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Minnesota has a graduated driver’s licensing (GDL) system, which is designed to ease inexperienced drivers into the driving environment. The first phase of the GDL system is to obtain an instruction permit.
Graduated License ProgramThe graduated driver's license law (GDL) compliments the existing driver's license program by introducing a provisional license stage for young drivers. It is a multi-tiered program, designed to ease young novice drivers into the driving environment.
The Graduated License Program provides three phases of licensing for persons under 18 years of age:
Phase I - Instruction PermitApplicant Qualifications:
The permit is valid for two years and may be renewed.It is illegal to practice driving without a valid instruction permit. When you drive, the instruction permit must be in immediate possession.Phase II - Provisional License
The provisional license is the second phase of the GDL system. Anyone 18 years of age or younger must hold an instruction permit for at least six months before taking a skills (road) test. When you have passed the skills (road) test, you may apply for your provisional license.To qualify for your provisional license you must:
This license is valid for two years from the application date and has restrictions that do not apply to a full driver’s license. Every occupant must wear a seat belt or use a child passenger restraint system and you may not use or talk on a cell phone while driving. This includes using a hands-free cell phone device. Provisional drivers are subject to nighttime and passenger limitations.
Parent's Role in Developing Safe Teen Drivers
Skills (Road) Test Checklist To qualify to take a skills (road test), you must:
Establishing Rules for Newly Licensed TeensStudies have found that the risk of a crash and ticket is highest during the first year of licensure. A natural strategy for mentoring new drivers comes from the combination of progressive privileges and rational consequences. Some parents find a written contract enhances the agreement they make with their teen driver about driving privileges (sample contract).
Step 1 Daylight conditions only
No passengers or limited number of passengers
No cell phone use
No cell phone use
Step 2 Nighttime driving, with a curfew and no passengers
More daytime passengers allowed
Step 3 Nighttime driving with one passenger
Step 4 All road and traffic conditions allowed
Step 5 Unrestricted privileges to drive
Refer to the Complete Driver’s License Fee to see all fees, including endorsement and reinstatement fees.
Nighttime Driving Limitations
Cell Phones, Texting
Using Seat Belts
Vanessa's Law In memory of Vanessa Weiss, killed just days before her 16th birthday in May 2003, Vanessa's Law was passed a year later. She was a passenger in a vehicle driven by an unlicensed 15-year-old. Under Vanessa's Law, your provisional license will be revoked because of an impaired driving crime or crash-related moving violation; you lose your license until you are at least 18. If you commit these crimes as an unlicensed driver, you cannot apply for a permit until you are 18.Provisions of this law:
An unlicensed teen who was convicted of a crash-related moving violation or an alcohol/controlled substance-related violation (a violation of one or more statutes, including DWI, Implied Consent, Open Bottle or Underage Drinking and Driving/Not a Drop Law will not be given a license, an instruction permit or provisional license until age 18.
After turning 18, s/he must meet the reinstatement requirement listed on the withdrawal notice(s), pass the knowledge (written) test for a class D driver's license and then make application for a Minnesota instruction permit. Once in possession of a valid instruction permit, the person must hold this instruction permit for at least six months before taking the skills (road) test (or at least three months if age 19 or older).
A provisional license holder whose driving privilege is revoked due to a crash-related moving violation or an alcohol/controlled substance-related violation cannot regain a license until age 18 or until the withdrawal period has concluded, whichever is longer.
At that time, the person must complete these steps to obtain a full driver’s license: Comply with all requirements for reinstatement listed on the withdrawal notice. In most cases, this will be:serving the withdrawal period
passing DWI knowledge (written) test
paying $680 reinstatement fee
applying for a Minnesota driver's license
Complete a 30-hour classroom driver education course (an online computer course is unacceptable)
Apply for a Minnesota instruction permit (in addition to the driver's license, as above)
Once reinstated, hold the instruction permit for three months
During this three-month period, complete six hours of a behind-the-wheel driver education
If you have questions about Vanessa's Law, call (651) 296-2025. Read the letter sent to violators.Not A Drop Law (Underage Drinking and Driving Law)Not a Drop says that if an officer observes you operating or in physical control of a motor vehicle and determines that you have been drinking, and the court determines that you committed this offense, your driving privileges will be suspended for either 30 or 180 days. The length of suspension will depend on your prior record. Provisions of this law:
It is illegal for a person under age 21 to operate a motor vehicle while consuming alcoholic beverages or in the physical condition of having ingested an alcoholic beverage. If a person's alcohol concentration level is 0.08 or more, regular DWI laws may apply instead of the underage consumption-while-driving offense.
Provisions of this law:
Provisions of this law:
Requisitos de Identificacion
Full Face Photo Example
Drivers Under Age 18 - Resources
Parental Involvement Resources
Teen Driver Contract
Teens Behind the Wheel - A Road Map for Parents
Teens "What’s the Big Deal?" Brochure
Teen Drivers Road Rules
New Teen Driver Laws
Knowledge (Written) and Skills (Road) Tests Checklist (from the Driver's Manual)
Vanessa’s Law Letter
Home School Information
Instruction Permit FAQ
Just the Facts
Medical Conditions and Your License - Just the Facts
Expedited (Fast Track) Driver's License - Just the Facts
Minnesota Driver's Manuals:
Minnesota Driver's Manual
Minnesota Commercial Driver's License Manual
El Manual del Conductor de Minnesota (Spanish Driver's Manual):El Manual del Conductor de Minnesota
Minnesota Class D Driver's Manual - Audio Files (in English):
Section 1 - Knowledge and Skills Tests ChecklistsSection 2 - New Laws
Chapter 1Chapter 2Chapter 3Chapter 4Chapter 5Chapter 6Chapter 7
Top Six (6) Driving Risk Factors for TeensStatistics show that the leading cause of death in Minnesota's 15-17-year-olds is traffic crashes. The top six (6) driving risk factors for teens are:
Farm Work Licenses A qualified applicant (15, 16 or 17 years of age) may test for a farm work license at any time after receiving an instruction permit and completing behind-the-wheel training. The applicant must present a farm work affidavit and a property tax statement or rental agreement with the property tax statement for the rental property, along with a course completion card, a supervised driving log, and an instruction permit at the time of the skills test.
The farm work license is a provisional, under-21 license with a farm work restriction. The restriction on the license will read: "Valid for farm work, daylight only, 20-mile radius of farm, no driving in cities of the first class, or must be accompanied by licensed driver 21 or older."
The farm work restriction can be removed after the driver holds an instruction permit for six months and reaches 16 years of age. The farm work restriction will remain in effect until the driver applies to have it removed.
Effective January 1, 2014, the driver’s license filing fee which pays for the costs of the services provided in the driver’s license/ID card issuance process, increases from $5 to $8, as required by Minn. Stat. 171.061, HF 1444, Chapter 117.
Mail:Driver and Vehicle Services – Central OfficeTown Square Building445 Minnesota Street, Suite 190Saint Paul, MN 55101-5190Email:Driver Services DVS.email@example.comPhone:Driver’s Licenses: (651) 297-3298Office Locations: (651) 297-2005Driver’s License Status: (651) 284-2000 or onlineSchedule a Skills (Road) Test: (651) 284-1000 or onlineAssistance for Hearing Impaired Callers (TDD/TTY): (651) 282-6555
DVS Office Locations High School Driver Education Course Locations Commercial Driving School Course Locations Schedule a Skills (Road) Test Online Office of Traffic Safety WebsiteOffice of Traffic Safety Website Teen Driver Information