DMV - New driver license in Minnesota
Application for a driver’s license in Minnesota
Traffic crashes are the leading killer of Minnesota teens.
To minimize risks of injury or death, laws limiting teen passengers and nighttime driving will help teens hone driving skills during the first year of licensure and reduce exposure to high-risk situations. Violating these laws is a misdemeanor.
Nighttime Driving Limitation — Statute: MS 171.055
For the first six months of licensure: Driving is prohibited midnight – 5 a.m.
Exemptions: Driving when accompanied by a licensed driver age 25 or older; driving between home
and place of employment; driving to/from home and a school event for which the school has not
provided transportation; driving for employment purposes.
The nighttime limitation is lifted after the first six months of licensure.
Teen Passenger Limitations
For the second six-months of licensure:
No more than three passengers under the age of 20 are permitted, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Passengers under age 20 who are members of the immediate family are permitted.
These provisions also apply to teens licensed before August 1, 2008. For example, a teen licensed on
July 1 has five months and a subsequent six months of limitation requirements, rather than starting
the limitation time periods anew on August 1.
Seat Belt Use
Drivers and passengers under age 18 must wear a seat belt or be properly secured in a child restraint.
Cell Phone and Texting Restrictions
It is illegal for drivers under age 18 to use a cellular/wireless phone, whether hand-held or hands-free
except to call 911 in an emergency. A new law has made it illegal for drivers of all ages to
compose, read, or send text messages or access the Internet on a wireless device while on the road.
Drinking and Driving
It is illegal for a person under age 21 to drive after consuming any amount of alcohol.
Consequences for underage drinking and driving are loss of license for at least 30 days and court fines.
Teen drivers with provisional licenses whose driving privileges are revoked from a crash or alcohol/
controlled substance-related violation cannot regain a license until age 18.
To Qualify for a Full-Privileges License
License holder must have a safe driving record or be age 18. For details, visit www.mndriveinfo.org.
Parents’ Role in Developing Safe Teen Drivers
· Reinforce these teen driving laws and follow through with your own consequences if violations occur.
· Monitor and train teen drivers — even after licensure. Teens need supervised exposure in a variety of driving conditions and environments.
· Be a positive role model: buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention, and don’t drive aggressively
For taking the written test, the road test, and making your application for a license, you'll need proper ID. Here's what the DVS will accept.
· Either a driver's license with a photo from Minnesota or another US state which is current, or expired for less than five years. If it doesn't have a photo, it must be current, or expired less than one year.
· Or, if you don't have a US driver's license, you need one primary and one secondary piece of ID.
The primary document must contain your full legal name and date of birth. Examples are a valid passport, US birth certificate, or permanent resident card.
The secondary document must have your full name. Examples are a US social security card, a school transcript, or a certified birth certificate from another country.
The full list of documents acceptable as primary and secondary identification is available on the DVS website.
If your full name is different than the name on your ID, you must also present proof of your legal name change.
What if you have a valid license from another state, but you can't present it with your application, what if it was lost or stolen? A copy of your driver's record from the other state is acceptable in place of the license. Contact the DMV in that state to obtain your driver's record.
The Written Test
You'll need your ID to take the test.
The written test has 40 questions, all multiple choice or true-or-false.
The test is based on the information in the Minnesota Drivers' Manual. The manual is available on the internet, at and at DVS knowledge and road test offices. You can also request a copy to be sent to you.
At most exam locations in the metro area, the test is computerized and available in several different languages. You will sit at a computer, listen to the question, and make a selection on the touch screen. The test is not timed. At non-computerized locations, it's a traditional pen-and-paper test.
There is no fee for taking the test the first or second time, but if you need to take the test a third or subsequent time there is a fee. Only one test can be taken per day.
Once you pass the test, you will be given a copy of the test results which you will need to apply for a license.
The Road Test
There are no road test offices in Minneapolis or St. Paul. The nearest road test offices to the Twin Cities metro area are in Eagan, Chaska, Plymouth, Stillwater and Hastings. It's advisable to make an appointment for your test by calling the exam office.
You'll need your ID to take the road test. In addition, you'll need to provide a vehicle to take the test in.
· The vehicle must be legal and operating. Deal with any funny noises it's making first, or you may not be allowed to take the test.
· The passenger door must open properly from both inside and outside of the vehicle.
· The seat belt must function properly, and so must the brake lights, signals, and headlights.
· You'll need to provide proof of valid insurance for the testing vehicle. It has to be the actual insurance card or policy, not a copy or printout from the internet.
· The vehicle's registration must be current.
You'll be required to demonstrate use of your vehicle's safety equipment, control and driving. You will be tested on your ability to drive your vehicle safely under normal conditions, obeying normal rules and regulations.
Only the applicant driver is permitted in the car during a test with an examiner.
There is no fee for the first or second tests. If you fail the first two, there is a fee for the third and any subsequent tests.
If you pass, you'll receive a copy of the test results, which you'll need to apply for your license.
Applying for your Minnesota Driver's License
You've passed the knowledge test. You've passed the road test. Congratulations!
Now you can make your application for a license. At any office that accepts license applications, present the test pass results from the knowledge test, the road test (if applicable), your ID, and any other driver's licenses you hold.
You'll have to pass a vision test, and you'll have your photo taken. Smile!
Any US driver's licenses will be invalidated by snipping the corner. Foreign driver's licenses won't be invalidated and will be returned to you.
Pay the application fee, and you are done. You'll receive a receipt for your application to use in place of your license. You'll need to show this if you are stopped by the police, or otherwise need proof of your license, but it can't be used as ID.
Your new Minnesota license will arrive in the mail in a couple of weeks.