(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, the commissioner shall examine each applicant for a driver's license by such agency as the commissioner directs. 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.
(a) The commissioner may waive the requirement that the applicant demonstrate ability to exercise ordinary and reasonable control in the operation of a motor vehicle on determining that the applicant possesses a valid driver's license issued by a jurisdiction that requires a comparable demonstration for license issuance.
(b) For purposes of this subdivision, "jurisdiction" includes, but is not limited to, both the active and reserve components of any branch or unit of the United States armed forces, and "valid driver's license" includes any driver's license that is recognized by that branch or unit as currently being valid, or as having been valid at the time of the applicant's separation or discharge from the military within a period of time deemed reasonable and fair by the commissioner, up to and including one year past the date of the applicant's separation or discharge.
The commissioner shall include, in each examination under subdivision 1, an examination of the applicant's knowledge of highway safety with respect to approaching, following, and passing slow-moving vehicles and the significance of the slow-moving vehicle emblem.
(a) The department shall issue a driver's license upon renewal:
(1) when the applicant has passed an examination consisting of a screening of the applicant's eyesight since the last previous license renewal or issuance;
(2) if applicable, when an applicant has passed a written examination since the last previous license renewal or issuance and after receiving a warning letter or attending a preliminary hearing as a habitual violator, within the meaning of rules adopted by the commissioner; and
(3) if applicable, when an applicant has passed a road examination since the last previous license renewal or issuance and after having had driving privileges suspended as a habitual violator, within the meaning of rules adopted by the commissioner.
(b) A screening of eyesight required by this subdivision does not constitute the practice of optometry as defined in section 148.56.
(c) The commissioner may adopt rules to administer this subdivision.
The commissioner may require an examination by such agency as the commissioner directs of any licensed driver, to determine incompetency, physical or mental disability or disease, or any other condition which might affect the driver from exercising reasonable and ordinary control over a motor vehicle, but no examination shall be required only for the reason that any licensed driver has attained a certain age. If as a result of the examination the commissioner believes that the driver is an unsafe person to operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways, the commissioner may cancel the driver's license of the person. The commissioner shall give the person written notice of the cancellation.
If a licensee does not submit to any examination required under the provisions of subdivision 3, the commissioner may cancel the driver's license of the licensee. If such license is canceled, the licensee shall immediately surrender to the department all driver's license certificates in possession.
Any person applying to secure a school bus, tank vehicle, passenger, double-trailer or triple-trailer, or hazardous materials vehicle endorsement on the person's driver's license shall pay a $2.50 examination fee at the place of application.
A person applying for an initial motorcycle endorsement on a driver's license shall pay at the place of examination a total fee of $21, which includes the examination fee and endorsement fee, but does not include the fee for a duplicate driver's license prescribed in section 171.06, subdivision 2. Of this amount, $11 must be credited as provided in section 171.06, subdivision 2a, paragraph (a), clause (1), $2.50 must be credited to the driver services operating account in the special revenue fund specified under section 299A.705, and the remainder must be credited to the general fund.
(a) A fee of $10 must be paid by an individual to take a third and any subsequent knowledge test administered by the department if the individual has failed two previous consecutive knowledge tests on the subject.
(b) A fee of $20 must be paid by an individual to take a third and any subsequent skills or road test administered by the department if the individual has previously failed two consecutive skill or road tests in a specified class of motor vehicle.
(c) All fees received under this subdivision must be paid into the state treasury and credited to the driver services operating account in the special revenue fund specified under section 299A.705.
1939 c 401 s 13; 1947 c 479 s 1; 1949 c 128 s 1; 1971 c 644 s 13; 1971 c 846 s 1; 1973 c 698 s 5; 1981 c 357 s 64; 1983 c 53 s 1; 1986 c 330 s 2; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 712 s 1; 1989 c 307 s 25; 1991 c 298 art 2 s 3,4; art 7 s 4; 1993 c 142 s 3; 1993 c 187 s 20,21; 1993 c 347 s 13; 1995 c 72 s 3,4; 1995 c 104 s 2,3; 1996 c 333 s 2; 1997 c 159 art 2 s 33,34; 2002 c 305 s 2; 2002 c 371 art 1 s 59; 2005 c 53 s 1; 2005 c 56 s 1; 1Sp2005 c 6 art 2 s 40,41; art 3 s 70; 2008 c 350 art 1 s 58-60; 2010 c 356 s 3; 2011 c 70 s 2-4; 2014 c 312 art 11 s 21