Winter has been brutal this year and with one this bad, there are a lot of things that happen that are out of our control.

One of those things? Snow covering our license plates as we head to hit the open road.

Under Minnesota law, you need to have your license plate clear and visible at all times. This includes snow, sleet, dirt and whatever else Mother Nature throws our way.

However, it can be difficult to clear your plates in the winter and to keep them clear on your way to your destination. I wanted to know how this was handled and if the same rules apply in the dead of winter as in the middle of summer.

I reached out to the Duluth Police Department and this is what they had to say on the matter:

It is illegal to have your license plate covered with anything including snow, but we also know that this can be difficult with our snowy weather.  People should check their plates after driving in snow conditions or after a storm to make sure they are clear.  A covered plate may result in a traffic stop, but might not result in a citation.  It is hard for us to put a hard and fast rule around this issue but I believe most officers will use common sense based on the weather conditions.

There you have it! You should always clear off your license plates, along with the rest of the vehicle, before and after you hit the open road as you would with any other season.

While we are on the topic of winter driving, can we PLEASE stop doing this when it snows? Thanks in advance.

Besides, it doesn't look like the snow is stopping any time soon.