DVS sees jump in service numbers as more people get driver's licenses

June 20, 2024
​​​​​​​DVS customers take examsMinnesotans take their written exams at a Drivers and Vehicle Services exam station​.

Getting a driver's license is a huge milestone. After months of practice and study, you finally get to a licensing exam station, you pass your written test, take a drive with an examiner, and, if all goes well, you'll pass and wait to get your first license in the mail. For many, it's a special moment when they first hold that card in their hand.

The hardworking staff in our Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) division are busier than ever making sure you get to experience that moment, serving 100,000 more Minnesotans between October 2022 and May 2023 than during the same time period the year before. We experienced a 10 percent increase, processing 1,134,477 licenses this year, compared to 1,027,387 last year.

While we knew there would be an increase in driver's licensing tests starting Oct. 1, 2022, with the start of Driver's License for All, the jump in test-taking has been higher than expected.

“While state funding for 12 new examiners and more people to review applications is helping us make it easier for you to get an appointment, we need your help to make the process go as smoothly as possible for everyone," Jody-Kay Petersen, Driver Services program director, said.

The first thing you need to do is study the rules of the road, found on DVS's website. Specifically, you need to read the Class D Driver's manual, which is available in several languages. Fifty-six percent of people statewide who take the written test, fail. The more you study, the more likely you pass on the first try.

Next, gather your documents. You can find a list here of what you can use. Then book your appointment. Visit drive.mn.gov and click on “Schedule an Appointment." You can make an appointment up to 30 days out to apply for a driver's license and take the written test, which is available in multiple languages. You can have someone read you the exam in any language, though you need to bring your own interpreter who has a valid Minnesota driver's license.

The next big thing we need you to do: Go to your appointment. About a quarter of our exam appointments are wasted by no-shows.

"We want folks to do the Minnesota nice thing and cancel their appointment if they know they're not going to be able to make it," Petersen said. “This way it can go back into the system so someone can grab that appointment."

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask our virtual assistant, located at the bottom right corner of drive.mn.gov. The virtual assistant can answer questions in English, Spanish, Somali and Hmong.​​​​​​​