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commercial driver's license endorsements and restrictions

Additional testing and fees are required to add endorsements or remove restrictions from your CDL.
 
In order to renew or upgrade your driver’s license with an endorsement, you must pass a knowledge test for each endorsement.
 
To renew a hazmat or school bus endorsement, you need to retake the knowledge test. The knowledge test is not required to renew licenses with other endorsements.
 

Eligible Endorsements for each Class

Class C License must hold one or more of the following endorsements:

Hazardous Materials (H)
Passenger Transport (P)
School Bus (S) (this is an optional endorsement, not a requirement and cannot be held by itself with a Class C License)

Class B License can hold one or more of the following endorsements: 

Hazardous Materials (H)
Passenger Transport (P)
School Bus (S)
Tank Vehicle (N)
Tanker and Hazardous Materials (X)

Class A License can hold one or more of the following endorsements: 

Hazardous Materials (H)
Passenger Transport (P)
School Bus (S)
Tank Vehicle (N)
Tanker and Hazardous Materials (X)
 Double/Triples (T)

Endorsement Specifics and How to Obtain each Endorsement:

Examination fee for each endorsement: $2.50
School Bus physical processing fee- original and renewal application: $4
Retesting fee Third and subsequent knowledge test (after failing first two): $10
Retesting fee Third and subsequent road/skill test (after failing first two): $20

To add endorsements to an existing CDL, you must pass the appropriate tests and apply for a duplicate license (Class A, Class B, Class C).

Adding school bus or passenger endorsements requires a road test in an appropriate vehicle.

You have 30 days after becoming a Minnesota resident to obtain your CDL.
 

Hazardous Materials (H)

Anyone who transports material found to be hazardous for the purpose of the Hazardous Transportation Act and that require the motor vehicle to be placarded under Code of Federal Regulations, title 49, parts 100-185  must have a Hazardous Materials Endorsement (HME).
 

To add the Hazardous Material Endorsement (HME): 

  1. Take and pass the HME knowledge test at a driver exam station.

  2. Apply for or renew the CDL at a full-service exam station or driver’s license renewal office.

  3. Complete a Security Threat Assessment application

  4. Submit your fingerprints at an authorized collection site. You must show two forms of identification, such as your driver's license and DOT medical card.
If you have an existing HME and no longer want the HME or don’t qualify for an HME, make a written, signed statement to that effect when you renew your CDL

See the HazMat Page for more information.
 

School Bus (S)

School bus means: a motor vehicle used to transport pupils (grades K-12) to or from a school or to or from school-related activities, by the school or a school district or by someone under an agreement with the school or a school district.

School bus driver means: a person with a school bus endorsement on a valid Minnesota driver's license or a person with a valid Minnesota driver's license who drives a vehicle used as a school bus that has a passenger seating capacity of ten or fewer, including the driver.
 
Head Start bus driver means: a person with a valid Minnesota driver’s license who drives a vehicle used as a Head Start bus that has a passenger seating capacity of ten or fewer, including the driver; or who has a school bus or passenger endorsement and drives a Head Start bus.
 

To Add the School Bus Endorsement: 

  • The test or examination required for an initial school bus driver's endorsement on a Minnesota commercial driver's license includes a knowledge test and a road test in an appropriate vehicle. School bus drivers are re-tested for current knowledge of school bus laws every four years when renewing their driver's license. The renewal knowledge test is also required when the driver upgrades to a higher-class license.
  • Each school bus driver is required to pass a physical examination every two years to retain the endorsement. The driver must fax or mail the completed certificate to the Driver and Vehicle Services CDL Unit. It must be received on or before the expiration of the two-year period. Effective July 1, 2000, a $4 processing fee is collected with each original or renewal application with a school bus endorsement.
  • Applicant must conduct a criminal history and driver's license record check of the applicant. If the applicant has lived in Minnesota for less than five years, the check also includes a national criminal history check.
Waiver of Physical Qualifications

An individual who does not meet the physical qualifications for a school bus endorsement may request a waiver from the commissioner of public safety. For more information, contact the CDL Unit at (651) 297-5029.

See School Bus Endorsement Page for more information.
 
 

Passenger (P)

Head Start bus driver means: a person with a valid Minnesota driver’s license who drives a vehicle used as a Head Start bus that has a passenger seating capacity of ten or fewer, including the driver; or who has a school bus or passenger endorsement and drives a Head Start bus.
 

To Add the Passenger Endorsement:

  • The initial test or examination required for an passenger endorsement on a Minnesota commercial driver's license includes a knowledge test and a road test in an appropriate passenger vehicle.

Tank Vehicle (N)

To Add the Tanker Endorsement:

  • You must hold a Commercial Class A or Class B license to add a Tank Vehicle Endorsement.

  • The initial test or examination required for a tank vehicle endorsement on a Minnesota commercial driver's license includes a knowledge test. Once you pass the knowledge test and pay the appropriate testing fee and/or renewal/duplicate license fee, you may add the tank vehicle endorsement to your license, it will remain valid as long as you hold a valid commercial driver's license (or expiration/cancelation of license does not last more than a year).

Double/Triples (T)

To Add the Double/Triples Endorsement:

  • You must hold a Commercial Class A  license to add a Double/Triples Endorsement.
  • The initial test or examination required for a double/triples endorsement on a Minnesota commercial driver's license includes a knowledge test. Once you pass the knowledge test and pay the appropriate testing fee and/or renewal/duplicate license fee, you may add the double/triples endorsement to your license, it will remain valid as long as you hold a valid commercial driver's license (or expiration/cancelation of license does not last more than a year).

Tanker and HazMat (X)

To Add the Tanker and HazMat Endorsement:  

  • Follow the procedures listed above for both the Tank Vehicle and HazMat Endorsements

Restrictions for specific CDLs:

Intrastate only (K): applied to under age 21 CDLs (refers to driving only within the state of licensure – in this case Minnesota)
 
Vehicles without air brakes (L):  applied to CDLs in which a road test was conducted in a vehicle without airbrakes and/or the written air brake test was not completed/passed.