Minnesota Permit and Driver's License FAQ

  • Applying for Your MN License
  • Preparing for the MN Permit Test
  • Taking the MN Permit Test
  • Preparing for the MN Driving Test
  • Taking the MN Driving Test
  • Renewing Your MN License
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Applying for Your MN License: Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age requirements for getting started?

Under Minnesota’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program teens must progress through the following stages to receive their full license. The program is designed to minimize the risks often associated with first-time teen drivers.

Stages and age requirements of the GDL program are:

  • Learner’s Permit – 15 years old
  • Provisional Driver’s License – 16 years old
  • Full, Unrestricted Driver’s License – After having provisional license for 12 months

What documents am I required to bring with me when applying for a license in Minnesota?

  • Completed permit/license application (must be signed by parent/legal guardian)
  • Proof of identification
  • Social Security Number
  • $13.25 for permit fee

Here is a list of acceptable documents that you can submit as proof for the above.

Where do I file my MN driver’s license application?

The Driver and Vehicle Services Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety is responsible for driver licensing. You can visit the DPS website for local DVS offices.

How can I contact my local office?

Visit https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/locations/Pages/find-office-locations.aspx for office locations, hours and contact information.

Do I have to take a Driver’s Ed Course?

Yes, you are required to take and complete a driver’s education course as part of the state’s GDL program.

What if I am new to Minnesota?

To transfer an out-of-state license or permit, the license or permit must still be valid and you must have documentation showing that you completed driver’s education. You have 60 days to transfer your license or permit to Minnesota after establishing residency.

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Preparing for the MN Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

What subjects are commonly covered on the written test?

The written knowledge test will cover Minnesota traffic laws, road signs and safe driving techniques. Questions for the test are drawn from the content found in the Minnesota Driver’s Manual. For example, you might find questions on the following subjects covered in the manual:

  • Blue signs describe services for motorists and brown signs indicate cultural, historic and recreational sites.
  • If you must stop on the freeway because of an emergency, you should take the following actions: park your vehicle on the shoulder, as far from the main roadway as possible; open the trunk and raise the hood or tie a white cloth to the radio antenna or a door handle; and use hazard warning lights, if you have them.

How is the test formatted?

The written test contains both multiple choice and true or false questions. It can be given via computer or on paper.

Are there a lot of “trick” questions on the written test?

No, there are no specific “trick” questions designed to fool you into getting an answer wrong. All the questions are drawn from the content of the Minnesota Driver’s Manual are designed solely to ensure you have the knowledge to drive safely in the state.

How many questions are on the test and how many do I need to answer correctly to pass?

There are 40 questions on the written permit test and you must answer at least 32 of them correctly to pass (that means you need to get an 80% or higher).

What are the best ways to prepare for the written test?

You should study the Minnesota Driver’s Manual from cover to cover being sure to take note of any numerical information that is presented. In particular, you should try to memorize distances, lengths and measurements that are discussed in the guide. You should also memorize signs so that you know what they mean by sight. To help you practice, we offer practice tests formatted just like the real test here on this website.

Where can I get a free Minnesota Driver’s Manual to study?

Right here! Just click on driver’s manual.

How can I improve my odds for passing the first time I take the test?

In addition to studying the Minnesota Driver’s Manual, you should also take online practice tests to assess your knowledge and identify any weak areas that you need to study more.

What should I do the night before the test?

You should do a general review of the driver’s manual, take a couple of practice tests to ensure you know what you need to and then be sure to get plenty of rest so that you are energized and thinking clearly come test time.

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Taking the MN Permit Test: Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to make an appointment to take the written test?

Call your local office to see if appointments are accepted and if they are it is recommended that you schedule one.

Where do I take the written test?

You will take the test at a driver examination station located near you.

What do I need to bring when I sit for the written test?

  • Completed permit/license application (must be signed by parent/legal guardian)
  • Proof of identification
  • Social Security Number
  • $13.25 for permit fee

Here is a list of acceptable documents that you can submit as proof for the above.

Who should accompany me to the written test?

You should be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

Do I need to pay a fee to take the written test?

Yes, you will need to pay a fee of $13.25.

What should I expect when I sit for the written test?

You will be given a series of 40 questions either on a computer or on paper covering a variety of subjects covered in the state Driver’s Manual, such as rules of the road, defensive driving, license suspensions, alcohol misuse and abuse, traffic laws and more. You can miss up to eight questions and still pass the test.

What happens after I pass the written test?

You will receive your Learner’s Permit and can begin supervised driving practice. You will need to complete 50 hours of supervised driving or 40 hours if your parents took an awareness class. At least 15 of the hours must be completed at night.

What happens if I fail the written test?

You can retake the test.

Will I have to pay a fee when I retake it?

If you fail two knowledge tests, you will be charged a $10 fee each subsequent time you have to take the test.

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Preparing for the MN Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

I’ve passed the written permit test, what are the next steps?

You can now being supervised driving practice with your Learner’s Permit. When driving you must be accompanied by a certified driving instructor, a parent or legal guardian or a licensed driver age 21 or older.

You will need to log 50 hours of supervised driving practice or 40 hours if your parents took an awareness course.

How long after getting my Learner’s Permit can I apply for a Provisional License?

You must satisfy the following requirements before you can apply for a Provisional Driver’s License: must hold your Learner’s Permit for six months, must complete 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction with a professional driving instructor, must complete 50 hours (or 40 hours) of supervised driving practice with 15 of those hours coming at night.

Can I drive anywhere in Minnesota with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you can practice driving on any public road or street. Remember, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

Should I practice driving solely during the day?

No, you must complete at least 15 hours of supervised driving practice at night.

Does anyone have to be in the car with me when I’m driving with my Learner’s Permit?

Yes, you must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.

What should I do if I have a lost Minnesota Learner’s Permit?

To replace a lost or stolen permit, you must visit a local DVS office where you will need to present proper identification and pay a $14.75 replacement fee.

How can I be sure I’m prepared to ace the driving test?

To ace the driving test you need to both become proficient at both completing a series of maneuvers – such as parking, stopping, starting and backing – and driving in traffic where you will need to be observant and drive defensively. The best way to master these skills is to practice, practice, practice. As you get comfortable behind the wheel and perform various maneuvers repeatedly your driving skills will improve dramatically.

Are there particular driving maneuvers I should practice?

Practice two and three-point turns, stopping, accelerating, changing lanes, regular turns, obeying traffic signs and signals, parking and driving defensively.

How can I simulate the driving test?

During the test you will be evaluated on such things as your control of the vehicle; your ability to parallel park; your ability to park on a hill; your response to traffic and road conditions as well as traffic signs and signals; your ability to signal and perform turns; and your observation of pedestrians and other drivers. So you should be sure to work on all of these things during your driving practice.

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Taking the MN Driving Test: Frequently Asked Questions

How do I schedule my driving test?

Contact your local DVS office to schedule a driving test appointment.

Where do I take the driving test?

You will take the test at a local DVS office.

hat should I bring to the driving test?

  • License application (must be signed by parent/legal guardian)
  • Certification of completed supervised driving
  • Proof of identity
  • Driver’s ed completion certificate
  • $16.25 for license fee

You will also need a properly functioning automobile along with vehicle registration and proof of insurance.

Who should bring me to the driving test?

A parent or legal guardian should accompany you to the test.

What will I be asked to do on the driving test?

You will be asked to perform a series of off-street, closed-course maneuvers such as parking, backing up, turning, stopping, accelerating, driving smoothly and more. You will also be asked to drive in traffic where you will need to show good defensive driving skills as well as be very observant of the environment you are driving in.

What are the most common reasons new drivers fail the driving test?

All of the following are grounds for automatic failure: disobeying a traffic law; dangerous driving; inability to control the vehicle or complete a maneuver without the assistance of the examiner; being involved in a crash; not cooperating with the examiner or not doing something the examiner asks.

What are five things I should be sure to do when taking the driving test?

  • Watch carefully for road signs and signals
  • Be ready to yield to pedestrians
  • Stop at or before stop signs and intersections instead of going over the line
  • Signal when turning
  • Obey the speed limit at all times

What happens if I fail the driving test?

You can retake the test after you have had time to improve your skills. You will be assigned practice time that must be completed before your next test.

How many times can I retake the driving test?

If you fail the road test four times, you must complete at least six hours of behind-the-wheel instruction with a licensed instructor before taking the road test again.

I’ve passed the road test, now what?

You will receive your Provisional Driver’s License.

What restrictions come with a Minnesota license?

During the first six months:

  • You cannot drive between midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 25 or older or driving to/from home, school and work.
  • You may only have one passenger under 20 years of age unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian or the passengers are immediate family members.

During the second six months:

  • You cannot drive with more than 3 passengers under 20 years old unless you are accompanied by a parent or guardian

What are the insurance requirements for drivers in MN?

Minnesota requires all drivers to carry insurance. Minimum coverage requirements are: $30,000/$60,000/$10,000.

This means that in the event of a covered accident, your limits for bodily injury are $30,000 per person, with a total maximum of $60,000 per incident. You also are covered for up to $10,000 for damage to another person’s property.

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Renewing Your MN License: Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need to renew my license or replace a lost/stolen license?

A Class D Minnesota Driver’s License expires every four years on your birthday unless you are under 21, in which case it expires on your 21st birthday. The state will mail you a renewal notice with instructions on how to proceed before your license expires.

To replace a lost or stolen license, you must visit a local DVS office where you will need to present proper identification and pay a $14.75 replacement fee.

Where can I renew my Minnesota driver’s license?

You must renew your Minnesota Driver’s License in person at a DVS office. You cannot renew online or by mail or by phone.

Will I be required to take a vision test when renewing my license?

Yes, your eyes will be tested each time you renew your license. Your normal or corrected vision must be at least 20/40, and your peripheral vision must be at least 105 degrees in order to pass the test.

If you fail the test, you will be asked to see an eye doctor and return the doctor’s report to the Driver and Vehicle Services Driver Evaluation Unit.


The Minnesota DVS Test– What You Need to Know

Are you tired of relying on others to drive you around? With your own Michigan learners permit, you can start seeing the world on your own terms. Before you can receive your permit and experience the benefits that come with being a legally licensed driver, you must pass the Minnesota permit test.  The test is administered by Minnesota’s Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) and will test your knowledge of the rules of the road, Minnesota traffic laws, safe driving practices, and various road signs.

Prep the Smart Way With MN DVS Practice Tests

People routinely make the mistake of assuming they’ll easily pass the permit test. However, statistics reveal that the overwhelming majority of first time test-takers fail.  Why just ‘wing it’ when you can start preparing for the exam using the study materials found on this page.

Here you’ll find an excellent collection of permit test study resources, including our sample interactive Minnesota practice permit test and a copy of the official Minnesota Driver’s Manual.