency vehicle but because we are talking about regular vehicles that you personally drive to and from, that does not apply here.
- Flashing Christmas lights are also not allowed on or in a normal vehicle. There are a few exceptions to having flashing lights on a vehicle but they do not apply to Christmas lights.
- White Christmas lights are also not allowed, as no white lights are on allowed on or in a vehicle with a few exceptions that are not relevant in this case.
There are many statutes that reference lighting in vehicles and there are many factors that play a role, including the age of your car and what you are using the vehicles for. According to another source, you can only have colored lights on your car if you are part of an event, such as a parade.
While you probably won't get arrested, you may get a fine. This happened in Wisconsin a few years back, when the Wisconsin State Patrol pulled over a car that was decked out in lights. They got points for creativity but had to take them off.