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  • Special Licenses in Tennessee

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    Who Needs a Commercial License?

    You'll need to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) if you intend to drive any of the following:

    • A combination of vehicles whose actual, registered, or gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) is over 26,001 lbs. (Class A license)
    • A vehicle whose actual, registered, or GVWR is over 26,001 lbs. and is not towing another vehicle with a GVWR over 10,000 lbs. (Class B license)
    • A single vehicle designed to either transport at least 16 passengers (including the driver) or carry hazardous materials (Class C license)

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

    School Bus Drivers

    Those seeking to transport children in a school bus need a CDL if the bus is designed to seat more than 16 passengers, including the driver. If so, you'll also need to obtain a passenger ("P") and a school bus ("S") endorsement.

    Chauffeurs

    Chauffeurs should obtain the standard Class D license in addition to a for-hire ("F") endorsement.

    To receive the endorsement, applicants must be at least 18 years old, meet the eligibility requirements, pass a vision test, and pass a specialized knowledge test.

    The endorsement costs $4.50.

    Shuttle Bus Drivers

    Shuttle buses not only come in a variety of styles and sizes, but are used in many different ways.

    Drivers may need to obtain a CDL, along with a passenger ("P") or other endorsements. In some cases, a for-hire ("F") endorsement may suffice, without the CDL.

    Check with your potential employer to find out what you need for the particular situation.

    Sport Vehicles

    You do not need a special license to operate an all-terrain or off-highway vehicle in Tennessee.

    Taxi Drivers

    Taxi drivers should obtain the standard Class D license in addition to a for-hire ("F") endorsement.

    To receive the endorsement, applicants must be at least 18 years old, meet the eligibility requirements, pass a vision test, and pass a specialized knowledge test.

    The endorsement costs $4.50.

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