Minnesota Department of Transportation

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About MnDOT permits

MnDOT regulates and/or gives approval for the use and occupancy of highway right of way by utility facilities or private lines through a document known as a permit. Utility owners must submit a permit application to place a new facility within trunk highway right of way or to accommodate additions or changes to their existing facilities. Before beginning work, a utility owner must receive an approved permit from MnDOT, and the utility contractor must carry a copy of the approved permit at all times while working on the trunk highway right of way.

Permit approval depends on meeting the technical guidance that is contained in the Utility Accommodation Section of the Utility Accommodation and Coordination Manual (PDF). It is important for utility owners to understand and follow the MnDOT Utility Accommodation on Highway Right of Way Policy, which consists of a policy document and a Utility Accommodation Section that is part of the updated Utility Accommodation and Coordination Manual (PDF).

Highway projects

For utility relocations necessitated by highway projects, the utility owner must prepare a relocation plan that details the proposed location of any facilities to be placed, as well as any relocation of existing facilities. The relocation plan must be on state construction plan sheets and include the original location, proposed location, and any temporary locations.

The utility owner completes the permit application and submits the following information to the project manager: One separate, completed permit application form for each project; two sets of relocation plans on project plan sheets; schedules; special provision information; and cost estimates (for reimbursable relocations).

Utility projects

To place a new utility facility or change an existing one, utility owners submit one permit application form completed in its entirety; two sets of detailed sketches; a separate application for each trunk highway; and a separate application for each MnDOT district involved. An authorized representative of the utility owner must sign, date, and submit the original permit.


Permit applicants agree to comply with measures to protect the environment, which include required protection measures for specimen trees and environmentally sensitive areas; required steps to preserve the scenic quality of the highway; and erosion control measures, turf establishment, and other environmental requirements. For additional details, see environmental requirements (Word).

Please refer to the Utility Accommodation and Coordination Manual (PDF) for additional information about permit application, review, and approval.

Tribal lands

When working on state trunk highways that fall with in Tribal lands you must get the Tribes approval before applying for a MnDOT utility permit. Please be sure to let the Tribe know the request for approval would not be for federal permitting, licensing, or funding requirements. The reviews would be for work initiated by an individual or utility company. Include the approval in the information submitted with the MnDOT utility permit application.

For further information about Tribes in Minnesota please visit the Tribes and Transportation page.


What is a “sketch?”
For permit applications, the word “sketch” does have a specific meaning. Sketches for permit applications must meet certain requirements, or the application will be returned or rejected.

First, you use a MnDOT right of way map or state construction plan sheets as the basis for your sketch. Right of way maps are available via the MnDOT eDOCS document search site or at mndot.gov/maps/gisweb/row. If a right of way map of the area is not available, a detailed drawing must be submitted with distances given from pertinent features, such as centerline, right of way lines, curb and gutter, distances from nearest county roads and highway mile markers, and other information that generally appears on the right of way map.

Next, plan to draw to a preferred scale of 1 inch = 100 feet, no smaller than 1 inch = 200 feet on paper no larger than 11” x 17”. The sketch must show in detail the proposed location of any utility facilities to be placed, as well as any relocation of existing facilities, and must contain references from the trunk highway centerline or the right of way line. Also, you must show all other existing utilities in the proposed work area.

See the following for examples of sketches:
Sketch example 1 (PDF)
Sketch example 2 (PDF)

Besides an unacceptable sketch or plan, are there other reasons why my permit application might be rejected?
Yes, there are. Some of those reasons include a permit application with missing information; a permit application not completed in ink; an unsigned permit application; a photocopy and not the original application; the incorrect form (be sure to download the correct form from this web site).

Before preparing your permit, review the following tips:
Permit tips (Word)

How can crowded right of way be used more efficiently?
The right of way, especially in urban areas, is becoming more and more crowded, making it more challenging to accommodate requests for utility placements. To help with that issue, MnDOT encourages utilities to make use of joint trenching and existing conduits whenever possible as a way to maximize the use of the right of way.

Online Applications

We now offer the opportunity to submit most permit application types online. You may submit your application as a guest user or you can create an account. Creating an account allows you to save your contact information for future applications and it will provide you with the ability to track the ongoing status of any application(s) you have submitted.


Application for Utility Accommodation on Trunk Highway Right of Way (PDF)
Use this form to request permission to place, construct, and reconstruct utilities within trunk highway right of way, whether longitudinal, oblique, or perpendicular to the centerline of the highway.

Application for Miscellaneous Work on Trunk Highway Right of Way (PDF)
Use this form for minor work that includes installation of utility service connections that do not cross or parallel the roadway within trunk highway right of way; maintenance of utility facilities; installation of miscellaneous guy wires and anchors; placement of temporary obstructions on the right of way; temporary relocation of a more minor nature to accommodate a construction project; vegetation removal; manure force mains; community gardens; and spill cleanup.

Application for Drainage Permit (PDF)
Use this form for all types of drainage changes on trunk highway right of way.

Application for Access/Driveway Permit (PDF)
Use this form for all requests for a driveway or other access point to a trunk highway.

Application for Parade/Special Event/Banner (PDF)
Use this form for all requests for a parade, special event or banner within trunk highway right-of-way.

Application for Soil and/or Water Sampling Permit (FKA TLA) (PDF)
Use this form for water or soil sampling to track contamination from other sources.  It may be used to install wells for continued water sampling.  It will be used to approve work for the necessary collection or sampling of soil and/or water, the traffic control needed, and the cleanup and repair of the trunk highway right of way or rail bank property from that work.

Application for Mowing/Haying Permit (PDF)
Use this form for all requests to mow-hay within trunk highway right of way.

Early Application Authorization (PDF)

Rail bank accommodation

In some cases, accommodation requests may impact rail bank right of way, which requires a different form. As a first step, use the rail bank map (PDF) that follows to determine if a utility placement impacts a rail bank. If a project impacts a rail bank, use one of the following permit application forms.

Application for Rail Bank Access (PDF)
Use this form for all requests for access on rail bank right of way; a lease agreement and fee also applies.

Application for Utility Installation and/or Miscellaneous Work on Rail Bank (PDF)
Use this form for all utility installations or other objects on, along, or across rail bank right of way; a lease agreement may apply, and a fee will apply.


MnDOT requires utility owners to have a bond or supply a money order or cashier’s check before issuing a permit.

Utility Surety Bond Form – Individual (PDF)
Use this form for work on an individual project

Utility Surety Bond Form – Continuing (PDF)
Use this form to establish an ongoing bond on file that covers all utility permits by a single company

Continuing Bond Report (PDF)
A list of utility owners and contractors that carry a continuing bond to cover their utility work within MnDOT right of way

Permit special provisions

MnDOT issues special provisions with approved permits. The special provisions list specific requirements that must be met before, during, and after working within the right of way.

Utility accommodation permit special provisions

Spill cleanup permit special provisions

Miscellaneous work permit special provisions

Traffic control

For traffic control layouts, please see the Temporary Traffic Control Zone Layouts Field Manual 2018.