Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

State Junkyard Control Program

Guidance for junkyard control along Minnesota highways

Junkyard classification

Minnesota Junkyard Law classifies junkyards into three types:

Legal junkyard

A junkyard that is:

  • Located in an industrial area, or
  • Located more than one-half mile from a state highway, or
  • Screened from view from the state highway

Illegal junkyard

A junkyard that is:

  • Established after June 30, 1971
  • Not located in an industrial area
  • Visible from the state highway
  • Not screened from view

Legal non-conforming junkyard

A junkyard that:

  • Lawfully existed on June 30, 1971
  • Is not located in an industrial area
  • Is located within one-half mile of a state highway
  • Is visible from the state highway

Changing a junkyard classification

Illegal junkyards are designated as public nuisances, and owners of illegal junkyards must remove, relocate on-site or screen the junk that is visible from a state highway or interstate. Illegal junkyards are not eligible for funding assistance from the state. A legal non-conforming junkyard may be eligible for state funds to remove the junk, relocate it on site or screen it from view. MnDOT has the authority to acquire easements to screen a junkyard that is within one-half mile of a state highway. Once a non-conforming junkyard comes into compliance with the state junkyard law, its classification changes to legal junkyard.