When driving a State of Minnesota registered vehicle, insurance is required.
Minnesota minimum car insurance requirements are:
- Auto Insurance policy with limits of at least 30/60/10 – meaning:
- Liability coverage
- $30,000 of bodily injury to another person
- $60,000 of bodily injuries to all other persons
- $10,000 of injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
Collision: covers damage to your automobile when you are involved in an accident with another object or vehicle.
Comprehensive: covers a loss that is not the result of a collision. This typically refers to theft, a fire, any falling objects, or an accident involving an animal.
Required Proof of Insurance in Minnesota
When requested by the authorities, every driver must produce proof of insurance, which is why having no car insurance in Minnesota is illegal. Your proof will need to include the name of your insurance company, the dates of coverage, and the amount of liability coverage you possess. Furthermore, your proof of insurance should show the policy number, VIN number of the vehicles covered, as well as the make and model of the vehicles to go along with the name of the policy holder. The automobile insurance should be authorized by a qualified auto insurance company. In the state of Minnesota, proper proof of insurance is commonly an insurance identification card, a written statement from your insurance company, or a copy of the current insurance policy. You will always need your proof of minimum liability auto insurance when you are operating a motorized vehicle, at the time of registering your car, in case you are involved in an accident, or if you are stopped for a traffic violation.
Minnesota Department of Commerce
85 7th Place East, Suite 500
St. Paul, MN 55101
Obtaining a Driver’s License
The first step to becoming a licensed driver in Minnesota is to obtain an instruction permit. This permit is valid for two years, and allows you to practice driving with alicensed driver – It is illegal to practicedriving without a valid instruction permit. To qualify for a permit you must:
- Be at least 15 years of age
- Complete 30 hours of classroom instruction and be enrolled in behind-the-wheel instruction. (If you are 18 years of age or older, the classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction is not required)
- Comply with identification requirements
- Pass a vision screening and a knowledge test
- Complete a license application and pay the required instruction permit fee
If you are under 18 years of age, the supervising driver must be 21 years of age or older. While if you are 18 years of age or older, the supervising driver must be at least 18 years of age. Following the required six months of practice driving (three months, for all drivers aged 19 years or older), you may take the road test.
The second phase of the GDL system is to acquire your provisional license. Valid for two years from the application date, this license has restrictions that do not apply to a full driver’s license. To be eligible for a provisional license you must:
- Be at least 16 years of age
- Have completed the classroom and behind-the-wheel phases of driver education
- Have held an instruction permit for six months with no convictions
- Have passed a road test
A parent or guardian must sign and approve your license application as well as certify that you have driven under the supervision of a licensed driver who is at least 21 years old for at least 30 hours – ten of which took place at night.
To earn your full license you will need to be at least 18 years of age, or have held a provisional license for at least 12 consecutive months with no convictions, violations, or other related incidents. You must complete an application for a driver’s license and pay the license fee. When upgrading from a provisional license with zero violations, you will receive a $3.50 credit toward this fee. Applicants for Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services cards are required to provide their Social Security number (SSN) on the application form as well as a Government-issued birth certificate.
Completing Driver Education
Driver’s education courses are available through school programs across the state. Each of these programs have been approved by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. Although driver’s education courses vary from school to school, each course consists of the following:
- Thirty hours of classroom periods, focusing on issues such as alcohol safety and drug abuse awareness, and defensive driving.
- In-car instruction sessions, divided into six hours of actual driving and periods of observation time.
Once you have completed your driver’s education course, you will receive a copy of the completion certificate to the Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services – which can allow you to receive a permanent driver’s license.
Knowing the Rules of the Road
Minnesota’s driver manual holds the state’s rules of the road as well as all other information present and prospective drivers should know. The latest version being:
Note: the actual statue code for every rule of the road is not presented in this guide.
Know Your Rates
Multiple factors impact the insurance premiums you pay, and some can prevent you from receiving the best car insurance rates in Minnesota. Different companies can determine your rates in different ways, but the items that affect the cost of your policy are generally similar. Some of these factors include:
- Added coverage. To go along with the required coverage and optional choice of collision and comprehensive, you have the option of choosing additional coverage that can increase the price of your policy. For instance, full glass replacement, towing, and providing for rental care use when your own car is unavailable are some of the example of optional coverage.
- Age and gender. Statistical evidence suggests that certain groups of people have different accident rates – based on age and gender. For instance, teens and elderly individuals are involved in more accidents. Since these groups are viewed as an increased risk for insurance companies, they are required to pay more for coverage.
- Type of vehicle. Certain vehicles cost more money to repair or replace. An insurance company will charge more for physical damage coverage when a driver owns one of these vehicles.
- Mileage. The more you drive, the greater your chances are of being involved in an accident. Thus, the more you pay for coverage. This means that if you do not do a lot of driving, you may qualify for low cost car insurance in Minnesota.
- Driving record. Everyone is rated according to the number of accidents and/or tickets they have been involved in over a recent period of time. And the more incidents that have occurred, the greater your premium will be. Many people can be turned down for coverage if they have too many of these occurrences on their record.
- Where you live. When living in an area with a lot of traffic, such as a city, statistics show that there is a greater chance for you to be involved in an incident, and therefore you will pay more for coverage.
Lower Your Rates
Your premium has the ability to be reduced by various discounts that are offered by some insurance companies. For instance, some insurers will offer a discount if you have your homeowner’s insurance with them or if you are a non-smoker. Further discounts can be required by law – policyholders that are over the age of 55 can successfully complete a defensive driving course to earn a 10% discount. If your vehicle has an authorized anti-theft protection device, you can anticipate receiving a 5% discount on comprehensive coverage. Speak to an insurance agent or inquire about discounts that a company may offer but not advertise to ensure that you receive the best car insurance in Minnesota. Insurance companies have a reputation of awarding discounts to individuals they see as “better risks.” Through research, you will be able to discover all of the discounts offered by companies prior to purchasing your auto insurance.
Picking an Insurance Agent/Broker
It is important to shop around when considering who your agent should be. With the goal of any insurance agent being to sell policies in order to receive a commission, you can find many money-hungry individuals who may not have your best interest as their top priority. Your search should start with making certain that every candidate you are considering is licensed and possesses a strong reputation. Do not feel rushed or forced into a decision, simply put together a list of all the agents in your area and reach out to your friends and neighbors for a recommendation and their opinion. When you look around, you can be sure to find the best service for you. Unbiased sources such as consumer publications, public libraries, and the state insurance department can help you find further information. While having someone who is near your home can be a luxury, customer service should come first. Knowing how long an agent has been working in your area can also be valuable information as well as knowing how quickly they process claims. Try and learn about any complaints they have received as this information can help you narrow down your search. From friends and relatives to the Internet, recommendations from everywhere can be beneficial.
After an Accident
If you have been involved in an accident, you need to write down the names of any other drivers that are involved, as well as their insurance companies, their license plate numbers, and policy numbers. If there are any independent witnesses who were present at the site of the accident, be sure to write down their information such as their name, address, and phone number. The next step is for you to call your agent or the claims processing number listed in your policy. Follow up activity includes contacting the other driver’s insurance agent or company if you are looking to file a claim against the other driver’s policy.
Insurance for High-Risk Drivers
The Minnesota Automobile Assigned Risk Plan (MNAIP) asks applicants to declare and certify that they have tried and failed to obtain automobile insurance in Minnesota within the past 60 days and have been unable to obtain such insurance rates not exceeding those applicable under the Plan. Every applicant is required to have a valid driver’s license or be eligible to obtain one. For further information, contact your agent or broker.
Minnesota’s Department of Commerce offers assistance to all insurance shoppers. They strive to answer all of your inquiries related to insurance, while looking into complaints with specific agencies or agents. This main branch can educate you on insurance law and procedures as well as enforce insurance law on your behalf when appropriate. Do not hesitate to contact the office at 651-296-2488.
Online resources include:
- Property and Casualty Complaint Form
- Additional Insurance Resources