How to Get Your Driver’s License Back after a DUI in Minnesota?

how to get license back after a dui

Key Takeaway

How do you get your license back after a DUI in Minnesota? If you’ve lost your driver’s license due to a DUI in Minnesota, you’ll need to wait out the suspension period, pass a DWI knowledge test and chemical health assessment, and then submit a driver’s license application along with a $680 reinstatement fee.


The consequences of a DUI or DWI are harsh, ranging from fines and license suspension and revocation to potential jail time. Only after observing a suspension period can someone who has been convicted of a DUI/DWI then fulfill specific legal requirements to reinstate their license. However, a DUI attorney can help minimize the suspension and other negative impacts, negotiate alternative punishments, and guide you through the complex DUI/DWI laws in Minnesota to ensure your future.

New DWI Laws in Minnesota

Due to drunk driving-related injuries and fatal accidents, Minnesota’s DWI laws have become stricter in recent years to ensure public safety. Lower blood alcohol levels (BAC) have been instituted in the state, and breathalyzers and blood tests are more regulated.

In Minnesota, if you receive a DUI for having a BAC of .16 or higher as a first-time offender or have received multiple DUIs, you will likely be required to utilize an ignition interlock device (IID) – a breathalyzer-like device requiring the driver to blow into it to determine the amount of alcohol in their system. If there is alcohol in the person’s system above the legal limit, the IID prevents the car from starting. Opting to utilize an IID may be an opportunity to reduce your license suspension or other penalties you have incurred from the DUI.

If you have been convicted of your third DUI in a 10-year period or are under the age of 19 with a prior DUI conviction, you must comply with long-term DWI monitoring in Minnesota. The form of long-term monitoring depends on the county, but could include a SCRAM bracelet – or ankle monitor – that measures BAC, a breath machine that must be used throughout the day, random urine testing, or in-person meetings with probation officers.

Minnesota’s DUI/DWI laws are some of the state’s most complex laws and comprise an entire chapter of the state’s penal code: Chapter 169A. If you tap Sterle Law as your DUI lawyer, we have extension knowledge successfully guiding clients through DUI cases. Chad Sterle, who was born and raised in Itasca County and who has practiced in this area since 1999, will utilize his experience to navigate the legal process for your benefit.

License Suspension & Revocation and Jail Time in Minnesota

Following an arrest for a DUI, your driver’s license will be immediately suspended but you will likely receive a seven-day temporary license before you lose your driving privileges, according to Minnesota’s implied consent laws.

In Minnesota, if it was your first DWI offense and your blood alcohol level (BAC) was below .16, your driving privileges will be suspended for 90 days. If your blood alcohol level is over .16, if this is more than your first offense, or if others were harmed by your impaired driving, the consequences increase in severity.

You may obtain a limited license, work permit, or hardship license, which all refer to a restricted license that allows you to drive a motor vehicle under specific circumstances – to and from work, school, and chemical dependency treatment programs – and for a maximum of 60 hours.

If you receive repeat DUI or DWI convictions, your license may be revoked, which is the permanent loss of your license and driving privileges. A revoked license cannot be restored; however, after waiting out the revocation period, you can apply for a new license.

Depending on your BAC or if you caused bodily harm to others, even first time offenders may have to serve jail time. You must serve your jail sentence before you can get your driver’s license back.

Financial Impact of DUI in Minnesota

Fines for a DUI or DWI can range from $500-$2,000 and those with a higher BAC can expect to pay higher fines. Offenders may also be required to shoulder the costs of purchasing ignition interlock devices (IIDs), the monthly calibration fees, and the IID removal fees.

In addition, offenders may be required to complete a DUI program that focuses on drug and alcohol education, and the length will be determined by your driving history and your DUI/DWI offense. These programs can last between 30 days to one year and cost upwards of $500. Defensive driving courses that focus on driving basics and driving safely are another possible requirement to reinstate a license and are usually available online or in person.

Filing for Reinstatement of License & Maneuvering the Legal System

Once the suspension period is over, after you have passed a DWI knowledge test and a chemical health assessment, you may submit a driver’s license application to reinstate your license. This application is accompanied by a $680 fee in Minnesota.

Helping You Get Back in the Driver’s Seat

The experienced counsel at Sterle Law can guide you through the legal process to avoid a DUI conviction, as well as how to minimize suspension or revocation periods and negotiate alternative punishments.

Sterle Law’s DWI lawyers will ensure you understand the intricacies of your case and educate you on the legal process and best course of action to help put you back into the drivers seat.

To schedule a free consultation for your DUI/DWI case, call 218-326-9646.

Attorney Chad B. Sterle has over 24 years of legal expertise in dealing with criminal defense, family law, DUI/DWI and many other legal practices. We understand that you may be going through a stressful and overwhelming time, which is why we take the care of the legal logistics and focus on delivering expert legal support. Sterle Law Office is here for you whether you have general legal questions, or you’re ready to hire an attorney.