How do I get a Chauffeur License?

A chauffeur is a person who makes a living driving people around. It is usually used to refer to people who do this in an upscale manner, excluding taxi drivers and other low-end chauffeurs, though they may technically qualify as well. As a result, a chauffeur is likely to be a limousine driver, a private luxury sedan driver, or even a carriage driver. In the United States, obtaining a chauffeur license is relatively simple, though it does require more effort than obtaining a standard driver’s license.

The specific requirements for a chauffeur license are determined a variety of factors, including the region in which one wishes to operate, the type of vehicle one wishes to drive, and the number of passengers one wishes to transport. Furthermore, many limousine companies may require training in addition to the technical requirements for the chauffeur license. This is to ensure a particularly high level of service, which is something that a chauffeur is expected to provide.

In California, for example, the type of chauffeur license required is determined the number of people who can be transported in a vehicle. For those who will be driving fewer than ten people at a time, all that is required is a Class C license, which is the standard automobile license that also serves as a chauffeur license. A Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is required for groups of more than ten people, and it comes with its own test and restrictions. To be able to transport people across state lines, for example, you must be at least 21 years old and pass a Passenger endorsement.

A chauffeur license in the state of New York, on the other hand, is a Class E license, which is a taxi and livery license. Additional restrictions apply in New York City, including the completion of a defensive driving course, fingerprinting, and a drug test, as well as having no more than seven points on your license in the previous year and a half. The basic Class E license is valid for any vehicle carrying fewer than 14 passengers, making it appropriate for almost all chauffeurs.

In addition to state regulations and some local governments, such as New York City, most businesses desire additional training. Although these courses are not technically part of the chauffeur license, which usually falls under another commercial class, they are so necessary for employment that they may as well be. Most reputable limousine services expect their employees to have a high level of skill and knowledge, and there are schools dedicated to chauffeur training.

Defensive driving and specialized avoidance courses are examples of classes that teach chauffeurs how to handle the often unwieldy vehicles they drive in dangerous situations like skids or oncoming traffic. These classes may also cover proper etiquette and attire, as a chauffeur is expected to wear a high level of formal attire and be able to communicate effectively with their passengers. Although becoming proficient enough to get a job as a chauffeur at a good company can be difficult, the payoff can be substantial, with a senior chauffeur earning around $50,000 US Dollars on average (USD).