Minnesota CDL Requirements

MN CDL Classes

      You must be at least 18 years old to operate a commercial motor vehicle within the state of Minnesota (intrastate) and at least 21 years of age to drive a commercial motor vehicle across Minnesota state lines (interstate). You must also be at least 21 years old to transport materials that are deemed hazardous and require a placard. You need a Minnesota (MN) CDL in order to operate either commercial or non-commercial motor vehicles that fall into the following categories:

Class A
      Any combination of vehicles with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 pounds or more, provided that the gross vehicle weight rating of the towed vehicle is in excess of 10,000 pounds.  

Class B
      Any single vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating of 26,001 or more pounds, as well as any vehicle towing another vehicle that does not exceed a weight of 10,000 pounds. 

Class C
      Any vehicle or combination of vehicles that does not meet the criteria of either Class A or Class B, but is designed to transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver), or is used in transporting materials classified as hazardous in the Hazardous Materials Transportation Act. Each applicant must also have a passenger or hazardous materials endorsement in order to obtain a Class C commercial driver’s license. 

Applying for a Minnesota Commercial Learner’s Permit

      You must already possess a Minnesota commercial learner’s permit (CLP) before you can take the CDL Skills Test. Before applying for a Minnesota commercial learner’s permit, you must already possess a valid Minnesota Class D driver’s license. You will be issued a Minnesota commercial driver’s license (CDL) when you pass both the written general knowledge test and the CDL Skills Test. 

      In order to obtain a Minnesota commercial learner’s permit, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old for intrastate driving (within the state of Minnesota).
  • Be at least 21 years of age for interstate driving (outside the state of Minnesota).
  • Be at least 21 years of age to transport materials deemed hazardous.
  • Possess a valid Minnesota Class D driver’s license.
  • Provide your Social Security card.
  • Prove you are of legal U.S. status by providing the required documents .
  • Provide proof of your current Minnesota residency that shows your name and address (i.e., a utility bill, vehicle registration, etc.).
  • Provide your current D.O.T. Medical Examiner’s Certificate (cannot be more than 2 years old).
  • Provide your current D.O.T. Medical Examination Report Form (cannot be more than 2 years old).
  • Pass the CDL general knowledge written test. 
  • Pay the $2.50 fee for each CDL endorsement exam (there is no fee for the CLP).

      If you have any questions about which documents to bring to your local Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services branch when you apply for your commercial learner’s permit, you can check out the Identification Requirements information sheet or, you can call the Michigan Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services at (651) 297-5029 and speak to a customer service representative. You can also email them at dvs.driverslicense@state.mn.us

The CDL Written Tests

      All commercial driver’s license applicants must pass the general knowledge written test in order to be eligible to receive a CDL. All CDL knowledge tests are administered in English in either written form or on a computer. In order to receive a passing score, each applicant is required to answer at least 80% of the questions correctly. All written tests require a score of at least 80% to pass.

      Applicants are permitted to take the written tests once per day. There is no fee to take the written tests twice but, you will be required to pay a fee of $10 each time you take the written tests thereafter. Once the applicant obtains the commercial learner’s permit, they will have a total of six months to practice driving a commercial vehicle and take the CDL Skills Test to obtain their CDL before the learner’s permit expires. The commercial learner’s permit is not renewable.

      Be sure to download and study the Minnesota Commercial Driver’s Manual as it contains the information you need to pass the CDL tests, including some sample test questions.

      Our Free CDL Practice Tests will help prepare you for the actual CDL knowledge tests administered by the DMV.

      Click here to see a map and clickable list of Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services branch locations that offer the CDL written tests.      

Applying for a Minnesota Commercial Driver’s License

      In order to obtain a commercial driver’s license in the state of Minnesota, you must:

  • Possess a valid Minnesota commercial learner’s permit.
  • Possess a valid Minnesota Class D driver’s license.
  • Possess a current D.O.T. card (cannot be more than 2 years old).
  • Provide proof of vehicle insurance and vehicle registration (must be verified before you can take the test).
  • Provide a test vehicle of the same class as the CDL you are testing for (must display a valid inspection sticker).
  • Provide a passenger with a valid Minnesota CDL to ride with you in your test vehicle to the test location.
  • Pass the CDL general knowledge written test.
  • Pass the CDL Skills Test.
  • Pay the $45.25 fee for a Class A commercial driver’s license ($25.25 for applicants under the age of 21).
  • Pay the $37.25 fee for a Class B commercial driver’s license.
  • Pay the $30.25 fee for a Class C commercial driver’s license.
  • Pay the $5 fee for each additional CDL endorsement.
  • Pay the $20 retest fee each time you take the CDL Skills Test if you fail the first two attempts (the first two attempts are free).

The CDL Skills Test

      The CDL Skills Test consists of a Pre-trip Inspection, a Basic Vehicle Controls Test, and an On-Road Driving Test, and must be taken in the same class and type of motor vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.  If you take the CDL Skills Test in a commercial motor vehicle that is not equipped with air brakes, then you will have an air brakes restriction attached to your commercial driver’s license. 

  • Pre-trip Inspection: Before you can take the CDL driving tests, you will first be tested on your knowledge of the class of vehicle you plan on driving once you obtain your CDL. The Pre-trip inspection also determines if your commercial vehicle is safe enough to drive on public roads.
  • Basic Controls Test: Before you can take the CDL Road Test, you will first need to prove that you have the skills to operate a commercial motor vehicle on public roads. This test consists of various off-road maneuvers such as backing up your vehicle. 
  • Road Skills Test: Once you pass the first two tests, you will be required to drive your commercial vehicle on public roads in various traffic situations. You will be required to operate the same class of commercial vehicle you plan to drive once you obtain your CDL.

      The Road Skills Test will be given on a route predetermined by the examiner. The test route may include the following:

  • Left turns
  • Right turns
  • Intersections
  • Railway crossings
  • Curves
  • Upgrades
  • Downgrades
  • Rural roads
  • Semi-rural roads
  • City streets
  • Multi-lane streets
  • Expressway driving
  • Multi-turn lane manuevers

            During the test you will be scored on:

  1. Turns
  2. Merging
  3. Lane changes
  4. Speed control

      Since the CDL Skills Test is a three part test, each test phase must be passed in order to move onto the next test phase. If you fail even one phase of the test, then the entire examination will end. You are allowed only one test attempt per day and must start from the very beginning on each attempt.

      Be sure to download and study the Minnesota Commercial Driver’s Manual as it contains pertinent information that will help you pass the CDL Skills Test. Don’t forget to download, print, and bring the Minnesota Commercial Vehicle Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist to help you pass the Pre-Trip Inspection phase of the CDL Skills Test.

     Click here to see a map and clickable list of Minnesota Driver and Vehicle Services branch locations that offer the CDL Skills Test.

Commercial Driver Self-Certification

      In the state of Minnesota, all commercial driver’s license applicants must self-certify as to what type of driving they will be doing (intrastate or interstate), and if they have met all the FMCSA medical requirements. You can download and print a copy of the self-certification form here.

      To find out more about self-certifying in the state of Minnesota, be sure to read the Minnesota CDL Self-Certification Form Information Sheet, Minnesota CDL Medical Self-Certification FAQs, and the Minnesota Commercial Drivers Self-Certification Facts Flyer.

Medical Examination Report for Commercial Driver’s License

      In order to apply for a commercial driver’s license, you must have the Medical Examiner’s Certificate and the Medical Examination Report completed by one of the following:

  • Licensed U.S. doctor of medicine (M.D.)
  • Doctor of Osteopathy (D.O)
  • Licensed physician assistant (P.A.)
  • Advanced practice registered nurse
  • Chiropractor

      The Medical Examiner’s Certificate must be dated within the previous two years and attached to the Medical Examination Report. The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services will only accept your medical forms if they have been completed by a qualified physician who has been certified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. You can search for a FMCSA certified physician by using the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

      The FMSCA requires you to have at least 20/40 vision in each eye and a field of vision of at least 140 degrees in order to be certified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. Under certain conditions, you may be able to be waived from these and other medical requirements.     

      You can submit your completed and signed Medical Examiner’s CertificateMedical Examination Report, and Minnesota CDL Medical Self-Certification Form by doing any of the following:

                              Driver and Vehicle Services
                              445 Minnesota Street
                              Suite 180
                              St. Paul, MN 55101-5180

      Be sure to double check that your information is correct before you fax, send, or hand in your documents. If you have any questions about self-certification, you can contact the CDL Help Desk by phone at (651) 297-5029 or by email at DVS.PIC.Answer@state.mn.us.

Hazmat Endorsement

      In the state of Minnesota, any person applying for a Hazardous Materials CDL endorsement is required to undergo a federal background check and federal fingerprint check according to guidelines set by the Transportation Security Administration. All applicants must also provide the required documents to verify their identification and legal U.S. status. For more information, check out the Transportation Security Administration’s F.A.Q. page.

      You can apply for the security threat assessment on the TSA Hazardous Material Endorsement Enrollment Website. You must begin applying at least 30 days before the expiration of your CDL. You can start the application process on the HTAP Online Application Website. To apply by phone call (855) 347-8371. Use the TSA Enrollment Center Locator to find the nearest TSA approved fingerprint office.

Military Drivers

      In the state of Minnesota, if you are currently serving in the military or have been honorably discharged within the last 90 days, and you have driven military vehicles that would require a CDL to operate as a civilian with a 2 year safe driving record, then you may qualify for the waiver of the CDL Skills Test and may be exempt from taking the commercial driver skills test. You will still be required to take the written tests. Certain restrictions apply. Download, print, and complete the Application for Military Skills Test Waiver to start the process. 

      If you have any questions about the Military Skills Test Waiver, you may call the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Driver and Vehicle Services at (651) 297-5029 and speak to a customer service representative or you can email them at dvs.driverslicense@state.mn.us

Minnesota CDL Endorsements

      H      Placarded Hazmat      Required to transport hazardous materials under DOT regulations. 

      N      Tank Vehicles      Required to transport liquids in bulk containers of 1,000 gallons or more.

      X      Tanker/Hazardous Materials Combination   Required to transport hazardous materials in tank vehicles   

      T      Double/Triple Trailers      Indicates CDL holder is certified to operate multiple trailer haulers. 

      P     Passengers      Indicates the CDL holder is certified to operate passenger vehicles.

      S     School Bus      Indicates the CDL holder is authorized to operate a school bus. The “P” endorsement is also required.

Minnesota CDL Restrictions

      K      Intrastate Only      Indicates that the CDL holder is prohibited from driving any commercial vehicle outside state lines (under age 21  only).

      L      Air Brakes Restriction      Indicates that the CDL holder is prohibited from driving any commercial vehicle that is equipped with air brakes.

Important Minnesota Commercial Driver’s License Resources 

Minnesota Commercial Driver’s Manual
Minnesota CDL Practice Tests
Minnesota Commercial Truck & Passenger Regulations
Minnesota Commercial Vehicle Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist
Minnesota Department of Public Safety Identification Requirements
Seasonal Commercial Driver License Waiver Application
Minnesota Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
Application for Military Skills Test Waiver
Minnesota Notification of Violation by Commercial Driver
Minnesota CDL Self-Certification Form Information Sheet
Minnesota CDL Medical Self-Certification FAQs
Minnesota Commercial Drivers Self-Certification Facts Flyer
Minnesota CDL Medical Self-Certification Form
Minnesota Medical Examination Report Form
Medical Examination Report Form 649-F
Medical Examiner’s Certificate 
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners

 

      Check out our list of truck driving schools in Minnesota that will provide you with the necessary skills to obtain your commercial driver’s license and start your career in the exciting field of commercial truck driving! You may also want to check out our nationwide list of truck driving schools. 

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**The CDL Skills Test is available at this location.

Some CDL testing locations require you to set up an appointment. CDL testing hours may vary. Please call the testing location for more information.

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Minnesota CDL Requirements
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