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171.02 Licenses; types, endorsements, restrictions.

Subdivision 1. License required. No person, except those hereinafter expressly exempted, shall drive any motor vehicle upon any street or highway in this state unless such person has a license valid under the provisions of this chapter for the type or class of vehicle being driven. No person shall receive a driver's license unless and until the person's license from any jurisdiction has been invalidated by the department. The department shall provide to the issuing department of any jurisdiction, information that the licensee is now licensed in Minnesota. No person shall be permitted to have more than one valid driver's license at any time. No person to whom a current Minnesota identification card has been issued may receive a driver's license, other than an instruction permit or a limited license, unless the person's Minnesota identification card has been invalidated by the department.

Subd. 2. Driver's license classifications, endorsements, exemptions. Drivers' licenses shall be classified according to the types of vehicles which may be driven by the holder of each type or class of license. The commissioner may, as appropriate, subdivide the classes listed in this subdivision and issue licenses classified accordingly. No class of license shall be valid to operate a motorcycle, school bus, tank vehicle, double-trailer or triple-trailer combination, vehicle transporting hazardous materials, or bus, unless so endorsed.

There shall be four general classes of licenses as follows:

(a) Class D; valid for:

(1) all farm trucks operated by (i) the owner, (ii) an immediate family member of the owner, (iii) an employee of the owner not primarily employed to operate the farm truck, within 150 miles of the farm, or (iv) an employee of the owner employed during harvest to operate the farm truck for the first, continuous transportation of agricultural products from the production site or on-farm storage site to any other location within 50 miles of that site;

(2) fire trucks and emergency fire equipment, whether or not in excess of 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, operated by a firefighter while on duty, or a tiller operator employed by a fire department who drives the rear portion of a midmount aerial ladder truck;

(3) recreational equipment as defined in section 168.011, subdivision 25, that is operated for personal use; and

(4) all single unit vehicles except vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds, vehicles designed to carry more than 15 passengers including the driver, and vehicles that carry hazardous materials.

The holder of a class D license may also tow vehicles if the combination of vehicles has a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less.

(b) Class C; valid for:

(1) operating class D vehicles;

(2) with a hazardous materials endorsement, transporting hazardous materials in class D vehicles; and

(3) with a school bus endorsement, operating school buses designed to transport 15 or fewer passengers, including the driver.

(c) Class B; valid for all vehicles in class C, class D, and all other single unit vehicles including, with a passenger endorsement, buses. The holder of a class B license may tow only vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds or less.

(d) Class A; valid for any vehicle or combination thereof.

Subd. 2a. Exceptions. Notwithstanding subdivision 2, (1) a hazardous materials endorsement is not required to operate a vehicle having a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less while carrying in bulk tanks a total of not more than 200 gallons of petroleum products and (2) a class C license or hazardous materials endorsement is not required to operate a farm vehicle as defined in Code of Federal Regulations, title 49, section 390.5, having a gross vehicle weight of 26,000 pounds or less while carrying in bulk tanks a total of not more than 1,500 gallons of liquid fertilizer.

Subd. 3. Motorized bicycle. No motorized bicycle shall be operated on any public roadway by any person who does not possess a valid driver's license, unless the person has obtained a motorized bicycle operator's permit or motorized bicycle instruction permit from the commissioner of public safety. The operator's permit may be issued to any person who has attained the age of 15 years and who has passed the examination prescribed by the commissioner. The instruction permit may be issued to any person who has attained the age of 15 years and who has successfully completed an approved safety course and passed the written portion of the examination prescribed by the commissioner.

This course must consist of, but is not limited to, a basic understanding of:

(1) motorized bicycles and their limitations;

(2) motorized bicycle laws and rules;

(3) safe operating practices and basic operating techniques;

(4) helmets and protective clothing;

(5) motorized bicycle traffic strategies; and

(6) effects of alcohol and drugs on motorized bicycle operators.

The commissioner may promulgate rules prescribing the content of the safety course, examination, and the information to be contained on the permits. A person operating a motorized bicycle under a motorized bicycle permit is subject to the restrictions imposed by section 169.974, subdivision 2, on operation of a motorcycle under a two-wheel instruction permit.

The fees for motorized bicycle operator's permits are as follows:

(a) Examination and operator's permit, valid for one year $ 6 (b) Duplicate $ 3 (c) Renewal permit before age 21 and valid until age 21 $ 9 (d) Renewal permit after age 21 and valid for four years $15 (e) Duplicate of any renewal permit $ 4.50 (f) Written examination and instruction permit, valid for 30 days $ 6

Subd. 4. Restricted commercial driver's license. (a) The commissioner may issue restricted commercial drivers' licenses and take the following actions to the extent that the actions are authorized by regulation of the United States Department of Transportation entitled "waiver for farm-related service industries" as published in the Federal Register, April 17, 1992:

(1) prescribe examination requirements and other qualifications for the license;

(2) prescribe classes of vehicles that may be operated by holders of the license;

(3) specify commercial motor vehicle operation that is authorized by the license, and prohibit other commercial vehicle operation by holders of the license; and

(4) prescribe the period of time during which the license is valid.

(b) Restricted commercial drivers' licenses are subject to sections 171.165 and 171.166 in the same manner as other commercial drivers' licenses.

(c) Actions of the commissioner under this subdivision are not subject to sections 14.05 to 14.47 of the Administrative Procedure Act.

Subd. 5. Exemption for certain backup snowplow drivers. Pursuant to the waiver authorization set forth in Public Law Number 104-59, section 345 (a)(5), a person who operates a commercial motor vehicle for the purpose of removing snow or ice from a roadway by plowing, salting, or sanding is not required to hold a commercial driver's license if the person:

(1) is an employee of a local unit of government with a population of 3,000 or less;

(2) is operating within the boundaries of the local unit of government;

(3) holds a valid driver's license authorizing the operation of class B vehicles; and

(4) except in the event of a lawful strike, is temporarily replacing the employee who normally operates the vehicle but either is unable to operate the vehicle or is in need of additional assistance due to a snow emergency as determined by the local unit of government.

HIST: (2720-143) 1939 c 401 s 2; 1963 c 393 s 1; 1971 c 644 s 4; 1973 c 16 s 1; 1977 c 214 s 12; 1977 c 429 s 63; 1978 c 479 s 1; 1979 c 227 s 3; 1981 c 363 s 29; 1984 c 546 s 1; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1985 c 291 s 19; 1986 c 444; 1986 c 454 s 21; 1987 c 269 s 7; 1987 c 358 s 110; 1989 c 301 s 4,5; 1989 c 307 s 17; 1989 c 342 s 21; 1990 c 529 s 5; 1991 c 174 s 8; 1991 c 298 art 7 s 2; 1991 c 333 s 24-26; 1992 c 581 s 14; 1993 c 78 s 4; 1993 c 142 s 1; 1993 c 266 s 20; 1994 c 465 art 3 s 48; 1995 c 95 s 7; 1995 c 174 s 3; 1996 c 275 s 1,2; 1997 c 35 s 1

Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes