Commercial Drivers Licensing Resources
For Judges


  • Rahn v. Midway Farm Equip., Inc., No. A19-1318, 2020 WL 1671693, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Apr. 6, 2020)

    A relator appealed the unemployment law judge’s decision that the relator’s discharge for employment misconduct makes him ineligible to receive unemployment benefits. After Midway’s primary delivery driver retired, Rahn agreed to fill in. Haberman testified that, based on their conversations in 2018, he assumed that Rahn had a current health card and commercial driver’s license when Rahn agreed to make the deliveries. In his testimony, Rahn acknowledged that when he refused to make any more deliveries, he did not mention his health or his lack of a current health card or commercial driver’s license. Here, the ULJ found that Rahn refused to make the requested delivery because of the way the damaged lawn mower was handled, not out of a concern about the status of his health card. In addition, Rahn never informed Midway that the requested delivery violated any law or regulation. Therefore, the Whistleblower Act does not apply to these facts, and this Court affirmed the ULJ’s decision.

  • Dittmar v. Karels, No. A15-2058, 2016 WL 7335806, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Dec. 19, 2016)

    In this appeal following a jury verdict in a personal-injury action, appellant/cross-respondent challenged the district court’s denial of his motions for attorney fees and expert-witness fees and his request to file a motion to amend the complaint. Respondents/cross-appellants challenged the district court’s denial of their request for costs and disbursements. Dittmar contended that he was entitled to a mandatory award of fees and costs under section 221.271 because Karels operated a commercial vehicle when he did not possess a commercial driver’s license and failed to exercise reasonable care, which violated duties imposed by sections 221.031 and 221.0314. Under Minn. Stat. § 221.0314, subd. 2, anyone who drives a commercial vehicle must comply with 49 C.F.R. § 391.11(a), (b)(5) (2014), which requires that the driver have a valid commercial driver’s license. The district court did not determine that respondents’ admission was insufficient to establish a violation, it determined that, even if there was a violation, Dittmar was not entitled to recover attorney fees because “[t]here were no admissions, nor any findings of the jury, that the lack of a commercial driver’s license caused [Dittmar’s] injuries.” Because the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motions and request or in awarding costs and disbursements, this Court affirmed the decision.

  • Neumann v. Dep’t of Emp. & Econ. Dev., 844 N.W.2d 736, 737 (Minn. Ct. App. 2014)

    This Court reversed the determination of the unemployment law judge (ULJ) that relator was ineligible for unemployment benefits because the ULJ failed to consider existing conditions in relator’s labor market area when the ULJ determined that the relator was not actively seeking employment. This Court observed that the ULJ’s criticism of Neumann’s time spent studying for a commercial driver’s license exam does not support a finding that he was failing to actively seek suitable employment, absent a finding that it distracted him from employment opportunities that were otherwise available. Consequently, this Court remanded for the ULJ to calculate relator’s appropriate benefits consistent with this opinion, including a deduction for the relator’s two-day absence from his labor market area.

  • Price v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, No. A17-0929, 2018 WL 817435, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Feb. 12, 2018)

    Following Price’s convictions, the Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety (commissioner) received certification of Price’s Michigan impaired-driving conviction, revoked Price’s Minnesota driver’s license for 30 days, and “disqualified” Price from using his commercial driver’s license for one year. Price petitioned to reinstate the licenses, arguing that the Michigan impaired-driving offense requires only that a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle be “visibly impaired”; it does not require that a driver be “under the influence.” He also asserted that he would not be able to travel for work and was in danger of permanently losing his job if he was not able to drive. The district court rejected Price’s “primary contention … that the conviction entered against him in Michigan for Operating While Visibly Impaired does not allow the revocation of his license in Minnesota” and denied his petition. The district court ruled that the Michigan driving conviction was in conformity with Minnesota law and Price’s driving conduct in Michigan would constitute a driving-while-impaired (DWI) offense in Minnesota. This Court found that Price’s impaired-driving offense in Michigan, if committed in this state, would be grounds for revoking Price’s driver’s license. Therefore, this Court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

  • Peterson v. U.S. Fed. Emps., No. A13-1354, 2014 WL 2178767, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. May 27, 2014)

    This certiorari appeal is from the decision of an unemployment-law judge that relator is ineligible to receive unemployment-compensation benefits because he was discharged from his employment for committing employment misconduct. Beginning in 2002, the USPS required an automotive technician to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) if the technician worked in a facility where CDL-type vehicles were serviced. The requirement applied to the facility where relator worked, and relator obtained a CDL in 2002. On January 8, 2013, the USPS suspended relator for seven days for failing to have his CDL reinstated. Relator argues that sleep apnea prevented him from having his CDL reinstated. Relator’s supervisor testified that, in January and February 2013, relator stated that he might have a medical condition that could prevent him from having his CDL reinstated. This Court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

  • Horsman v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, No. A19-0401, 2019 WL 5304202, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Oct. 21, 2019)

    Respondent commissioner of public safety disqualified appellant’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) because he was twice convicted of driving while impaired (DWI). But because of commissioner error, the disqualification was delayed. Appellant challenged the district court’s denial of his petition to reinstate his CDL, arguing that (1) the district court made clearly erroneous factual findings, (2) the disqualification is arbitrary and capricious, and (3) the disqualification is unconstitutional. This Court affirmed the district court’s decision. Minnesota law requires the commissioner to “disqualify a person from operating commercial motor vehicles in accordance with the driver disqualifications and penalties in [federal regulations].” Minn. Stat. § 171.165, subd. 1 (2018). A person whose CDL has been disqualified may petition the district court for reinstatement under Minn. Stat. § 171.19 (2018). This Court found that the district court’s factual findings were not clearly erroneous, that the commissioner’s decision to disqualify Horsman’s CDL is not arbitrary and capricious, and that Horsman’s CDL disqualification is not unconstitutional. Therefore, this Court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

  • State v. Price, No. C6-99-274, 1999 WL 993977, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Nov. 2, 1999)

    On October 2, 1997, Price ran a red light, causing an accident that killed Heather Olson and Olson’s unborn child. Price, driving a truck with a fully-loaded “belly dump” trailer, had neither a valid commercial driver’s license nor a valid individual driver’s license at the time of the accident. A jury convicted Price of two counts of felony criminal vehicular operation, one each for the deaths of Heather Olson and her unborn child. Price pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of driving after suspension, revocation, or cancellation of a driver’s license. The state appealed the trial court’s decision to depart downward by staying execution of respondent Roxanne Marie Price’s sentence. This Court affirmed the trial court’s decision.

  • Milliman v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, No. A21-0563, 2022 WL 200334, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Jan. 24, 2022)

    Appellant challenged the district court’s determination that he failed to meet the requirements to have his driver’s license reinstated. Because appellant has failed to provide proof of full payment of the reinstatement fee or completion of a required written examination to qualify for a reinstated driver’s license, this Court affirmed the lower court’s decision. Following appellant Lance Gerald Milliman’s out-of-state conviction for refusing to submit to an alcohol test in violation of Missouri law in 2011, respondent Minnesota Commissioner of Public Safety (the commissioner) revoked Milliman’s Minnesota driver’s license, including his commercial driver’s license (CDL). Minnesota and Missouri are parties to the Driver License Compact. Minn. Stat. § 171.50 (2020); Mo. Rev. Stat. § 302.600 (2016). The compact requires party states to “report each conviction of a person from another party state occurring within its jurisdiction to the licensing authority of the home state of the licensee.” Minn. Stat. § 171.50, art. III. This Court found that the commissioner was “not required to make a safety investigation prior to proper application and satisfaction of the other reinstatement terms.” Therefore, this Court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

  • Bjerke v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, No. A21-1109, 2022 WL 1447813, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. May 9, 2022), review denied (Aug. 9, 2022)

    In this consolidated appeal from an order denying appellant’s petition to rescind the order revoking his driver’s license, and from a final judgment of conviction for driving while impaired (DWI), appellant argued that Minn. Stat. § 169.19, subd. 1(a) (2020) is unconstitutionally vague and that, therefore, a violation of that statute could not provide a lawful basis for a traffic stop. Bjerke testified that he has a Class A commercial driver’s license, which allows him to drive combination tractor/trailers. However, because a violation of section 169.19, subdivision 1(a) was not necessary to establish reasonable articulable suspicion of criminal activity justifying the traffic stop in this case, this Court affirmed without addressing the constitutionality of the statute.

  • Feist v. City of Plymouth, No. A21-0956, 2022 WL 1210267, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Apr. 25, 2022), review denied (June 21, 2022)

    Relator Jerrod Feist challenged the decision of the unemployment-law judge (ULJ) that he is ineligible for unemployment benefits because he quit his job without a good reason caused by his employer. Feist worked as a utilities maintenance worker for the City of Plymouth (the city) from March 2015 until January 21, 2021. Because the position includes snow plowing and operating other commercial equipment, utilities maintenance workers must have a valid Minnesota driver’s license with a good driving record, and they must obtain a valid Class B commercial driver’s license (CDL) within six months of hire and a valid Class A CDL within one year of hire. The job description for a utilities maintenance worker identifies driving as “an essential function.” This Court found that the city did not cause the loss of his driving privileges and the ensuing uncertainty about when and whether he would be able to perform his job duties. Moreover, anticipation of a future discharge from employment is not a good reason caused by the employer for quitting. Therefore, this Court affirmed the lower court’s decision.

  • Jante v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, No. A20-0344, 2020 WL 6703532, at *1 (Minn. Ct. App. Nov. 16, 2020)

    Appellant was arrested for driving while impaired (DWI) and subsequently had his license revoked under the Implied Consent Law (Minn. Stat. § 169A.20) (2018). Appellant challenged his license revocation, arguing that the district court erred by finding that he was in physical control of a motor vehicle on the date of the offense. Minnesota law provides that it is unlawful for “‘any person to drive, operate, or be in physical control of a motor vehicle’ while under the influence of alcohol.” Because the district court’s factual findings were not clearly erroneous, and the factors present are consistent with caselaw, this Court found that there is a sufficient factual basis to conclude that there was probable cause to find that appellant was in physical control of the vehicle. As a result, this Court affirmed the district court’s decision.

  • Bauer v. Commissioner of Public Safety, Not Reported in N.W.2d (2010)

    IMPLIED CONSENT Police officer had probable cause to believe that driver was driving while impaired outside of the driver’s refusal to take field sobriety tests, supporting the revocation of the driver’s license pursuant to the implied consent law. The police officer saw the driver run a red light and smelled alcohol on him when he pulled him over. The driver had red, watery eyes and admitted to drinking a couple of alcoholic beverages. Additionally, the driver was belligerent, uncooperative, slurred his speech, and was swaying while on his feet. M.S.A. § 169A.51.

  • Beito v. Commissioner of Public Safety, Not Reported in N.W.2d (2010)

    IMPLIED CONSENT A driver’s indecision over whether to attempt to contact a lawyer before consenting to a blood or urine test over the course of 45 minutes unreasonably delayed the test and constituted a refusal under Minnesota’s implied consent law. The driver was arrested at a hospital while receiving treatment for minor injuries sustained in a one-car, rollover accident. The arresting officer read the driver the Minnesota Implied Consent Advisory (ICA). Over the next 45 minutes the officer read the ICA eight more times and allowed the driver access to a phone to call an attorney for approximately 25 minutes. Driver stated he would not provide a blood or urine test until contacting an attorney, despite indicating to the officer that he no longer want to contact an attorney several times. M.S.A. § 171.19.

  • Dotray v. Commissioner of Public Safety, Not Reported in N.W.2d (2010)

    IMPLIED CONSENT For purposes of a motorist’s challenge to revocation of his license under an implied consent law for refusal of test, a police officer had a legally sufficient basis to execute a traffic stop. The officer testified that he stopped the motorist’s vehicle because he saw the vehicle fail to stop at a stop sign. While the motorist cross-examined the officer regarding whether he used speed-detection equipment to confirm that the vehicle failed to stop and implied the officer could not have seen whether the motorist had stopped, the motorist failed to offer any testimony whether he stopped at the stop sign. Additionally, the court found the officer’s testimony credible. U.S.C.A. Const.Amend. 4; Minn. Const. art. I, § 10; Minn.Stat. § 169.30(b) (2008).

  • Edstrom v. Commissioner of Public Safety, Not Reported in N.W.2d (2011)

    IMPLIED CONSENT District court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to grant a new implied consent hearing based on newly discovered evidence. After defendant’s implied consent hearing, the state gave defendant a copy of a video recording of the traffic stop captured by the dashboard camera in officer’s squad car. The events that the officer described as justifying the traffic stop were not depicted in the video. The district court reasonably found that the period of the officer’s challenged observations preceded the recording. Therefore, the video recording did not “conclusively prove” that the traffic stop was unlawful. rule 60 of the Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure.

  • Hoekstra v. Commissioner of Public Safety, 839 N.W.2d 536 (2013)

    After driver pleaded guilty to fourth-degree driving while impaired, the Commissioner of Public Safety disqualified him from holding a commercial driver’s license. Driver sought judicial review of his commercial license disqualification, alleging that the disqualification was the result of an unlawful traffic stop. The District Court, Meeker County, sustained license disqualification. Driver appealed. The Court of Appeals held that: [1] police officer had reasonable suspicion that defendant violated provision of motor vehicle equipment statute so as to support traffic stop, and [2] term “covers,” as used within provision of motor vehicle equipment statute prohibiting a person from equipping a motor vehicle with any equipment or material that covers a headlamp, tail lamp, or reflector, or operating a motor vehicle so equipped, includes equipment or material that only partially covers a headlamp, tail lamp, or reflector. Affirmed.

  • Krenz v. Cloverleaf Cold Storage, 2005 WL 2277285 (Minn. Ct. App. 2005) *Unpublished

    Employer violated federal transportation-safety laws when its dispatcher told commercial driver to drive a shift without allowing him the ten preceding consecutive hours off duty. Because Employer violated federal transportation-safety laws, the court concludes that commercial driver had good cause per se to quit, that he was not required to report his complaint to his employer and give it yet another opportunity to respond to his complaint, and that he was not disqualified from receiving unemployment benefits.

  • Kruckow v. Commissioner of Public Safety, Not Reported in N.W.2d (2010)

    The commissioner of public safety was entitled to revoke the driver’s license of a driver for driving while impaired. The driver argued that the revocation was improper because the police officer’s certification of the test results appeared to have been dated before her urine tests results were known. Even if the officer’s certification was defectively completed, other supporting documentation indicated certification was proper. The officer submitted to the commissioner his narrative report, the notice and order of revocation, and the breath test results, which indicated an alcohol concentration of .18, and the officer did not forward the information to the commissioner until after the test results were known and thus the driver was not prejudiced. Minn.Stat. § 169A.52.

  • Lund v. Commissioner of Public Safety, 783 N.W.2d 142 (2010)

    Motorist filed petition for judicial review of decision of the Commissioner of Public Safety revoking his driver’s license in implied consent proceeding, based on motorist’s arrest for driving while impaired. Prior to hearing on petition, motorist filed discovery motion seeking computer source code for breath-test device. The District Court, Mower County, denied motion and affirmed license revocation. Motorist appealed. The Court of Appeals, 2009 WL 1587135, reversed and remanded. Subsequently, motorist sought taxation of costs and disbursements against Commissioner. The Court of Appeals allowed taxation of costs and disbursements, and Commissioner appealed. The Supreme Court held that sovereign immunity barred taxation of costs and disbursements against Commissioner. Reversed.

  • Pallas v. Commissioner of Public Safety, 781 N.W.2d 163 (2010)

    Driver sought review of decision of Commissioner of Public Safety, refusing to reinstate his Minnesota driver’s license after Illinois permanently revoked his Illinois license. The District Court, Carver County, affirmed. Driver appealed. The Court of Appeals held that Commissioner was not authorized to condition reinstatement of driver’s Minnesota license upon driver’s obtaining a letter clearing the lifetime revocation of his Illinois license. Reversed and remanded.

  • Risk v. Eastside Beverage, 664 N.W.2d 16 (Minn. Ct. App. 2003)

    IMPLIED CONSENT It is “employment misconduct” under statutory provisions for disqualification of unemployment benefits for an employee, during working hours, to have an alcohol concentration level over the legal limit while driving his employer’s vehicle, even if he neither was convicted under any criminal driving while under the influence (DWI) statute nor lost his driver’s license under the implied consent statute.

  • Sirovy v. State, Not Reported in N.W.2d (2010)

    State statute providing that commercial drivers with Minnesota licenses will be disqualified from operating commercial motor vehicles when they violate specified federal regulations did not constitute unlawful delegation of state legislative authority to federal government. The Minnesota legislature could adopt extant federal law by reference. Moreover, the federal regulations that were incorporated into the statute had not changed since their incorporation. M.S.A. Const. Art. 1, § 1; Minnesota Statutes section 171.165, subd. 1.

  • State v. Greenman, 825 N.W.2d 387 (2013)

    Defendant charged with driving while impaired (DWI) in connection with his operation of electric personal assistive mobility device moved to dismiss. The District Court, Hennepin County, granted motion, and state appealed. The Court of Appeals, Chutich, J., held that two-wheeled, self-balancing, battery-powered device designed for use in places inaccessible to cars or bicycles, including interiors of buildings, did not constitute “motor vehicle” for purposes of DWI statute. Affirmed.

  • State v. Loeffel, 749 N.W.2d 115 (2008)

    Defendant entered a guilty plea, in the District Court, Nicollet County, to second-degree gross misdemeanor driving while impaired (DWI). Defendant appealed. The Court of Appeals held that a prior civil driver’s license revocation obtained under Wisconsin law, under which law a person suspected of driving under the influence is not entitled to consult with an attorney before deciding whether to submit to chemical testing, may be used in Minnesota as a qualified impaired driving incident, for purposes of statutorily enhancing a criminal driving while impaired charge to second-degree gross misdemeanor DWI. Affirmed.

  • State v. Patterson, Not Reported in N.W.2d (2013)

    Appellant challenges his two convictions of driving while impaired (DWI), arguing that his license was not previously revoked under the enhancement statute, that the jury was instructed incorrectly, that he was barred from presenting a relevant case, and that the district court erred in correcting the sentencing order. Because the enhancement statute recognizes revocation of reciprocal driving privileges as a prior revocation, and because the district court did not err in its jury instructions, ruling on the relevance of caselaw, or in correcting a clerical error, we affirm.

  • State v. Smith, Not Reported in N.W.2d (2014)

    On appeal from his conviction of driving while intoxicated (DWI), appellant argues that (1) the district court erred when it concluded that the stop of appellant’s vehicle was supported by an honest suspicion of criminal activity that was both reasonable and articulable and (2) appellant’s consent to an alcohol-concentration test was coerced. Affirmed.

  • State v. Sterling, 782 N.W.2d 579 (2010)

    Following denial of his motion to suppress evidence and subsequent waiver of his right to a jury trial, defendant was convicted by the District Court, Watonwan County, on stipulated facts of two counts of fourth-degree driving while impaired (DWI). Defendant appealed. The Court of Appeals held that: [1] deputy could require motorist to submit to a blood or urine alcohol concentration test once deputy determined that breath testing machine malfunctioned, and [2] results of urine test were admissible despite later printout from breath testing machine. Affirmed.

  • Stevens v. Commissioner of Public Safety, — N.W.2d —- (2014)

    IMPLIED CONSENT The commissioner of public safety revoked motorist’s driver’s license after she was arrested for driving while impaired (DWI) and refused to submit to chemical testing. Following motorist’s appeal, the District Court, Hennepin County, sustained the revocation. Motorist again appealed. The Court of Appeals held that: [1] sufficient evidence supported trial court’s finding that motorist refused to submit to chemical testing; [2] unconstitutional-conditions doctrine did not apply to motorist’s Fourth Amendment challenge to the implied-consent statute; [3] and even if the unconstitutional-conditions doctrine did apply, the implied-consent statute was not unconstitutional under the doctrine. Affirmed.


Adoption of Federal Regulations

What Constitutes a CMV

Major Disqualifying Offenses

Major Disqualifying Offenses (Alcohol)

Serious Traffic Offenses

Identification of Conviction

Masking Convictions

10-Day Posting Requirement

Other CDL Provisions


No additional resources for Minnesota at this time.