Commercial Drivers’ License changes

Based on Governor Walz’s stay-at-home order and recommendations to physically distance, behind-the-wheel exams have been discontinued throughout the state and drivers’ licenses set to expire have been extended beyond the peacetime emergency. Minnesota must ensure essential goods continue to be delivered and the state’s supply chains continue unabated. Commercial drivers are a critical component of our supply chain, and legislative changes passed this week will help these drivers renew their licenses.

The fourth Minnesota coronavirus relief bill extends out-of-state drivers’ licenses and allows commercial drivers’ license (CDL) renewals to use an outdated photo and postpone an eye exam to avoid requiring applicants from renewing in-person. The exemptions will also allow Driver and Vehicle Services to provide seasonal CDLs (typically for farm workers) to apply remotely for these temporary licenses.

For new CDL applicants, these two exemptions will also apply once the Department of Public Safety develops a process to allow behind-the-wheel driver exams to resume with physical distancing guidelines in place.

Once the peacetime emergency ends, applicants will need to arrange for a new photo and eye exam within two months without requiring additional fees.