Minnesota CDL Requirements
If you have fulfilled the commercial learner’s permit (CLP) requirements, and your driving record is in good standing in the state of Minnesota, you may begin the application and skills testing process to obtain your CDL.
Please note that effective February 7, 2022, you are also required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) to provide proof of completed applicable entry-level driver training from a registered training provider. Details of this requirement can be found at the FMCSA website. CLP and CDL testing require that you are able to speak and read the English language without a translator.
During the period in which you hold your CLP, you are allowed to drive the type and class of commercial vehicle for which you are training to be licensed, while accompanied by another driver who has a valid CDL for the same type of commercial vehicle. You are not allowed to drive a commercial vehicle by yourself, use a cell phone while driving a commercial vehicle, carry passengers while operating a commercial vehicle, drive a commercial vehicle containing hazmat or a tank vehicle that previously carried hazmat and has not been purged of residue, or drive a tank vehicle containing cargo.
According to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations, current CDL holders who wish to upgrade their existing license to include an endorsement or remove a restriction must also apply for a CLP and pass the required skills and knowledge tests for the desired endorsement or restriction they want to remove.
After you’ve held your CLP for at least 14 days, you are eligible to take the skills and driving tests for your CDL. The skills test has three phases:
- Pre-trip vehicle inspection test: required to demonstrate that the vehicle is safe to drive. The license examiner will walk around your vehicle with you as you point to and name each item that requires inspection and explain why.
- Skills test: this test will require you to demonstrate your ability to maneuver around cones and back your vehicle.
- Driving test: you will drive on public roads accompanied by an examiner to demonstrate your skills and knowledge. You must bring the type of vehicle you plan to drive to your driving test with you.
Before you can complete the Minnesota CDL tests, you must meet the following requirements:
- Provide proof of citizenship or permanent residency (U.S. passport, birth certificate, permanent residency card). If the name on your identification has changed, you must also present proof of your legal name change(s). Acceptable proof includes certified marriage certificates, certified divorce decrees or other certified court orders.
- Provide your Social Security Number
- Complete the Commercial Driver’s License Medical Self-Certification form
- Pass a Department of Transportation (DOT) medical exam performed by a licensed medical examiner<
- Provide proof of Minnesota residency (a current Minnesota driver license is acceptable)
- Pass a vision test
For drivers seeking a hazmat endorsement, a federal background check and fingerprint check will also be required.