Minnesota DMV Handbook and Regulations FAQ

If you’re currently preparing to obtain your Minnesota state driver’s license or learner’s permit, then you will also be required to prove knowledge and understanding of all information contained in the Minnesota state DMV handbook. However, the following FAQ overview may also help you prepare for what the experience of applying for your license and ultimately driving on Minnesota roadways will be like.
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How old do I need to be before I can apply for my learner’s permit?
In Minnesota, you have to be a minimum of 15 years old before you are eligible to begin the application process. However, you will also need to have successfully completed a state recognized driver’s education course and have your parent or guardian sign your application.
When I go to apply for my Minnesota license, what documents do I need to bring with me?
As with the application process in other states, you will be expected to provide proper proof of your identity, date of birth, and residency in Minnesota. You do not need to bring your social security card, but you will need to know your social security number. Accepted identity proof documents include:
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate
  • A certificate of birth abroad
  • An adoption certificate
  • A current and valid United States passport
  • A certificate of naturalization or citizenship
  • A tribal government identification card
If you are under the age of 18, you will also need to prove to the DMV that you’ve completed driver’s education by showing your certificate of enrollment. (This is also sometimes called a Blue Card.)
How much does it cost to take my written test? What happens if I fail it the first time?
You do not have to pay any fees the first two times you take your written test. However, if you fail twice, you will need to pay $10 each additional time you wind up needing to take it. Naturally, you’ll want to pass it the first time if possible. You can increase your chances of this happening by taking multiple practice tests designed to mimic the exact experience of taking the written test in Minnesota before you go in to take the real deal.
Do I need to take and pass a physical in order to get my permit?
No. You are not required to pass a full physical in Minnesota in order to be granted your learner’s permit. However, you will need to pass a vision test that will be administered at your time of application. You need 20/40 vision in order to pass. Also, your peripheral vision needs to be a minimum of 105 degrees. Should you fail the vision test, you will be told to visit an eye doctor and return to the DMV at a future date with the doctor’s report.
What are the requirements attached to each stage of the license application process?
Just as it is in other states, the process of obtaining your license in Minnesota is a process. The first step of that process is getting your learner’s permit once you’re of eligible age. Before you can progress to the next stage, you must:
  • Have had your permit for at least 6 months if you are under 18 and at least 3 months if you are 19 years of age or older.
  • Pay the applicable $12 fee.
  • Drive only while accompanied by a licensed driver at least 21 years of age.
The stage after that one is the one where you have your restricted provisional license. Before you can get your unrestricted Class D license, you must:
  • Have your provisional license for 12 consecutive months and not incur any traffic violations.
  • Pay the applicable $15 fee.
Lastly, you’ll get your regular D license upon payment of the applicable $24 fee.
What happens when it’s time to renew my Minnesota driver’s license?
The Minnesota DMV will send you a notice by mail a few months before your license is due to expire. You are required to visit a Minnesota DMV field office on or before the expiration date specified on your license if you are to enjoy unbroken continuation of your driving privileges. Arrive ready to take a new photo for your license and pass a vision test. You are not able to renew online, by mail, or over the phone in Minnesota.
How long is a Minnesota driver’s license valid for?
It depends on what type of license you have. If you have your provisional license, it will be valid for two years from the date of application. If you have your Class D license with full privileges, it’s valid for four years and will expire on your birthday. If you have your Class D license and are under 21 years of age, your license will expire on your 21st birthday regardless of how long you’ve had it.
What happens if I’m caught driving with an expired license?
If you discover your Minnesota driver’s license has expired, do not drive until you have a chance to renew it. If you are caught, you could be charged hefty penalty fees. You may also be made to retake your written test or even your road skills test.
I need to renew my license, but I don’t have it because it’s been lost, stolen, or damaged. What should I do?
You can still renew your Minnesota driver’s license even if it’s been lost, stolen, or damaged. However, you will need to bring alternative proof of your identity with you to the field office. If your license has been lost or stolen, you should not drive until you’ve had a chance to complete the renewal process and obtain a temporary license.
Can I register to vote or to become an organ donor via the DMV?
Yes. You will be given the opportunity to register in both regards when applying for a new license or renewing an existing one. Simply tick the correct boxes when filling out your application or renewal form and you’re all set.
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