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Minnesota Learners Permit Restrictions - MN Driving Permit Rules

Minnesota Permit Restrictions

The main purpose of a learners permit is to allow you to practice driving and it has a number of limitations that are there to ensure your safety until you gain some driving experience. The Minnesota permit restrictions are very similar to those in other states around the country - they prohibit usage of communication devices, driving without a seat belt and limit the number of passengers that can be present in the vehicle. However, the main limitation of any learners permit is that you are not allowed to drive unless you are accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age. There are no exceptions to this rule and you cannot drive alone no matter what the circumstances may be. Failure to observe these Minnesota learners permit restrictions may result in your driving privilege being suspended or revoked.

Many first time Minnesota drivers permit applicants are what is the purpose of these restrictions and why is there even a need for them? The reason why new drivers have to observe these restrictions is because new drivers don't yet have the experience and skills that would allow them to avoid potentially dangerous situations. Experienced drivers can usually identify a potential hazard well before it happens and take actions to avoid it, this is what is called defensive driving techniques.

When it comes to teenage drivers, the situation is even worse. Teenage drivers have the highest crash rates and traffic accidents is a number one cause of death for people between 15 and 20 years of age. Just like any driver who recently received a drivers license, teens lack any driving experience, but in addition to that they frequently fail to predict the consequences of their actions. This is why the state has developed a separate licensing system for teens, which is commonly known as the Minnesota graduated drivers license law. The graduated license program divides the licensing procedure into a number of separate steps and introduces additional learners permit restrictions that compensate for the behavioral flaws of teenage drivers.

In addition to the drivers permit restrictions, the GDL law mandates that all teenage drivers are to complete a Minnesota drivers education class prior to getting licensed. The class contains at least 30 hours of classroom instructions that are completed before the learners permit is issued and behind the wheel lessons that are taken once the permit is achieved. Together with the permit restrictions, the classes work towards the formation of safe driving habits among teen drivers.

Age Dependent Permit Restrictions In Minnesota

If you are 18 years of age or older, you are not subjected to the graduate license restrictions so there are really not that many limitations to your permit. You have to make sure that when you are driving, there is a supervising licensed driver seated in the front seat next to you. The supervising driver must hold a valid Minnesota drivers license and be at least 18 years of age. Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seat belt.

Please remember that even though there are not many permit restrictions for your to observe, you still have to pass all of the required tests before you can be issued with the permit. You are required to pass a Minnesota learners permit test and a vision exam at one of the drivers testing stations. If you want to see what the permit test is like, go ahead and take a free Minnesota permit practice test.

The minimum permit holding period for those who are over the age of 18 is three months. Once you have held your permit for at least three months and pass your drivers test, these permit restrictions will be lifted.

Minnesota Permit Restrictions - Under 18 years of Age

If you receive your learners permit before the age of 18, you are subject to all graduated license restrictions. The purpose of the learners permit is to allow you to prepare for your Minnesota drivers test and you are to observe the following permit restrictions while driving:

  • No driving alone. There are no exceptions to this rule. You must have a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age or older seated next to you while you are driving.
  • No cell phones. You are not allowed to use a cell phone or any other communication device while driving.
  • Seat belts. Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seat belt.

These restrictions must be observed for at least six months before you can take a road test and apply for a provisional drivers license. If you receive a moving violation or an alcohol/controlled substance related violation, the holding period will be extended for another six months.

Minnesota Provisional License Restrictions

A provisional drivers license can be issued to drivers license applicants who are under 18 years of age and successfully met all learners permit requirements. A provisional drivers license allows you to drive without a supervising driver, provided you observe the following restrictions:

For the first six months following the issuance of the license:

  • Night time restrictions. No driving between midnight and 5 a.m. unless a supervising driver who is at least 25 years of age is present in the vehicle. Exceptions can be made if you are traveling between home and work or are participating or traveling to a school activity.
  • Passenger restrictions. Only one passenger under the age of 20 is allowed to be in the vehicle unless the driver is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Seat belts. Seat belts must be worn by everyone present in the vehicle.
  • No cell phones. The licensee cannot use a cell phone while driving.

For the second six months, no more than three passengers under the age of 20 are allowed to be in the vehicle unless the driver is accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Please note that passenger restrictions don't apply to the members of the driver's immediate family.

If you require more information about permit restrictions and penalties that can be placed onto your license, please refer to the Minnesota drivers handbook. The book contains detailed information about the state point system and you can use it as a reference for any driving-related questions.