Special Licenses in Michigan
Special Driver's Licenses in Michigan
Depending on what type of vehicle you want to drive and what kind of driving profession you want to have, you may need to apply for a special license or endorsement through the Michigan Secretary of State (SOS).
On this page you'll find a general overview of some of the license classes and endorsements available to you.
For information about obtaining a regular driver's license, please visit our following pages:
- Applying for a New License in Michigan (Drivers 18+).
- Applying for a New License in Michigan (Teen Drivers).
You'll need to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) in MI if you intend to drive any of the following:
- A single vehicle whose actual, registered, or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is 26,001 lbs. or more.
- A vehicle that is towing a trailer or another vehicle with a GVWR of 10,001 lbs. or more, with a gross combination weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 lbs. or more.
- A vehicle designed to either transport at least 16 passengers (including the driver) or carry hazardous materials.
For more information, please visit our Applying for a New CDL in Michigan page.
Certain driving professions require having endorsements in addition to a CDL, while others don't require a CDL but do require an endorsement. We'll sort out some common scenarios below.
School Bus Drivers
If you will be transporting children in a school bus, you need to have a CDL with a passenger ("P") and a school bus ("S") endorsement. You will generally need to:
- Become certified and trained.
- Pass a school bus knowledge exam.
- Pass the driving test in a school bus.
- Have clean criminal record.
- Have a clean driving record.
For more information, please contact the Michigan DMV.
Shuttle Bus Drivers
Shuttle buses not only come in a variety of styles and sizes, but are used in many different ways. At a minimum, you'll need to obtain a chauffeur's license to drive a shuttle bus.
However, you may need to obtain a CDL, along with a passenger endorsement or any others you may require. Check with your potential employer to find out what is needed for your particular situation.
To obtain a MI chauffeur's license, you must pass a written chauffeur license test. If you haven't already received your operator's license, you'll also need to complete a driver's education class and pass a skills test.
Your MI chauffeur's license will cost $35. Testing is available through Secretary of State branch offices.
The following professions all require a chauffeur's license:
- Chauffeurs: Depending on the type of vehicle you are operating, you may also need to obtain a Michigan CDL. See "Who Needs a Commercial License in Michigan?" above.
- Taxi drivers.
NOTE. If you were looking for a chauffeur license practice test, at the time of this writing we were unable to locate one. Sorry about that.
Riders may have to complete a state-approved Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) safety education course. For your convenience, Michigan now offers an online course.
In addition, the Department of Natural Resources also requires you to purchase an ORV license every year for $26.25.
Certain vehicles may require you to obtain a motorcycle license. For more information, please visit our Motorcycle License in Michigan page.
You must also prove you have a permanent legal presence in the United States when applying for any of the above special licenses.