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Minnesota Driving Record
"Driving is a privilege and also a responsibility. Please remember to buckle up, obey speed laws and never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Respect for traffic laws and respect for other drivers will keep us all safe on the road." - Commissioner Michael Campion, Minnesota Department of Public Safety
Minnesota Driver License
Anyone who drives a motor vehicle on public streets or highways in Minnesota must carry a valid and unexpired driver's license. If you have never had a driver's license in any state or country, you must pass a knowledge test and a vision test, apply for an instruction permit, and pass a road test. If your Minnesota driver's 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.
If you are moving to Minnesota from another state, certain U.S. territories, or Canada, you can obtain a license by passing the knowledge and vision tests. You have up to 60 days after becoming a resident to obtain your regular Minnesota license or permit; with a commercial license, up to 30 days. You must also present a valid driver's license, or one expired for less than one year, from your former home state. (See Identification Requirements) If you have a motorcycle endorsement on your out-of-state license, you can obtain a Minnesota endorsement by passing a test and paying the appropriate fees.
Minnesota Driver License Exemptions
You may drive a motor vehicle on public roads in Minnesota without a valid Minnesota driver's license or permit, if you meet one of these exceptions:
- You are a nonresident who is at least 15 years of age and have in your possession a valid driver's license issued to you in your home state or country.
- You have become a resident of Minnesota and have a valid driver's license issued by another state, a Canadian province or U.S. military authority. You have up to 60 days after becoming a resident to obtain your regular Minnesota license.
- You have a valid commercial driver's license from another state. In this case, you have up to 30 days after becoming a Minnesota resident to obtain your commercial Minnesota license.
- You are employed by, or in service to, the U.S. government and you are driving or operating (for military purposes), a commercial motor vehicle for the U.S. government.
- You are not a Minnesota resident, are at least 18 years of age, your home country does not require drivers to be licensed, and the vehicle you drive is registered for the current year in your home country. You may legally drive this vehicle in Minnesota for not more than 90 days in any calendar year without a valid license or permit.
- You temporarily drive a farm tractor or other farm implement on a public roadway.
- You are operating a snowmobile.
Minnesota Driver License Denial
A Minnesota driver's license or instruction permit will not be issued to you if
- You fail to present proper identification
- You fail to complete or pass any part of the required driver's license tests.
- You are unable to read and understand official road signs or understand state traffic law
- You are under 15 years of age
- You are under 18 years of age, do not have a valid license from another state, and cannot present a certificate proving that you have completed an approved driver education course
- You are 18 years of age or younger and have possessed an instruction permit for less than six months
- You are 19 years of age or older and have possessed an instruction permit for less than three months
- Your license is suspended and you have not met all reinstatement requirements.
- Your license is revoked and you have not met all reinstatement requirements
- Your license is canceled
- A court has ruled you to be mentally incompetent, and the Department of Public Safety has determined that you are incapable of driving a motor vehicle safely.
- The Commissioner of Public Safety has determined you to be incapable of driving a motor vehicle safely because of a physical or mental disability
- The Commissioner of Public Safety has good cause to believe that permitting you to operate a motor vehicle would be detrimental to public safety.
Minnesota Driver License Suspensions
Your drivers license may be suspended, if you:
- Repeatedly violate traffic laws.
- Are convicted in court for a violation that contributed to a traffic accident resulting in death, personal injury, or serious property damage.
- Use, or allow someone else to use, your license for an illegal action. It is illegal to allow anyone to use your license or permit.
- Commit a traffic offense in another state that would be grounds for suspension in Minnesota.
- Are judged in court to be legally unfit to drive a motor vehicle.
- Fail to report a medical condition that would result in cancellation of driving privileges.
- Fail to stop for a school bus with its stop arm extended and its red lights flashing, within five years of a conviction for the same offense.
- Are found to possess a fake or altered license.
- Make a fraudulent application for a license or identification card.
- Take any part of the driver's license examination for someone else, or allow someone else to take the examination for you.
- Falsely identify yourself to a police officer.
- Fail to appear in court or pay a fine on a motor vehicle-related violation when required to do so.
- Are convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of Minnesota traffic law.
- Fail to pay court-ordered child support.
- Use, or allow someone else to use, a license, permit, or ID card to buy tobacco products for someone who is under 18 years of age, or alcohol for someone who is under 21 years of age.
- Are under 21 years of age, and the court determines that you drove a motor vehicle while consuming, or after consuming, alcohol.
- Pay a fee to the state or driver's license agent with a dishonored check. (The suspension will be removed when the dishonored check and any related fees have been paid in full.)
- Are convicted for theft of gasoline.
After the period of suspension has ended, your driving privilege may be reinstated, if all requirements are met. One requirement is payment of the reinstatement fee. If your license expired during the suspension period, or your name or address changed, you must apply for a new license and pay the appropriate fee.
Minnesota Speed Limits
The faster you drive, the less time you allow yourself to react to events on the road and around you. Traveling at faster speeds increases the likelihood of crashes. And when crashes occur at excessive speeds, victims injuries tend to be more serious and death is more likely to result.
Minnesota law requires you to drive at a speed no faster than is reasonable under existing conditions. These include weather, traffic, and road conditions.
Driving faster than the posted speed limit is illegal. The posted speed limit is the maximum speed permitted on that particular road.
Minimum speed limits may be posted on some roads. It is illegal to drive slower than the posted minimum speed under normal weather, traffic, and road conditions.
Additional Minnesota Resources
Minnesota County Coverage