Due to the pandemic, drivers whose licenses had expired were given until March 31st to renew their expired drivers licenses. Many people waited until the last minute only to be met by long lines and scarce appointment availability at local deputy Driver & Vehicle Services (DVS) offices. Since the Legislature is away for spring break, this week, there will be no immediate legislative extension of this grace period. If you find yourself in this predicament, the best advice that I can give you, right now, is that you should book a reservation at a local DVS office as soon as you can (the wait might be measured in weeks) and carry a printed copy of the reservation confirmation with you in the car in case you are stopped. There is no guarantee that this will prevent you from receiving a ticket for driving without a valid license, but it’s worth a try.
I would be remiss if I did not also remind you that the new deadline to apply for a “RealID” driver's license, which will be required for air travel, is now October 1st. The state Department of Driver & Vehicle Services is working on improvements to the application process which will enable you to scan and upload/email/fax your qualifying documents to them, in advance, for verification before you leave for your in-person appointment. This should alleviate the problem of people bringing the wrong set of documents to the office and being turned away. Personally, speaking as someone who has been through the process, the federal instructions are really confusing. Minnesota has simplified its part of the guidelines as much as it can through legislation that I initiated, last session. In addition to regular DVS license bureaus, there is a dedicated RealID application processing office at MSP and this will be the best option for many of us.
Locally, the most convenient DVS offices will be at the Hennepin County Service Centers at Southdale in Edina and near Ridgedale in Minnetonka. For AAA members, their office in St Louis Park is also an option. Bloomington has closed its DVS office due to its current budget difficulties. Deputy Registrars fund their local licensing operations from a share of the fees you pay and those fees haven’t been increased for inflation in ages. This is an issue I’m working on.
DVS Office Locations are listed, here: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/locations/Pages/find-office-locations.aspx
Sexual Assault Loophole
A week ago, the State Supreme Court ruled that our current rape statute allows an individual to get away with raping an intoxicated person as long as the rapist didn’t supply the intoxicant and the victim willingly became intoxicated of their own volition. My colleagues, Rep Kelly Moller (D) and Marion O’Neil (R), have already introduced a bill (HF707) which eliminates that defense. When this bipartisan bill passes, anyone who has sex with a person who is too intoxicated to grant consent will be guilty of rape, period. I have asked to be a co-author of that bill.
It’s our customary mid-session break here at the Capitol this week, and I like to send out a special greeting to all who celebrated Passover starting last weekend or will be celebrating Easter, this coming weekend. Since the Last Supper was a Passover Seder, it’s appropriate that we celebrate them together.
Keep in Touch
This is a brief break for the legislature and I’ll be spending much of it catching up on overdue correspondence. It will be a good week to reach out to me with questions, input, or ideas. Don’t hesitate to reach out if I can provide any assistance. Please follow me on my Facebook page for further updates and invite your friends and family to do so as well.
Thanks for the honor of representing you at the Capitol.
Representative, District 49B
Minnesota House of Representatives
515 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155