Enhanced License in Minnesota
An enhanced driver’s license (EDL) in Minnesota is a credential that motorists can apply for in order to get additional benefits that a regular driver’s license does not offer. Minnesota residents may obtain either an enhanced license or an enhanced ID (EID) card through the Division of Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (MN DPS).
An enhanced credential is a legal document that enables motorists to legally drive while also extending benefits like the ability to cross a U.S. border by land or sea from certain countries without the need of holding a U.S. passport. To discover more information about how to get an enhanced license in Minnesota and about the benefits and privileges that come with it, review the sections below.
What is an enhanced driver’s license in Minnesota?
A Minnesota enhanced driver’s license is a type of credential that motorists may obtain in order to operate their motor vehicles and to get additional benefits and privileges. Applicants for an EDL license will have access to the following benefits:
- Re-enter the U.S. border by land and sea from Canada, Mexico and some Caribbean countries
- Access federal facilities
- Travel on domestic flights
Note that an EDL or an EID document cannot be used for international air travel. Therefore, motorists will have to apply for U.S. passports in such cases. Furthermore, both the EDL and the EID credential have a radio frequency identification (RFID) chip inserted in the card. This chip contains a unique number for each enhanced document and does not hold biometric data, such as fingerprints, facial recognition, etc.
What is an enhanced ID in Minnesota?
The Minnesota enhanced ID card (EID) is another type of enhanced credential that can serve motorists for dual purposes. This credential does not only serve as proof of identity, but it can also be used for re-entering the U.S. border by land or sea from Canada, Mexico or some of the Caribbean countries. The similarity between the EDL and the EID is that both credentials may be used instead of passports when entering from the above-mentioned countries into the U.S.
Moreover, both the EDL and the EID credentials are federally approved border-crossing documents approved by the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). However, the basic difference between these two enhanced documents is that apart from the travelling benefits, the driver’s license is also used for operating motor vehicles, while the ID card is only utilized for identification purposes.
Minnesota Enhanced License Eligibility Requirements
Residents may apply for a Minnesota enhanced driver’s license (EDL) or an enhanced ID (EID) card only after they satisfy certain eligibility requirements. The eligibility criteria for getting an EDL or and EID credential include the following:
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Be an Minnesota resident
- Be at least 16 years of age
Motorists who do not satisfy these DMV enhanced license requirements cannot apply for either of the two documents. Therefore, prior to beginning the application, drivers must ensure that they satisfy the above-listed criteria in order to be eligible for an enhanced credential.
Documents Needed for an Enhanced Driver’s License in Minnesota
The most important part of the Minnesota enhanced license application is to present a set of mandatory documents to the MN DVS. Motorists who are wondering, “What do you need to get an enhanced driver’s license?” need to know that the DVS has a list of required documents that must be submitted at a local MN DVS branch. To complete the application procedure for both an EDL or EID credential, applicants need to provide the following:
- Proof of date of birth
- Proof of full legal name
- Proof of Social Security Number (SSN)
- Photographic proof of identity
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- Two proofs of Minnesota residency
How to Get an Enhanced License in Minnesota
Motorists may apply for an MN enhanced driver’s license or ID card through the MN DVS at any time. For instance, drivers may get an enhanced credential when their current license or standard ID card approaches its expiration date. They can also get one when they are applying for a driver’s license, permit or ID card for the first time. Finally, they can request one when replacing their current credentials long before the date of expiry.
To begin the EDL or EID application procedure, motorists must:
- Be at least 16 years of age.
- Prepare the mandatory documentation.
- Visit a local MN DVS branch in person.
- Submit all required documentation.
- Complete an interview questionnaire.
- Pay the applicable fees.
How long does it take to get an enhanced license in Minnesota?
After drivers complete the required steps for getting a Minnesota enhanced license or ID card, the MN DVS has to process the application and issue the credential. Motorists will receive the new document after three to four weeks at their MN residential addresses.
Enhanced Driver’s License Cost in Minnesota
The final step of the application procedure for a Minnesota enhanced driver’s license or ID card is to pay the applicable fees. The enhanced driver’s license cost is $15 in addition to the basic price for a regular driver’s license or non-driver photo ID card.
Enhanced Licenses vs. Passports in Minnesota
The main difference between an MN enhanced license and a U.S. passport is in the purposes why either credential may be used. While a U.S. passport is used primarily for international flights, the enhanced driver’s license and ID card have dual purposes.
The EDL, on the one hand, is used not only for operating motor vehicles, but also for re-entering the U.S. border by land or sea from a select number of countries. The EID, on the other hand, does not have only a purpose to serve as proof of identity, but it may also be used for re-entering the U.S. border and for accessing federal facilities.