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So you've taken your first step towards becoming a new driver in Minnesota? Congratulations!
As you probably already know, driving is a valuable skill, but can also be extremely dangerous. Therefore, to help new teen drivers develop safe driving habits during their first few years behind the wheel, the State of Minnesota has implemented a graduated driver license program for Iowa drivers who are under the age of 18.
We’ve summarized a few things you’ll need to know as you begin the process of becoming a licensed driver in Minnesota.
You must meet the following requirements before applying for an instruction permit in Minnesota:
When you're ready to get your permit, go down to your local Minnesota DVS office with the following items:
At the DVS office, you will be given a vision screening test and then you'll need to pass a written (knowledge) test. If you pass, you will be issued a Minnesota Instruction Permit, which is valid for 2 years.
With an instruction permit, you may drive under the following conditions:
To become eligible to apply for a provisional driver's license, you need to meet the following prerequisites:
Be at least 16 years old
Have had your instruction permit for at least 6 months (with no traffic violations)
Your drivers education completion certificate
Completed 30 hours of supervised driving (10 of which must be at night). Keep a log of your driving practice and have your parents/guardians sign off on it.
When you're ready to get your provisional license, head back down to the local DVS office with your instruction permit and all other paperwork you took with you when you went to get your instruction permit. You will need cash on hand to pay another processing fee.
If you pass a road test, you will be issued your intermediate license, which is good for 2 years. With an intermediate license, the following restrictions still apply:
After you've held your intermediate license for 12 months and maintained a clean driving record, you may apply for a full license. However, even with a full license, the following restrictions apply:
1st six (6) months:
2nd six (6) months:
State law requires that you have at least a certain amount of auto insurance/liability coverage on any vehicle you drive. Any vehicle registered in Minnesota must be covered by Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance as well as liability insurance.
The minimum PIP coverage is as follows:
The minimum liability coverage is as follows:
The minimum uninsured/underinsured coverage is as follows:
Driving without auto insurance coverage is a crime. If you are found to be driving while uninsured, you risk losing your license and paying a hefty fine.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is strictly prohibited in Minnesota, and strictly enforced. The state's "Not A Drop" law states that your instruction permit or intermediate license will be taken away if a law-enforcement officer sees you driving without full control of your car.
Upon your FIRST Minnesota DUI conviction, you will face the following penalties:
Further DUI convictions will result in even harsher penalties, including extended jail time, fines, and the revocation of your driver's license.
State law prohibits the reading, composing, and sending of text-messages is while driving. Also, teen-aged drivers from using cell phones while driving (unless to call 911 in the event of an emergency).
Teen-aged drivers in Minnesota are required to take a state-approved drivers education program. For more information regarding approved drivers ed courses, please visit the Minnesota DVS' website.