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Special Licenses in Texas

In Texas, a Class C driver's license will allow you to operate most standard passenger vehicles. However, a special license or certificate may be required for certain types of vehicles or driving professions not meeting the definition of a passenger vehicle.

Below are the requirements for vehicles that may need additional licenses as outlined by the laws and regulations of the state of Texas.

TX Commercial Driver's License

To operate commercial vehicles in Texas, a commercial driver's license (CDL) may be required.

Whether or not you need to apply for a Class A, B, or C Texas CDL will depend on:

  • Vehicle type.
  • Weight of the vehicle OR of the combination of vehicles being towed.
  • Number of potential passengers.
  • Materials being transported.

In addition to obtaining a commercial driver's license, some vehicles may also require an additional endorsement.

A few of the common vehicles that may require a CDL include:

  • A tractor-trailer.
  • A school bus.
  • Tankers.
  • Double or triple trailers.
  • Shuttles.
  • City buses.
  • Some construction vehicles.

For more information about the requirements for a CDL, which endorsements you may need, and how to apply, here are some guides that may help you:

For-Hire Driver Requirements

In the state of Texas, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) does not have state-wide requirements in place for hired drivers to obtain a special driver's license.

However, each city or district within the state may have its own requirements. This includes for:

  • Taxi drivers.
  • Limousine drivers.
  • Other chauffeurs.

Depending on the company you'll be working for and the city you'll be working in, for-hire drivers may be required to:

  • Meet a minimum age requirement.
  • Provide proof of citizenship.
  • Agree to a criminal background check.
  • Agree to a driving history check.
  • Submit an application to the city.
    • You may also be required to have a contract from an approved company. Some cities require for-hire drivers to be represented by a company before you can apply.
  • Complete required training, such as:
    • Training classes conducted by the city.
    • On-the-job company training.
  • Complete a medical examination completed by a registered medical doctor.
  • Pass a written examination.
  • Pay the required fees.

Upon completion of the requirements, the city will provide documentation and permits stating your qualifications to operate for-hire vehicles within the specified district. For more information on the exact requirements to operate as a taxi driver, chauffeur, limousine driver, or similar occupation, contact your city transportation department.

Other Vehicle Licensing Requirements

For some vehicles in the state of Texas that are exempt from a CDL, you may still be required to apply for a Class A, B, C, or M non-commercial driver's license.

These vehicles include:

  • Firefighting or emergency vehicles.
  • Military vehicles.
  • Recreational vehicles (RVs).
  • Farming vehicles.
  • Motorcycles.

You may be required to adhere to safety guidelines and meet minimum age requirements unless you are accompanied by a supervising driver.

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