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Title: Pilot / Escort Driver Certification
Alternate Title:
Description: Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS)
Subject: Commercial Drivers
Commercial Vehicles
Oversized Vehicles
Creation Date: 5/18/2010 12:10:39 PM
Modification Date: 9/11/2019 1:53:11 PM
Agency Name: Public Safety (DPS), Minnesota Department of
Agency URL:
Agency Description: 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.
Agency Phone: 651-201-7000
Agency Fax: Agency URL:
Agency Address: Public Safety, Minnesota Dept. of
445 Minnesota Street

St. Paul
MN 55101

Division Name: Minnesota State Patrol
Division URL:
Division Description:
Division Phone: Division Fax: Division URL:
Division Address:
445 Minnesota St., Suite 130

St. Paul
MN 55101

Unit Name: Commercial Vehicle Section
Unit URL:
Unit Description:
Unit Phone: 651-201-7100
651-282-6555 TTY
Unit Fax: Contact person(s): Unit URL:
Audience: Application URL:
Renewal URL:
Versa URL:

Rules - Pilot and Escort Vehicles 

" Overdimensional load " is a vehicle or combination of vehicles of a size or weight of vehicle or load exceeding the maximum specified in Minn. Stat. Chapter 169, or otherwise not in conformity with the provisions of Minn. Stat. Chapter 169


Subpart 1. Certification course

A . Drivers domiciled in Minnesota shall complete a pilot/escort certification course accepted, approved, or authorized by the department. Upon a driver's successful completion of a training program authorized by the commissioner, the training program must issue the driver proof of course completion. The commissioner shall issue a certification card to drivers who demonstrate that they are at least 18 years of age, possess a valid operator's license for the type of vehicle being operated, have successfully completed a training program authorized by the commissioner, and meet all additional requirements in this chapter. The cost of the initial certification course shall be set at $180. The cost of one additional four-year certification shall be set at $90.  

B. The Department of Public Safety partnering with Minnesota State Colleges and Universities (MnSCU) shall develop training curriculum and utilize experienced instructors within the department and MnSCU to provide the training through MnSCU facilities.

C.  The civilian course curriculum shall include, at a minimum, the following: 

(1) driver requirements;  
(2) vehicle requirements; 
(3) permitting and reading an overdimensional load permit;  
(4) pilot/escort vehicle positioning and maneuvering;  
(5) authority while escorting, flagging and traffic control; 
(6) insurance;  
(7) pre-trip planning and meeting; 
(8) communication;
(9) height pole usage; 
(10) liability issues;   
(11) ground clearance;  
(12) route surveys and how to conduct them;  
(13) hours of service; and
(14) railroad grade crossing safety.

D . The law enforcement course curriculum shall include, at a minimum, the following:

(1) permit review;
(2) hours of service;
(3) route planning;
(4) pre-trip meeting;
(5) vehicle positioning and maneuvering;
(6) hand traffic direction;
(7) following distances;
(8) right-of-way rules;
(9) traffic signals and signs;
(10) duties - front and rear;
(11) authority while escorting; and
(12) crash incident management.

Subpart 2.   Certification period

Initial certification is valid for four years from the date of issue. One additional four-year certification may be obtained through a mail-in or online re-certification process provided by a Minnesota-authorized training program. Pilot/escort drivers must attend a full certification course every eight years.

Subpart 3. Certification reciprocity

Pilot/escort drivers domiciled outside of Minnesota may operate as a certified pilot/escort driver with another state's certification credential, provided the course meets the minimum requirements outlined in the Pilot/Escort Training Manual - Best Practices Guidelines as endorsed by the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, Federal Highway Administration, in cooperation with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, which is incorporated by reference.

The department shall enter into a reciprocal agreement with any other state if that state demonstrates that its course meets the minimum requirements outlined in the Pilot/Escort Training Manual - Best Practices Guidelines referenced in this subpart and complies with the requirements in this chapter.


Certified pilot/escort drivers and certified licensed peace officers operating a pilot or escort vehicle must meet the following requirements:

A . be a minimum of 18 years of age; 
B. possess a valid operator's license for the type of vehicle being operated; 
C. have the issued certification card in the driver's possession at all times while in pilot/escort operations;  
D. when operating a vehicle in excess of 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight or gross vehicle weight rating, comply with the regulations of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in Code of Federal Regulations, title 49, parts 382, 383, 390, 391, 392, 393, 394, 395, 396, and 397; and 
Eif operating as a front or rear pilot car driver, shall not perform as a tillerman/steerman for the load being escorted. A tillerman/steerman shall not be in the pilot/escort vehicle when a steering activity is being performed.  

See also the Minnesota Dept. of Transportation information Transporting Oversize / Overweight Loads in Minnesota

Rules: 7455

Statutes: 169


The cost of the initial certification course shall be set at $180.

The cost of one additional four-year certification shall be set at $90.

Period of Issuance:
Length of Determination:
Other Info:
Activity: Carriers
Commercial Drivers
Motor Vehicle
License Detail URL:

Minnesota State Patrol

MN Dept. of Public Safety (DPS)   MN State Patrol

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