Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lose Your Minnesota Driver's License?

Driving in Minnesota is a privilege. You can lose your driving privileges if you break certain laws or fail to meet certain requirements. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (or “DPS”) maintains your driving record, which contains information about driving and licensing violations in Minnesota and other states. Serious or recurring violations may result in loss of your driving privilege or restrictions on where, when and what types of vehicle you may drive.  As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney I get a lot of questions about this issue --- here is an overview. 

License Withdrawal

Your license may be withdrawn by suspension, revocation or cancellation. If you commit an offense and your license is withdrawn, DPS will send you a notice of withdrawal in the mail (to the address on your license - whether you've moved or not) and a list of requirements for reinstatement. Some of the conditions that could cause you to lose your driving privileges are listed below.


Your driver’s license may be suspended if you:

  • Repeatedly violate traffic laws
  • Are convicted for a violation causing a traffic accident resulting in death, injury or property damage
  • Use, or allow someone else to use, your license for an illegal action
  • Commit a traffic offense in another state that would be grounds for suspension in Minnesota
  • Are judged in court to be legally unfit to drive a motor vehicle
  • Fail to report a medical condition that would result in cancellation of driving privileges
  • Fail to stop for a school bus with stop arm extended and red lights flashing (second offense in 5 years)
  • Are found to possess a fake or altered license
  • Make a fraudulent application for a license or ID card
  • Take any part of the driver’s license exam for someone else, or allow someone else to take it for you falsely identify yourself to a police officer
  • Fail to appear in court or pay a fine on a motor vehicle-related violation when required to do so
  • Are convicted of a misdemeanor for a violation of Minnesota traffic law
  • Fail to pay court-ordered child support
  • Use, or allow someone else to use, a license, permit, or ID card to buy tobacco products for someone who is under 18 years of age, or alcohol for someone who is under 21 years of age
  • Are convicted of underage drinking and driving
  • Pay a fee to the state or driver’s license agent with a dishonored check
  • Are convicted for theft of gasoline

After the period of suspension has ended, your driving privilege may be reinstated if all requirements are met. One requirement is payment of the reinstatement fee. If your license expired during the suspension period, or your name or address changed, you must apply for a new license and pay the appropriate fee.


Your driver’s license may be revoked if you:

  • Refuse to take a breath test to measure intoxication
  • Fail a breath test that measures intoxication
  • Are convicted of manslaughter or any criminal actions while driving a motor vehicle
  • Are convicted of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Are convicted of a felony in which you used a motor vehicle
  • Are convicted of driving in excess of 100 mph
  • Are convicted of fleeing a police officer
  • Are convicted of failing to stop, identify yourself or render aid when involved in an accident
  • Are convicted of lying under oath to DPS or its agents
  • Are convicted of signing any legal documents containing false information about legal vehicle ownership
  • Are convicted of making a false statement to DPS
  • Plead guilty or forfeit bail for three violations in a single year of any Minnesota traffic law requiring jail
  • Are convicted of an offense in another state that would be grounds for revoking your license in Minnesota
  • Are convicted of a misdemeanor for driving a motor vehicle with prior knowledge that the owner of the vehicle did not have no-fault vehicle insurance
  • Own a vehicle without no-fault insurance and are found to have driven it or allowed others to drive it, with full knowledge that the vehicle was not insured
  • Are convicted of a gross misdemeanor for failing to stop for a school bus with its stop arm extended and its red lights flashing
  • Are convicted of selling or possessing a controlled substance while operating a motor vehicle

After the period of revocation has ended, your driving privileges may be reinstated if all requirements for reinstatement are met. Requirements include: payment of the reinstatement fee and passing the appropriate exams. You must show proper identification when you take the knowledge test or road test. You must apply for a new license after all your testing requirements are met.


Your license may be cancelled if you do not have a legal right to a driver’s license that was issued to you. Your license may be cancelled if you:

  • Acquire a mental or physical disability that makes you incapable of driving a motor vehicle safely
  • Do not pass a test that is legally requested by DPS to determine your ability to drive safely
  • Give false or misleading information on your license application (your license will be cancelled for 60 days or until the correct information is provided – whichever is longer)
  • Commit a crime for which cancellation of your license is a legal punishment
  • Do not qualify for a driver’s license under Minnesota law

Need to Know More?

If you wish to learn more about the loss of your license (or how you can get a limited license,) review the Minnesota Driver’s Manual online. If you have a legal issue surrounding your driver’s license, contact us the Rolloff Law Office at (612) 234-1165 for a free and confidential case evaluation.


  1. I've been looking for a Minneapolis MN criminal defense attorney for my brother and stumbled upon your blog. What great information! I've always had a hard time understanding things like this but you guys make it very easy to process and fun. Keep up the good work! If I'm ever in need of a defense lawyer I know who to call.

  2. Hii
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