Restricted Driver’s License | The B-Card Under Minnesota's DWI Laws

DWI B-Card Minnesota

Driver’s licensing law allows DPS to impose restrictions on a person’s license to “assure safe operation.” Under DPS rules, a person whose driver’s license has been cancelled and denied for a third or subsequent impaired driving violation and who has successfully completed treatment and rehabilitation may apply for a restricted driver’s license, a B-Card, provided that the person signs a sworn statement to never again consume any alcohol (not even in a religious service, in medication, in any other manner or amount, irrespective of whether the act involves driving).

Any violation of this “no alcohol” restriction of the B-Card results in immediate cancellation of that driver’s license (but is not a crime unless it involves operation of a motor vehicle). A subsequent rehabilitation is required to regain the B-Card.

Under DPS rules, the minimum period of time for establishing rehabilitation for which the person must prove total alcohol abstinence, is:

  • one year for the first rehabilitation,
  • three years for the second rehabilitation, and
  • six years for the third or subsequent rehabilitation.

It is only following such rehabilitation that the offender whose driver’s license has been cancelled may apply for a B-Card license. The rehabilitation requirements following a B-Card violation are not mandated by statutes, but have been established administratively by DPS rules.

Violation of the “no alcohol” restriction of a B- Card while operating a motor vehicle is a gross misdemeanor.

Update: Ability to Remove Alcohol / Controlled Substance B-Card Restriction

As of July 1st, 2012, the relevant statute was amended. A person may be able to remove the alcohol/controlled substance restriction after ten (10) years of no violations. Under Minnesota Statute 171.09, the commissioner is required to remove the alcohol/controlled substance restriction and issue to the person a duplicate drivers license without the restriction after 10 years of no documented consumption or impaired driving incidents.


CREDIT: The content of this post has been copied or adopted from An Overview of Minnesota’s DWI Laws, originally published by the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department and written by legislative analysts Jim Cleary and Rebecca Pirius.

This is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota’s DWI Laws.