Understanding the Minnesota Graduated Driver’s License Program

Understanding the Minnesota Graduated Driver’s License Program

While this brief guide will detail how to complete the GDL program started at age 15, any person under the age of 18 is eligible for an unrestricted driver’s license if one or more of the following apply:

  • You have earned a license in a different state
  • You have held your provisional license for at least one full year before applying and you have no crash-related moving violations, and you do not have more than one non-crash related moving violation, and
  • Your parent or legal guardian approves
Note: If you are under 18, Minnesota requires you to complete an approved driver education course before getting your license.

You can apply to get your learner’s permit at age 15 if:

  • you have completed a driver’s education course, or
  • you have held a valid license in another state, or
  • you are enrolled in driver’s ed and have completed the classroom instruction, and
  • you pass a knowledge test and eye examination

While holding the permit for at least six months, you must accumulate at least 40 hours of driving practice, with 15 of those hours being driven at night. Anytime you operate a vehicle you must have a driving supervisor with you and this person must be your parent or legal guardian, a certified driving instructor, or a valid license holder that’s at least age 21. You driving supervisor must occupy the front passenger seat.

You are eligible for your restricted provisional license when you are 16, provided you had your permit for six or more months.

This license restricts you from driving after midnight or before 5:00 a.m. and prohibits you for 180 days from carrying more than one passenger under the age of 20. After six months, you can carry only up to 3 passengers who are less than 21 years of age. Your immediate family is exempt from these restrictions.

You will hold your provisional license for 12 months or until you reach age 18, whichever comes first before you are eligible for an unrestricted license with full privileges.

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