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SF 276

3rd Engrossment - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 11/09/2021 01:26pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - 3rd Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to motor vehicles; authorizing third-party programs and third-party testers
to conduct behind-the-wheel road tests for class D drivers' licenses; specifying
requirements and criteria for third-party programs and testers; requiring audits;
allowing appeals of decisions made by the commissioner of public safety; requiring
record keeping and reporting; amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 171.13,
subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 171.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 171.13, subdivision 1, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Examination subjects and locations; provisions for color blindness,
disabled veterans.

(a) new text beginEach applicant for a driver's license must pass the examination
required by this section before being issued a driver's license.
new text endExcept as otherwise provided
deleted text begin in this sectiondeleted text endnew text begin by sections 171.70 to 171.82new text end, the commissioner deleted text beginshall examine each applicant
for a driver's license by such agency as the commissioner directs
deleted text endnew text begin must conduct the
examination
new text end. This examination must include:

(1) a test of the applicant's eyesight;

(2) a test of the applicant's ability to read and understand highway signs regulating,
warning, and directing traffic;

(3) a test of the applicant's knowledge of (i) traffic laws; (ii) the effects of alcohol and
drugs on a driver's ability to operate a motor vehicle safely and legally, and of the legal
penalties and financial consequences resulting from violations of laws prohibiting the
operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; (iii) railroad
grade crossing safety; (iv) slow-moving vehicle safety; (v) laws relating to pupil
transportation safety, including the significance of school bus lights, signals, stop arm, and
passing a school bus; (vi) traffic laws related to bicycles; and (vii) the circumstances and
dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning;

(4) an actual demonstration of ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the
operation of a motor vehicle; and

(5) other physical and mental examinations as the commissioner finds necessary to
determine the applicant's fitness to operate a motor vehicle safely upon the highways.

(b) Notwithstanding paragraph (a), no driver's license may be denied an applicant on
the exclusive grounds that the applicant's eyesight is deficient in color perception. War
veterans operating motor vehicles especially equipped for disabled persons, if otherwise
entitled to a license, must be granted such license.

(c) The commissioner shall make provision for giving the examinations under this
subdivision either in the county where the applicant resides or at a place adjacent thereto
reasonably convenient to the applicant.

(d) The commissioner shall ensure that an applicant is able to obtain an appointment for
an examination to demonstrate ability under paragraph (a), clause (4), within 14 days of the
applicant's request if, under the applicable statutes and rules of the commissioner, the
applicant is eligible to take the examination.

Sec. 2.

new text begin [171.70] DEFINITIONS.
new text end

new text begin (a) For purposes of sections 171.70 to 171.82, the following terms have the meanings
given them.
new text end

new text begin (b) "Applicant" means an entity applying for approval to be a third-party testing program.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Entity" includes an individual, natural person, and a legal or corporate person,
however organized unless otherwise expressly described or limited.
new text end

new text begin (d) "Letter of approval" means the document issued by the commissioner to the third-party
testing program authorizing the program to administer road tests for class D drivers' licenses.
new text end

new text begin (e) "Road test" means the actual physical demonstration of the ability to exercise ordinary
and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle as required by section 171.13,
subdivision 1, paragraph (a), clause (4).
new text end

new text begin (f) "Third-party tester" means an individual who is an employee of a third-party testing
program who has qualified for a third-party tester certificate issued by the commissioner
granting the individual authorization to conduct road tests for class D drivers' licenses.
new text end

new text begin (g) "Third-party tester certificate" means a certificate issued by the commissioner to the
third-party tester authorizing the third-party tester to administer road tests for class D drivers'
licenses on behalf of a specified third-party testing program.
new text end

new text begin (h) "Third-party testing program" means a program authorized by the commissioner to
administer to an individual the road test for class D drivers' licenses.
new text end

Sec. 3.

new text begin [171.71] THIRD-PARTY TESTER; AUTHORIZATION.
new text end

new text begin The commissioner must allow a third-party tester that complies with the requirements
of sections 171.70 to 171.82 to conduct road tests for people applying for class D drivers'
licenses.
new text end

Sec. 4.

new text begin [171.72] PROGRAM APPLICATION; APPROVAL.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Application. new text end

new text begin The applicant shall apply to the commissioner for approval
to be a third-party testing program authorized to administer road tests for class D drivers'
licenses. The applicant must submit the application to the commissioner and provide the
information in subdivision 2. A third-party testing program or a third-party tester employed
by the program must not conduct road tests until the program is approved by the
commissioner.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Application contents. new text end

new text begin To apply for approval as a third-party testing program,
an applicant must complete an application containing the information specified in this
section:
new text end

new text begin (1) business name;
new text end

new text begin (2) business registration number if a business, or tax identification number if a
not-for-profit entity;
new text end

new text begin (3) address of the business's administrative office;
new text end

new text begin (4) telephone number and e-mail address of the administrative office;
new text end

new text begin (5) name of an authorized official responsible for the program and application, and the
official's title and telephone number;
new text end

new text begin (6) a map, drawing, or written description of the test route to be used for road tests;
new text end

new text begin (7) the name, birth date, home address, and driver's license number of all individuals
the applicant wants to employ as a certified third-party tester;
new text end

new text begin (8) attestation that the applicant carries the required insurance, as described in chapter
65B, for all vehicles used for testing; and
new text end

new text begin (9) attestation by the authorized official that the information submitted is true and
accurate.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Location requirement. new text end

new text begin To qualify as a third-party testing program, the applicant
must be located in the state and must maintain an administrative office in at least one
permanent, regularly occupied building with a permanent address.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Employment of certified tester. new text end

new text begin The applicant must employ one or more
certified third-party testers who meet the qualifications in section 171.75.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Evaluation. new text end

new text begin The commissioner shall evaluate the application submitted by the
third-party testing program applicant. If the application is satisfactory, the commissioner
must approve the application.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 6. new text end

new text begin Limitation. new text end

new text begin The commissioner is prohibited from imposing any criteria or
requirements that are not specified by this section.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Commissioner's letter of approval. new text end

new text begin Upon approval of an application submitted
pursuant to this section, the commissioner shall issue a letter of approval to designate a
third-party testing program. The letter of approval constitutes an agreement between the
state and the third-party testing program administering road tests for a class D driver's
license. A letter of approval to operate a third-party testing program is not transferable.
new text end

Sec. 5.

new text begin [171.73] INDEMNIFICATION.
new text end

new text begin An applicant shall agree to indemnify and hold harmless the state and all state officers,
employees, and agents of the state from and against all claims, losses, damages, costs, and
other proceedings made, sustained, brought, or prosecuted in any manner based on or
occasioned by or attributive to any injury, infringement, or damage rising from any act or
omission of the third-party testing program or the program's employees in the performance
of testing duties.
new text end

Sec. 6.

new text begin [171.74] USE OF CERTIFIED THIRD-PARTY TESTERS.
new text end

new text begin The third-party testing program shall allow only individuals who have been certified by
the commissioner as third-party testers under sections 171.75 to 171.76 to administer road
tests. The program shall maintain, on file in the program's administrative office, a copy of
the valid certificate of each third-party tester employed by the program.
new text end

Sec. 7.

new text begin [171.75] THIRD-PARTY TESTER QUALIFICATIONS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Generally. new text end

new text begin To be certified as a third-party tester, an individual must make
application to, and be approved by, the commissioner as provided in this section. The
individual must:
new text end

new text begin (1) possess a valid driver's license;
new text end

new text begin (2) be 21 years of age or older;
new text end

new text begin (3) be a licensed driver in a United States state for the past three years;
new text end

new text begin (4) before the date of application, have maintained continuous valid driving privileges
for the past year;
new text end

new text begin (5) successfully pass a prequalifying tester examination;
new text end

new text begin (6) be an employee of a third-party testing program;
new text end

new text begin (7) successfully complete the test administration training required of state-employed
examiners; and
new text end

new text begin (8) have the class of driver's license and endorsements to operate the type of vehicles
for which the road tests are administered.
new text end

new text begin The examination and training required by clauses (5) and (7) must be identical for
state-employed examiners and third-party testers.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin State employee. new text end

new text begin A certified third-party tester must not be an employee of the
department.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Employment. new text end

new text begin A certified third-party tester must have a certificate for each
third-party testing program that employs the tester. The tester must reapply and be approved
for a new certificate to conduct tests on behalf of a new third-party testing program. The
tester may be simultaneously employed by more than one program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Maintaining certification. new text end

new text begin To maintain certification as a third-party tester, an
individual must:
new text end

new text begin (1) conduct at least 12 road tests annually from the date of initial issuance of a third-party
tester certificate;
new text end

new text begin (2) be evaluated at least annually on the administration of tests and record keeping;
new text end

new text begin (3) attend annual in-service training, workshops, or seminars provided by the
commissioner, provided that the requirements are the same as testers employed by the
department;
new text end

new text begin (4) submit monthly testing reports in a format specified by the commissioner; and
new text end

new text begin (5) account for all records of examination issued by the commissioner to a third-party
tester and submit the record of examination immediately to the commissioner after completing
a road test.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Limitation. new text end

new text begin The commissioner is prohibited from imposing any criteria or
requirements on third-party testing programs or third-party testers that are not specified by
this section.
new text end

Sec. 8.

new text begin [171.76] CERTIFICATES AND LETTER OF APPROVAL.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Tester certificates. new text end

new text begin The commissioner shall issue a certificate to each
approved third-party tester of a third-party testing program. The third-party testing program
must keep a copy of the certificate of each third-party tester employed by the program on
file in the office of the program. A third-party tester's certificate is effective on the date of
issuance by the commissioner and expires four years after issuance. A third-party tester
may not conduct road tests without a valid third-party tester certificate. A certificate issued
to a third-party tester is not transferable.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Certificate renewal time frame. new text end

new text begin A third-party tester must submit an application
for renewal of the tester's certificate to the commissioner no less than 30 days before the
date the previously issued certificate expires.
new text end

Sec. 9.

new text begin [171.77] TEST PROOF.
new text end

new text begin The third-party testing program shall provide a record of examination, on a format
obtained from or approved by the commissioner, to an individual who has passed a road
test for a class D driver's license. The record of examination, which must be presented at
the time of application for a class D driver's license, must specify that the individual has
passed the required test or tests administered by the third-party testing program.
new text end

Sec. 10.

new text begin [171.78] AUDITS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Random examinations, inspections, and audits. new text end

new text begin A third-party testing
program shall agree to allow representatives of the commissioner, on behalf of the state, to
conduct random examinations, inspections, and audits of the testing operation without prior
notice.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin On-site inspections. new text end

new text begin A third-party testing program shall permit on-site
inspections by agents of the commissioner as necessary to determine compliance with
sections 171.70 to 171.82.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Examination of test administration. new text end

new text begin On at least an annual basis, agents of the
commissioner who are state employees must be permitted to:
new text end

new text begin (1) take the tests actually administered by the third-party testing program as if the state
employees were test applicants;
new text end

new text begin (2) test a sample of drivers who were examined by the third-party testing program to
compare passing and failing results; or
new text end

new text begin (3) conduct a road test simultaneously with the third-party tester to compare test results.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Notice of test schedule. new text end

new text begin Upon request, no less than 48 hours in advance, the
third-party testing program shall provide the commissioner with the schedule times and
dates that skill tests and road tests are to be given.
new text end

Sec. 11.

new text begin [171.79] TEST ADMINISTRATION.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Generally. new text end

new text begin Road tests conducted by a third-party tester must meet the
requirements in Minnesota Rules, parts 7410.4800 to 7410.5380. The commissioner is
prohibited from imposing additional test administration criteria or requirements on third-party
testers.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Third-party tester restrictions. new text end

new text begin A third-party tester shall not:
new text end

new text begin (1) delegate any portion of testing to another individual;
new text end

new text begin (2) be the spouse, fiancee, fiance, grandparent, parent, child, sibling, or legal guardian,
including adoptive, half, step, and in-law relationships, of the person taking the test;
new text end

new text begin (3) test anyone with a physical disability who may need an individualized restriction
added to the person's driver's license; or
new text end

new text begin (4) test anyone who has not completed all coursework and training before administering
a road test.
new text end

Sec. 12.

new text begin [171.80] RECORD KEEPING; REPORTING REQUIREMENTS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Records of administered tests. new text end

new text begin An approved third-party testing program
shall maintain at the program's administrative offices, for a minimum of three years, the
tester's copy of the record of examination of any driver for whom the third-party testing
program conducts a test, whether or not the driver passes or fails the test. Each record of
examination must include:
new text end

new text begin (1) the full name of the driver;
new text end

new text begin (2) the date the driver took the test; and
new text end

new text begin (3) the name and certificate number of the third-party tester conducting the test.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Records of third-party testers. new text end

new text begin The third-party testing program shall maintain,
at the program's administrative offices, a record of each third-party tester in the employ of
the third-party testing program at that location. Each record must include:
new text end

new text begin (1) a valid and complete tester certificate indicating the third-party tester has met all
qualifications;
new text end

new text begin (2) a copy of the third-party tester's current driving record, which must be updated
annually; and
new text end

new text begin (3) evidence that the third-party tester is an employee of the third-party testing program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Record retention. new text end

new text begin The third-party testing program shall retain all third-party
tester records for three years after a third-party tester leaves the employ of the third-party
testing program.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Reporting requirements. new text end

new text begin The third-party testing program shall report the
number of road tests administered annually by all third-party testers employed by the
program. The report must be in writing or in an electronic format approved by the
commissioner and must be received by the commissioner within 45 days of the end of each
calendar year.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Data Practices Act. new text end

new text begin All third-party testing programs and third-party testers are
subject to section 13.05, subdivision 11.
new text end

Sec. 13.

new text begin [171.81] NOTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin In general. new text end

new text begin The third-party testing program shall ensure that the
commissioner is notified in writing or by electronic means:
new text end

new text begin (1) 30 days before any change in the third-party testing program's name or address;
new text end

new text begin (2) ten days before any change in the third-party tester employed by the third-party
testing program;
new text end

new text begin (3) within ten days of a change in a third-party tester's driving status;
new text end

new text begin (4) within ten days of the third-party testing program ceasing business operations in
Minnesota; or
new text end

new text begin (5) within ten days of a third-party tester:
new text end

new text begin (i) receiving notice from any state that the tester's driving privileges have been withdrawn;
or
new text end

new text begin (ii) failing to comply with the third-party testing program or third-party tester
requirements in sections 171.70 to 171.82.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Test route change. new text end

new text begin Before changing a test route, a third-party testing program
must submit a written request and obtain written approval from the commissioner for any
proposed change in the road test route. The request may be submitted by facsimile or
electronic mail.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Tester change. new text end

new text begin A third-party tester shall notify the commissioner within ten
days of leaving the employ of a third-party testing program.
new text end

Sec. 14.

new text begin [171.82] DENIAL, CANCELLATION, OR SUSPENSION OF PROGRAM
OR TESTER; APPEAL.
new text end

new text begin Subdivision 1. new text end

new text begin Denial. new text end

new text begin The commissioner may deny an application for a third-party
testing program or tester certificate if the applicant does not qualify for approval or
certification under sections 171.70 to 171.81. In addition, a misstatement or misrepresentation
is grounds for denying a letter of approval or tester certificate.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 2. new text end

new text begin Cancellation or suspension. new text end

new text begin The commissioner may cancel the approval of a
third-party testing program or third-party tester or may suspend a program or tester for:
new text end

new text begin (1) failure to comply with or satisfy any provision of sections 171.70 to 171.81;
new text end

new text begin (2) falsification of any records or information relating to the third-party testing program;
new text end

new text begin (3) performance in a manner that compromises the integrity of the third-party testing
program. The commissioner must use the same standards of integrity for state-employed
testers and third-party testers; or
new text end

new text begin (4) the withdrawal of a third-party tester's driving privileges.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 3. new text end

new text begin Commissioner's discretion. new text end

new text begin (a) The existence of grounds for cancellation or
suspension under subdivision 2 is determined at the sole discretion of the commissioner. If
the commissioner determines that grounds for cancellation or suspension exist for failure
to comply with or satisfy any requirement in sections 171.70 to 171.81, the commissioner
may immediately cancel or suspend the third-party testing program or third-party tester
from administering any further tests.
new text end

new text begin (b) When an application to be a third-party testing program or third-party tester
application is denied, or when individual program approval or a tester's certificate is canceled,
a notice must be mailed to the subject indicating the reasons for the denial or cancellation
and that the third-party testing program or third-party tester may appeal the decision as
provided in subdivision 5.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 4. new text end

new text begin Correction order. new text end

new text begin If an audit by the commissioner identifies a situation that
needs correction but does not merit suspension or cancellation, the commissioner may issue
a correction order to a third-party tester or program for 30 days to correct a deficiency before
the program or tester becomes subject to suspension or cancellation. The notice must include
the basis for requiring the correction. The notice must notify the individual of the ability to
appeal the correction order as provided in subdivision 5. The third-party testing program
or third-party tester is permitted 30 days to correct the deficiency without having to reapply.
new text end

new text begin Subd. 5. new text end

new text begin Notice of denial or cancellation; request for reconsideration and hearing. new text end

new text begin (a)
Within 20 calendar days of receiving a notice of cancellation or denial issued pursuant to
subdivision 3 or correction order issued pursuant to subdivision 4, the third-party testing
program or third-party tester may submit a request for reconsideration in writing to the
commissioner. The commissioner shall review the request for reconsideration and issue a
decision within 30 days of receipt of the request. Upon receipt of the commissioner's decision,
the affected party may initiate a contested case proceeding under chapter 14.
new text end

new text begin (b) As an alternative to the process in paragraph (a), the affected party may initiate a
contested case proceeding within 20 calendar days of receiving a notice of cancellation or
denial issued pursuant to subdivision 3 or a correction order issued pursuant to subdivision
4.
new text end

new text begin (c) If a correction order issued pursuant to subdivision 4 is contested as provided in
paragraph (a) or (b), the commissioner must not enforce the correction order until a final
decision has been made following the contested case proceeding.
new text end

Sec. 15. new text beginIMPLEMENTATION.
new text end

new text begin The commissioner of public safety must implement the requirements of this act with
existing resources. The commissioner must not hire additional staff to implement the
requirements of this act or to conduct audits as required by section 171.78.
new text end

Sec. 16. new text beginEFFECTIVE DATE.
new text end

new text begin This act is effective August 1, 2021.
new text end