Utility Crossing License

Do I need permission to install a utility line across state land or public water?

Yes, a license must be obtained from the DNR for the passage of any utility over, under, or across any state land or public water. Public waters are any water bodies (lakes, rivers, and some wetlands) identified as such on the Protected Waters and Wetlands Maps. These maps were produced on a county-by-county basis and are available for download from the Public Waters Inventory Maps portion of this web site, or from Minnesota's Bookstore.

Utility lines cover:

  • telephone, fiber optic, electrical or other lines, cables or conduits; and
  • pipelines or mains for gases, liquids, or suspended solids.

What is the process for requesting a utility crossing license?

It is recommended that you first contact the Lands and Minerals Regional Operations staff to review issues concerning land ownership, planned routes, and existing resource management uses. The department may request that the proposed location of the license be realigned to minimize impacts.

There is an application fee for each license, and a one-time crossing fee which is either based on a fee table or the appraised value of the land. A monitoring fee may also be assessed to ensure proper construction.

Utility Crossing Application

  • Application for License to Cross Public Lands & Waters This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (713 kb) This document is a PDF interactive form that allows you to enter data directly into the form. Best results can be obtained by saving this form to your computer and then opening it with Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can save this file to your computer by right-clicking the link above and selecting 'Save Target As' or 'Save Link As'. This file contains the application form and instructions for a license to cross public lands and waters. Examples of the types of maps to include in your application are in the instructions along with information on where to submit your application.
  • Licenses for Utility Crossings of Public Lands & Waters According to Minnesota Rules Chapter 6135 This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (98 kb)
    This document includes the Minnesota Rules (Chapter 6135) established to provide additional direction for the installation of utilities across public lands and waters. The establishment of these Rules was required under Minnesota Statute 84.415. All installations of utilities must comply with the requirements listed in these Rules. The Rate Tables (pp. 4 - 7) are provided so that the applicant can get an estimate of the fee for the development of a particular crossing. License payments should not be calculated and submitted with the license application. The only payment submitted with an application should be the application fee. The DNR will calculate the correct license crossing fee and monitoring fee (if applicable) and bill the applicant at the time the license is ready to be issued.

Utility Crossing License Laws and Rules

Minn. Stat., sec. 84.415, subd. 6.

Application and Application Supplemental Fees:

  • Public Water Crossings - $2,250 due with application ($500 application fee + $1,750 supplemental application fee)
  • Public Land Crossings - $3,500 due with application ($500 application fee + $3,000 supplemental application fee)

Minn. Stat., sec. 84.415, subd. 3a.

Joint Applications for Residential Use:

    "An application for a utility license may cover more than one type of utility if the utility lines are being installed for residential use only. Separate applications submitted by utilities for the same crossing shall be joined together and processed as one application, provided that the applications are submitted within one year of each other and the utility lines are for residential use only. The application fees for a joint application or separate applications subsequently joined together shall be as if only one application was submitted."

More information

Contact your Division of Lands and Minerals Regional Operations staff for more information.