Ask a Trooper: Physical requirement for driver depends on cargoE-mail email@example.com or mail your question to Duluth News Tribune, Attn: Ask the State Trooper, 424 W. First St., Duluth, MN 55802. You may remain anonymous if you choose. Read past columns at duluthnewstribune.com.
Q: In regards to the requirements of having a Department of Transportation physical for driving/operating a truck with farm plates with a Minnesota Class B license, is it a law to have a DOT physical to operate the farm tag truck up to 20,000 gross vehicle weight? No one has been able to give me the rule on this issue.
A: My commercial vehicle section partners near the Duluth area tell me this: “Use of a farm plate does not determine if you need a medical certificate. To determine if you are exempt from a medical certificate, you have to determine what you are using the vehicle for. If the vehicle is operated by a farmer or farm employee to transport products, farm machinery or supplies intrastate to or from a farm, the farmer would be exempt from needing a medical certificate. This is covered in state statute 221.031 Subdivision 2 (d). Any interstate transportation of the product, including delivery to a port terminal where the product will be shipped interstate, will require that the driver obtain a medical certificate so they would need the DOT physical.
A driver hauling unfinished forest products (such as logs) is not exempted from needing a medical certificate even if they are using farm plates as stated in state statute 221.025 (9).”
I hope this helps, and thanks for asking.
Sgt. Curt S. Mowers is a regional public information officer for the Minnesota State Patrol.