What is a for-hire motor carrier?
A for-hire motor carrier is a person engaged in the transportation of goods or passengers for any kind of compensation: promised, paid, or given.
Persons providing for-hire transportation must obtain the proper for-hire operating authority. Intrastate authority can be obtained from the Office of Freight and Commercial Vehicle Operations. Interstate authority can be obtained from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
What is a private motor carrier?
A private motor carrier is a person who provides transportation and is not a for-hire motor carrier. A private carrier uses vehicles to enhance its primary business, which is not transportation.
What is an intra-state carrier?
Intra-state carrier means any person engaged in the transportation of property or passengers where the movement takes place entirely in Minnesota.
What is an interstate carrier?
An interstate carrier is any person engaged in transporting property or passengers between states or countries, or between two places in a state as part of transportation that begins or ends outside the state.
Do I need a DOT health card?
A driver is required to have a current and valid DOT health card (medical examiner's certificate) if operating a vehicle that is:
- Any size, and operating for-hire in intrastate commerce, unless providing transportation described in MN Statute § 221.025, clauses 6, 10, 12, and 13;
- Any size, and transporting hazardous materials of a type or quantity that requires the vehicle to be placarded;
- Over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and operating in interstate commerce;
- Over 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) or GVWR and operating as a private carrier in intrastate commerce;
- Designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, and operating in interstate commerce;
- Designed to transport 8 or more passengers, including the driver, and operating for-hire in intrastate commerce.
Do I need a commercial driver's license (CDL)?
A driver is required to obtain a CDL to operate any of the following vehicles:
- A single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of more than 26,000 pounds;
- A combination of vehicles with a combined GVW of more than 26,000 pounds; with a trailer of more than 10,000 pounds GVW;
- A vehicle designed to transport 16 or more people including the driver;
- Any size vehicle that requires hazardous materials placards; or,
- Any size vehicle outwardly equipped and identified as a school bus.
A driver is not required to obtain a CDL to operate any of the following vehicles:
- A farm truck when it is:
- Operated by the farmer or immediate family member, or an employee of the farmer;
- Used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery, or farm supplies, including hazardous materials to or from a farm;
- Not used in a contract or common carrier operation; and
- Used within 150 miles of the farm.
- An authorized emergency vehicle of any size
- A recreational vehicle operated for personal use
Additional information on CDLs can be obtained from the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, Driver and Vehicle Services.
What are the maximum dimensions of a vehicle that I can operate without needing an oversize/overweight permit?
- Height: 13' 6"
- Width: 8' 6" This excludes rearview mirrors or temporary load securement devices that may extend an additional three inches on each side of the vehicle or load.
- Length: Maximum lengths for various vehicles are:
- Single motor vehicle: 45'
- Mobile crane: 48'
- Each trailer or semi-trailer of a twin trailer combination: 28'6"
- Trailer of a two-vehicle combination: 45'
- Semi-trailer of a two-vehicle combination: 48'
- Semi-trailer of a two-vehicle combination, if the distance from kingpin to the center of the rear axle group is 43' or less: 53'
- Twin trailer combination, drive-away saddlemount combination, and drive-away saddlemount vehicle transporter combination: 75'
- Truck-tractor with semi-trailer combination and all other two-vehicle combination: 75'
Who needs a DOT number?
Where can I find motor carrier safety information —including safety ratings, inspections and accident summary data?
This information can be found on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations (FMCSA) Safety and Fitness Electronic Records System (SAFER) website.
How do I get an oversize/overweight permit?
Visit our order a permit page for information on how you can get an oversize/overweight permit.