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    Most Americans picture Minnesota as a state with long, cold winters. Yet residents of this great Midwest state know the beauty and wonder of the region's lakes, streams and rivers, prairies, farms and wilderness. Residents and visitors alike appreciate Minnesota's available activities year-round.

    If you've just moved here, you'll have access to all this natural splendor by learning Minnesota's extensive highways and byways. They run from the middle of the U.S. to the Canadian border and the pristine Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota.

    Driver and Vehicle Services in Minnesota

    One of the first orders of business when you arrive is to get a new driver's license and register and title your vehicle. The Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) handles these tasks.

    Other services and programs administered by Minnesota DVS include:

    The Office of Traffic Safety

    You'll also want to become familiar with the motor-vehicle-related programs provided by the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety. These include:

    • Reports and data on motor vehicle crashes
    • Details of the state's traffic enforcement programs under the Safe and Sober Campaign
    • Child Passenger Safety (CPS) Program on child seats, safety, and resources in the state
    • A resource catalog with free print materials, presentation, and other resources
    • A section on traffic laws and new legislation

    Driving Safely in Minnesota Weather

    While most normal rules of safe driving apply to Minnesota, drivers must take extra precautions for winter driving conditions and possible situations that require preparation.

    This means Minnesota motorists should keep blankets or sleeping bags, water, and food such as energy bars, in their vehicles at all times. A more extensive road emergency kit could include road flares, and of course, a charged mobile phone can be the most important resource of all.

    Fun Facts

    • Like to shop? Bloomington's Mall of America has a few stores to keep you busy. It's nine and a half million square feet, or the size of 78 football fields, making it the biggest mall in the country.
    • Minnesotans like to invent. Bisquick, the bundt pan, Wheaties, masking and Scotch tape, rollerblades, and Green Giant veggies all originated here.
    • Golfers flock to Minneapolis, which has more golfer per capita than anywhere else in the U.S.
    • Famous author Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie) lived near Walnut Grove, on Plum Creek (which she also wrote a book about).
    • Hormel Company (Austin) came up with Spam in 1937.