DVS Removes General Knowledge Test Requirement for CDL Holders

For the last 10 years, DVS has required commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders to complete the general knowledge, passenger, and school bus knowledge exams when applying for a commercial learners permit (CLP) to receive a school bus endorsement.  With extensive research DVS has found that requirement is not a Federal/State or rule requirement.  Effective August 1, 2023, DVS has eliminated the need for CDL holders to re-take the general knowledge to receive a CLP.  This change will be applicable to all current CDL holders and will align with the 2023 DVS legislative initiative that was also implemented on August 1st to eliminate the Class D knowledge exam for new to-state and for other situations when reinstatements occur. 


·        Any current or previous CDL holder wanting to obtain a CLP, will not be required to take the general knowledge test to obtain the CLP.

·         Customer will only be able to skip the general knowledge test where applicable.

·        Customer must take all knowledge test that apply to the vehicle they are testing in. For illustration, if the individual is testing in a school bus with air brakes, these would be the required knowledge test: air brakes, passenger, and school bus.

·        Customer must take all applicable knowledge test(s) when adding an endorsement for the first time.

At this time DVS is only able to waive the general knowledge test for current/past CDL holders; all other requirements for obtaining a CLP are following Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulations as specified in CFR 383.71. 

Please reach out to Brad Hickerson at bradley.j.hickerson@state.mn.us with your questions on this topic.