Driver's licenses

Anyone who drives a motor vehicle on public streets or highways in Minnesota must carry a valid and unexpired driver’s license.

Service by appointment only

Applications are being taken by appointment only. Walk-in service will not be provided. Anyone without an appointment will be asked to leave.

Types of licenses and appointment instructions are below.

COVID-19 response

All staff and customers must wear a mask or face covering and stay 6 feet apart from others. Do not enter county buildings if you are sick.

Expiring MN driver's licenses extended due to COVID-19

Licenses that expire between March 13, 2020 and January 31, 2021 are valid until February 28, 2021. Expiration dates will automatically be changed to February 28, 2021. Out of state licenses may be used in Minnesota for more than 60 days. Learn more about the extension.

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Driver's license options

Standard license

Valid for:

  • Domestic air travel – through October 1, 2021
  • Identification and lawful driving privileges

Real ID compliant license

Not required until October 2021. Valid for:

Enhanced license

Can be issued only to U.S. citizens. Not required until October 2021.

Valid for:

  • Domestic air travel
  • Access to federal and military facilities
  • Identification and lawful driving privileges
  • Re-entry into the U.S. via land and sea from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda or the Caribbean

Note: we stop taking applications for enhanced licenses one (1) hour prior to closing.

Traveling now? See MN driver’s license and ID options.

New to Minnesota or first time

These are for people who are new to the state of Minnesota and to Minnesotans who have completed both the driver's instruction permit and provisional license requirements.

If you have a valid license from another U.S. state, certain territories (Puerto Rico, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, and Guam), or Canada, you have 60 days after becoming a Minnesota resident to obtain your Minnesota driver’s license.

Qualifications

Individuals new to Minnesota who have a valid license from another state

  1. First take and pass a knowledge test at a metro area driver's exam stations.
  2. Get your knowledge test results.
  3. See Application process section below.

Minnesota permit holders and non-driver individuals who don't have valid license from another state

  1. First take and pass a knowledge test at a metro area driver's exam stations.
  2. Schedule, take and pass your road test. Schedule or reschedule an exam or road test
  3. See Application process section.

Application process

  1. Complete the pre-application online
  2. Gather your required documents
  3. Schedule an appointment   

At your appointment

You will need to bring: 

  • One primary and one secondary document from the identification list (PDF)
  • Your Social Security number if you have one
  • If you are under 18, a parent or guardian with proper identification must be present
  • Your knowledge (written) test results
  • Items discussed during your call

Cost

Road test

Information locations for state road tests can be found at metro area driver's exam stations.

Renewal

Minnesota driver’s licenses must be renewed every four years on or before your birthday. If your license has been expired for more than one year, but less than five years, you must pass a knowledge test and a vision test before applying for a new license.

Application process

Online application

For applicants renewing a standard license who do not need to change their name, address, signature or license number only. Applicants who need to change one of these items or upgrade to an enhanced or REAL ID must follow the Application process below.

Click Apply for a Driver’s License or State ID on the DVS online self services

Application by appointment

  1. Complete the pre-application online
  2. Gather your required documents
  3. Schedule an appointment   

At your appointment

You will need to pass a vision screening and have the following:

  • Your Social Security number, if you have one
  • If you are under 18, a parent or guardian with proper identification must be present
  • If your name has changed since your last renewal, bring a certified copy of one of the following specifying a name change: marriage certificate, divorce or dissolution of marriage decree, certified court order specifying a name change

Cost

Duplicate, change, or replacement

Apply for a duplicate license within 30 days of a name or address change, or if you have lost your license.

Your name must already be updated in the social security system for us to accept application for a driver’s license name change. Learn more about how to change your name on your social security card at Social Security Administration or Social Security Card FAQs.

Application process

  1. Complete the pre-application online
  2. Gather your required documents
  3. Schedule an appointment     

At your appointment

Bring the following:

  • One primary and one secondary document from the identification list (PDF)
  • Your Social Security number if you have one
  • If you are under 18, a parent or guardian with proper identification must be present

Cost

Instruction permit: new

Minnesota has a three-step process to become a licensed Class D driver. Anyone 18 years or younger must hold an instruction permit for at least six months before taking a road test.

  • Step 1: instruction permit
  • Step 2: provisional driver's license
  • Step 3: full Class D driver's license

Obtaining your instruction permit is the first step to becoming a licensed Minnesota driver. The permit is valid for two years of practice driving with a licensed driver sitting in the front passenger seat. It is illegal to practice driving without a valid instruction permit. When you drive, you must have your instruction permit with you.

Qualifications

  • Be at least 15 years old
  • Have completed 30 hours of classroom instruction and enrollment in behind-the-wheel instruction — if you are 18 or older, classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction is not required
  • Pass a vision screening and knowledge (written) test

Application process

  1. Complete the pre-application online
  2. Gather your required documents
  3. Schedule an appointment

At your appointment

Bring the following: 

  • One primary and one secondary document from the identification list (PDF)
  • Your social security number if you have one
  • If you are under 18, a parent or guardian with proper identification must be present
  • Proof of your completed classroom instruction
  • Proof of enrollment in behind-the-wheel instruction
  • Knowledge test results

Limitations

Under 18 limitations

  • Supervising driver must be 21 years old or older.
  • Every occupant must wear a seat belt or use a child passenger restraint system.
  • You may not use, or talk on, a cell phone while driving (with or without a hands-free device).

18 and older limitations

  • Supervising driver must be 18 years old or older.
  • All passengers must wear a seat belt or use a child passenger restraint system.

Cost

Additional information

  • If you are over 18, you do not need a provisional license (step 2).

Instruction permit: renewal

If your instruction permit is lost or expired, apply for another one. It will be valid for two years from the date of application for practice driving with a licensed driver sitting in the front passenger seat.

It is illegal to practice driving without a valid instruction permit. You must have your permit on you when you drive.

Application process

  1. Complete the pre-application online
  2. Gather your required documents
  3. Schedule an appointment

At your appointment

Bring the following:

  • Your Social Security number if you have one
  • If you are under 18, a parent or guardian with proper identification must be present
  • Your current permit card
  • To pass a vision screening

Limitations

Under 18 limitations

  • Supervising driver must be 21 years old or older
  • All passengers must wear a seat belt or a child passenger restraint
  • You can't use, or talk on, a cell phone while driving (with or without a hands-free device)

18 and older limitations

  • Supervising driver must be 18 years old or older
  • All passengers must wear a seat belt or a child passenger restraint

Cost

Additional information

  • If you are over 18, you do not need a provisional license (step 2).

Provisional license

Step two in the process of becoming a licensed Minnesota driver is obtaining your provisional license. This license is valid for two years from the date of application and has restrictions that do not apply to a full Class D driver's license.

If you are 18 and have held your instructional permit for at least six months you may immediately apply for your first time driver's license.

Qualifications

  • Be at least 16 years of age
  • Have successfully passed a road test
  • Have completed behind-the-wheel instruction
  • Have completed 30 hours of classroom instruction
  • Had an instruction permit (step 1) for six months with no conviction for moving or alcohol/controlled-substance violations
  • Have a signature from a parent or guardian certifying at least 30 hours (10 of which must have been at night) of supervised (with a person at least 21 years old) driving

Application process

  1. Complete the pre-application online
  2. Gather your required documents
  3. Schedule an appointment

At your appointment

Bring the following:

  • Your Social Security number if you have one
  • If you're under 18, a parent or guardian (with ID) to also sign the application
  • Proof of your completed classroom instruction
  • Proof of enrollment in behind-the-wheel instruction

Cost

Restrictions

During the first six months

Only one passenger under the age of 20 is permitted, unless accompanied by a parent or guardian

Driving is prohibited from midnight until 5 a.m. unless the provisional driver is:

  • Accompanied by a licensed driver at least 25 years old
  • Driving between home and work
  • Driving between home and a school event for which the school does not provide transportation
  • Driving for employment purposes

During the second six months

  • No more than three passengers under the age of 20 are permitted, unless accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Note: passengers under 20 who are members of the provisional driver’s immediate family are permitted during both time periods.

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