Operating A Commercial Vehicle Without a CDL

In Minnesota, a person cannot operate a commercial motor vehicle without a current Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) or Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP).

Any self-propelled or towed vehicle used on a public highway in interstate commerce to move people or goods qualifies as a “commercial motor vehicle” if it:

  1. Has a gross vehicle weight rating greater than or equal to 10,001 pounds
  2. Is intended or used to carry more than eight people (including the driver) when doing so for pay
  3. Is intended or used to carry more than 15 people (including the driver) when not doing so for pay; and
  4. Is utilized while moving hazardous materials, as determined by the Secretary of Transportation.

Minnesota Operating A Commercial Vehicle Without a CDL Lawyer

If you were arrested for operating a commercial vehicle without a CDL in Minnesota, defense lawyer James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law can help you beat your charges. He has helped the Minnesota community tackle legal challenges ever since 2004. Mr. Blumberg can assist in obtaining the best outcome for your case.

Call (952) 431-7758 to arrange a free consultation with James Blumberg Law today. James Blumberg Law accepts clients in Lakeville, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Eagan, Rosemount, Farmington, Inver Grove Heights and West St. Paul.

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Information Center

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Minnesota CLP Requirements

All applicants are required to get a CLP before they can obtain a CDL. The permit enables applicants to practice operating a commercial vehicle only with another driver who has a license of the same class or higher.

To obtain a CLP, drivers must be at least 18 years old and have a current Minnesota driver’s license.

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Minnesota CDL Requirements

Before taking the CDL road tests, the CLP must be held for a minimum of 14 calendar days.

Drivers must pass the knowledge, road, and vision tests to obtain a CDL.

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Proof Of Identity

In Minnesota, you may also provide an unexpired foreign passport with an approved I-94 form in place of citizenship or employment authorization documents granted by USCIS that are still valid. Using an upgraded CDL, you can re-enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, or the Caribbean by land or sea, eliminating the need to present different identity or citizenship documentation at the border.

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CDL Skills Test

The pre-trip inspection, fundamental control skills, and road test make up the CDL skills test. The vehicle for which you want a license must be used for the CDL skills road test. New rules add offset backing to the necessary skill demonstrations in the fundamental control segment of the CDL road exam. The driver must back the vehicle into a neighboring lane to the right or left using the offset backing skill.

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CDL Classes

Class A: necessary to drive any set of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more, including a towed vehicle that weighs more than 10,000 pounds. This comprises tankers, livestock trailers, tractor-trailer buses, truck and trailer combos, and flatbeds.

Class B: necessary to drive any vehicle as specified above that is towing another vehicle weighing UP TO 10,000 lbs. or more, or any vehicle having a GVWR of 26,001 lbs. or more. This includes box trucks, straight trucks, big buses, segmented buses, dump trucks with small trailers, and giant buses.

A Class C license may be necessary if the vehicle you want to drive does not match the requirements for either a Class A or Class B license.

Class C: is intended to transport hazardous material (HAZMAT) as defined by federal regulations or at least 16 people, including the driver. Compact HAZMAT vehicles, passenger vans, and small trucks carrying a trailer are examples of vehicles requiring a Class C CDL.

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CDL Endorsements

The following vehicle types are authorized to be driven in Minnesota:

(H) Hazardous Materials

(N) Tank Vehicle

(P) Passenger Transport

(S) School Bus

(T) Doubles/Triples

Additional requirements apply, depending on the endorsement. For example, the applicant must consent to fingerprints and an FBI criminal records check for a Hazardous Materials endorsement.

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Driving Without A Valid CDL

Drivers risk a $5,000 fine and possible jail time if they operate a vehicle without a valid CDL. The same possible sanctions apply to employers who are aware that their drivers are operating illegally.

If a driver is caught driving while intoxicated or under the influence of narcotics, they may be charged with a crime. If it is determined they were negligent (driving without a CDL is often seen as negligent) or if there was an injury or death, the driver may also be subject to criminal penalties.

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Reasons For CDL Suspension Or Revocation

Drivers who commit the following actions can have their CDL suspended or revoked:

  • Driving while intoxicated more than 0.04%. While the legal driving limit is 0.08% for the typical driver, it is just 0.5% for those with a CDL.
  • Leaving an accident scene.
  • Committing a felony, such as the production, sale, or distribution of a controlled substance, while using a commercial vehicle.
  • Reckless or negligent driving that leads to death.
  • Being found guilty of specific crimes in another state.

First Offense- results in a CDL disqualification for one year (three years if the driver is transporting hazardous materials).

Second Offense- results in a CDL disqualification for life. Reinstatement may be possible after ten years.

If a driver commits a felony involving a controlled substance, they’ll lose their CDL for life.

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Additional Resources

Minnesota Department of Transportation – Visit the official website for the Minnesota Department of Transportation to view a comprehensive guidebook for commercial driver’s licenses in Minnesota. It provides details on the requirements to obtain a CDL and actions that can result in disqualification.

Minnesota E-Licensing – Visit the official website for Minnesota E-Licensing to view the list legal requirements for obtaining a CDL.

Minnesota Legislature Office of the Revisor of Statutes – Visit the official website for the Minnesota Legislature which publishes state-specific laws for operating and maintaining a commercial driver’s license.

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Apple Valley Operating A Commercial Vehicle Without a CDL Lawyer| Dakota County, MN

If you have been arrested for operating a commercial vehicle without a commercial driver’s license, contact defense lawyer James Blumberg at James Blumberg Law. He will fiercely defend your commercial driving privileges and driving record. Allow him to work hard to secure a reduction or amendment to the original traffic ticket.

To schedule a free consultation, call (952) 431-7758 today. James Blumberg Law serve clients in Rice County, Steele CountyScott CountySibley County, Dodge County, Olmsted County, and Carver County.

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