Driving Without A License

Without a valid permit or license for the type of vehicle being driven, it is against Minnesota law for anyone to operate “any motor vehicle upon any street or highway.” All-terrain vehicles (ATVs), motorcycles, snowmobiles, and other “self-propelled” land vehicles are included in the definition of “motor vehicle” in the law. Any Minnesotan who rides a snowmobile and was born after 1976 must have a current snowmobile safety certificate or a driver’s license with a current snowmobile qualification indicator permit.

A valid driver’s license with a three-wheeled or two-wheeled vehicle (i.e., motorcycle) endorsement is also required for anyone operating a three-wheeled vehicle (such as an autocycle or motorcycle with a sidecar) on a street or highway. The law also permits anyone with a driver’s license or a moped permit, available to anyone 15 years of age or older, to operate a “motorized bicycle” (i.e., moped).

Minnesota Driving Without a License Attorney

If you have been arrested for driving without a license in Minnesota, it is important to speak with a qualified criminal defense attorney. A lawyer with extensive experience such as Dakota County attorney James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law can advise you on the best course of action.

He is dedicated to defending the rights of Minnesota residents and can help you secure the best possible outcome for your case. James Blumberg Law accepts clients throughout the state of Minnesota including Rice County, Steele CountyScott CountySibley County, Dodge County, Olmsted County, and Carver County.

To schedule a free consultation with James Blumberg Law, call (952) 431-7758.

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Common License Requirement Violations

Some ways Minnesota drivers violate the legal license requirements include:

  • Failing to apply for a new license after a move.
  • Never getting a driver’s license.
  • Failing to have a license in their possession.
  • Driving with an expired, suspended, or revoked license.

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New To Minnesota

Drivers new to Minnesota have 60 days after becoming a resident to apply for a Minnesota state driver’s license or permit. If the driver has a valid license in another state, they’ll need to pass a knowledge test about Minnesota-specific driving laws and regulations. A knowledge and skills test is required if the license is from another country or expired more than a year ago.

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Never Had A License

Minnesota law states, “a person shall not drive a motor vehicle upon a street or highway in this state unless the person has a valid license, except when expressly exempted.” A typical citation for this infraction will cost you about $200. In addition, the vehicle may be impounded, which can add up to additional fees.

Driving alone with only a learner’s permit is also illegal. Permits are valid for two years. Drivers with a permit in Minnesota can’t legally drive without the presence of a licensed adult 21 years of age or older.

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License In Possession Requirements

According to Minnesota law, all drivers must have their licenses on them when operating a motor vehicle and show them upon request from an officer charged with enforcing traffic regulations.

Expired License

Driver’s licenses must be renewed every four years, on or before the driver’s birthday. Before applying for a new license, drivers must pass a knowledge test and a vision test if the license has expired for more than a year but less than five years.

Driving On A Suspended License

Driving after a suspension, revocation, or cancellation is illegal in Minnesota. It is classified as a second-degree misdemeanor with a maximum punishment of a   $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail. A conviction will frequently lead to a further suspension of the driver’s license.

If the driver’s license was suspended because the driver was harmful to public safety (typically the result of multiple alcohol-related offenses), driving after the suspension can result in a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $3,000 fine.

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Possible Reasons For A License Suspension

There are many reasons a driver’s license may be suspended or revoked in Minnesota. Here are some of the most common actions resulting in a license suspension:

  • Convicted of stealing fuel
  • Convicted of driving under the influence or while impaired
  • Convicted of fleeing an officer
  • Convicted of underage drinking and driving
  • Convicted of a certain controlled substance crime
  • Refused alcohol testing
  • Failed to pay a judgment related to the vehicle
  • Failed to pay court-order child support
  • Excessive speeding
  • Driving without insurance

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License Reinstatement

If a driver is caught driving without a license, the suspension period may be up to a year or longer, depending on the circumstance. Drivers may be required to pay associated reinstatement fees and meet specific requirements (like attending a driver improvement clinic) before they can drive legally once the period of revocation or suspension has ended. The reinstatement fee is around $20, according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

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Driving on Private Property

Although you can’t drive a vehicle on the road without a license, you can legally drive on private property. The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently overturned a DWI and driving while intoxicated conviction because the driver was in his driveway when the officer pulled him over.

In State v. Velisek, the court overturned Velisek’s convictions due to a law that forbids anyone with a suspended license from driving anywhere in the state where a license is required. The court next focused on the law governing license requirements, which states that “a person shall not drive a motor vehicle upon a street or highway in this State unless the person has a valid license.” Since Velisek was not on a street or highway and the statutes’ language was clear, the court determined that he did not break the law.

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Additional Resources

The Minnesota Legislature Office of the Revisor of Statutes  – Click the link to visit the official website for the Minnesota Legislature and read information on section 171.24 Violations for driving without a valid license.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety’s Driver and Vehicle Services – Access the official website for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety which lists driver’s license information, including all requirements for obtaining and maintaining a state driver’s license. The site also provides current license-related fees.

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Apple Valley Driving Without a License Lawyer | Dakota County, MN

If you have been accused for a traffic offense, it is important to take this charge seriously and hire a skilled criminal defense attorney. James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law is a qualified defense lawyer who has helped clients preserve their freedom after being arrested for driving without a license.

To schedule a free consultation, call (952) 431-7758 right now. James Blumberg Law accepts cases in Apple Valley, Eagan, Lakeville, Burnsville, Rosemount, Farmington, Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul.

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