BWCA No license! Boundary Waters COVID-19 Information and Discussion
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08/06/2020 12:02PM  
Hello all!
Ive been planning my first trip to BWCA for a while now.
I live in MN, but have not been able to obtain my MN drivers license due to the Pandemic.
I was scheduled to go in today, but my appointment was rescheduled for the end of the month.
I cant get my MN fishing license without my MN ID or drivers license.
This is my only opportunity and I’m unsure how to proceed.
Ive done everything in my power to get everything in order for this, but the license delay has killed me.
I’m leaning towards just going and if I’m checked, simply explaining my situation. Ive thought about going as far as putting all my license info explaining my situation, promising to get my license ASAP, into a nice Tupperware container with some fresh homemade cookies.
Ive always been law abiding in this manner.
I’m not trying to destroy the system, haha.
Ive even considered just going to the ranger station and explaining.
I just feel like I have to much time and money invested in this trip already to not go because of something as silly as not having my MN ID or DL.

Thoughts and comments welcome!
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distinguished member (371)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/06/2020 02:54PM  
That is a lousy situation to be in. Have you tried to contact the DNR to see if there is some other form of identification or something you can use in lieu of a DL/State ID? I wouldn't risk fishing without a license. I would imagine that the penalty can be pretty severe, and you have no way of knowing if the particular DNR officer or Ranger you encounter would choose to be lenient. The way this year has been in the BW, their patience might be wearing pretty thin. Best of luck.
distinguished member(2846)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/06/2020 04:28PM  
I assume you must have some sort of DL, presumably from another state?

Why not just use that to buy a non-resident license? It will unfortunately cost more money that a resident license but at least you'll be legal and not risk an ticket.

Otherwise I would call the DNR and present your situation to them. Perhaps they have a work around that is not readily apparent.
08/06/2020 04:32PM  
I do have a valid WI DL, but I no longer have a valid WI address.
I sent an email to the DNR and got a response telling me i can just buy it online and print it out immediately, which I think just means they didn’t really read my email.

I’m thinking of trying to locate the nearest DNR office tomorrow to see if there’s anything I can do.
If that fails, I figured maybe I could call the office nearest EP64 East Bearskin and see if that leads anywhere.
I appreciate the input.
There must be a good solution
08/06/2020 05:30PM  
I think the DNR can use something other than your DL for ID... what about SSN?
08/06/2020 05:32PM  
I hope so.
I have my birth certificate, social security card, Valid Wi DL, W2s,Bank Statement, old licenses from WI. I have tons of ID.
I’ll find out for sure tomorrow.
The excitement and intimidation “healthy” that has been building up is colliding with this stress, and all I want to do is leave for my trip.

distinguished member(2432)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/06/2020 07:19PM  
Have you bought a fishing license in Minnesota ever? If so, there is a record of that and you should be able to buy another one as a non resident. If you have a WI driver's license, then you should be able to enter your old WI address and get one that way.

Reading through the rules, I don't see a lot of hope for getting a resident license. You could try going to a place that issues licenses but don't get your hopes up. There are no DNR offices that I know of that issue licenses....if you are thinking "rangers" that means the USFS and they don't have anything to do with fishing licenses. Licenses are sold at private businesses like outfitters, bait shops, hardware stores, gas stations,etc. Don't think it will help trying to buy one in person from one of these people, because they have to create an account for you just like if you bought it yourself online, and it's going to ask for your DL number.

If you risk it, I would plan on getting a ticket, cookies or no. Best bet is to buy a non-resident license and fish with a clean conscience.

08/06/2020 10:52PM  
Call 651-296-6157 or 888-MINNDNR (646-6367)
Email us:

Call them and talk direct or email them back again
08/06/2020 10:55PM  
Anyone 21 years of age or older, must possess a current Minnesota Driver’s License, a Minnesota Public Safety ID or have a receipt for an application for a Minnesota driver’s license or Minnesota state ID that is at least 60-days or older.

I would just do a direct call like I mentioned-I bet it will be solved immediately.
08/07/2020 07:55AM  
Just bought a non resident. Oh well. IM GOING!
Excited once again!
Thank you all
distinguished member (398)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
08/10/2020 06:44PM  
HajiMcGee: "Just bought a non resident. Oh well. IM GOING!
Excited once again!
Thank you all"

Great. I was reading through this thread and was wondering what the big deal a non-resident license!! You read my mind...ahead of time. Have fun!!!!!!
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