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Minnesota's extension for expired driver's licenses is ending soon

The state extended expiration dates due to the pandemic, but that ends next month.
Credit: Minnesota DPS
Sample of a Minnesota Enhanced Driver's License, furnished by Minnesota Dept. of Public Safety

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesotans who have been putting off driver's license and ID card renewals due to the pandemic will need to take action soon, as the state's expiration extension will be ending in the coming weeks.

Last year, Gov. Tim Walz signed a law that granted an extension for nearly 300,000 Minnesotans with driver's licenses and ID cards scheduled to expire between March 13, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021. The extension was necessary as many renewal offices closed during the stay-at-home order in the early months of the pandemic, and as safety precautions remained in place when offices reopened.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) said additional extensions are not possible under current Minnesota law. That means people with driver's licenses that expired during the extension will need to renew their cards by March 31, 2021, or face losing their legal driving privileges.

DPS will send a mail notification to affected cardholders.

Licenses can be renewed in-person at a DPS Driver and Vehicle Services exam station, or at independently-owned and operated deputy registrars and driver's license agent offices.

Minnesotans with a standard driver's license or ID card can also renew online, as long as there are no changes necessary to the cardholder's name, address, signature, or driver's license number. 

Enhanced driver's licenses and REAL ID cards require an in-person visit, although Minnesotans can pre-apply online. 

Minnesotans with cards that expire on or after March 1 will need to renew by the expiration date listed on their card.

DPS-DVS posts license processing times online, updated each week, so people can see how long it will take to get their new cards. Minnesotans can also track their license online.

More information about DPS-DVS service changes during the pandemic can be found online as well.