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Minnesota Driving Test

Minnesota Driving Test

Every first time license applicant in Minnesota is required to take a Minnesota driving test before a license can be issued. The drivers test assesses your familiarity with the vehicle's equipment, your ability to control the vehicle, your knowledge of Minnesota driving rules and your ability to communicate with other drivers on the road. The drivers test in Minnesota is administered by the Department of Public Safety, Driver and Vehicle Services Division and you must schedule your road skills exam with them. The Minnesota drivers license test can be waived for those who currently hold a valid license issued by a different state.

Driver Test Requirements

Taking a drivers test is one of the final steps in the process of obtaining a driver's license, which means that you need to meet certain requirements before you can get to this stage. Drivers who currently hold an out of state drivers license or an expired Minnesota driver's license can go through a simplified application procedure, sometimes the driving test is not required at all.

First time applicants must start by obtaining a learners permit and meeting the minimum driving experience requirements prior to scheduling a road skills test. Licensing requirements are age dependent, since teenagers must follow Minnesota's graduated driver license program. For your convenience, we have broken the requirements into two age groups.

Under 18 Years of Age

Completing the classroom portion of a state-approved Minnesota drivers education course is your first step. Once you have your a Blue Slip (certificate of completion for the classroom portion of drivers ed), you are good to apply for a Minnesota instruction permit. In order to do so, you must visit a DPS testing site, file your application for a drivers permit, take a vision exam and a Minnesota drivers permit test. Once you pass the test, you are granted with a learner permit and you can start practicing driving.

The permit needs to be held for at least six months and you should be at least 16 years of age before you can schedule your Minnesota driving test. During this period, you are allowed supervised driving only and must observe a number of Minnesota permit restrictions. You must also complete at least six hours of professional driving lessons and receive no less than 30 hours of supervised driving practice from a parent or legal guardian. 10 of these supervised driving hours must be completed at night time.

When you're done with everything that is listed above, you are good to go ahead and apply for your Minnesota road skills exam. Should you pass the driving test, you are issued with a provisional drivers license. Keep in mind, your provisional license doesn't grant you full driving privileges and you have to observe all Minnesota provisional driver license restrictions.

18 Years of Age and Older

Since the graduated license rules do not apply to you, meeting drivers test requirements is much easier when you are at least 18 years of age, however all testing procedures remain the same. Start by visiting the DPS, filing the required paperwork and taking the permit test. The exam covers the state driving rules, if you want to see what it's like, you are more than welcome to take a free Minnesota practice driver test that covers the same topics.

When you pass the test and receive a drivers permit, you can practice driving while being supervised by another driver who holds a valid Minnesota drivers license and is at least 18 years of age. If you are at least 19 years of age, the permit must be held for not less than three months. The holding period for those who are younger than 19 is six months.

Once the holding period is up, you are good to go ahead and take a Minnesota drivers license exam. Should you pass the driving test, you are granted with a full unrestricted driver's license.

Scheduling the Drivers License Test

Scheduling the driving test in Minnesota is quite easy and you can either do it online or over the phone.

If you would like to schedule a drivers test online, please proceed to the state's DPS website and make an appointment there. This is the page you could use - mndriveinfo.org

In the seven-county metro area, you can also schedule your driving test exam by calling (651) 284-1000.

If you are unable to make your appointment, make sure to reschedule as early as possible. You must arrive for your appointment at least 10-15 minutes early, so the examiner has a chance to verify your paperwork and vehicle. If you are late for the appointment, you will not be tested that day and will have to reschedule.

Thing to Bring / What to Expect

The DPS does not offer vehicles for drivers testing, so you will have to come up with your own car to take the test in. The vehicle needs to be in good mechanical condition, it must be registered and titled. You will also need to carry adequate liability insurance for the car.

You cannot drive the vehicle to the testing site alone. If you are driving, make sure there is a supervising driver seated next to you. Otherwise, have someone drive you to the testing site. Applicants under 18 years of age must have a parent / legal guardian to be present at the testing site.

You need to arrive at least 10 minutes early to allow the examiner to run a quick safety inspection of your vehicle. The driving examiner will make sure that all of the basic equipment, such as your headlights, windshield wipers, seatbelts, etc, are working.

During the test, no passengers are allowed to be present in the vehicle. The examiner will not try to trick you or ask to do anything illegal during the test. Your Minnesota driving test will begin by the examiner asking you to locate and identify all of the vehicle's controls. You must know where they are and be able to point them out without searching for them. The examiner must also have access to the emergency brakes (your handbrake).

During the driving test, your driving examiner will assess the following things:

  • Your control of the vehicle.
  • Ability to parallel park
  • Ability to park on a hill
  • Response to traffic and road conditions, traffic signs, and signals.
  • Ability to signal and perform right and left turns properly.
  • Ability to use both marked and unmarked lanes of traffic.
  • Observation and consideration of pedestrians and other drivers.
  • Ability to perform the 90-degree backing skill maneuver. This simulates backing into a ten-foot wide driveway or parking space.

You must listen to examiner's instructions and follow his directions. Refusal to do so results in an immediate test failure. You will also be failed for reckless driving, causing a traffic accident, disobeying a traffic law or inability to control the vehicle.

Should you fail your Minnesota driver's test, the examiner will appoint a waiting period for you. During this waiting period, you must practice the skills outlined by the instructor. If you fail the test more than twice, each subsequent driver test attempt cost you $20. If you fail the driving test four times, you are required to take a mandatory six hour behind the wheel driving class before trying to take the road skills test again.

Should you pass the Minnesota driver's license test, your test score and the receipt for your application will serve as a temporary license until you receive an actual drivers license in the mail, which should not take more than couple of weeks. If you do not receive a license in the mail within a few weeks, make sure to contact the DPS to check upon the license status.