Minnesota road test

Passing Your Minnesota Road Test: A Complete Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Jan 06, 2022

Are you nervous about taking your Minnesota road test? Perhaps you’re not sure what to bring, or you want to practice the driving skills you’ll be tested on, or you simply want to confirm that you’re eligible to take your test. Knowing what to expect allows you to effectively prepare; and proper preparation is essential if you want to confidently take and pass your test.

Minnesota Road Test Requirements

There are multiple requirements that you must satisfy to be able to take the road test, also known as the driving skills test – this applies both to you as a driver, and the testing vehicle that you will be taking the test in.

Driver Requirements

In Minnesota, the road test requirements will vary depending on your age.

If you’re age 18 or under:

  • You must be at least 16.
  • You must have completed driver education.
  • You must have had an instruction permit for at least six months.
  • You must have maintained a violation-free driving record for six months.
  • You must have completed the required number of driving hours and have filled out your driving log.

If you’re over age 18, driver education is not required and you only need to have held your instruction permit for three months.

Vehicle Requirements

As mentioned above, you’ll drive your own vehicle during the driving skills test. Make sure that it has valid registration and insurance; you’ll need to present proof at the driver licensing office. Additionally, your vehicle must function properly, and a quick vehicle check will take place immediately before your exam. You’ll want to make sure that lights (headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals), seat belts, doors, etc. are working properly.

Scheduling Your Minnesota Driving Skills Test

If you’re ready to take your skills test, go ahead and pre-apply online to save time at the Minnesota driver licensing office. Then schedule an appointment at an office near you.

Special COVID-19 Modifications

COVID-19 has caused a few modifications to be made to the road test. After you check in at the Minnesota driver licensing office and present the correct documents, you’ll have to answer a few health-related questions. After the vehicle check, you’ll be asked to sanitize the area around the front passenger seat.

Your examiner will wear a face mask and gloves, and you’ll be expected to bring and wear a face mask as well. While the driving test is taking place, windows must be rolled down. In the case of an automatic failure, the test will immediately terminate for the sake of efficiency. Apart from the above modifications, the road test itself is unchanged.

The Minnesota Road Test

Be sure you’ve located your important documents and checked your vehicle to make sure everything is ready before heading to the Minnesota DVS office on the day of your road test.

What Should You Bring to the DVS?

If you do not have the following documents with you on test day, you will not be allowed to take the Minnesota road test. This is required for all applicants.

  • A valid instruction permit.
  • Their social security number.
  • A vehicle that is properly insured and registered and is working safely.
  • Proof of registration and insurance for your vehicle.
  • Testing/licensing fees.

Additionally, if you’re under the age of 18, you’ll need to bring:

  • Proof of driver education completion.
  • A completed and signed driving log.
  • If needed, proof of supplemental parental curriculum completion.
  • A parent or guardian who is willing to sign/approve your license application.


Before you begin your actual driving test, you’ll be tested on correctly using the controls in your car.

  • Make sure you’re able to correctly use your seat adjustments. Your seat should be in the correct position before you begin driving.
  • Be sure to correctly wear your safety belt.
  • Learn how to work your emergency/parking brake.
  • Know how to work your headlights, including high and low beams. You should be able to use your hazard lights as well.
  • Be able to use your car horn.
  • Be able to work your windshield wipers, as well as the defroster and fan controls.
  • Make sure you know how to adjust your mirrors (rearview mirror and side mirrors).

What Maneuvers are Tested on the Road Test in Minnesota?

You’ll be tested on a variety of driving maneuvers, which include basic road skills in addition to a couple of closed-course maneuvers. You should be comfortable with these basic driving skills, which should be habitual by now. Practice them any time you’re behind the wheel.

The list below is a brief summary of what you should know;

  • Controlling your vehicle: Keep your vehicle in the center of your lane. Accelerate and brake smoothly, and know how to use your lights, windshield wipers, defrost, and other vehicle controls.
  • Responding to conditions: Adjust your speed and following distance based on road conditions, weather conditions, and traffic conditions.
  • Understanding traffic signs/signals: Watch for signs and signals and obey them.
  • Turning: If necessary, move into the correct lane well before the turn. Use your turn signal, slow down, and turn smoothly into the correct lane. You should know how to make both right and left turns.
  • Staying aware: Watch for other vehicles and pedestrians, and give others the right-of-way when necessary. Always be a courteous and considerate driver.

Difficult Maneuvers

Additionally, the following specific maneuvers are tested on the Minnesota road test. These may require a bit more practice as they aren’t done as much in everyday driving.

  • You should know how to parallel park. Drive slowly and continually check out your back window. Don’t hit the curb or any boundary markers. Position your vehicle correctly before backing and finish with your vehicle close enough to the curb.
  • Know how to correctly park on a hill. Turn your front wheels in the correct direction and use your parking brake.
  • Know how to perform a 90-degree backing maneuver. This is similar to backing into a parking space or driveway. Drive slowly, keep checking your mirrors and out your windows, and don’t bump into any boundary markers.

What Will Cause You to Fail Your Driving Skills Test?

A road test failure can be caused by making many minor mistakes. Additionally, a number of major mistakes can cause an immediate failure.

  • Disobeying a traffic law, such as a speed limit.
  • Driving dangerously or carelessly, or doing anything that could result in an accident.
  • Needing assistance from your examiner in controlling your vehicle or completing a maneuver.
  • Being involved in an avoidable crash.
  • Ignoring your examiner’s instructions or refusing to cooperate.

If you fail your road test, you’ll be asked to complete a certain amount of driving practice before taking it again. Then you’ll have to schedule another test, return to the testing site, and retake your test on another day.

That’s It!

That’s everything you need to know about passing the Minnesota driving skills test. We hope this guide has helped you out, and that you now feel comfortable with the steps moving forward. If you need any help studying for your upcoming exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study guide with online practice tests, a summarized handbook, and practical driving tips that will help you immensely during the actual road exam.

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