Special Licenses in Minnesota
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Minnesota Special Driver's Licenses
You may need a driver's license other than your regular, noncommercial driver's license or a special endorsement if you want to:
- Drive heavy-weight vehicles.
- Transport a large number of passengers.
- Transport hazardous materials.
- Drive for hire.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) Driver and Vehicle Services (DVS) offers license classes and endorsements specific to the type of vehicle you want to drive and the driving profession you want to have.
On this page you'll find a general overview of some of the classes and endorsements available to you.
For information on obtaining a standard driver's license, please visit our pages on the following topics:
- Applying for a New License in Minnesota (Drivers 18+).
- Applying for a New License in Minnesota (Teen Drivers).
For some vehicles, you'll need to obtain a Minnesota commercial driver's license (CDL). You'll need a CDL:
- For heavy vehicles, such as semi-trucks and truck/trailer combinations.
- For vehicles carrying hazardous material.
- For vehicles carrying a large number of passengers.
The application process is similar to that of your noncommercial driver's license. You'll need to:
- Complete a new application.
- Pass knowledge and driving tests.
- Provide proof of your identity.
- Pay a licensing fee.
For more information, please visit our Applying for a New CDL in Minnesota page.
School Bus Driver Requirements
To drive a school bus in Minnesota, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a commercial driver's license (CDL) with a school bus endorsement.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Pass a driver history check.
- Pass a physical examination.
- Submit to a national criminal history check, if you have resided in Minnesota for less than 5 years.
Please contact the Minnesota DVS for more information.
Shuttle Bus Drivers
A CDL is not required if your shuttle van or bus is designed to transport fewer than 16 passengers, including the driver.
To become a chauffeur or drive a taxi, you may be required to:
- Have a clean driving record.
- Pass a criminal background check.
- Pay a taxi licensing fee.
- Pass a medical test.
For more information, please contact your city's clerk or the Minnesota DMV.
Typically, sport and off-road vehicles do not require you to hold a special driver's license or endorsement, but some do have a minimum operating age and safety course requirements.
Certain vehicles may require you to hold a motorcycle license or endorsement. For more information, please visit our Motorcycle License in Minnesota page.
If you are a Minnesota resident born after December 31, 1976, you must possess a snowmobile safety certificate in order to operate a snowmobile.
If you were born after July 1, 1987, you must complete an ATV Training Course (CD-based) to legally operate an ATV within the state. Special training is also available for kids 12 to 15 years old, but the certificate won't be valid until the child turns 12 years old.
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