Skip to main content

Report: 1 in 8 Minnesota drivers doesn't have a valid license

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A joint investigation by Minnesota Public Radio and KARE 11 revealed a surprising statistic regarding drivers on Minnesota roads: many don't have a valid license.

According to data from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, one in eight drivers in the state gets behind the wheel without valid driving privileges.

The news report found since 2008, there were nearly 310,000 convictions statewide for violations related to driving without a valid license – more than half occurred in the seven-county metro area.

In addition to having no license at all, related violations include driving with a suspended, revoked, cancelled or disqualified license, along with driving with a learner's permit without a licensed driver present.

The story points out a highly-publicized crash in November where a car occupied by five small children and a 23-year-old driver veered off an entrance ramp and plunged into a holding pond in St. Louis Park. Two of the children did not survive.

Marion Guerrido, the mother of three children involved, was in the driver's seat with only a learner's permit. No criminal charges have been filed in the case, according to the report.

The Minnesota State Patrol told reporter Trisha Volpe that invalid drivers are twice as likely to be involved in fatal crashes than valid drivers.

Last summer, 24-year-old Jessica Hanson was hit and killed while riding her bike in Uptown after a car sped through a stop sign without its lights on at night. The driver, 25-year-old Abdrihaman Ali, had a cancelled license. Ali was charged with criminal vehicular homicide.

WCCO says with millions of drivers on the roads, the problem is not easy to solve.

"Unfortunately, a lot of it has to be self-regulated," State Patrol spokesman Lt. Eric Roeske said.

WCCO points out that traffic violations aren't the only reason drivers lose their licenses. In Minnesota, non-driving violations such as unpaid child support can also lead to privileges being taken away.

Next Up

Monti Ossenfort

Vikings lead off general manager interviews with Monti Ossenfort

Several candidates will interview for the job this week.

Payton Willis

Gophers' rally comes up short, lose to Iowa

The Gophers came back from a 23-point deficit but couldn't complete the comeback.

pixabay-fire-truck-side-close

Firefighters respond to smoke-filled cabin to find man asleep inside

A wood stove was determined to be the cause of the smoke.

snow plow msp airport

MSP snowplow drivers reach contract agreement after threatening strike

Teamsters Local 320 reached an agreement with the Metropolitan Airports Commission Saturday.

Kellen Moore

What you should know about the Vikings' head coach candidates

Seven candidates were revealed on Saturday morning.

20211010_Vikings_Lions_REG05_1119 (2)

What is the next Minnesota Vikings GM inheriting?

A look at the strengths and weaknesses of the Vikings' roster and situation

ambulance

Man dies after being 'punched in the head' during altercation in Duluth

A 46-year-old man is in custody and facing 1st-degree manslaughter charges.

Deion Sanders

Deion Sanders says Zimmer, Spielman hadn't spoken 'in months'

Sanders' comments revealed some of the Vikings' issues last season.

police tape, crime scene

Brooklyn Park man pleads guilty in 2020 fatal drive-by shooting

Devon Manley will be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 30 years.

Screen Shot 2020-06-16 at 7.48.35 AM

Man gets 10 years for fatal pawn shop fire during Minneapolis riots

The incident, which took place during riots in May 2020,  resulted in one man's death.

Related

driver's license

More than 130K Minnesotans have one week to renew their licenses, IDs

About 300,000 Minnesotans license or ID expiration dates were extended to March 31 due to COVID. Now they're about to expire.

vehicle car

Minnesotans who fail to show up to driver's license test will be fined

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety cited a growing number of "no shows" to test appointments.