Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Minnesota

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The state of Minnesota offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the past, or are current active military members.

Disabled veteran registration fee waiver

Disabled veterans who have been provided with a vehicle in full or part by the U.S. government are exempt from registration tax. Those in active military service are also eligible for this exemption, up to 90 days following service completion. Minnesota residents with an Ex-POW plate are also exempt from registration tax. If you would like to request a refund for registration fees paid, you can submit this form.

Driver’s license veteran designation

Minnesota offers veterans the opportunity to display their veteran status on their driver license or state ID card. This can help you obtain discounts and other benefits from local businesses and organizations without having to carry discharge papers with you as proof of service. When you apply for, renew, or update your license you will have provide documentation such as a DD 214 or DD 2 in order to qualify for the indicator.

Military honor plates

Minnesota is no different from other states in that it provides an array of military and veteran themed license plates from which to choose. Available designs include:

  • Iraq Veteran
  • Afghan Veteran
  • Global War on Terrorism
  • Gulf War Veteran
  • Vietnam Veteran
  • Korean War Veteran
  • Woman Veteran
  • World War II Veteran
  • Pearl Harbor Survivor
  • Laos War Veteran (Allied Vet)
  • Bronze Star Veteran
  • Silver Star Veteran
  • Purple Heart Combat Wounded
  • Ex-POW
  • Congressional Medal of Honor
  • Korean Defense Service Medal
  • Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal
  • Minnesota National Guard
  • Minnesota Ready Reserve
  • Proud to Be a Veteran
  • The American Legion
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Disabled American Veterans
  • Gold Star Family

There is a $10 plate fee and $10 filing fee for all plates except Ex-POW and Congressional Medal of Honor. You can apply at a Deputy Registrar Office or by mail. Send the Application for Special Plates along with the required fees and documentation, available here to:

Driver and Vehicle Services
445 Minnesota Street Suite 164
St. Paul, MN 55101-5164

Military skills test waiver

Part of the Commercial Learner’s Permit rule, instituted in 2011 by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety, is a provision allowing veterans and military personnel with at least two years of commercial truck driving experience in the service to forego the skills test portion of getting their CDL. As long as the driving experience took place within a year of applying for the waiver, and you meet the other criteria as detailed in the application, you may be able to obtain your CDL by taking just the written portion of the exam.

Minnesota and all other states participate in this program. Military personnel and veterans who’d like to apply for the waiver can access the federal government’s universal version here. Check with your local licensing agency for details on procedure.

Military Commercial Driver’s License Act of 2012

The purpose of this legislation is to ease the path of active military members who are stationed away from their home state, but still wish to get a CDL. It authorizes states to grant this driving privilege to qualified personnel in any branch of the military.

Driver license renewal while deployed

Minnesota waives the driver license renewal requirement for military personnel for as long as you are on active duty. You will not have to renew your driver license until you are discharged, regardless of how long you are active duty. This privilege does extend to your spouse as well, as long as the spouse doesn’t reside in the state of Minnesota during the time of active duty.

In order to make sure your license is valid after expiration you’ll need to notify Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services of your status. Mail a copy of your military ID along with a statements of your entry date or letter from your commanding officer to:

445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101

If you are active duty, stationed outside of the state, you are exempt from registration tax until 90 days after completion of active duty. The vehicle must be located out of state or overseas and cannot be operated on a public MN highway unless on leave or furlough. You can find more information about registration here.

Non-resident military personnel driver license and vehicle registration

Minnesota honors out-of-state driver’s licenses, for military personnel as well as their dependents. You may need to contact Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services to find out whether you need to register your vehicle after a period of time stationed there.

Active or veteran military personnel can find out more at the state’s Registry of Motor Vehicles website here.

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