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Driver's License and State ID

General Information:
You can choose to get either a driver's license or state ID, but you do not need both. In Minnesota, both the driver's license and state ID are legal identifications for financial transactions (banks, shops, etc.) and age check (alcohol, tobacco, etc.). 

What documents do I need to bring to apply for a driver's license or state ID?
  • For F-1 students, simply bring your passport and I-20. Note: DMV transcripts are no longer needed as of Oct. 1, 2023
  • Students who have a social security number (SSN) must provide it to get the driver's license or state ID.
  • For students who do not have an I-20, contact your International Student Advisor for help choosing a secondary document.
  • A full list of primary and secondary documents can be found here. Be sure to obtain a translation for any documents not in English.
Driver's License:
Drivers with a license from another US state or an International Driver's Permit (IDP) are required to change to a MN driver's license within 60 days.
  • For students with a valid driver's license who are 21+ years old, no test is needed.
  • For students with an expired driver's license or who are under 21 years old, the written knowledge test is required.
  • Ensure you learn the MN and US driving laws for the state you are driving in.
  • You must purchase car insurance before driving in the US. You must have valid car insurance for the entire time you drive in the US.
If you do not already have a US driver's license, you will have to take a written knowledge test and road test.
  • Study the MN Drivers' Manual to prepare for the written test. 
  • Make an appointment to take the written test (or road test) at a Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) Testing Center.
  • Take your primary/secondary documents with you to your appointment.
DMV Testing Centers:
(call for hours and appointment availability)
35WN & Co. Rd. I, Arden Hills, (651) 639-4057
2070 Cliff Rd., Eagan, (651) 388-1870
2455 Fernbrook Lane, Plymouth, (612) 341-3401
530 W. Main St., Anoka, (612) 422-3401

State ID:
To get a MN State ID, bring your primary/secondary documents to a Service Center that issues first-time IDs.
  • Two locations are The Minneapolis Government Center (300 South 6th St Minneapolis MN, 55487) and Midtown Exchange Service Center (2929 Chicago Ave S Minneapolis MN, 55407).
Other Information:
Read more about Applying for a Driver's License or State ID Card from This fact sheet contains info on:
  • Eligibility, applying, documentation, FAQs, etc.
Should I get a standard or Real ID?
  • For most students, a standard driver's license or ID will be sufficient even after the Real ID requirement goes into effect. Be sure to bring your passport each time you fly on domestic US flights or international flights.
  • The main purpose of the Real ID is for domestic US flights (without showing a passport) and to enter federal facilities. The Real ID is scheduled to go into effect in 2025. Students who are in need of a Real ID can learn more here.