Minnesota Driving Laws for Seniors and Older Drivers

Learn about driving provisions and special programs focused on keeping both Minnesota's older drivers and roadways safe.

The myriad rules and regulations enforced by the Minnesota Driver & Vehicle Services (DVS) apply to drivers of all ages and stages—and the state claims to impose no special requirements on drivers based solely on age.

In the interest of keeping drivers and roadways safe, however, DVS accepts requests from those who have personal knowledge that an individual may be an “at risk” driver.

License Renewal Rules for Older Drivers

No special rules apply to drivers based on age.

Time limits: Drivers of all ages must renew every four years at a local Driver Service office.

Vision test: Required at renewal. DVS personnel will conduct a test free. If the DVS requires it, the driver must have an additional eye test performed by a licensed vision examiner, who must complete a Vision Report after conducting the exam.

Written test: Not required at renewal.

Road test: Required only if the DVS receives indications of driver impairment.

How to Request an Unsafe Driver Investigation in Minnesota

The Minnesota DVS will accept information from a driver’s family member, friend or acquaintance concerned that a driver may be “at risk” and needs to be re-evaluated. Requests from relatives are kept confidential.

All requests must be in writing and include:

  • the full name and date of birth of the at-risk driver, along with his or her driver's license number if available
  • a description of the condition and explanation of why the person may be an at-risk driver, and
  • the requester’s name, address and phone number.

Completed requests should be mailed to:

Driver and Vehicle Services

Attn: Medical Unit

445 Minnesota Street; Suite 170

St. Paul, MN 55101

In addition, police officers may initiate a re-evaluation of a driver by completing a

Request for Examination of Driver.

How to Get a License Reinstated

For information on how to get back a license that has been suspended or revoked in Minnesota, contact one of the DVS offices located throughout the state.

How to Get Parking Placards or License Plates for a Disabled Driver

Disabled person parking placards and license plates can be issued to drivers with impaired mobility if a licensed medical practitioner certifies the condition.

The placards and plates are also available for those who:

  • have a severe cardiac condition
  • use portable oxygen
  • have an arterial oxygen tension of less than 60mm/Hg at rest
  • have a severe respiratory disease
  • have lost an arm or leg and do not have or cannot use an artificial limb
  • are unable to walk without the use of, or assistance from, a brace, cane, crutch, another person, prosthetic device or other assistance device
  • have a condition that could be aggravated to be life-threatening by walking 200 feet
  • are unable to walk 200 feet without stopping to rest, or
  • cannot walk without a significant risk of falling.

To obtain disability license plates:

  • Complete the Application for Special Plates.
  • Have a licensed physician, physician's assistant, advanced practice nurse or chiropractor sign the Medical Statement section of the form.
  • Submit the form to the nearest DVS office or mail it to the address on the form.

To obtain a disability parking certificate:

  • Complete the Application for Disability Parking Certificate.
  • Have a licensed physician, physician's assistant, advanced practice nurse or chiropractor sign the Health Professional Medical Statement section of the form.
  • Submit the form to the nearest DVS office or mail it to the address on the form.

Learn More About Minnesota Driving Rules for Seniors

The DVS website contains a wealth of information for Minnesota drivers. Of special interest is the “Minnesota Driver’s Manual,” which provides a summary of state laws, rules and techniques to follow to drive safely and legally in Minnesota.

Where to Find a Lawyer for Help

You can use Nolo’s Lawyer Directory to find a local lawyer experienced in representing older people who need help with auto accidents or traffic tickets in Minnesota.

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