minnesota driver information
Hi there, Minnesota drivers. We've gathered interesting stats and relevant traffic laws to round out your knowledge of driving in the Gopher State.
Info for Minnesota's drivers
Number of licensed drivers: 3,245,000
Registered vehicles: 4,796,000
Miles of road in Minnesota: roughly 138,000
Work commuters: 2,657,698
Mean commute time to work: 22.4 minutes (national average: 25.2 minutes)
Licensing and registration authority: Minnesota's Driver and Vehicle Services
Minnesota driving record points
Minnesota adheres to a penalty point system for traffic violations. These points range from 0.5 to 4, depending on the severity of the violation.
Getting a certain number of points can impact your car insurance policy — check with your insurer on the specifics.
DWIs and your driving record
A DWI conviction (BAC of 0.08 or higher) can result in a license suspension of at least 90 days, 90 days in jail, and/or a $1,000 fine. You might also be charged with a DWI at 0.04 BAC if the arresting officer can prove that alcohol impacted your driving.
Reporting car accidents in Minnesota
If you get into a car accident that injures someone or causes $1,000 or more in property damage, you'll need to file a Minnesota Motor Vehicle Accident Report (PDF) within of 10 days of the accident. If a police officer comes to the scene, the officer can file the report on your behalf.
Distracted driving in Minnesota
Texting and driving is illegal for all drivers. Talking on the phone while driving is illegal for novice drivers.
Drivers in the military
If you're an active member of the U.S. military, you (and your spouse) don't have to renew your drivers license until you're separated or discharged. Once you're discharged, you have one year to renew.
You can call the Department of Public Safety to inform them of your military status at 651-296-6911.
Moving to Minnesota
You have 60 days to get your new drivers license once you establish residency in Minnesota. You'll need to pass a vision screening and retake the written test.
In 2011, the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas of Minnesota experienced the most car thefts in the state with 6,748. All other metro area reported less than 500 stolen cars.
The 10 most stolen cars in Minnesota included:
- 1996 Honda Accord
- 1997 Honda Civic
- 1999 Chevrolet Pickup (full size)
- 1997 Ford Pickup (full size)
- 1995 Toyota Camry
- 1994 Acura Integra
- 2000 Dodge Caravan
- 1999 Ford Taurus
- 2000 Chevrolet Impala
- 1998 Chevrolet Pickup (small size)
To help prevent car theft, the state of Minnesota enacted an automobile theft prevention program. The Minnesota Auto Theft Prevention Grant Program educates drivers on how to keep their cars safe, gives extra training opportunities for law enforcement, provides extended resources for car theft investigations, and more.
If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy, your car insurance premium will include a 50-cent fee per vehicle that goes toward funding this program.
Young drivers in Minnesota
- Minimum permit age: 15 years old
- Required classroom instruction hours before receiving permit: 30; must also be enrolled in a behind-the-wheel course
- Tests required to receive permit: vision screening and written exam
- Minimum permit holding period: 6 months (if under 18)
- Minimum provisional license age: 16 years old
- Tests required for provisional license: skills (road) test; must also have completed a behind-the-wheel course
- Parent/guardian practice required to receive provisional license: 30 hours total, 10 of which must be at night
- Provisional license nighttime driving restrictions: midnight – 5 a.m. (unless for work or school)
- Provisional license passenger restrictions: for first 6 months, only one passenger under 20; for following 6 months, only 3 passengers under 20 (restrictions don't apply to family members)
- Minimum age restrictions lifted: 18 years old, when you get your full license
Minors and underage drinking
In 2010, there were 29,918 DWI convictions in Minnesota, 2,102 (7 percent) of which involved a driver under the age of 21.
Minnesota is a no-tolerance state. If you're found driving with any trace of alcohol in your system, you could lose your license until you turn 18. If you're over 18, you'll have your driving privileges suspended for 30 days.
Car insurance in Minnesota
Coverage requirements, optional coverages, discount info, and more.
Minnesota Department of Public Safety's Driver and Vehicle Services
Minnesota residents can find official driving info here.