We already have a question about motorcycle chariots in Florida, but what about actual, horse-drawn chariots, and what about Minnesota?

My thinking is that it would probably fall into the same regulatory area as a horse and buggy, but would a chariot actually be road-legal in Minnesota under the aforementioned laws? Google brings up a Reddit discussion suggesting that they may be road-legal in California, and another about vehicle registration for a chariot, but nothing else relevant.

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    Yes, it would be a horse drawn vehicle, the police will not be out there with measuring sticks saying "this is a chariot, not a buggy". If the state has Mennonites, they will have laws authorizing horse drawn vehicles. Mennonites are a religious sect similar to the Amish who reject most technology.q. Very nice neighbors. May 23, 2022 at 5:51
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    What's the difference between chariots and a buggy?
    – Heddy
    May 23, 2022 at 6:18
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    @Nancy A buggy is a small coach without roof and with 4 wheels. But the terminology doesn't seem to be that precise.
    – PMF
    May 23, 2022 at 8:26

1 Answer 1


The second-broadest category under Minnesota law (definitions, ch, 169) is "motor vehicle", defined in its entirety:

(a) "Motor vehicle" means every vehicle which is self-propelled and every vehicle which is propelled by electric power obtained from overhead trolley wires.

(b) Motor vehicle does not include an electric-assisted bicycle, an electric personal assistive mobility device, or a vehicle moved solely by human power.

Numerous sub-types of "motor vehicle" or "vehicle" are defined in that section, such as "Class 1 electric-assisted bicycle", "Farm tractor", "Motorized foot scooter", "Semitrailer" and so on. There is no more-specific category that includes animal-drawn carts of any kind. In Minnesota v. Hershberger, 444 N.W.2d 282 we learn that there must be a religious accommodation made with respect to the slow-moving vehicle statute, insofar as the law requires slow-moving vehicles to have garish warning signs that conflict with Amish religious beliefs. I set aside the possibility that you are referring to a Hindu ceremony re-enacting the Battle of Kurukshetra (millions of chariots).

The first question is whether a chariot is a "slow-moving vehicle". This is set by the characteristic that it is "designed for operation at a speed of 30 miles per hour or less". This is a question of fact and not law, and opinions on the matter differ, however it is more likely than not that a chariot is not designed to travel faster that 30 mph (the internet generally indicates that the physical speed limitation of a chariot is somewhere around 30 mph). Still, even as a slow-moving vehicle, all that is required is "a triangular slow-moving vehicle emblem". Since there is no statutory distinction between a "cart" and a "chariot", there is no legal basis for treating them differently. The concept of "road-legal" is a consequence of other specific classifications. For example, an ATV is regulated under §169.045, but that section does not apply to every vehicle. Since there is no special law addressing animal-drawn carts, they are not specifically prohibited therefore they are "road-legal". §169.045 does allow for local restrictions, therefor you would also have to investigate the specific municipality.

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    Racing chariots from the horse race track are designed to be operated faster than 30 mph, but those are clearly not roadworthy.
    – Trish
    May 25, 2022 at 14:16

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