Licensing Division Contacts

  • • DHS Licensing Division: 651-431-6500
  • • DHS Licensing Division, P.O. Box 64242, St. Paul, MN 55164-0242
  • • DHS Maltreatment Intake and Licensing Complaints: 651-431-6600. To report maltreatment of a vulnerable adult call the MN Adult Abuse Reporting Center: 844-880-1574.
  • • DHS Maltreatment fax: 651-431-7601
  • • DHS Background Studies Unit: 651-431-6620
  • • DHS Licensing Division fax: 651-431-7673
  • • 245D Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) License Application and Standards: 651-431-6624 - for questions about completing the online 245D HCBS license application and questions about 245D HCBS licensing standards.
  • Use the Licensing Information Lookup

    The Licensing Division performs three primary functions:

    1. Conducts background studies

    Conducts background studies under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245C (Department of Human Services Background Study Act) on individuals who hold licenses and/or who have direct contact with children or vulnerable adults in:

  • • Programs licensed by Department of Human Services under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245A.
  • • Programs licensed by Minnesota Department of Health under Minnesota Statutes, section 144.057.
  • • Programs licensed by Minnesota Department of Health under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 144A.
  • • Programs for children licensed by Minnesota Department of Corrections under Minnesota Statutes, section 241.021.
  • • Personal Care Provider Organizations unlicensed personal care services under Minnesota Statutes, section 256B.0655.
  • 2. Conducts maltreatment investigations

    Conducts investigations of alleged maltreatment in DHS licensed programs under the:

  • Minnesota Statutes, section 626.556 (Maltreatment of Minors Act)
  • Minnesota Statutes, section 626.557 and 626.5572 (Vulnerable Adults Act)
  • 3. Issues licenses

    Issuses licenses to programs that serve children and vulnerable adults that are required to be licensed under the Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245A (Human Services Licensing Act).

    Programs directly licensed by DHS

    The Division of Licensing enforces standards adopted to protect the health, safety, rights and well-being of children and vulnerable adults in programs required to be licensed under Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245A and Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245B (for programs serving people with developmental disabilities). Although the regulations governing the different types of programs vary, the duties of the licensors are similar. The licensors conduct license requirements, process variances to licensing rules, provide technical assistance, conduct investigations of reported alleged licensing violations, issue correction orders and, if appropriate, recommend fines and conditional licenses or other licensing actions. Currently, routine site visits are required to be made at least once every two years.

    Programs licensed by county social service agencies or other agencies authorized by DHS

    Certain licensing functions have been delegated to counties and private agencies under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.16. County social service agencies process license applications and monitor family child care, child foster care and adult foster care programs. Some private agencies have been authorized to perform licensing functions related to child placing and child foster care.

    Licensing statutes and rules

    Each program has license requirements unique to the type of program licensed. Some require health, building, fire code and zoning approval before a license is issued. In some cases, Minnesota Statutes may have superseded or modified licensing rules. Licensing rules should be read in conjunction with Minnesota Statutes, Chapter 245A, Chapter 245B (for programs serving persons with developmental disabilities) and Chapter 245C.

    Licensing actions

    Licensing actions are taken when a program has been determined to be in violation of the applicable licensing requirements. Licensing actions are intended to facilitate compliance with licensing standards. Licensing actions include correction orders and conditional licenses under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.06; denials of licenses under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.05; and revocation, suspension and fines under Minnesota Statutes, section 245A.07.

    Appealing a licensing action

    A license holder has the right to appeal any of the above-referenced licensing actions. Correction orders and conditional licenses are subject to an administrative reconsideration. Fines, license revocations, suspensions and denials are subject to a contested case hearing. When a licensing action is based on a maltreatment determination and/or a disqualification, the matters are consolidated into a single contested case hearing.

    Variance to licensing requirements

    The commissioner may grant variances to rules that do not affect the health or safety of persons in a licensed program if the following conditions are met:

  • • The variance must be requested by an applicant or license holder on a variance request form DHS-3141 (PDF) and in a manner prescribed by the commissioner
  • • The request for a variance must include the reasons that the applicant or license holder cannot comply with a requirement as stated in the rule and the alternative equivalent measures that the applicant or license holder will follow to comply with the intent of the rule
  • • The request must state the period of time for which the variance is requested.
  • Continuous variances: The commissioner may grant a continuous variance when conditions under which the variance is requested do not affect the health or safety of persons being served by the licensed program, nor compromise the qualifications of staff to provide services.

    An applicant or license holder must inform the commissioner of any changes or modifications that have occurred in the conditions that warranted the continuous variance. Failure to advise the commissioner shall result in revocation of the continuous variance and may be cause for other sanctions under sections 245A.06 and 245A.07.

    Expiration of variances: A variance expires upon the specified date on the approved variance or when the conditions that warranted the variance are modified in any way. A continuous variance expires as soon as the conditions that warranted the variance are modified in any way.

    Variances not subject to appeal: The commissioner's decision to grant or deny a variance request is final and not subject to appeal.

    Terms of the license

    A license is issued or extended when the Licensing Division has determined that the program complies with all applicable rules and laws. At a minimum, the license identifies the following:

  • • The name of the license holder
  • • The address of the program
  • • The effective date and expiration date of the license
  • • The type of license
  • • The maximum number and ages of people who may receive services from the program
  • • Any special conditions of licensure.
  • Change of terms

    Before any of the terms of the license are changed, the program must contact Licensing to request a change in terms of the license. The program will receive a change of terms application form to complete and submit to Licensing. Once Licensing has received and approved the completed form, a revised license will be issued to the program. Programs should contact their DHS licensor directly to request this form.

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