Commercial Driver's License (CDL)
Agency contact information:
Public Safety (DPS), Minnesota Department of
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
(651) 201-7000 | (651) 282-6555 (TTY)
Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS)
445 Minnesota St., Suite 190, St. Paul, MN 55101-5190 | (651) 297-5029 | (651) 282-6555 (TTY)
Contact Info: DVS.email@example.com
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) is responsible for the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement, Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS), Emergency Communication Networks, Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Office of Justice Programs, State Fire Marshal, Pipeline Safety, State Highway Patrol, Capitol Security and Traffic Safety.
A person must have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate any of the following commercial motor vehicles (CMV) in Minnesota:
A combination of vehicles in which the gross combination weight (GCW) is more than 26,000 pounds and the towed unit has a gross vehicle weight (GVW)* of more than 10,000 pounds — Minimum age is 18
A single vehicle with a GVW exceeding 26,000 pounds — Minimum age is 18
A vehicle designed to transport more than 15 persons, including the driver — Minimum age is 18
Any size vehicle that requires hazardous materials placards — in most cases, a person must be 21 years of age to transport hazardous materials. **
Any size vehicle outwardly equipped and identified as a school bus — Minimum age is 18
* Minnesota law defines gross vehicle weight (GVW) as the greater of:
- The actual weight of the vehicle or combination of vehicles plus the weight of the load, or
- The manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR).
Interstate transportation refers to trade, traffic, or transportation between
• A state and another state or country, or
• Two places in a state on a route that goes through another state or country, or
• Two places in a state as part of trade, traffic, or transportation originating or terminating outside the state
Intrastate driving refers to driving only within the state of licensure — in this case, Minnesota.
Intrastate transportation refers to transportation that does not involve interstate travel.
Commercial Motor Carrier Requirements
If you operate any class of vehicle as an employer or employee, you may be subject to commercial motor carrier requirements. This includes driving single unit and combination vehicles of over 10,000 pounds GVW (such as construction vehicles), and vehicles used to deliver packages and other articles. Also included are vehicles designed or used to transport more than eight passengers (including the driver) for compensation. The requirements may include the need to possess a valid U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) medical examiner's certificate, and restrictions on the number of hours you may drive. There may also be vehicle maintenance, insurance, and inspection requirements.
Commercial Driver’s License Classes
Class A — Any vehicle towing a unit of more than 10,000 pounds GVWR with a gross combination weight rating (truck plus trailer) over 26,000 pounds.
Class B — A single-unit vehicle that is over 26,000 pounds GVWR.
• For a passenger endorsement, the skill test must be passed in a bus with a GVWR greater than 26,000 pounds and a passenger capacity of more than 15, including the driver.
• For a school bus endorsement, the skill test must be passed in a school bus with a GVWR greater than 26,000 pounds and a passenger capacity of more than 15, including the driver.
Class C — A single-unit vehicle, 26,000 pounds GVWR or less, with one or more of the following endorsements:
• Hazardous materials
• School bus (with passenger endorsement)
You must be at least 18 years old and have a valid Minnesota driver’s license in order to obtain a Minnesota commercial learner permit (CLP). All applicants must obtain a CLP, which will allow them to practice driving the commercial vehicle only with another driver with the same class license or higher. The CLP must be held for 14 calendar days before being able to take the CDL road tests.
The process to apply for the CLP requires:
Passing all the applicable knowledge tests for the class and endorsements desired.
Complete the application for a CLP.
Submitting a self-certification form and providing a valid medical examiner certificate, if applicable.
Providing citizenship documents which includes:
o Valid, unexpired U.S. Passport or Passport card
o Certified copy of birth certificate from a U.S. State, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Northern Mariana Islands
o Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the U.S. Department of State
o Certificate of Naturalization issued by DHS
o Certificate of Citizenship issued by DHS
o Valid, unexpired Permanent Residence Card
If the name on your U.S. passport, birth certificate or permanent residency card has changed you must also present proof of your legal name change(s). Acceptable proof consists of certified marriage certificates, certified divorce decrees or other certified court orders. Divorce decrees or other court orders must specify the name change. Your identity and name change documents need to show a clear link between your citizenship or permanent residency document and your current name.
The CLP is not renewable; the applicant must retake the knowledge tests for another CLP.
Endorsements and Restrictions
Additional testing and fees are required to add endorsements or remove restrictions from a CDL. Adding school bus and passenger transport endorsements requires a road test in an appropriate vehicle.
To renew a CDL with hazmat or school bus endorsement, the hazmat or school bus endorsement knowledge test needs to retaken. The knowledge test is not required to renew licenses with other endorsements.
In order to upgrade a driver’s license with school bus, hazmat or other endorsements, the driver must pass a written test for each endorsement.
(H) Hazardous Materials* (E) Automatic Transmission CMV
(N) Tank Vehicle (K) Intrastate only
(P) Passenger Transport (L) Vehicles without air brakes
(S) School Bus (M) No Class A passenger bus
(T) Doubles/Triples (N) No Class B passenger bus
(X) Tanker and Hazardous Materials (O) No Tractor-trailer CMV
(V) FMCSA waiver
(W) Buses less than 24 passenger capacity
(X) No cargo in CMV tank vehicle
(Z) Air over hydraulic brake system
Review the Minnesota Dept. of Public Safety, Driver & Vehicle Services Driver's License Information and the
Class A - $45.25
Class B - $37.25
Class C - $30.25
Under 21 years of age:
Class A - $25.25
Class B - $37.25
Class C - $30.25
Examination fee for each endorsement - $2.50
School bus physical processing fee – original and renewal application - $4
Motorcycle endorsement renewal fee - $13
Enhanced license fee (in addition to regular license fee - $15
Duplicate license fee - $15.75
Total license fee includes additional fees per Minn. Stat. § 171.06, subd. 2.
Retesting fee: Third and subsequent knowledge test (after failing first two) - $10
Retesting fee: Third and subsequent road/skills test (after failing first two) - $20
Period of Issuance:
Commercial driver's licenses always expire on the applicant's birthday and must be renewed every four years once they have reached the age of 21.
Length of Determination Process:
Ten days to two weeks.
Other Pertinent Information:
Under the driver qualification rules, a driver must be physically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle. Recent changes in federal regulations and state law requires all CDL holders to certify their commercial operating status. CDL holders subject to medical examination requirements will need to submit a valid current medical examiner’s certificate to the Department of Public Safety.
Also refer to Minn. Stats. §§ 171.07, subd.1B; 171.10, subd.2; 171.162, 171.165, 171.168, 171.169, 221.025, 221.031 and 221.0314.