Minnesota CDL Requirements

Known as "The Land of 10,000 Lakes" and "The Star of the North", Minnesota is the 12th largest state in terms of land area. It acceded to The Union in 1858, created out of two former Native American territories. It's recognized as having some of the oldest geology anywhere on planet Earth; some have been dated to 3.6m years old with massive volcanic activity 2.7m years ago, creating the Canadian shield in the north of the state. Today, it has one of the highest standards of living of any of the USA states, enjoying better pay and quality of life than most other areas. 60% of the population lives in and around the state capital of Saint Paul. To the west is sweeping prairie given over largely to industry. The southern areas of the state is deciduous forest whereas to the north is lightly populated woodlands of the north traditionally a center of mining and forestry.

Which CDL Licenses are Available in Minnesota?

There are specific Federal regulations and laws apply to all states regarding license classes. CDL applicants from Minnesota must adhere to requirements for all below classes. Everyone must submit to medical examinations and driving tests before being permitted a license:

Class A CDL

For applicants wishing to drive the heaviest vehicle class (those weighing 26,001lb and heavier) to pull larger, heavier trailers (10,000lbs and heavier) you must apply for a Class A

Class B CDL

For applicants wishing to drive the heaviest vehicle class (those weighing 26,001lb and heavier) to pull smaller and lighter trailers (under 10,000lbs), you must apply for a Class B

Class C CDL

For applicants wishing to drive lighter transport vehicles (those weighing 26,000lb and lighter) and for passenger vehicles of 16+ persons, and for hazmat transport, you must apply for a Class C

Class D License

Before any applicant is permitted to apply for classes A-C, he or she must first hold a Class D (the standard driving license)

It is a requirement that your Class D is in good standing. This means no convictions in the last two years before your application. You must submit to medical testing and take knowledge exam followed by a proficiency test to determine your eligibility to drive. Extra endorsements will require further testing. Details are below.

CDL Eligibility in Minnesota

Minnesota, like other states, must abide by Federal requirements on state licensing. Some criteria are subject to change according to changes based on technological needs, road user safety, and for relevance in the changing demands of industry. All applicants must go through TSA screening and appropriate medical tests.

License and Permits

  • All applicants for any CDL class must possess a Class D with no motoring convictions within the last two years
  • Health checks are required of all applications to test eyesight and for medical conditions that may invalidate the application
  • Third party organizations offer training for applicants to learn to drive a CMV. Such courses are not mandatory but are highly recommended in most cases
  • CDL application will only go ahead once health checks and security screening is complete


  • Only applicants aged 18 or over may apply for a CDL
  • Only applicants aged 21 or over may apply for an interstate CDL (to drive outside of Minnesota)
  • Applicants aged 18-20 may only drive within the state
  • Only applicants aged 21 or over may apply for the hazmat CDL endorsement

Proof of Residence of Minnesota

  • Proof of present home address is required. ID must be up to date
  • Proof of a right to work in the US is required in the form of your SSN card

CDL Requirements for Minnesota Residents

  • Your home address must be corrected and up to date. Any change is required to register before 30 days have passed since your move
  • Your right to work in the USA must be proven through the presentation of your SSN
  • Proof of insurance is mandatory
  • All applicants must submit to all TSA screening requirements

Minnesota CDL Requirements for Out-of-State Residents and Transfers

If you've recently moved to Minnesota from elsewhere in the US, you will require further steps before CDL approval:

  • Any license in your possession from out of state must be surrendered and changed for a to a Minnesota license
  • A straight swap is all that is required in cases where the license is current or expired less than two years ago
  • Your US citizenship must be proven
  • Minnesota requires all residents to provide proof of address and their SSN card
  • Should you have a pre-existing medical condition and paperwork relating to treatment, you should make the authorities aware
  • Any exemption paperwork you have been supplied should be made available for the application process

Non-U.S. Citizen Requirements for Minnesota CDL

Only US citizens and foreign nationals with authorized Permanent Resident status may apply for a CDL:

  • Foreign nationals must present their Permanent Resident Card during application
  • Refugees with Permanent Resident status should also present related paperwork. Should the applicant have any other paperwork declaring their right to live and work in the US, this will help the application
  • You will need any passport you possess from your home country. Residents in possession of a Consular Report of Birth Abroad or should present this too in support of their application
  • A driver's license from the country of your birth may be requested. Should your application be successful, it may be mandatory to surrender it

Do I Need a CDL?

Permanent residents and citizens only may apply for a Commercial Driver's License in the US. In some cases, certain personnel with certain criteria may bypass parts of the CDL application. One such scheme is the "Troops to Trucks" program. Retired (not more than one year) or retiring (within the next 90 days) military personnel facing honorable discharge are eligible for a waiver on the driving skills test on Class A and B CDL. However, should you apply under this scheme, you are required to fulfil the written section of the test and further endorsement sections. Some retiring public servants may also be eligible for this scheme under certain circumstance.

Under other circumstances, a CDL is not required:

  • Hazmat drivers of small volume only
  • In emergency circumstances where a peace officer instructs any able bodied individual to drive a CMV
  • In circumstances where any person authorized to do so asks any person able to drive an appropriate emergency clearing vehicle to do so
  • Vehicles that qualify as RV and their drivers
  • Drivers of agricultural vehicles when within 150 miles of their farm or ranch
  • Public service drivers such as firefighters, ambulance drivers and police

Should the applicant have pending or present driving convictions, this may render your CDL application in Minnesota as void. Any conviction for DUI (both alcohol and controlled substances), for excessive speeding, and leaving an accident scene will also void your application. Should your license have been previously revoked, or should you have any previous felony involving a motor vehicle, rejection of your CDL application is highly likely.

Medical and Physical CDL Requirements

  • All applicants are required to submit to routine medical testing to ensure good health. Eyesight must be of sufficient quality and your medical records will be examined for pre-existing conditions such as seizures, epilepsy and heart defects. Please see our resource list for a list of personnel authorized to conduct such medical checks
  • Applicants who successfully pass medical checks will receive a Medical Examination Report Form and a Medical Examiner's Certificate
  • These are required for the final stages of the CDL application. When applying, make it clear whether you require intrastate or interstate driving
  • A Federal Medical Card is then granted to the applicant
  • You may apply for restrictions if you fail the medical testing
  • The employer is typically responsible for paying associated CDL application costs. Contact your workplace with any queries

Background Check for CDL Applicants

TSA screening is obligatory in all cases. As a result, only citizens and permanent residents are eligible for licenses to drive CMVs. Where the applicant requires an endorsement to drive hazmat vehicles, fingerprint checking and other deeper checks are mandatory.

CDL Testing in Minnesota

There is a set sequence of stages for the CDL application. Medical checks must be cleared first; then the TSA screening. Finally, the applicant must proceed to the Knowledge Tests and then the Driving Skills exams once this is complete.

CDL Knowledge Test

This test consists of 50 multiple choice questions for the main section. Additional endorsement sections are 20 further multiple choice questions. They will test your understanding of road laws and regulation, and safety issues.

CDL Road Skills Tests

Only when the Knowledge Test is complete will you have permission to take the driving test.

  • The examiner is required to ensure that the vehicle is eligible for the type of test and safe to take the test in
  • The examiner will then require the applicant to demonstrate his or her understanding of the vehicle's interior controls
  • During the driving section of the test, the applicant must demonstrate that he or she is able to control the vehicle and adapt to road conditions

Minnesota CDL Office Locations

Minnesota Department of Vehicle Services operates out of the following locations:


  • Bemidji DVS
    701 Minnesota Ave NW
    Bemidji, MN 56601
    (218) 333-4148
  • Cass Lake Motor Vehicles
    330 Second St. NW
    Cass Lake, MN 56633
    (218) 335-2238
  • Bemidji Exam Station
    111 Second St. Union Square
    Bemidji, MN 56601
    (218) 308-2940
  • Bagley Exam Station and Driver's License Agent
    213 Main Ave. N.
    Bagley, MN 56621
    (218) 694-6129
  • Ada DVS
    26 Central St. E.
    Bagley, MN 56621
    (218) 694-6225
  • Walker DVS
    205 Minnesota Ave. W.
    Walker, MN 56484
    (218) 547-5505


  • Duluth DVS
    1600 Miller Trunk Highway
    Duluth, MN 55811
    (218) 279-2520
  • Duluth Exam Station
    4602 Grand Ave. Suite 990
    Duluth, MN 55807
    (218) 216-0834
  • Duluth DVS
    6630 Grand Ave. Suite 101
    Duluth, MN 55807
    (218) 624-0736
  • Cloquet DVS
    14 N. 11th St., Suite 130
    Cloquet, MN 55720
    (218) 879-5951
  • Community Center
    417 South Ave
    Two Harbors, MN 55616
    (218) 628-4925
  • Two Harbors Deputy Registrar and Drivers License Agent
    629 Seventh Ave.
    Two Harbors, MN 55616
    (218) 834-5621


  • Minnetonka/Ridgedale DVS
    12601 Ridgedale Drive Suite 108
    Minnetonka, MN 55305
    (612) 348-8240
  • Wayzata Deputy Registrar and Limited Driver's License Agent
    600 Rice St.
    Wayzata, MN 55391
    (952) 404-5320
  • Deputy Registrar and Limited Driver's License Agent
    21550 Hwy. 7
    Excelsior, MN 55331
    (952) 474-6929
  • Plymouth DVS
    2455 Fernbrook Lane
    Plymouth, MN 55447
    (651) 201-7900
  • DPS Driver License Renewal
    7808 Kerber Blvd.
    Chanhassen, MN 55317
    (952) 361-3900

Inver Grove Heights

  • Inver Grove Heights Deputy Registrar and Driver's License Agent
    9057 Broderick Blvd.
    Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
    (651) 453-1619
  • Cottage Grove DVS
    8599 W. Point Douglas Road Suite 700
    Cottage Grove, MN 55016
    (651) 459-9877
  • Woodbury Deputy Registrar and Driver's License Agent
    2150 Radio Drive
    Woodbury, MN 55125
    (651) 275-8600


  • Mankato DVS
    410 S. Fifth St.
    Mankato, MN 56001
    (507) 304-4340
  • Deputy Registrar and Limited Drivers License Agent
    310 Belgrade Ave
    North Mankato, MN 56003
    (507) 625-1586
  • Mankato Exam Station and Driver's License Agent
    2161 Bassett Drive
    Mankato, MN 56001
    (507) 344-2799
  • St. Peter DVS
    501 S. Minnesota Ave. Courthouse
    St Peter, MN 56082
    (507) 931-6800
  • LeCenter DVS
    88 S. Park Ave.
    Le Center, MN 56057
    (507) 357-2251


  • Minneapolis DVS
    300 S. Sixth St.
    Minneapolis, MN 55487
    (612) 348-8240
  • Minneapolis DVS
    2929 Chicago Ave S
    Minneapolis, MN 55407
    (612) 348-8240
  • Columbia Heights DVS
    3982 Central Avenue NE
    Columbia Heights, MN 55421
    (763) 789-7201
  • Robbinsdale DVS
    4100 Lakeview Ave. N.
    Robbinsdale, MN 55422
    (763) 535-8133
  • St. Louis Park DVS
    5400 Auto Club Way
    St Louis Park, MN 55416
    (952) 927-2696
  • Golden Valley Deputy Registrar and Limited Driver's License Agent
    7800 Golden Valley Road
    Golden Valley, MN 55427
    (763) 593-8111


  • Moorhead Exam Station
    1300 15th Ave. N.
    Moorhead, MN 56560
    (218) 299-5080
  • Hawley DVS
    305 Sixth St. City Hall
    Hawley, MN 56549
    (218) 483-3331
  • Ada DVS
    15 Second Ave. E.
    Ada, MN 56510
    (218) 846-8270
  • Ada DVS
    16 3rd Avenue East
    Ada, MN 56510
    (218) 784-5481
  • Mahnomen Deputy Registrar and Driver's License Agent
    311 N. Main St.
    Mahnomen, MN 56557
    (218) 935-9347
  • Fergus Falls DVS
    545 West Fir Ave.
    Fergus Falls, MN 56537
    (218) 998-8080

Saint Cloud

  • St. Cloud DVS
    705 Courthouse Square
    St Cloud, MN 56303
    (320) 656-6540
  • St. Cloud Exam Station
    3333 W. Division St.
    St Cloud, MN 56303
    (320) 255-3044
  • Stearns County Service Center
    3301 County Road 138
    Waite Park, MN 56387
    (320) 656-6540
  • Courthouse
    531 Dewey St
    Foley, MN 56329
    (320) 968-5013
  • Vehicle Inspections
    17434 Hwy 10 NW
    Royalton, MN 56373
    (651) 282-2173
  • Deputy Registrar
    311 Railroad Ave
    Albany, MN 56307
    (320) 845-2887

Saint Paul

  • St. Paul Exam Station
    445 Minnesota St. Town Square
    Saint Paul, MN 55101
    (651) 201-7900
  • Vehicle Inspections
    222 Starkey Street
    St Paul, MN 55107
    (651) 282-2173
  • License Bureau of St Paul
    425 Rice St.
    Saint Paul, MN 55103
    (651) 292-9791
  • South St. Paul DVS
    125 Third Ave. N.
    South St Paul, MN 55075
    (651) 552-7603
  • Maplewood Deputy Registrar and Driver's License Agent
    1830 County Road B
    Maplewood, MN 55109
    (651) 249-2000
  • Roseville Deputy Registrar and Driver's License Agent
    2737 Lexington Ave. N.
    Roseville, MN 55113
    (651) 792-7010


  • Rochester Driver License & ID Card Processing
    151 SE 4th Street
    Rochester, MN 55904
    (507) 328-7630
  • Rochester Driver License Exam Station
    1633 N. Broadway
    Rochester, MN 55906
    (507) 923-2020
  • Deputy Registrar and Limited Drivers License Agent
    1706 37th St NW
    Rochester, MN 55901
    (507) 281-4746
  • Deputy Registrar and Limited Drivers License Agent
    7389 Airport View Drive SW
    Rochester, MN 55902
    (507) 289-0994
  • Kasson Deputy Registrar and Limited Driver's License Agent
    13 W. Main St.
    Kasson, MN 55944
    (507) 634-2061
  • Driver and Vehicle Services
    721 Main St
    Mantorville, MN 55955
    (507) 635-6250

Minnesota CDL Endorsements

Minnesota Secretary of State permits the following endorsements for CDLs issued in the state:

  • Hazardous material vehicle (H)
  • Tank vehicle (N)
  • Passenger transport (P)
  • School bus (S)
  • Double/triple (T)
  • Tank hazmat vehicle (X)

Minnesota CDL Disqualifications

Higher expectations exist for drivers with CDL privileges. That means punishments are greater for similar infractions when compared to standard driver's license holders. The list below incurs a minimum 12-month driving suspension in the case of a first offience. A life suspension will apply to any subsequent second offence. A three-year disqualification applies to any below offense taking place in a hazmat vehicle. Selling or transporting controled substances and using a CMV to do so is an automatic life suspension. Minnesota courts have rights beyond this to impose higher punishments depending on the individual conditions of the offense.

  • Alcohol testing that reveals a reading of 0.04% while the driver is operating a CMV
  • Alcohol testing that reveals a reading of 0.08% while the driver is operating any vehicle other than a CMV
  • The driver refuses to give a breath or blood sample when directed to test for controlled substances or alcohol
  • The CMV driver is involved in an accident and fails to report it
  • The CMV driver is involved in an accident and fails to stop
  • The CDL holder uses any CMV in the execution of any criminal offence but not related to vehicle crime
  • The CMV driver causes a fatal accident while driving their vehicle
  • The driver has had their CDL canceled, suspended or revoked and continues to drive the vehicle

When a CMV driver is instructed to go through an alcohol test and registers lower than .04%, he or she will receive a suspension of 24 hours.

Below is a list of less serious offences. In a first instance, there is no penalty. A second instance incurs an automatic 60-day suspension and a third offence incurs an automatic 120-day suspension:

  • Excess speeding, recorded at more than 15mph above the road's limit
  • Dangerous and reckless driving
  • Erratic driving maneuvers such as improper lane changes
  • Tail gating: putting other road users in danger by driving too close
  • Failing to adhere to any other minor driving law in Minnesota
  • Having no CDL qualification and driving a CMV
  • Insufficient qualification to drive a CMV. For example, Class C license holders do not have the relevant permissions to drive a Class B vehicle
  • Insufficient endorsements to drive the CMV type
  • Failing to carry your CDL while driving a CMV

Out of Service (OOS) are imposed on vehicles deemed unfit or unsafe to drive. Should the CDL holder drive it, they will incur a 90-day disqualification for a first offence. Should they break the OOS a second time, they will be subject to a 10-year disqualification. Any first OOS offence in a hazmat vehicle is an automatic 3-10 year suspension.

There is also a list of railroad regulations in Minnesota with a separate list of penalties. An automatic 60-day suspension applies to first offense situations. An automatic 120-day suspension applies to any second offense within three years. A 12-month ban applies to any third offense from the list below:

  • The failure to slow at a junction to ensure the tracks are clear of oncoming trains at a junction where the driver is not required to stop
  • The failure to stop at a junction in sufficient time when the tracks are not clear when passing through a junction where not normally required to stop
  • The failure to stop at any junction when always required to stop
  • The failure to allow enough space to pass through the junction in places where not expected to stop
  • The failure to adhere to instructions from traffic control officers or technology at a railroad junction
  • The failure to negotiate a junction safely due to insufficient undercarriage on the part of the vehicle

Minnesota CDL Salary, Employment, and Prospects

The BLS is responsible for reporting on employment statistics and trends for the Federal government. It is their role to analyze the state of employment in the US and monitor growth for such things as dying industries and those at risk of experiencing a labor shortage. A report from May 2017 suggested that commercial driving can expect a growth of 5% 2014 through to 2024. The national average of all jobs is 7%, meaning commercial driving is a little slower.

Heavy Trucks

Heavy truck drivers experience unsociable hours and long distance driving. The BLS revealed in 2016 that the paid averages in the heavy truck driving area are $41,340 salary and $19.87 per hour. The lowest earning 10% demographic reported an average salary of $26,920. At the other end of the scale, the highest paid 10% salary is $63,140. In Minnesota, the pay is slightly higher with averages of $44,500, $20.72 median hourly pay $21.40 mean hourly pay.

Light Trucks

Light truck driving is of lower pay and makes up the bulk of local commercial transportation. The industry is experiencing a phase of low growth at present with a 4% increased between 2014 and 2024 expected. Nationally, the pay averages are $34,790 salary and $16.73 hourly. As with the heavy truck industry, Minnesota residents are just above the national averages at $37,350 salary, $16.39 median hourly $17.96 mean hourly.

Passenger Vehicles

Drivers of such public transportation require Class C license. BLS projects a 6% growth in the 2014 to 2024 period. Nationally, the average pay is presently $31,920 salary and $14.96 hourly. The state of Minnesota for bus driving also reflects higher averages at $33,220 salary, and $16.14 median hourly and $15.97 mean hourly.

BLS Source: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm

Resources for Minnesota CDL Requirements

Learn more about Minnesota trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in Minnesota

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
Minnesota $33,680 $49,270 $40,330
Duluth, MN-WI $31,940 $46,170 $38,470
Mankato-North Mankato, MN $26,430 $35,870 $30,390
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI $36,740 $53,850 $43,730
Rochester, MN $31,940 $44,790 $37,840
St. Cloud, MN $33,430 $47,120 $38,500

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm)