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Relocating to Minneapolis/St. Paul: Driving in Minnesota, An Overview

Getting a Drivers' Licence, Registering a Vehicle, and Winter Driving


Are you moving to Minnesota? Here's more resources for new arrivals to get driving, get set up with utilities, prepare for our Minnesota winters, and more.

And here's some essential reading if you are considering moving to Minneapolis, and if you are considering moving to St. Paul.

Becoming a Legal Driver in Minnesota

Welcome to Minnesota!

If you want to drive in Minnesota, you'll need to register your car, and get a Minnesota drivers' license, within 60 days of moving here.

Whether you brought a car with you, or are buying one here, these are the steps to become a legal driver in Minnesota.

  1. Insure your vehicle
  2. Register your vehicle
  3. Apply for a Minnesota drivers license

You may drive in Minnesota for 60 days with a valid license from another state. It is advisable to start the process to obtain your Minnesota drivers license as soon as possible.

Minneapolis/St. Paul Driving Eccentricities

Every city has their own rules of the road - and their unofficial rules of the road. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have some interesting freeway configurations, a whole set of rules for snow driving and parking, and lots of little eccentricities.

The Twin Cities are have some of America's politest drivers. In 2006, Minneapolis was the city with the least road rage, according to a national survey. Having driven in a number of American cities, I can agree: it's common to let people out of busy junctions, and stop for pedestrians even when there isn't a crosswalk in the road.

There's some bad habits too. Minneapolis and St. Paul are the tailgating capitals of the USA. No, I don't mean the party kind of tailgating, the driving far-too-close on the freeway kind.

Another bad habit that's prevalent in the Twin Cities is the close-eyes-and-pray method of joining the freeway. It's very common to see cars winging their way down the on-ramps with no intention of stopping, forcing the car already on the freeway to brake.

Winter Driving in Minneapolis and St. Paul

Our winter starts in late October or early November. Prepare your car for winter in plenty of time. And just as important, especially if you don't have much winter driving experience, prepare yourself for driving in the snow and ice.

After a big snowfall, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul declare a Snow Emergency, a series of organized parking restrictions to enable the cities to plow the streets as efficiently as possible.

Learn the rules of a Snow Emergency before the first major snowfall.

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