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How Do I Get a Chauffeur License?

A chauffeur refers to an individual who drives people around for a living.
An individual will be required to be fingerprinted before acquiring a chauffeur's licence in New York.
An individual may be required to pass a defensive driving course before acquiring a chauffeur's license.
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  • Written By: Brendan McGuigan
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 30 July 2014
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A chauffeur is technically any person who drives people around for a living. It is more specifically used to refer to people who do this in an upscale way, usually leaving out taxi drivers or other low-end chauffeurs, although technically they may also qualify. Therefore, a chauffeur would tend to be a limousine driver, or the driver of a private luxury sedan, or even a carriage. Getting a chauffeur license in the United States is relatively easy, although it does take more work than a standard driver’s license.

The actual requirements for a chauffeur license depend on a number of factors, including the region one wishes to operate in, the type of vehicle one wishes to drive, and the amount of passengers one wishes to carry. Additionally, many limousine companies may require training far above and beyond what is technically required for the chauffeur license itself. This is to ensure a particularly high level of service, which tends to be expected from a chauffeur.

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In the state of California, for example, the type of chauffeur license needed depends on how many people can be transported in a vehicle. For those who are planning on driving less than ten people at a given time, all a person needs is a Class C license, the normal automobile license, which functions as a chauffeur license. For anything more than ten people, a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is required, which has its own test, and its own restrictions. For example, to be able to chauffeur people across state lines, you’ll have to be at least 21, and you’ll have to pass a Passenger endorsement as well.

In the state of New York, on the other hand, a chauffeur license is a Class E license, which is a taxi and livery license. In the city of New York additional restrictions apply, including a requirement of a defensive driving course, fingerprinting, a drug test, and no more than seven points on your license in the prior year and a half. The basic Class E license is good for any vehicle carrying less than 14 people, making it suitable for virtually all chauffeurs.

In addition to state restrictions, and some local municipalities like New York City, most companies desire an additional level of training. Although not technically part of the chauffeur license, which usually falls under some other commercial class, these courses are so required to be employed that they may as well be part of the license. Most reputable limousine services demand a high level of skill and knowledge from their employees, and there are schools set up specifically to train chauffeurs.

Classes include things like defensive driving and specialized avoidance courses, teaching drivers how to handle the often unwieldy vehicles driven as a chauffeur in dangerous situations like skids or oncoming traffic. These classes may also include things like proper etiquette and attire, as a chauffeur is generally expected to have a high level of formal dress, and to be able to interact properly with their clientele. Although becoming proficient enough to get a job at a good company as a chauffeur can be difficult, the payoff can be great, with the average salary for a senior chauffeur around $50,000 US Dollars (USD).

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Discuss this Article

anon347933
Post 9

You can hire limousine car service anytime you come to another city and are not able to travel in a rental car. If you want to, you can hire it for your marriage, for your birthday party, for your honeymoon travelling or for some corporate purpose. By hiring this luxury car, you can make your day very special. The plus point of these companies is that they provide drivers along with the car. The drivers are commonly known as chauffeurs. The chauffeur is a well trained and trustworthy person are hired by the company itself.

A variety of other extra facilities may also be provided in the limo. Various types of limousines are available and the renter can hire a limo of his or her own choice.

The limo service companies aim at providing reliable and comfortable services to their customers. A limousine itself is a symbol of luxury, but now everyone can experience this luxury by just hiring one. Limousines are available at very affordable rates. The companies also assure that if you face any problem in a limo while travelling, then they will provide you another car so you can reach your destination. The limo service is a good initiative taken by these companies.

anon343493
Post 8

What all must one do to get a class C license?

anon330618
Post 7

How much does it cost? I'm trying to drive a taxi.

anon309258
Post 6

Does anyone know any schools in the United States that offer chauffeur classes?

zenmaster
Post 4

@closerfan12 -- I don't know about getting a new one for each state, but I know that you often have to register with the city or county that you drive in if you're a chauffeur, and I would assume that you would have to re-register if you moved to a new area.

I would ask your local DMV to be sure.

closerfan12
Post 3

Does anybody know if you need a different chauffeur license if you move to a different state, or can you just keep using the old one?

FirstViolin
Post 2

I can only imagine all the different types of people you would meet being a chauffeur.

I know most of the people would be nice (just like in any job) but I think I would get so annoyed with the few idiots who hire a chauffeur and then act like they're the Rockefellers.

I think I would go crazy with all the "Home James!" and "To the Batcave!" and all the other stuff "clever" people would say.

GrumpyGuppy
Post 1

My brother was a chauffeur for many years. Out of all of his jobs chauffeuring, he said that driving a limousine was the absolute worst. Around May of every year, he stayed busy with teenage proms. He said that was the worst headache of his life!

He now works for a five star hotel and loves it!

For anyone considering being a chauffeur, think about prom season!

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