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2023-2024 Regular Session

Driver’s licenses will be accessible regardless of immigration status

Proof of legal residence in the country will no longer be required to drive legally on state roads.

Mostly effective Oct. 1, 2023, the so-called “driver’s license for all” law will no longer require people seeking noncompliant driver’s licenses and identification cards — cards that do not conform to federal REAL ID standards — to show proof of citizenship or lawful presence in the United States.

Nothing in the design of noncompliant licenses can indicate the immigration or citizenship status of the holder. Nor can state agencies and other political subdivisions use the license as evidence of lawful residency in the country or as the primary basis for investigation, detention or arrest. The law also sets various data protections and restrictions related to identifying a person’s immigration status or citizenship.

Before 2003, Minnesota residents did not have to provide proof of legal presence to get a driver’s license.

Under the law, foreign passports, consular identification cards, certified foreign birth certificates and certified foreign adoption certificates will be acceptable primary documents to be used as proof of identity. The types of secondary documents that may be accepted are expanded to include, in part, applications for asylum, student visas, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival approval notice and mortgage papers.

The law includes a nearly $2.87 million appropriation in the 2024-25 biennium for the Public Safety Department’s Driver and Vehicle Services Division for implementation.

Rep. Aisha Gomez (DFL-Mpls) and Sen. Zaynab Mohamed (DFL-Mpls) sponsor the law.


New Laws 2023

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HF0004* / SF0027 / CH13
House Chief Author: Gomez
Senate Chief Author: Mohamed
Effective Dates: See chapter summary in the file link above.
* The legislative bill marked with an asterisk denotes the file submitted to the governor.