Minnesota Recording Laws

Minnesota Recording Law Summary:

Minnesota recording law stipulates that it is a one-party consent state. In Minnesota, it is a criminal offense to use any device to record, obtain, share or use communications, whether they are wire, oral or electronic, without the consent of at least one person taking part in the communication. This means that in Minnesota, you are legally allowed to record a conversation if you are a contributor, or with prior consent from one of the involved parties, barring any criminal intent. Minn. Stat. § 626A.02.

This state’s hidden camera laws also forbid the recording or sharing of illegally obtained images. Minn. Stat. § 609.746.

Personal Conversations:

You may not record, obtain, share or use conversations that you are not a part of without the consent of at least one party.

If you are a third-party and require consent from the parties taking part in the conversation, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) states that you may gain consent to make a recording by:

  • Getting verbal or written consent prior to the recording being made.
  • A verbal notification being played before the conversation begins. (For example: “This phone call is being recorded for quality control purposes…”).
  • An audible beep tone being repeated at steady intervals during the duration of the conversation.

Minnesota Video Recording Laws

It is against the law to:

  • Trespass on another person’s property to secretly install or use any device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events through the window or any other opening of that person’s house or dwelling.
  • Secretly install or use any device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying, or broadcasting sounds or events through an opening of a hotel sleeping room, tanning booth, or any other place where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy and person(s) in those places are likely to expose their intimate parts or undress.

Minn. Stat. § 609.746(b)(d)

For example, it is illegal to point your security camera at your neighbor’s living room window or any other opening of your neighbor’s house.

Note that commercial property owners are allowed to surveil their properties as long as conspicuous signs are posted warning that the premises are under surveillance by the owner or the owner’s employees. For example, your landlord is allowed to install a security camera in the hallway provided that he or she posts a conspicuous sign warning tenants of the surveillance activity. Minn. Stat. § 609.746(g)

Penalties:

Minn. Stat. § 626A.02: Illegally recording, or sharing communications one can be expected to know were illegally intercepted, are offenses which are subject to fines of $20,000 and five years in prison.

Minn. Stat. § 609.746: Infractions against Minnesota’s hidden camera law are considered felony offenses subject to a $5,000 fine and a maximum of two years in prison.

Minn. Stat. § 609.746(b)(d): Violating Minnesota’s video recording laws is considered a gross misdemeanor which is punishable by imprisonment of up to 1 year and $3000 fine.

Minn. Stat. § 609.746(f): Violating Minnesota’s video recording laws is considered a felony if the victim is a minor under 18 years and if the violation was done for sexual gratification purposes. Punishments may include imprisonment not exceeding 4 years, a fine not exceeding $5000 or both imprisonment and fine.

More Minnesota Laws

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