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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Minnesota

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    Applying for a New Driver’s License in Minnesota

    Whether you’re new to Minnesota or you’re ready to get your first driver’s license, you’ll need to visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) to apply.

    You’ll need to pass a vision screening and a written permit test, and you may need to pass a driving test depending on your previous driving experience.

    If you’re a new driver applying for a new driver's license, you must get your learner’s permit first.

    New to Minnesota?

    You have 60 days to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license when you move to Minnesota.

    To transfer your driver’s license, you must:

    • Have a valid driver’s license from the United States or a U.S. territory.
      • You can also present a driver’s license that has been expired for less than 1 year.
    • Pass a vision screening.
    • Pass a written permit test about MN traffic laws.
    DMV.org TIP: Be prepared for your MN written knowledge exam!

    Who has time to go to the DMV twice? Take an online practice test before you go, so you can be confident in passing your exam on your first try.

    You will have to take a driving test if:

    • Your out-of-state driver’s license has been expired for more than 1 year.
      OR
    • You are transferring a driver’s license from another country.

    To apply for your new driver's license, go to your local DPS licensing office and provide:

    • Proof you have passed the written permit test and driving tests, if required.
      • You may have to go to a different location to take the licensing tests. The DPS website provides a map of locations that offer testing.
      • You can schedule a driving test:
        • Online through the DPS website.
        • By phone at (651) 284-1000.
    • Your out-of-state driver’s license.
      • This can also be your secondary form of identification (see below).
    • 1 document of primary identification, such as your:
      • Birth certificate.
      • Valid U.S. passport.
    • 1 document of secondary identification, such as:
      • Your out-of-state driver’s license.
      • An additional primary form.
    • Payment for the $26.25 new driver's license fee.

    For a list of accepted documents proving your identity, visit the Minnesota DPS website.

    Types of Minnesota Driver’s Licenses

    In Minnesota, a regular non-commercial Minnesota driver’s license is classified as a class D license.

    It can have several endorsements that enable you to drive special vehicles, such as motorcycles.

    Your class D driver’s license will be valid:

    • For 4 years, if you are at least 21 years old.
      OR
    • Until you turn 21 years old.

    The Minnesota DPS also issues Class A, B, and C commercial driver’s licenses.

    Enhanced Driver’s License

    You can choose to apply for an enhanced driver’s license (EDL), which verifies your U.S. citizenship. It can be used for some international travel, that a regular driver’s license doesn’t allow.

    Your EDL can be used to re-enter the United States at land crossings and seaports from:

    • Canada.
    • Mexico.
    • Bermuda.
    • The Caribbean.

    NOTE: You CANNOT use an EDL for international travel by air.

    For information about applying for an EDL, see “Apply for a MN Driver’s License” below.

    Driver’s License Eligibility

    To receive a regular class D driver’s license with full driving privileges, you must be at least 18 years old AND have held a learner’s permit for at least:

    • 6 months, if you are 18 years old.
    • 3 months, if you are 19 years old or older.

    If you are under 18 years old, you will need to complete the graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) system. See our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Minnesota page for more information.

    Minnesota Learner’s Permit

    If you are 18 years old or older and have never been licensed to drive, you have to start with a Class D instruction permit before applying for your driver’s license. With your learner’s permit, you can practice driving while supervised to prepare for your road test.

    To apply, visit a MN DPS office in person and:

    • Pass the written knowledge test (or show proof you have passed).
      • You may have to go to a different location to take the written test. The DPS website provides a map of locations that offer testing.
    • Show 1 document of primary identification:
      • Birth certificate.
      • Valid U.S. passport.
    • Show 1 document of secondary identification:
      • Your out-of-state driver’s license can be your secondary form.
    • Pay the $14.25 fee.

    For a list of accepted identification documents, visit the Minnesota DPS website.

    Learner’s Permit Restrictions

    As a learner’s permit holder, you can ONLY drive:

    • While accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 18 years old.
    • If all passengers are wearing seat belts or are seated in child seats.

    Before you can apply for your new Minnesota driver’s license, you have to hold your learner’s permit for a minimum of:

    • 6 months, if you are 18 years old.
    • 3 months, if you are 19 years old or older.

    Apply for a New Minnesota Driver’s License

    You can apply for your new Minnesota driver’s license when you have held your learner’s permit for the required amount of time and passed the driving test.

    You must apply for your new driver’s license in person at a DPS office. You’ll need:

    • To pass the driving test (or proof that you passed).
      • You may have to go to a different location to take the driving test. The DPS website provides a map of locations that offer skills testing.
      • You can schedule a driving test:
        • Online through the DPS website.
        • By calling (651) 284-1000.
      • You will need your learner's permit, vehicle, and proof of car insurance.
    • Your MN learner’s permit or provisional driver’s license.
    • Payment for the $26.25 fee for your new driver's license.

    Apply for an Enhanced Driver’s License

    If you are applying for an EDL (see “Types of MN Driver’s Licenses” above), you will need the following in addition to the items listed above:

    • Proof of your:
      • Date of birth.
      • Name.
      • Social Security number (SSN).
      • Photo identity.
      • U.S. citizenship.
      • Minnesota residency.
    • A completed interview questionnaire (completed at the DPS exam station).
    • Payment for the $15 fee.

    You can apply for an EDL only at certain DPS exam stations. It takes up to 4 weeks to process the EDL application.