skip to content
Primary navigation

Driver's license suspension

The child support office can ask the Minnesota Department of Public Safety to suspend a parent's driver's license because the parent owes past due child support, also called arrears.

The child support office can do this if both of the following are true. The parent:

  • Owes arrears in an amount at least three times their total monthly support obligation
  • Is not complying with a written payment plan for both current support and arrears approved by the court, a child support magistrate or the child support office.

The child support office will send a Notice of Intent to Suspend Driver's License to the last known address of the parent who owes arrears.

Contesting a suspension

The parent has 30 days from the date on the notice to contest the suspension. To contest, the parent must send the child support office a written request for a hearing.

If the parent who owes arrears does not request a hearing within the required time, the parent has 90 days from the date on the notice to do any of the following to stop the suspension:

  • Pay the arrears in full
  • Sign and comply with written payment plans for all qualifying cases
  • Tell the county child support office handing their case if they:
    • Have a pending bankruptcy action
    • Are receiving cash public assistance
    • Are not the person owing support (mistaken identity).

If the parent does not take any of the above actions to stop the suspension, the child support office will direct the Department of Public Safety to suspend their driver's license. That department will mail a notice to the parent at their last known address telling them that their driver's license will be suspended.

Note: Driver's licenses can be suspended or revoked for reasons other than not paying child support. The license will remain suspended for those reasons even if the child support suspension is stopped.

Limited licenses

If a parent's driver's license is suspended for not paying child support, the parent can submit an Application for Limited License for Child Support Suspension (PDF) to the Department of Public Safety. The limited license is valid for 90 days and may only be issued once.

The Department of Public Safety decides whether a person qualifies for a limited license. Contact that department with any questions.


The child support office cannot suspend a driver's license if any of the following are true:

  • The case does not meet the criteria.
  • The parent filed a motion to change the court order, addressing both current and arrears, before the suspension.
  • A court order prohibits the suspension.
  • The parent who owes arrears is receiving cash public assistance.


State laws can be found on the Minnesota Office of the Revisor website.

  • 42 United States Code, section 666(a)(16)
  • Minnesota Statutes, section 484.702
  • Minnesota Statutes, section 171.12 subdivision 7
  • Minnesota Statutes, sections 171.186 and 171.30
  • Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.46
  • Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.65
  • Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.69
  • Minnesota Statutes, section 518A.70
back to top