Before you know it, 4 years have gone by…
…and it’s time to renew your MN driver’s license again.
If it’s your first time, you might not even know how to renew it.
Or maybe, after 4 years, the renewal process has already changed.
Well, we’re here to give you an updated and complete guide on how to renew your driver’s license in Minnesota.
And as always, we’ll make sure to give you all the details, so that you know exactly what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.
This way, you’ll be prepared when it’s your turn to get your license renewed.
So let’s begin your complete guide to Minnesota driver’s license renewal!
How to Renew Your Driver’s License in Minnesota
Most states offer multiple ways for drivers to renew their licenses. Unfortunately, you may not find the same level of flexibility in Minnesota.
The primary method for license renewal in the state is by doing it in person, so let’s start with that. However, there are instances wherein you can renew by mail.
The sections below explore these methods in detail.
How to Renew A Minnesota Driver’s License In-Person
The surest way to renew your driver’s license in Minnesota is by appearing at a DVS office.
Here’s what to expect from an in-person renewal:
- Decide which DVS office you want to visit. You can find Office Locations on the DVS website.
NOTE: Check the services offered by your preferred office. Some indicate restrictions, and sometimes this includes renewals of some types of licenses.
- Prepare the documents you’ll need to bring to the DVS office. These include the following:
- Your Minnesota-issued driver’s license
- Your Social Security Number
- Any document to support change in your personal details (For example, if you change your name, you must present a marriage certificate, divorce decree, etc.)
- Complete a renewal application form at the branch — you’ll need to submit it with the required documents.
- Pay the $31.25 renewal fee.
NOTE: Your payment options are limited to cash, check, or money order. DVS offices don’t accept debit or credit cards.
- Pass a vision screening.
- Pass the knowledge exam (if your license expired more than a year ago).
- Have your picture taken.
- Receive your new credentials through the mail.
And that’s it — as easy as that.
How to Renew A Minnesota Driver’s License by Mail
Yes, you can also renew your Minnesota driver’s license by mail. However, it’s only possible if you meet the following criteria:
- You’re not in Minnesota when your license expires
- You will be returning to Minnesota within four years
- Your credential must be valid, and you have active driving privileges
If you checked off all three boxes, you qualify for a by-mail renewal.
And if so, here’s what you have to do:
- Contact the DVS and ask for the Out-Of-State Driver’s License/ID Card Renewal Guide.
NOTE: You can call the DVS at (651) 297-3298. Alternatively, you can send an email to email@example.com. You’ll need to provide the following:
- Your complete name
- Birth date
- Mailing address
- Wait for the DVS to send you a renewal packet.
- Follow the instructions on the packet and fill it out. You can’t simply sign the application — you must also have it notarized.
- Have a vision examiner check your eyesight and sign the vision report.
- Make a $21.25 check or money order made payable to Driver and Vehicles Services.
- Put everything in an envelope and send it to the address below:
Driver and Vehicle Services – Central Office
Town Square Building
445 Minnesota Street, Suite 190
Saint Paul, MN 55101
- Receive your new driver’s license through the mail.
With this method, you don’t need to worry if you’re out of the state when your license expires.
How to Renew A Minnesota Driver’s License Online
Unfortunately, online driver’s license renewal in Minnesota was only available during the Covid-19 global pandemic. This option was removed on June 30, 2021.
So now, online renewal isn’t possible in Minnesota.
To give you even more information, let’s go through some of the most frequently asked questions about driver’s license renewal in Minnesota.
When does my driver’s license expire in Minnesota?
The short answer is it depends.
Provisional licenses expire 2 years after the DVS issued them. However, if you already have a full Class D license, it expires after 4 years. This time, however, the exact date is your birthday.
If you’re nearing 21, the DVS suggests that you renew your driver’s license three weeks before your birthday. This way, you can avoid the “under 21” mark on your new credential.
What is the earliest I can renew my driver’s license in Minnesota?
In Minnesota, you don’t have to wait until the last minute before starting the renewal process. The DVS allows you to do it as early as September 1, the year before it expires.
So, if your driver’s license expires in 2024, you can renew it as early as September 1, 2023. It’s an excellent way to ensure you won’t experience any disruption in your driving privileges.
Do I need an appointment to renew my driver’s license in MN?
It will depend on the DVS office you’re visiting. It’s best to check with your branch of choice whether or not you need to make an appointment before going.
You can find the different DVS locations here.
Is there a grace period for an expired driver’s license in MN?
Unfortunately, Minnesota doesn’t give drivers a grace period when their driver’s licenses expire. You can get penalized even if it’s only been a day after your credential’s expiration date.
How long does it take to get your renewed driver’s license in the mail in Minnesota?
Typically, you’ll receive your new license in the mail within 6 weeks. However, if you’re in a rush, you can opt to avail yourself of DVS’s expedited or fast-track services.
Although you’ll pay an additional $20, you’ll receive your credentials in less than 2 weeks.
The Wrap Up
And that was your complete guide to the Minnesota driver’s license renewal.
Renewing your driver’s license in Minnesota isn’t complicated.
Just remember — unless you’re out of the state when your license is about to expire, you’ll have to do it in person.
However, if you find some free time months before your license expires, take advantage of it. As long as it’s past September 1 of the year before, you shouldn’t have any challenges completing the process.