Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) offers the ability to non-invasively assess parenchymal and vascular renal disease. Indications for renal MRI include the evaluation of renal masses, urinary obstruction and infection, renal vasculature, and the health of transplant kidneys. The potential of MR angiography to replace invasive conventional x-ray angiography has been recognized for many years. Recent developments in MRI resulting from fast MR systems with faster gradients, new surface coil designs and the latest sequence developments coupled with innovative contrast agent administration strategies have prompted substantial progress of MRI in the diagnosis of renal disease. The goal of this article is to present the current state of MRI in diagnosing renal disease, with an emphasis on the latest developments in the evaluation of renal vascular disease.