We’ve heard stories in the news lately about limo companies with under-qualified drivers being busted by police. Sure, anyone can call themselves a “chauffeur”, but given there seems to be some confusion about it, not to mention safety concerns, we though it might be a good idea to break it down here for our blog readers.
Types of Commercial Driver’s Licenses
There are three main types of commercial driver’s licenses: Class A, Class B and Class C. In most states a Class A license allows the driver to operate any vehicle with a semi-trailer or trailer with two or more axles; including any combination of vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 26,000 pounds.
In the Limo industry drivers are required to have either a Class A or Class B license.
What is a Class B?
The Commercial Class B license allows a motorist to operate any Class C vehicle plus
• any single vehicle over 26,000 lbs. GVWR;
• any single vehicle with three axles or more, weighing at least 6,000 lbs. GVWR
• any bus (except a trailer bus) with the Passenger Endorsement under Section 15278(a)(2) and, when transporting farm laborers, a Farm Labor Certificate under Section 12519(a);
• any house-car more than 40’ long.
The noncommercial Class C license is the basic driver’s license in California which allows a motorist to operate most of the vehicles an ordinary driver would encounter. In the limousine industry a Driver with a class C license could drive any of the Sedan and regular Suvs in the fleet, such as the Lincoln MKT Sedan, Cadillac or Mercedes Benz sedan, Chevy Suburban and Cadillac Escalades.
Regardless of the class of license, all commercial drivers are subject to random drug screenings and ongoing safety tests and training, per California Public Utilities Commission regulations. So the next time you get into a limousine, you might want to ask to see the driver’s license of your chauffeur, just to be sure.
Thanks for reading!