Repeat the following sentence a few times, and when you’re finished, clip it and stick it on your refrigerator to remind yourself:

Bring insurance card to DVS. Bring insurance card to DVS. Bring insurance card to DVS.

As of Friday, Jan. 1, all drivers must present proof of insurance when registering or re-registering their cars with the state’s Driver and Vehicle Services division. The card should show the insurance company’s name, the policy number and expiration date.

The new law was designed to curb the number of uninsured drivers, estimated by the Insurance Information Institute to be one of every 10 Minnesota motorists. It goes into effect with the start of the New Year, along with a few other notable changes to law and policy made by the Legislature and local jurisdictions:

• In Minneapolis, flavored tobacco products now will be more expensive and harder to find. A new ordinance bans flavored tobacco — such as fruit-flavored cigars and chewing tobacco — from being sold in locations such as gas stations and convenience stores. The de facto ban does not apply to menthol cigarettes.

Flavored tobacco can still be sold in special adult-only tobacco shops, which recently numbered under two dozen in Minneapolis. The ordinance also sets a minimum price of $2.60 per cigar, some of which could previously be purchased in a three-pack for about $1.

• Civil libertarians at the Legislature have raised concerns about automated license plate readers — small cameras on fixed mounts or in squad cars that scan license plates and store information on where a vehicle was located and when. A provision in a new law will require the heads of police agencies that use the devices to establish a written policy governing their use, including discipline for unauthorized access to the data.

• The commissioner of the Department of Health was given authority to add intractable pain to the list of conditions that qualify for the use of medical cannabis, and did so in December. The law calls for the commissioner to report findings to the Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research by the first of the year.

• The Legislature created a task force to plan how elections would be handled in cases of emergencies, on or before Election Day. The law creating the task force required the group’s report to be ready by Friday. It will address who has authority in emergency situations, ballot security, continuity of operations, communications and emergency contacts, among other issues.


Staff writer Eric Roper contributed to this story.