• Statistics show that drivers between the ages of 16 to 21 are very likely to be involved in traffic accidents. That is why in January, 1999, Minnesota joined other states in accepting a graduated driver's license law. The law aims at increasing parental involvement in the teen's driving experience and reducing the number of accidents among teenage drivers.

    The graduated drivers license law in Minnesota is quite simple and is very similar to the laws in other states. The law divides the process of obtaining a drivers license into three steps:

    • Step 1—obtaining an instruction permit
    • Step 2—obtaining a provisional license
    • Step 3—obtaining a full drivers license

    Obtaining an instructional permit is quite simple. You just have to complete a drivers education course and pass the written examination at the Department of Public Safety. Having a permit allows you to drive, but poses certain requirements and limitations:

    • The student may only drive while being supervised by a licensed driver at least 21 years old or a licensed driving instructor.
    • The student has to complete at least 30 hours of supervised driving, 10 of which must be performed at night.
    • The student must hold the permit for the minimum period of 6 months with no convictions for traffic violations.
    • The student may not drink and drive or drive while under the influence
    • Every occupant under the age of 18 must wear a seat belt or use a child passenger restraint system. 
    • The student may not use or talk on a cell phone while driving, with or without a hands-free cell phone device.

    If all of the above conditions are met, the student may apply for the driving test and obtain his or her provisional license. Provisional license eliminates the restrictions listed above but has its own requirements. Provisional license will be revoked if:

    • The license holder has a conviction for a crash-related moving violation
    • The license holder has a conviction for drunk-driving or driving under the influence

    The driver may be issued a full drivers license if he or she holds his provisional license for 12 months and satisfies the following requirements:

    • No convictions for alcohol, controlled-substance violations, or crash-related moving violations
    • No more than one conviction for a moving violation that is not crash related
    • Have driven for at least 10 hours under the supervision of a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age

    More Information on the Minnesota Graduated Drivers License (GDL) »

    Note: This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm all details directly with the MN DPS. You can visit the MN DPS website or contact the DPS directly by phone or email.

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