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Ask a trooper: Change of address and driver's licenses

Question: I don't know if you ever wrote about this, but could you do an article talking about change of address on the driver's license? As an officer, I come in contact with a lot of people who are unaware of the 30-day requirement for change of address. It might be a good thing to talk about in-state address changes as well as the new resident requirements for getting a Minnesota driver's license. Thanks for whatever you can do.

Answer: I often come across them too. Minn. Stat. 171.11 states in part: "When any person, after applying for or receiving a driver's license, shall change permanent domicile from the address named in such application or in the license issued to the person, or shall change a name by marriage or otherwise, such person shall, within 30 days thereafter, apply for a duplicate driver's license upon a form furnished by the department and pay the required fee....."

Minn. Stat 171.02 Subd. 1(a) says in part: "Except when expressly exempted, a person shall not drive a motor vehicle upon a street or highway in this state unless the person has a valid license under this chapter for the type or class of vehicle being driven.

Minn. Stat. 171.03 (g) refers to those exempt by saying, "Any person who becomes a resident of the state of Minnesota and who has in possession a valid driver's license issued to the person under and pursuant to the laws of some other state or jurisdiction or by military authorities of the United States may operate a motor vehicle as a driver, but only for a period of not more than 60 days after becoming a resident of this state, without being required to have a Minnesota driver's license as provided in this chapter." In reference to commercial driver's licenses, Minn. Stat. 171.03(h) adds, "Any person who becomes a resident of the state of Minnesota and who has in possession a valid commercial driver's license issued by another state or jurisdiction in accordance with the standards of Code of Federal Regulations, title 49, part 383, is exempt for not more than 30 days after becoming a resident of this state." There are a lot of reasons why we need the driver's license to be correct. One big reason is when officers encounter persons at scenes of incidents who are unconscious or even deceased. We may need to notify family members and we often look at the driver's license to obtain next of kin information. It can be very beneficial to you or your family if you have your driver's license address current.

In most cases, the fee for changing the address on your driver's license is less than the cost of a renewal. Thanks for asking.

Minnesota State Statutes are copyrighted and portions of statutes were used with permission of the Office of the Revisor of Statutes.