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What you need to know to visit a reopened DVS location

May 21, 2020

DVS customers waiting in line outside the downtown St. Paul office


Minnesotans have missed a lot of things during the stay at home order: going to restaurants; spending time with friends and family; seeing movies, shows, and sports. And whether or not you’ve missed going to Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) exam stations, it’s possible you might have some business there now that the Department of Public Safety has reopened 14 exam stations to serve customers statewide. But it’s not exactly business as usual, so you may have a few questions. Here are some answers – and you can find more here.

What DVS locations are open?

These locations are open: St. Paul, Arden Hills, Anoka, Eagan, Plymouth, Rochester, Mankato, Marshall, Willmar, Detroit Lakes, St. Cloud, Duluth, Grand Rapids, and Bemidji. From May 19-22, they’ll be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and you can take knowledge tests, apply for a permit, and take motorcycle and commercial driver’s license (CDL) road tests by appointment only. Starting on May 26, DVS exam stations will offer Class D road tests at those locations (except for downtown St. Paul – and Fairmont offers road tests only) by appointment only. DVS is working to reschedule canceled appointments first. Remember that all locations will be closed for Memorial Day on May 25.

What can I expect when I go?

Stopping the spread of COVID-19 is still very important, so we’re following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines in the reopened DVS locations. When you go to conduct business, you can expect the following:

  • Wellness screenings for staff and customers:  DVS staff will be asked health-screening questions before starting their workday, and then they’ll ask the same questions of you when you come in. You can expect questions about whether you’ve felt feverish in the last 72 hours and whether you’ve had a cough or other COVID symptoms. They may even take your temperature. Note that anyone who has a fever of 100.4 or higher, answers “yes” to any of the health screening questions, or refuses to answer the questions will not be allowed to enter.

  • Social distancing, such as signs and floor decals that help you keep six feet away from others. You’ll also see Plexiglass barriers and longer lines that may even extend outside—so make sure you dress for the weather.

  • Personal protective equipment. DVS staff will be wearing masks, and you need to do the same (and if you’re taking a Class D road test, a face mask is required). They will also wear gloves and use sanitizing wipes, and hand sanitizer is provided.

What can I do to make my visit go more smoothly?

Don’t rush to a DVS office right away if you don’t need to. For example, if your Minnesota driver’s license or ID card expires during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency you have an extension to renew. Your new expiration date is two months after the month the peacetime emergency ends. Another example, the REAL ID deadline is extended to Oct. 1, 2021, so don’t worry about an upgrade unless your current license is due for renewal. Check out drive.mn.gov to find out if you can complete your transaction online before you visit. And if your license expired during the peacetime emergency, you have until two months after the month the peacetime emergency ends to renew. The peacetime emergency is currently in effect until June 12.

Be sure to come prepared. Bring the correct documentation. Study for your knowledge test and practice for your road test so that you can pass the first time. Don’t forget your face mask, and if you’re taking a road test, clean your vehicle (the examiner will give you materials to sanitize it when you get there). Show up on time for your appointment, and if you have to cancel, give as much notice as possible so your appointment can go to someone else who needs it.