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?

Sgt. Jesse Grabow
Sgt. Jesse Grabow
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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Send questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota to: Trp. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol, 1000 Highway 10 W., Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. Follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us.