Minnesotans with driver’s licenses or ID cards that expire as COVID-19 extensions come to an end will have options to renew online or in person.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) is urging cardholders to plan now, since additional extensions are not possible under current Minnesota law.                                                                                                                     

There are approximately 300,000 Minnesota driver’s license and ID cards that would have expired between March 13, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021. The expiration date on these cards was extended to March 31, 2021, as a result of legislation signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz last year.

These cardholders must renew their license or ID card by March 31, 2021.

Minnesotans with driver’s licenses or ID cards that will expire March 1 or later must renew by the expiration date listed on their card.

DPS-DVS is mailing letters to every cardholder whose credentials will expire March 31 to serve as a second renewal notice. Standard driver’s license renewal notices continue to be sent to all Minnesotans with expiring credentials. The letters are also available in Hmong, Somali, Spanish and Oromo at dps.mn.gov/mrc to make sure every Minnesotan receives this important message.

Anyone who does not renew their driver’s license by their expiration date will lose their driving privileges until they renew.

Minnesotans have options to renew their expiring driver’s license or ID card:

• Renew a standard driver’s license online at drive.mn.gov.

This option is available for standard driver’s licenses or ID cards that do not require name, address, signature or driver’s license number changes. A person’s record is updated as soon as the online application is complete.

• Renew in person at a regional DVS exam station, deputy registrar or driver’s license agent office.

Individuals can call or come into the Aitkin License Center to make an appointment to renew their license or ID card.  Currently, appointments are scheduling about a week out. Individuals with an expired or expiring license are encouraged to make an appointment soon to make sure it is completed on time.

Minnesotans must use this option to make changes to their driver’s license or ID card or apply for a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license or ID card. Customers are strongly encouraged to pre-apply online at drive.mn.gov before visiting their local office.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), which regulates commercial driver’s licenses, extended expiration dates to Feb. 28. Commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders will need to renew by Feb. 28 to maintain valid driving privileges. CDL holders whose medical certificate expired on or after Sept. 1, 2020, will need to provide an updated medical certificate and self-certification form to maintain a CDL.

CDL holders have the option to renew their card online at drive.mn.gov if they are not changing their name, address or license number.

Minnesotans who choose to apply for a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license or ID card must apply in person at a regional DVS exam station, deputy registrar or driver’s license agent office. Minnesotans are strongly encouraged to pre-apply online at drive.mn.gov before visiting an office to save time at the counter and confirm the documents they are required to bring to the office to complete their application.

Minnesotans may use their valid Minnesota driver’s license as one proof of Minnesota residence. This includes licenses that have the extended expiration date (reflected on the cardholder’s driving record). Once the license expires, the applicant cannot use it as one of the two proofs of Minnesota residence.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2021, Minnesotans cannot use their standard driver’s license or ID card to board domestic flights or enter federal facilities. Instead, they will need a REAL ID, enhanced driver’s license or ID card, a passport or passport card or another acceptable form of identification for federal purposes. Minnesotans can use the online Help Me Choose a license/ID Type tool to decide what driver’s license or ID card is right for them.

Processing times

Here are the license and ID card processing times as of Jan. 20, 2021:

• Standard licenses and ID cards: processing standard applications from Dec. 15, 2020.

• REAL ID-compliant licenses and ID cards: processing REAL ID applications from Dec. 14, 2020.

• Enhanced driver’s licenses and ID cards: processing enhanced applications from Dec. 11, 2020.

Minnesotans can track their driver’s license online at drive.mn.gov by selecting Where’s My License and entering their driver’s license number. 

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