Minnesota Drivers License Application
If you have never been licensed before and would like to be able to drive on Minnesota roads, you need to apply for a Minnesota driver's license. Those who currently hold a drivers license issued by another state and have established residence in Minnesota will also need to exchange their existing license for a Minnesota driver license. The application procedure is very simple and straightforward. Those who wish to apply for a drivers license in Minnesota before reaching their 18th birthday must follow the state's graduated license program.
Driver's License - Under 18 Years of Age
As already mentioned, if you choose to apply for a drivers license before reaching the age of 18 years, you will have to follow the rules set by Minnesota's graduated drivers license program. The program mandates that every teenage applicant is to complete a state approved drivers education course that includes both classroom and driving lessons, receive not less than 30 hours of supervised driving practice with parents, including 10 hours at night and to hold a drivers permit for no less than six months before submitting an application for a driver's license.
Your first step to to complete the classroom portion of a Minnesota drivers education course. Once you complete the classroom lessons and receive your Blue Slip, you are good to visit the Department of Public Safety and file an application for a Minnesota learners permit. Keep in mind, you have to be at least 15 years of age to be eligible to receive a permit. At this point, you are required to take a vision exam and a knowledge test.
You will need to hold your Minnesota drivers permit for at least six months and you must be not younger than 16 years of age to be eligible to graduate to the next level of the program and apply for your first Minnesota drivers license. During the permit holding stage, you must complete the driving portion of the drivers education class and receive not less than 30 hours of supervised driving practice from your parent, including 10 hours at night time. When these licensing requirements are met, you can schedule a driving test appointment with the DPS and receive your drivers license.
Those who successfully pass the driving test are issued with a provisional drivers license. This is not a full license yet and although you are allowed to drive without a supervising driver accompanying you in certain situations, you must still observe all Minnesota provisional license restrictions at all times. Provisional license restrictions must be observed for at least 12 months before the applicant becomes eligible for a full unrestricted driver license.
Driving License - 18 Years of Age and Older
Applying for a Minnesota driver license is even easier when you are at least 18 years of age. You are not required to follow graduated license rules, which simplifies the process quite substantially. You should start by learning the driving rules and you can do so by reading the official Minnesota drivers license manual that is published by the DPS. Once you know the rules, visit the DPS to take a knowledge test and receive your instruction permit.
If you are at least 19 years of age, the permit must be held for not less than three months. Those who are younger must hold their permit for at least six months before applying for a drivers license. During this stage, you must observe all Minnesota permit restrictions, for example, you are not allowed to drive alone and must be accompanied by a licensed driver at least 18 years of age whenever you practice driving.
When the holding period is up, you can schedule a driving test with the DPS. Those who successfully pass the test are issued with a full unrestricted Minnesota drivers license.
The application procedure requires you to take a number of tests before you can be issued with a Minnesota drivers license. If you are exchanging a valid out-of-state drivers license for a Minnesota driver license, some of these tests may be waived. First time applicants are required to take a vision exam, a knowledge test and a road skills exam.
You must take a vision test at the time when you submit your initial application for a driver's license. The following requirements must be met to be eligible for an unrestricted drivers license.
- Normal or corrected vision at least 20/40
- peripheral vision at least 105 degrees
If you normally wear glasses or contact lenses, you should also wear them during the eye test. An appropriate restriction will be placed onto your drivers license and you will be required to wear glasses or contact lenses whenever you are driving.
Those who do not pass the vision exam at the DPS are referred to an eye specialist for a complete examination. Once you see an ophthalmologist or an optometrist, please submit their report to the DPS along with your application for a Minnesota driver's license. In certain cases, you may be denied driving privileges due to poor eye sight.
The knowledge exam covers the state's driving rules and traffic signs and it is a must for every Minnesota driver license applicant, no matter the age and previous driving experience. The Minnesota driver's permit test consist of true or false and multiple choice questions and you need to score at least 80% in order to pass.
There are couple if ways to prepare for the test, some of them cost money while others are completely free. If you do not wish to spend money on learning the rules, you do not have to. Just grab a copy of drivers handbook from the DPS, study the rules, then take a few Minnesota practice drivers tests. You may find free practice tests on the Internet.
Drivers License Test
The driving test is the final evaluation of your driving abilities and your chance to prove that you can be a safe and responsible driver. Teenagers must meet all graduated license requirements prior to scheduling their Minnesota driver's license test. Since the DPS does not offer vehicles for testing, it will be up to you to provide a car for the road test. The car that you use for the test must be registered and be in good mechanical condition, with all of the equipment fully operational, otherwise you will be denied the chance to take the exam.
Make sure that you practice for the driving test as much as possible, since failing the drivers license test will cost you both time and money. If you fail the driving test more than twice, every subsequent test will cost you $20. Those who fail the road skills exam four times are required to complete a mandatory six hour driving class before being tested again.
The following paperwork must be presented during the application process:
- proof of identity
- proof of age
- proof of US citizenship or legal presence
- Social Security Number
- proof of Minnesota residency
Minnesota driver's license applicants under 18 years of age are also required to present the following:
- Blue Slip - certificate of completion for classroom drivers education
- White Slip - certificate of completion for the driving portion of drivers ed
- 30 hour driving log - a log form showing that they have received at least 30 hours of driving instructions from parents
Teenage applicants need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. The parent will need to sign the application form, granting his consent for the teen to be licensed. Applications without parental consent will not be accepted.