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Standard Minnesota driver's licenses can now be renewed online

The temporary change allows expiring license holders to skip the standard eye test and new photo.
Credit: KARE

ST PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota drivers now have the ability to renew a standard driver's license or ID card online, due to a temporary change in the law prompted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic shut down many Driver and Vehicle Services offices for weeks; even after reopening, many DVS locations still have only limited or by-appointment in-person services.

The temporary change allows expiring license holders to skip the standard eye test and new photo, and receive a new license in the mail without visiting a DVS or deputy registrar's office.

"Minnesotans who renew their standard driver’s license or ID card while the photo and vision requirement is waived will not be required to complete a vision screening or have a new photo taken until the next time they renew or upgrade their license," DVS explained on its website.

Online renewals are available for any standard applications through June 30, 2021. 

In order to qualify for online renewal, license or ID holders must meet certain requirements:

  • Must have a standard driver's license or identification card
  • Cannot change name, address, signature, or license number
  • License must be valid or expired for less than one year

To apply for an online renewal of a standard license or ID card in Minnesota, visit drive.mn.gov and select the option for "Apply for a Driver's License or State ID."

RELATED: Driver exam stations reopen to long lines, changes to cope with COVID-19

Online renewals are not possible for REAL ID or enhanced license applications, which must be submitted in-person. The federal government has pushed back the REAL ID deadline to October 2021, due the pandemic.

There's no need to rush for renewals; because of the pandemic, the state has already extended expiration dates for any driver's licenses expiring between March 12 and July 31, making them valid through August 31, 2020.

RELATED: REAL ID deadline pushed back a year due to COVID-19

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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There is also a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.