Ask a Trooper: Are out-of-country licenses valid in Minnesota?

Published 7:57 pm Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Ask a Trooper by Troy Christianson

Troy Christianson


Question: I moved to Minnesota two days ago. I am living with a cousin of mine in Minnesota. I am writing to you concerning driving legally within the state. Back in my native country, Kenya, I am licensed to drive and currently I have that license with me. I also obtained an international driving permit from the necessary licensing body back in Kenya. Are these documents sufficient to allow me to drive within the state of Minnesota before I am able to acquire the state’s driving license? Thank you for your time and consideration.

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Answer: Visitors with a valid driver’s license from another country can operate a vehicle legally in our state, and are not required to get a Minnesota license.

Once you become a Minnesota resident, you have 60 days to get a Minnesota driver’s license.

Many insurance companies do not honor “out-of-country licenses.” Auto insurance is required to operate a motor vehicle, so you would need to contact your insurance company to be sure you are covered.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota toward zero deaths.

If you have any questions concerning traffic-related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Troy Christianson, Minnesota State Patrol, at 2900 48th St. NW, Rochester, MN 55901-5848; or reach him at

Troy Christianson is a sergeant with the Minnesota State Patrol.