Minnesota Identification Cards and Driver’s Licenses

Some international students obtain a Minnesota ID card so that they do not have to carry their passport around as a regular proof of identity.  If you are interested in obtaining a MN ID card, then you must apply through the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Applicants must have a primary document (passport, I-94, I-20) and a secondary document – under “ID Requirements” – usually U.S. Social Security Card (if you have one) or official St. Olaf transcript with your full legal name and date of birth.  You must visit the DMV yourself, one is located in Northfield’s City Hall, 801 S. Washington St., phone 1-507-645- 8831). Please note you cannot apply for a new Driver’s License in Northfield.

Minnesota Driver’s License

The State of Minnesota requires every person to have a license (or a learner’s permit) in order to operate a motor vehicle on public streets and roadways.  Driver’s licenses are issued by the Department of Public Safety.  If you are planning to drive a car in MN, you need one of the following driver’s licenses:

  • An international driver’s license (which you can only obtain in your home country)
  • A driver’s license from your home country, valid for only the first 60 days in Minnesota
  • A MN drivers’ license

All applicants must pass a complete driver’s exam, which includes a written (knowledge) and road (skills) test, and a vision (eye) exam. Call ahead to one of the offices listed below to schedule your tests. The tests are free, but if you fail them more than 2 times, you are charged testing fees. You do pay a fee for the actual license once you past the tests.

To obtain a Minnesota’s driver’s license you must bring your passport, I-94 and I-20, and other required documents.  The license is valid until your 21st birthday, or if you are over 21, for four years.


1105 W. Division St.
(507) 332-7985
8–4 pm, Monday and Tuesday only


2070 Cliff Road
(651) 688-1870
8–4 pm, Monday through Friday

International Driver’s License

It is possible to obtain an international driver’s license once you have a Minnesota license.  This license would be good in any country except the U.S., valid for 1 year.  Please call AAA/Burnsville at 1 (612) 895-1260 for requirements.

Auto Insurance

The Minnesota No-Fault Automobile Insurance Act is a law that requires all motor vehicles to be covered by no-fault and liability insurance.  You will be required to show proof of your coverage when you register your car.  It is illegal to drive a motor vehicle in Minnesota without insurance.