Minnesotans may use COVID-19 related expired licenses, ID cards to register to vote

Staff Writer
Redwood Falls Gazette

Minnesotans can use their driver’s licenses, learner’s permits and identification (ID) cards that would have expired during the COVID-19 peacetime emergency as valid proof of Minnesota residency to register to vote in the primary election.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services division (DPS-DVS) sent a memo outlining guidance to Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon ahead of the Aug. 11 primary election.

“Gov. Walz signed legislation extending driver’s license, permit and ID card expiration dates to give Minnesotans more time to renew, so they don’t have to put their health at risk by visiting an office in person during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Emma Corrie, DPS-DVS director said. “We want to make sure that those affected do not face any confusion that may prevent them from voting in the August primary election.”

The new laws extend the expiration dates of driver’s licenses, permits and ID cards that will expire during and for the month after the COVID-19 peacetime emergency ends. ​DPS-DVS will automatically extend the expiration to Oct. 31 for any driver’s license, ID card or permit that would have expired between March 13 and Sept. 30. If the COVID-19 peacetime emergency is extended past Aug. 12, the extension will also be extended. However, Minnesotans will not receive a new credential. 

However, their record is going to reflect the new expiration date. ​Any valid driver’s license, instruction permit (including commercial learner’s permits), provisional license, operator’s permit, limited license and farm work license has been included.

This includes valid outstate driver’s licenses, ID cards and permits. Minnesotans can renew their standard driver’s license or ID card online if they do not need to change their name, address, signature or card number. To renew online, visit drive.mn.gov and select “Apply for or Renew a Driver’s License or State ID.”

​DPS-DVS launched online standard license renewal June 3 after Gov. Walz signed a bill into law that waives the photo and the vision-screening requirement for Minnesotans renewing or replacing their standard driver’s license or ID card.

Minnesotans can renew their standard driver’s license or ID card, or they can apply for a REAL ID or enhanced driver’s license or ID card in person at an open deputy registrar or driver’s license agent office. The majority of these independently owned and operated offices in Minnesota have reopened.