Ask a Trooper: Visitors from other countries can use their own license

Published 8:23 am Wednesday, April 3, 2019

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.

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.

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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 Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at,