If you have been arrested on a Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) charge in Minnesota with a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, you will receive a notice and order of a driver’s license revocation.
The length of the revocation, and whether you can get a limited driver’s license in the meantime, will depend on your blood alcohol concentration level and or whether you have prior DWI convictions or driver’s license revocations.
Call a Minnesota DWI attorney for help getting your licence back.
How Long Will My Driver’s License be Revoked Following a DWI Arrest?
The revocation periods and work permit options are as follows:
- Your BAC was between .08 and .15, with no prior DWI convictions, OR
- Your BAC was between .08 and .15, with only one prior DWI more than 10 years earlier.
The revocation in this scenario is for 90 days if you are 21 years old or older. If you are under 21, the revocation period in this scenario is 180 days.
This is the only scenario where you can get a work permit (limited license) to drive during the revocation period. (We discuss more on this below.) In all other cases, where the blood alcohol content is .16 or greater, or there is more than one prior DWI conviction, you will be able to drive only if you get the ignition interlock installed in your vehicle.
- Your BAC was .16 or greater, with no prior DWIs.
The revocation here is one year. In this case, you cannot get the limited license, but you can get the ignition interlock if you wish to drive during the revocation period.
- Your BAC was between .08 and .15 (below .16), with one prior DWI within the past 10 years of your arrest.
The revocation for this is one year. You can get the ignition interlock and cannot get a limited license.
- Your BAC was .16 or higher, and you have a prior DWI within the previous 10 years of your arrest.
The revocation is for two years. No limited license. Ignition interlock available.
- Third incident on record, with one over 10 years old, and a BAC test result of below .16.
The revocation in this case is for one year. It becomes a two-year revocation if the test result is .16 or greater.
In all of the above options, the ignition interlock is optional. In other words, you also have the option of simply not driving. However, in the more serious scenarios below, the ignition interlock is mandatory for the entire revocation period, and you cannot have your driver’s license reinstated unless you have the ignition interlock for the entire time.
- Third DWI within 10 years.
The revocation is for three years, and the ignition interlock is mandatory.
- Fourth DWI within 10 years.
The revocation is for four years, and the ignition interlock is mandatory.
- Fifth DWI at any time in your life.
The revocation is for six years, and the ignition interlock is mandatory.
What is the Process for Getting My Driver’s License Reinstated in Minnesota?
Once you have completed your license suspension requirements, you can apply to restore your driving privileges with these steps:
- Pay the required fees, which will include a $250 License Reinstatement Fee, a $430 License Reinstatement Surcharge, and a $24 Driver’s License Application Fee. These are subject to change.
- Pass a written test on drunk driving. This primarily concerns chapters 7 and 8 of the Minnesota Driver’s Manual.
- Fill out a license reinstatement application and other documentary requirements at the Department of Public Safety.
Can I Get a Limited License While My Driver’s License is Revoked?
A question that often comes up is: How can I go to school, doctor’s appointments, work, and other essential trips?
For qualified individuals, Minnesota offers a limited driving license, commonly referred to as a work permit, which you can use to operate a vehicle under very specific stipulations.
To qualify, your blood alcohol content (BAC) must have been below .16, you must have no prior DWI convictions (or only one prior DWI outside of 10 years), and you must need a license to drive:
- To and from work, or to a job application
- To and from substance dependency treatment programs
- To provide for food, education, and/or medical needs of your family; and/or
- To attend a postsecondary educational institute.
How Can I Apply for the Work Permit or Limited Driver’s License in Minnesota to Drive During the Revocation Period?
To get a limited driver’s license, you have to make sure you are eligible (see above). You will have to pay a $680 reinstatement fee and take a written test at the DMV. You will then meet with a driver evaluator, and if you qualify, will be given a limited driver’s license which will allow you to drive for work, educational, medical, grocery shopping, and specific family needs such as daycare.
However, there is a 15-day wait before you can apply for the limited driver’s license. You will not be permitted to drive during the first 15 days of the revocation period.
Can an Ignition Interlock be Installed on Any Vehicle?
An ignition interlock can be installed on any vehicle operated with a Class D driver’s license that requires no additional endorsements. The interlock device cannot be installed on motorcycles, rental vehicles, or recreational vehicles.
How Can I Get the Ignition Interlock Installed in My Vehicle?
These are the requirements and steps to get the ignition interlock installed in your vehicle:
- Take the written knowledge test and pay the $680 reinstatement fee at a driver’s license exam station.
- Contact your insurance company and have them send form SR 22 form to the Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS). Your insurance company will know what SR 22 is.
- Fill out the Ignition Interlock Participation Agreement and send it to DVS.
- Get the special registration license plates at the DMV (these are commonly referred to as whiskey plates or “W” plates).
- Contact an approved ignition interlock vendor to have the interlock installed. You can find a certified vendor in this list by the Minnesota DVS.
Contact Criminal Defense Attorney Jeff Dean
A lawyer’s guidance can be indispensable in getting your driver’s license back as soon as possible.
In Minnesota, Attorney Jeff Dean is a highly trusted defense lawyer who has helped numerous clients regain their driving privileges quickly. He has also successfully defended Minnesotans in their DWI cases. Call or message Jeff Dean at (612) 305-4360 for help.