Minnesotans will once again be able to access the majority of driver and vehicle services starting May 19, but office visits will look different with changes made to protect the health and safety of customers and staff in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) is implementing a plan to efficiently and effectively address road tests that were cancelled during the governor’s stay at home order and those whose driver’s license or identification card expired during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency. DPS-DVS is planning to resume class D road tests on May 26, with those who had their appointments canceled during the stay at home order given priority. New class D road test appointments are not available to the public at this time.

“Thank you for your patience during this uncertain and stressful time for all Minnesotans. DPS-DVS has been working very hard to find safe, fair solutions to resume services that have been unavailable during the stay at home order,” Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services Director Emma Corrie said. “We are prioritizing the needs of Minnesotans who couldn’t take their knowledge or road test during the past several weeks by allowing DPS-DVS exam station staff to focus on testing services.”

Exam Stations and DVS Offices Reopening
DPS-DVS is reopening 16 exam stations to serve customers statewide and extending hours of operation at each location to offer dedicated time for road retests. The locations are: St. Paul, Arden Hills, Anoka, Eagan, Plymouth, Rochester, Mankato, Fairmont (road test only, opening May 26), Marshall, Willmar, Detroit Lakes, St. Cloud, Brainerd, Duluth, Grand Rapids, and Bemidji.

  • From May 19-22, these exam stations will be open 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to serve customers.
    • Available services: knowledge tests, permit applications, motorcycle and commercial driver’s license (CDL) road tests.
  • ​Exam stations are closed May 25 for Memorial Day. 
  • Beginning May 26these exam stations will begin offering class D road tests in addition to other services 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
    • Available services: knowledge tests, class D road tests, motorcycle and CDL road tests, and permit and driver’s license applications that require a test. Note: The St. Paul Exam Station does not offer road tests. Fairmont only offers road tests.
    • All road tests are by appointment only. Priority will be given to those who had their appointments canceled during the stay at home order. New class D road test appointments are not available to the public at this time.
    • DPS-DVS exam stations will add an extra hour to the beginning and end of each business day to administer road retests. These will be done by appointment only from 7-8 a.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

The remaining exam stations will remain closed in order to be more efficient and expand the number of tests offered on a daily basis. The exam stations that aren’t reopening only offered road tests several times per week, requiring examiners to travel to exam stations within the region in order to conduct tests. Focusing on the 16 regional exam stations allows examiners to remain at one exam station and use the time they would have spent traveling conducting more tests.

Independently owned and operated deputy registrar and driver’s license agent offices can reopen to offer their normal driver and vehicle services at their counters beginning May 18. Visit the DVS locations page to find a list of offices and services.

What to Expect During Your Office Visit
DPS-DVS is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidelines to implement social distancing and sanitizing strategies to stop the spread of COVID-19. These include:

  • Wellness screenings for staff and customers:
    • DVS staff will be asked health-screening questions before starting their workday. DVS staff will ask customers the same series of health-screening questions before they enter the exam station including:
      • ​Have you been in close and prolonged physical contact (within less than 6 feet for at least 10 minutes) with an individual who has tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19, or exposed to their cough or sneeze, within the last 14 calendar days; or have you tested positive for or been diagnosed with COVID-19 within the last 14 calendar days?
      • Have you had a fever or felt feverish in the past 72 hours?
      • Have you taken any fever-reducing medication to reduce a fever in the past 72 hours?
      • Have you had cough, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms of COVID-19 (muscle aches, headache, sore throat, diarrhea, or loss of taste or smell) within the last 72 hours?
    • DVS staff will conduct a temperature check optional).
    • If the DVS staff or a customer has a fever of 100.4 or higher, answers “yes” to any of the health screening questions, or refuses to answer the questions they will not be allowed to enter the exam stations. 
  • Social distancing:
    • Exam stations will have social distancing signs and floor decals to help customers and staff maintain the recommended six feet social distance.
    • Plexiglass is installed at counters to provide a barrier between customers and exam staff.
    • Lines may be longer and extend outside at exam stations due to the required six feet between customers. Customers should dress for the elements and plan accordingly.
  • Personal Protective Equipment:
    • DVS staff will wear a face mask inside exam stations. DVS recommends customers wear face masks while inside exam stations for the safety of staff and customers. Face masks are required for class D road tests.
    • DVS staff will wear gloves.
    • DVS will provide hand sanitizer to use while inside exam stations and will have sanitizing wipes to disinfect the counter area in between customers.
  • Virtual Lobby: The DVS exam stations in Arden Hills, St. Paul and Mankato are offering a virtual lobby. You can check in virtually when you arrive and receive a text message when it’s your turn at the counter. This is a pilot program that DPS-DVS is working to expand to other open exam stations as well.
    • Deputy registrar and driver’s license agent offices are independently owned and operated, so they may not have this feature.
  • Only the applicant is allowed inside the exam station unless they are younger than 18, in which case a parent or guardian must accompany them. This will help customers and staff maintain social distance.

Independently owned and operated deputy registrar and driver’s license agent offices will be implementing their own social distancing and sanitizing strategies based on CDC and MDH guidelines.

Standard, class D Road tests
DPS-DVS is rescheduling the more than 12,000 class D road tests canceled while exam stations were closed. DPS-DVS is planning to resume these appointments at 15 DVS exam stations on May 26 (St. Paul does not offer road tests). DPS-DVS is emailing everyone whose road test was canceled with rescheduling instructions. This is being done by month, so DPS-DVS is notifying those with March canceled appointments first, followed by April and May.

  • Minnesotans with canceled tests can reschedule online at drive.mn.gov at any of the open exam stations by selecting Schedule or Reschedule an Exam.
  • Six months of appointments are open to these customers.
  • Available appointments may not be at the exam station where the appointment was originally scheduled, because not all exam stations are reopening.
  • New class D road test appointments are not available to the public at this time. DPS-DVS will open up class D road test appointment to the public for scheduling as soon as canceled appointments are rescheduled.
  • Minnesotans who already have road test appointments scheduled at the exam stations that are reopening will keep those appointments.
  • Minnesotans who have a road test appointment scheduled at an exam station that is not reopening due to DVS consolidating sites will receive a cancelation notice from DPS-DVS. DPS-DVS will contact customers directly to with instructions to reschedule the appointment at one of closest open exam stations as soon as possible.

DPS-DVS is making changes to the class D road test to prioritize the safety of customers and examiners:

  • Applicants are required to complete a short questionnaire and have their temperature taken prior to testing and encouraged to wear a facemask. DVS examiners wear facemasks, face shields or safety glasses and gloves.
  • DPS-DVS is temporarily waiving the equipment inspection portion of the road test. Less than 5 percent of applicants fail this part of the exam. This time will be used to sanitize the vehicle. DPS-DVS will provide the sanitizing wipes, but applicants will be required to sanitize their vehicle before the test begins.
  • Examiners will still ride in the vehicle.
  • The test will end immediately if the applicant does something to automatically fail the exam. This would include any action that would result in an accident of moving violation. This will help make DPS-DVS examiners more efficient.
  • After passing the test, applicants will be able to complete their driver’s license application inside the exams station.

Knowledge Tests
DPS-DVS is offering knowledge tests for standard, motorcycle and commercial driver’s licenses at 15 exam stations starting May 19. DPS-DVS will only offer paper tests on a case-by-case basis if an individual with special needs makes the request. DPS-DVS staff will sanitize computers in between tests, and applicants will sit at computers six feet apart to maintain recommended social distance. DPS-DVS will provide hand sanitizer stations for customers

Minnesotans do not need an appointment to take a knowledge test. They will be required to complete a short questionnaire and have their temperature taken before entering the building and a mask is recommended but not required.

Commercial Road Tests
DPS-DVS resumed commercial road tests on April 27 at the Arden Hills Exam Station and expanded commercial road tests to seven additional exam stations on May 4. DPS-DVS will have conducted 250 commercial skills tests by the end of May 15. There were 814 commercial road test appointments canceled during the stay at home order. Staff is contacting commercial drivers whose commercial road test appointments were canceled while exam stations were closed and prioritizing drivers who have an offer of employment for driving a vehicle for critical needs. Those with canceled appointments do not need to take any action until DPS-DVS staff contacts them. Commercial road tests are currently running at:

  • Arden Hills
  • Eagan
  • Rochester
  • Mankato
  • Marshall
  • Detroit Lakes
  • Bemidji
  • Duluth

All commercial road tests use social distancing strategies.

  • Applicants are required to complete a short questionnaire and have their temperature taken prior to testing and encouraged to wear a facemask. DVS examiners wear facemasks, face shields or safety glasses and gloves.
  • DVS examiners will not ride in the truck cab with the driver taking the test, because it doesn’t allow the examiner and driver to follow CDC and MDH social distancing guidelines. This is part of a plan approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) April 27.
  • DVS examiners are using cameras and a cell phone and following the truck in another vehicle through the course to properly evaluate the applicant’s performance.
  • Once an applicant passes the CDL skills test, they can complete their application for a commercial driver’s license at the exam station or online at drive.mn.gov by selecting Apply for a Commercial Driver’s License in the driver services section.

Motorcycle Road Tests
DPS-DVS staff is working to reschedule 36 canceled motorcycle skills tests at 15 exam stations. People who want to schedule their motorcycle skills test can find available appointments online at drive.mn.gov. The motorcycle skills test does not require any changes to maintain the recommended social distancing. Testers will be required to complete a short questionnaire and have their temperature taken prior to testing and encouraged to wear a facemask. DVS examiners wear facemasks, face shields or safety glasses and gloves.

Once the applicant passes the skills test, they can complete their application for their motorcycle endorsement at the exam station.

Driver’s License Applications and Renewals
Minnesotans who need to renew or apply for a driver’s license or ID card should pre-apply online at drive.mn.gov and visit their local deputy registrar or driver’s license agent office to complete their application in person. DPS-DVS exam stations will not be accepting license applications unless they are associated with a knowledge or skills test to help examiners focus on testing. A complete list of deputy registrar and driver’s license agent offices is on the DVS office locations page.

Gov. Walz signed a bill into law March 28 that provides an extension for Minnesotans whose driver’s licenses or ID cards expire during the peacetime emergency. The peacetime emergency is currently in effect until June 12.

The law extends the expiration date for any valid driver’s license, instruction permit (including commercial learner’s permits), provisional license, operator’s permit, limited license, and farm work license that would expire during the peacetime emergency. The expiration dates for these licenses are extended for two months after the month the peacetime emergency ends. Here is a breakdown of Minnesota credentials that would have expired between March 13 and May 4.

​​​License Type Number of Licenses
Commercial Learner’s Permit Class A 1,059
Commercial Learner’s Permit Class B ​690
CDL Class A ​2,387
CDL Class B ​1,063
​CDL Class C ​41
Driver’s License Class D ​86,284
State ID ​6,615
Moped License ​1
Provisional License 4,271
State ID 65+ 15
Motorcycle Permit 3,908
Moped Permit 3​
Class D Permit 3,942
T​otal:  110,261

REAL ID
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is extending the REAL ID full enforcement deadline to Oct. 1, 2021. The deadline was originally set for Oct. 1, 2020, but is delayed by one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Minnesotans should not visit their local office to renew early in order to apply for a REAL ID at this time.

Registration Renewal
Minnesotans have been able to renew their registration while offices were closed or offering limited services. Those who need to renew can:

  • Renew vehicle registration for a​ car, pickup under 1 ton or SUV online at drive.mn.gov.
    • US Bank charges a separate service fee of 2.49% for all credit card transactions. ACH (electronic check) payments have a separate service fee of $1.50. DPS-DVS does not determine or collect these service fees for online registration renewals. 
  • Visit your local deputy registrar office to renew.
  • Mail your vehicle registration by sending the bottom half of your renewal notice with your check or money order made payable to DVS Renewal to:

DVS Renewal
PO Box 64587
St. Paul, MN 55164-0587

Title Applications
Minnesotans have been apply for new titles and title transfers while offices were closed or offering limited services. Now that DVS offices are reopening, staff will begin processing mailed-in title applications.

If you need to submit a title application or title transfer:

How Minnesotans can help

  • Visit the correct office for the type of service you need.
    • DVS exam stations will not process driver’s license renewals or applications that do not require a knowledge or road test. If you need to apply for or renew your driver’s license or ID card, and do not need to take a test, visit your local deputy registrar or driver’s license agent office.
  • Don’t rush to an office right away if you don’t need to.
    • Early renewals to upgrade to a Minnesota REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license or ID card should not be done at this time. The REAL ID deadline is extended to Oct. 1, 2021.
    • ​DVS offers a number of online services. Visit drive.mn.gov to find out if you can complete your transaction online before you visit offices.
    • If your license expired during the peacetime emergency, you have until two months after the month the peacetime emergency ends to renew. The peacetime emergency is currently in effect until June 12.
  • Come prepared.
    • ​Study for your knowledge test, so you pass the first time.
    • Practice for your road test, so you pass the first time.
    • Please wear a mask. You are required to wear a mask if you are taking the class D road test.
    • Clean your vehicle and be prepared to sanitize your vehicle ahead of your road test to ensure a safe environment for you and the examiner. DPS-DVS will provide sanitizing spray and wipes.
    • Bring the correct documentation.
  • Show up for your appointment or cancel with as much notice as possible if you need to. Cancelling ahead of time allows DPS-DVS to open that appointment to another person who needs it.

Road Test Statistics
DPS-DVS cancelled 13,500 road tests due to COVID-19 concerns since the stay at home order went into effect March 28. This includes:

  • 12,500 class D road tests
  • 1,000 commercial road tests

Based on 2019 data, DPS-DVS anticipates to administer a total of 111,500 road tests through the end of the year. That includes the canceled class D and commercial skills tests and projected class D and commercial skills tests based on 2019 data.

How to stay updated
DPS-DVS answers frequently asked questions related to how COVID-19 is affecting DVS services on the DVS COVID-19 FAQ webpage.

The DPS-DVS Facebook page and Twitter page will have information.

How to get help

  • For driver services questions (licenses, ID cards, driver compliance and exams), visit the DVS website and submit your question using the driver services contact forms​. You can also call 651-297-3298.
  • For vehicle services questions (ownership transfers, titles, liens and vehicle registration) visit the DVS website and submit your question using the vehicle services contact forms. You can also call 651-297-2126.