The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division began issuing redesigned driver’s licenses and identification (ID) cards in August 2018. The redesigned cards are available at all driver’s license service centers statewide and have replaced the previous design that was in use since 2004. The new design has been applied to all driver’s license and ID cards issued by the State of Minnesota.
You do not need to replace your current driver’s license or ID card, unless the card is expiring, or you need to change your address or name. Minnesotans will be able to use their current license and ID card until the expiration date on the card.
The cost of the new cards is the same as the old cards.
The new design is being used for REAL ID-compliant cards. Minnesotans have had the option to apply for REAL ID-compliant cards since October 2018, but they will have until May 7, 2025, to obtain one if they choose to do so. Minnesotans will be able to use their standard licenses and ID cards for federal purposes, including boarding domestic flights, until May 7, 2025.
New Look and New Features
The newly designed cards use the State of Minnesota branding and colors, along with a custom background featuring the breaking rocks of the Headwater along the Mississippi River, images of a pine forest and a canoeist enjoying the state’s natural resources.
New Orientation for Under 21 Cards
A vertical driver’s license or identification card will be issued to anyone under age 21. This provides a quick reference that the cardholder is a minor. Vertical license and ID cards are currently used in 46 other states.
Under 18 and Under 21 indicators display below the portrait.
UNDER 18 UNTIL, with appropriate date, displays as black text in a yellow bar.
UNDER 21 UNTIL, with appropriate date, displays as white text in a red bar.
New Security Features
The new cards have a variety of security features making them more difficult to forge including:
A “ghost image” in the lower right corner is a repeat image of the cardholder’s portrait.
A multi-colored, intricate background.
An image of a walleye embedded into the card stock that can be observed by holding the card up to a light source.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security REAL ID Indicators
Every new card will feature one of the following indicators to comply with the federal REAL ID Act:
A star marking indicates the card is a fully compliant REAL ID.
NOT FOR FEDERAL IDENTIFICATION indicates the card is non-compliant.
TEMPORARY indicates the cardholder is in the United States on a temporary basis.
REAL IDs - Available, Not Required Until May 7, 2025
Minnesotans have had the option to apply for a REAL ID-compliant card since October 2018, but they will have until May 7, 2025, to obtain one if they choose. That means Minnesotans will be able to use their standard licenses and ID cards for federal purposes, including boarding domestic flights, until May 7, 2025.
Designated Header Colors
The new design features designated colors for the text showing the card type. The same color is used for a commercial and standard driver’s licenses. Red is used for an adult cardholder and black is used for a minor cardholder.
The new cards will feature applicable font indicators as required by the cardholder.
- A heart symbol with the word Donor will be displayed for organ donors.
- The word SENIOR will be used for cardholders 65 years or older who request their license indicate they are a senior citizen.
- An A marking will indicate Metro Mobility.
- A H marking will indicate Mental Health.
- A L marking will indicate Limited Mobility.
- An M marking will indicate a Medical Alert.
- A P marking will indicate a Standby or Temporary Custodian.
- A S marking will indicate Autism Spectrum Disorder
- A T marking will indicate Senior Citizen Transportation Reduced Fare.
Back of the Card
The back of the card features a 1D barcode that contains the cardholder's driver's license number and a magnetic stripe that contains identification data. Along the bottom is a 2D barcode that contains identification data.
Other indicators including a living will/healthcare directive, veteran 100% T&P (totally and permanently disabled), and Department of Natural Resources, regular and lifetime fields will also be printed on the back as applicable.
Card Options to Choose From
Minnesota has a few identification options from which residents may choose. Determining which type of license or ID card works best depends on what a person needs to use the card for.