ST. PAUL — A new vehicle services system is now processing title, registration and other transactions for Minnesotans and the deputy registrars who serve them. The system includes new online features and improvements, but most customers won’t notice a major difference during an office visit.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) launched the new vehicle services system, MNDRIVE, along with a driver services system upgrade to FastDS on Nov. 16. MNDRIVE replaces the Minnesota License and Registration System (MNLARS) and provides an all-in-one system for DVS, deputy registrar and driver’s license agent office staff processing driver and vehicle services.
“Our business partners and customers deserve a system that meets their driver and vehicle service needs now and well into the future,” DPS-DVS Director Emma Corrie said. “We launched MNDRIVE after months of hard work and collaboration, seeking intentional input from those who are now using the system to serve Minnesotans. The software used to develop MNDRIVE is tested and tried in several states and will better position us for future upgrades, evolving technology and customer needs. We will continue to watch the system closely and listen to feedback from our partners and customers as we move forward. We ask Minnesotans visiting their local offices during the next couple weeks to be patient as staff adjust to using the new system.”
“This system is a win for everybody,” Jared O’Reilly, with the St. Paul Deputy Registrar office, said. “We are able to do more transaction types to serve our customers more efficiently. Our staff is experiencing growing pains as they adjust to using a new system, but those growing pains are welcome, because the DPS-DVS and FAST teams are listening to our needs and acting quickly to make any changes we need.”
As of Wednesday at 4 p.m., MNDRIVE has processed:
- 17,651 vehicle registration renewals.
- 12,977 title applications.
- 12,348 online registration renewals.
What’s new with MNDRIVE
MNDRIVE changes the way Minnesota deputy registrar offices and car dealerships process vehicle services. Some of the changes Minnesotans will see when accessing these services include:
- Additional online services at drive.mn.gov.
- Changes to the disability parking certificate design, material and processing.
- A new temporary license plate replaces the paper 21-day temporary permit.
- Accurate registration tax and fee calculations to ensure Minnesotans are paying the correct amount.
- Upgrades to the driver services system:
- A gold star will be included on all enhanced driver’s license and ID cards to show they are REAL ID-compliant.
- An option to add an Autism Spectrum and/or mental health indicator on a driver’s license or ID card.
Additional online services
While MNDRIVE is capable of expanding online vehicle services for Minnesotans in the future, a number of new online services are available now:
- Uploading and submitting vehicle services documents online at drive.mn.gov.
- This eliminates the need to visit an office to submit certain documents for vehicle services. While DVS already offers this option for driver services transactions, MNDRIVE now expands the option to vehicle services.
- Requesting a duplicate license plate, stickers or registration cards.
- Requesting a commercial vehicle permit.
- This allows drivers to obtain temporary weight distance permits from DPS-DVS via email. Law enforcement uses these permits to validate legal entry into Minnesota.
Disability parking certificate changes
DPS-DVS is using a new design and issuing process for disability parking certificates. These changes apply to all disability certificate applications processed on and after Nov. 16.
- Reduced processing time thanks to batch printing and automated enveloping.
- Design features to prevent counterfeiting.
- A unique, machine-readable barcode on each certificate.
- Statutory information and misuse warnings printed on the backside of the certificate.
The newly designed disability parking certificates are printed on one sheet of special material. Minnesotans can follow the assembly instructions and fold the certificate into the hanging format to hang on the vehicle’s rearview mirror when parked.
Current Minnesota disability certificate holders do not need to apply for a new certificate until their current certificate expires. DPS-DVS notified statewide law enforcement about the changes and the transition period when both the new and old designs will be in use.
Temporary Vehicle Permits
Minnesotans who purchase vehicles at dealerships will see a new temporary permit design. MNDRIVE replaces the paper 21-day temporary permit with a license plate-size temporary registration permit. Minnesota dealerships enter customers’ information into MNDRIVE, print a temporary permit on special paper and attach it to their rear license plate bracket. Minnesotans replace the temporary permit when their license plates arrive.
Minnesota dealerships are transitioning to this new permit. Beginning Jan. 1, all dealerships must use the new temporary permit. During the transition, there will be some vehicles still displaying the paper temporary permit. DPS-DVS expects all paper temporary permits to be discontinued by Jan. 30.
Enhanced driver’s license and ID card gold star
Minnesotans will receive enhanced driver’s licenses and ID cards (EDL/EID) with a gold star on the top right corner, identical to a REAL ID. This change applies to all EDL/EID applications processed on and after Nov. 16. This change will clearly show Minnesota EDL/EIDs are federally-accepted forms of identification and prevent confusion and frustration for Minnesotans once REAL ID-compliant cards are required to board domestic flights and enter federal facilities on and after Oct. 1, 2021.
- DPS-DVS reached out to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security after REAL IDs were available in Minnesota to request adding a gold star to Minnesota EDL/EIDs, ensuring that these cards are accepted as REAL ID-compliant. DHS gave DPS-DVS permission to add a gold star to all Minnesota EDL/EIDs.
- Governor Tim Walz signed legislation in July allowing DPS-DVS to add a gold star to all EDL/EIDs.
- DPS-DVS upgraded the driver services system Nov. 16 to begin adding gold stars to all EDL/EIDs.
Minnesotans who already have an EDL/EID are not required to apply for a new card with a gold star. All EDL/EIDs are federally accepted forms of identification whether or not they have a gold star. Those who would like their EDL/EID to have a gold star can apply for a duplicate card at their local driver’s license agent office.
Autism Spectrum and mental health indicator option
Minnesotans can choose to add an Autism Spectrum and/or mental health indicator to their driver’s license or ID card at the time they apply. They will need to complete and submit the request form
when they submit their application.
This option is available as of Nov. 16 with the driver services system upgrade. DPS-DVS developed this option after Gov. Walz signed legislation
in July requiring DPS-DVS to issue driver’s licenses and ID cards with an Autism Spectrum and/or mental health indicator to Minnesotans who submit written requests.
FAST Enterprises developed MNDRIVE in partnership with DPS-DVS and Minnesota IT Services (MNIT) to replace MNLARS and provide an all-in-one driver and vehicle services system for DPS-DVS staff and business partners. Representatives from the Minnesota Deputy Registrar Association (MDRA), the Deputy Registrar Business Owners Association (DRBOA) and the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA) have been involved in the development process. The Nov. 16 rollout included these features for business partners:
- A web portal that dealers and other businesses will use to access the system and conduct business with DPS-DVS.
- Minnesota dealer license management and capability so dealers can enter sales information into the system to create vehicle records and print temporary permits.
- Electronic vehicle title and registration (EVTR) services that streamline the process between participating dealers and deputy registrars, improving accuracy and efficiency.
DPS-DVS and FAST and have been actively working with deputy registrar offices and dealerships statewide since June to ensure everyone has the resources they need to be prepared for the system launch. This included shifting from in-person to online training modules due to COVID-19.
MNLARS to MNDRIVE timeline
- MNLARS launched in 2017.
- Gov. Walz established the Blue Ribbon Council on Information Technology in 2019 and tasked the council to conduct a full review of MNLARS and produce a detailed report based on the council’s findings.
- The council submitted the report, Independent Expert Review of MNLARS, on May 1, 2019. The report’s final recommendation was to replace MNLARS with a packaged software solution. Gov. Walz announced his support for the recommendations outlined in the report.
- The Minnesota legislature directed DPS and MNIT to replace MNLARS with a vendor-produced software application by the end of 2020 and approved $52.669 million in funding for the development and implementation of the new vehicle services system.
- DPS and MNIT awarded the contract for the new vehicle services system to FAST Enterprises on Aug. 7, 2019. FAST also supplied the DPS-DVS driver services system, which went live Oct. 1, 2018.
- DPS-DVS, MNIT and FAST launched MNDRIVE Nov. 16, 2020, delivering the project on time and within budget. MNLARS will be fully decommissioned in 2021, meeting legislative requirements.
How to stay updated
DPS-DVS answers frequently asked questions related to how COVID-19 is affecting DVS services on the DVS COVID-19 FAQ webpage
How to get help
- For driver services questions (licenses, ID cards, driver compliance and exams), visit the DVS website and submit your question using the driver services contact forms. You can also call 651-297-3298.
- For vehicle services questions (ownership transfers, titles, liens and vehicle registration) visit the DVS website and submit your question using the vehicle services contact forms. You can also call 651-297-2126.
About the Minnesota Department Public Safety
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) comprises 11 divisions where 2,200 employees operate programs in the areas of law enforcement, crime victim assistance, traffic safety, alcohol and gambling, emergency communications, fire safety, pipeline safety, driver licensing, vehicle registration and emergency management. DPS activity is anchored by three core principles: education, enforcement and prevention.
About Driver and Vehicle Services
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DVS) is responsible for driver testing, driver licensing and maintenance of driver records; driver evaluation and compliance; motor vehicle title and registration; commercial vehicle registration; motor vehicle dealer licensing and regulation; and enforcement of no-fault insurance requirements.
- 1.6 million driver’s license and ID cards issued.
- 1.74 million titles issued.
- 7.23 million vehicles registered.
- DVS’ Public Information Center handled more than 1.4 million phone calls and 106,000 email correspondences.