Tuesday, July 14, 2015

What kind of a drivers license do I need?

This is a very common question from drivers, and the answer is both complicated and simple. Basically, you need the lowest "for-hire" license that your state offers. A "for-hire" license allows you to drive for hire, basically to get paid for driving. A commercial driver license from any state, regardless of class, allows you to drive for hire, although different classes allow you do drive larger or smaller combinations.

If you do not have a CDL, then your state may issue a specific for-hire license. Or your state may not. If your state does not offer a for-hire license, then, by default, a standard operator's license from your state of residence will work.

States that do offer a for-hire license are as follows:
  • Alaska - Chauffer License
  • Georgia - Class C License
  • Illinois - Class C License (For Driveaway Only)
  • Indiana - Chauffer License (or Operators with F Endorsement)
  • Iowa - Chauffer License
  • Lousiana - Chauffer License
  • Maryland - Chauffer License
  • Michigan - Chauffer License
  • Mississippi - Class D License
  • Missouri - Class E License
  • Nebraska - Chauffer License
  • Nevada - Operators license with a J-Endorsement
  • New York - Class E License
  • North Carolina - Class C License
  • Tennessee - Operators license with an F-Endorsement
  • West Virginia - Chauffer License
As more states' rules evolve toward a CDL only, these regulations may change. Verify that this list is correct for your state before attempting to drive commercially. Ask your license branch representative what minimum license is required for you to drive commercially in interstate commerce.


  1. ILLINOIS class c is any single vehicle up to 26,000 not a combination of vehicles.

  2. Florida For-Hire Licensing Requirements. For-hire drivers in Florida—such as chauffeurs, taxi drivers, and limousine operators—are not required to obtain a special license in Florida. ... Have a valid state-issued driver's license.

  3. what is needed if you are from Alabama---I pull my own 42ft Cardinal Fifth wheel with my regular license.