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  • Special Licenses in Oregon

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    Who Needs a Commercial License ?

    To drive any of the following, you need a commercial driver's license (CDL):

    • A Class A CDL authorizes the operation of any vehicle or combination of vehicles
    • A Class B CDL authorizes the operation of a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 26,001 lbs. or more, or any such vehicle towing another not in excess of 10,000 lbs. GVW or GVWR.
    • A Class C CDL allows you to operate any vehicle that is designed to transport 16 passengers or more (except a school bus), including a driver, if the GVW and GVWR is under 26,001 lbs. and the person has a passenger endorsement;
      Also, any vehicle used in the transportation of hazardous materials, in quantities that require placarding by law, only if the GVW and GVWR is under 26,001 lbs. and you have a hazardous materials endorsement.

    If you need to apply for a CDL, remember to check our informative articles on commercial driving.

    Certain driving professions require having endorsements in addition to a CDL, while others don't require a CDL. We'll sort out some common scenarios below.

    School Bus Drivers

    To transport school children, you need to have a CDL along with a passenger ("P") endorsement, and either an Oregon school bus driver permit or certificate.

    To obtain the school bus driver permit or certificate, applicants need to meet various training and background requirements.

    Shuttle Bus Drivers

    Shuttle buses come in a variety of styles and sizes, and are used in many different ways. Drivers may need to obtain a CDL, along with a passenger or other endorsements. Check with the potential employer to find out what is needed for the particular situation.

    Taxi Drivers

    There isn't a special statewide driver's license for taxi drivers. However, local jurisdictions may impose their own requirements, such as having to obtain a taxi permit or business license.

    Chauffeurs

    While chauffeurs don't need to have any special statewide licenses, local jurisdictions can require additional requirements in addition to having the standard driver's license.

    Sports Vehicles

    To operate a Class I all-terrain vehicle (ATV) on public lands, you'll need to have:

    • A driver's license
    • An ATV operator permit
    • A licensed (ATV or regular license) adult who is at least 18 years old supervising you if you are under 16 years old.

    To obtain an ATV operator permit, you'll need to successfully complete a safety education course. As of January 1, 2014 this law applies to all ATV riders regardless of age.

    Another change in Oregon law requires that all riders younger than 18 years old must wear helmets.

    Class I vehicles ride on a minimum of 3 tires, are 50 inches wide or less, have a dry weight of 1,200 lbs. or less, and have a saddle or seat.

    Not a Class I?

    If your vehicle doesn't fit into this category, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department provides complete details on other categories and the licensing requirements for each.

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