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Take the online exam

Read all instructions on the exam closely. You are allowed one attempt to take the exam. You may start and stop taking the test over a 10-day period. If you fail to complete the exam in the 10 days, you'll fail the exam. If the operator fails the exam or if the facility that the operator is responsible for is found to be out of compliance, the operator must attend an MPCA-approved training course.

NOTE: You'll need an email address and your tank site information — including tank and piping construction material, cathodic protection method, and tank and piping release detection methods — for the exam.

Once you pass the exam, the certificate will be emailed to you. You must retain your certificate to comply with the rules — the MPCA does not keep a copy of the certificate.

Additional exam information

General — Again, read all the exam instructions. You may have to allow pop-ups from the testing site for the test to function properly. Take your time! You have 10 days to complete the exam and can stop and start as many times as you need in that timeframe. Click on the “Stop and Restart Later” button on the bottom of the screen. On the My page, you will then click on "Restart and Continue an Unfinished Test or Other Content", click on the exam, and click on the “Restart and Continue Taking This Test” button. If you fail to complete the exam in the 10 days, you'll fail the exam.

The exam is only available online. Unless you need further accommodations, there is not a different way to take the exam. You can ask someone to help you log on and access the exam.

Cost — The exam is currently free though operator training often has fees. The MPCA doesn't approve or determine what third parties charge for training.

Site-specific information — Before the exam, you'll answer questions about the components of your tanks system. The exam you take will be specific to the type of tank system at your facility. To find the information, you can contact your tank service provider, or visit the MPCA tank database and search for your site. Make sure you search for a tanks site and not a leak site.

Training requirements — The MPCA recommends but does not require training prior to taking the exam. NOTE: If you fail the exam you will be required to attend an MPCA-approved training course in order to re-take the exam within 30 days.

Studying for the exam — See the UST operator requirements page for a list of fact sheets and resources to help you prepare for the exam. Check with your trade association (e.g., Minnesota Service Station & Convenience Store Association, Minnesota Petroleum Marketers Association) or your tank service provider; these organizations often offer training and resources.

Failing the exam — If you fail the exam, you will be required to attend an MPCA-approved training course and re-take the exam within 30 days. Your facility could also designate a different employee to take the exam.

Length of certification — Your operator certification lasts as long as your employment with the facility, unless the components of the facility's tank system change. In that case, you must take an exam just on the requirements related to the component change.

Compliance violations — If an inspection reveals significant compliance violations at your facility, such as failing to conduct leak testing or cathodic protection violations, you may be required to attend MPCA-approved training and re-take the exam.

Multiple sites — If you have multiple sites with underground storage tanks, you don't have to take multiple exams. Simply compile all the various site information, use it to answer the initial questions, and you'll take an exam that covers all the tank systems.

Exceptions — All USTs, except heating oil-only underground tanks, must have an MPCA-certified Class A and B operator. If your Class A or B operator is onsite while the tanks are operating, you don't have to designate a Class C operator.

Federal requirement — All states have UST owner/operator requirements to comply with federal law. Minnesota's exam, developed with a group of industry experts, is one of the only site specific exams in the nation. NOTE: If you have been certified in another state, you can petition the MPCA to allow that certification to cover the Minnesota testing requirements.

See the UST operator requirements page for more information.