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Applying for a Minnesota New Driver’s License – Under 18

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Minnesota drivers licenses are required to legally drive in the state. Before drivers can be issued a new drivers license, they must first meet all the requirements set by the MN DPS Driver and Vehicle Services division. To become eligible to receive an MN drivers license, you must successfully pass a series of exams and show proof of identity, date of birth and Social Security Number. First-time driving applicants also need to complete a drivers permit application.

Note: Increase your chances of passing the DMV written exam by using our DMV practice tests to prepare.

How to Apply for a Minnesota Learner's Permit:

  • Be at least 15 years old.
  • Provide proof of completing a drivers ed course with behind-the-wheel training.
  • Present the required documentation.
  • Pass the written DMV exam.
  • Pass a vision screening.
  • Have a parent or guardian sign the drivers permit application.
  • Pay Minnesota driver's license fees.

Applying for an MN Learner's Permit

Driving applicants applying for a learners permit in Minnesota must complete what is known as a Graduated Driver Licensing program before becoming eligible for a full driver's license. The program consists of three different stages: the DMV learners permit, the intermediate license and the full DMV drivers license.

What is the Graduate Driver Licensing Program in Minnesota?

To get drivers license privileges without restrictions, driving applicants must advance through the different stages of the graduate driver licensing program. The three stages of the graduated driving license program consist of:

  • The instruction permit, or learning permit.
  • The provisional drivers license, or intermediate license.
  • The standard drivers license.

Before advancing to the next DMV license stage, driving applicants must meet a set list of requirements. Specific requirements include but are not limited to: receiving a passing score on the written driver's exam, passing a driver skills test, successfully completing a vision screening and taking driver's ed. Drivers with an instruction permit or a provisional license may operate a motor vehicle under certain restrictions.

How to Get an MN Learners Permit

Learners Permit Requirements in Minnesota

First-time drivers getting an MN learning permit must fulfill the following rules and requirements:

  • You must be at least 15 years of age to apply.
  • Pass a drivers ed course along with behind-the-wheel training.
  • Pass the written knowledge test and a vision exam.
  • Present documents that confirm your identity, date of birth, Social Security Number and in-state residency.
  • Pay the fees.
  • Have a parent or guardian sign your learners permit application as proof of consent.

Preparing for a Minnesota DMV Written Exam

All residents applying for a drivers permit in Minnesota are required to pass a state-approved written knowledge exam. In order to receive a passing score on the DMV learners permit written exam, driving applicants must answer 32 of the 40 questions correctly. The exam is made up of multiple-choice and true/false questions that aim to test your knowledge on road signs, traffic laws and safe driving habits.

Driving permit applicants who study and practice for the written exam beforehand drastically increase their chances of receiving a passing score. Our practice tests can help prepare you for the written exam so you can take the test with confidence. Each DMV practice test contains questions similar to the ones that will be featured on the official exam.

You can take the written knowledge exam at a DPS driver exam station, and no appointment is necessary. To find a DPS driver exam station near you, click here.

Be Prepared! Study with our DMV practice test and we guarantee you'll pass!

MN Drivers Education

Before applying for a learners permit and taking the written exam, new drivers must first complete a driver's ed course. The driver education course must be state-approved and consist of 30 hours of classroom instruction and six hours of behind-the-wheel experience.

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Minnesota Learners Permit Restrictions

First-time drivers with a learner's permit for driving may only operate a motor vehicle when accompanied by a parent, guardian, certified driving instructor or other licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age. While the MN drivers permit holder is driving, every passenger must wear a seat belt, and the driver is prohibited from using any type of cell phone.

Minnesota Provisional Licenses

The intermediate or provisional drivers license is the second stage of the Graduated Licensing Program in Minnesota. To apply for provisional driving license credentials, you must:

  • Be at least 16 years old.
  • Have held a DMV learners permit for at least six months with no alcohol, drug or moving violations.
  • Present a Supervised Driving Log, certifying that you have completed at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel experience, 15 of which must have been conducted at night.
  • Have a parent, guardian or other responsible party sign your MN drivers license application.
  • Pass a driving skills test.

Once a driver meets the provisional driving license requirements, he or she must then make an appointment to take a road skills test at a local DMV branch. The driving applicant will then have to demonstrate his or her ability to safely operate a motor vehicle in normal traffic conditions.

Note: If your parent or legal guardian participates in the Supplemental Parental Curriculum, then you will only need to complete 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training, including 15 hours of nighttime driving.

MN Provisional License Driving Restrictions

Minnesota provisional drivers license holders are permitted to drive on public roadways under the following conditions:

  • All passengers, regardless of age, must wear a seat belt.
  • Drivers cannot use a cell phone while driving, even if the device is hands-free.

Replacing an MN Learners Permit

If you need to request a learners permit replacement for your lost, stolen or damaged Minnesota driving permit, then you must visit a local DMV branch or DVS exam station. You may have to provide proof of ID if your identity cannot be verified using your DPS photo on record. Also, be prepared to submit a DMV permit replacement fee.

Locate a Minnesota DMV

Whether you need to pinpoint a DPS branch in your vicinity, or you would like to speak to a DVS representative, you can find useful contact information by clicking here.