Special Licenses in TexasPage Overview
Texas Special Driver's Licenses
The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) offers special license classes and endorsements for specific types of vehicles and driving professions/activities.
The application process for each license class/endorsement is similar to that of your regular driver's license. You'll likely need to:
- Pass a knowledge test.
- Take a driving test in the type of vehicle you want to drive.
- Pay a new licensing fee.
If you are looking for information about applying for a regular driver's license, please visit our pages on the following topics:
- Applying for a New License in Texas (Drivers 18+).
- Applying for a New License in Texas (Teen Drivers).
For some vehicles and driving professions, you may need to obtain a commercial driver's license (CDL) with a special endorsement. Depending on the class of your CDL and the endorsements you hold, you'll be able to:
- Drive heavy-weight vehicles.
- Transport hazardous materials.
- Drive vehicles designed to carry a large number of passengers.
For more information about obtaining a commercial driver's license, please visit our Applying for a New CDL in Texas page.
School Bus Drivers in Texas
To operate a school bus in Texas, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Have a commercial driver's license (CDL) along with school bus and passenger endorsements.
- Pass annual physical fitness and mental health exams.
- Pass a background check on your driving record.
- Pass a background check on your criminal record.
- Own a certificate proving that you're either enrolled in or have successfully completed a course in school bus safety education.
For more information, please contact the Texas DPS.
A CDL is not required if the shuttle van or bus you're operating is designed for less than the commercial vehicle passenger ratings. Some shuttle vehicles may require a CDL.
Taxi license requirements vary with each town and city in Texas. Check with your municipal government. Usually a city or town clerk handles the licensing, but in some districts, local police departments oversee the processing. You may need to:
- Become trained and certified as a taxi driver.
- Have a clean criminal and driving record.
- Pay a taxi licensing fee.
There is no statewide chauffeur license code to follow. Like taxis, chauffeur driver's licenses vary with each district. Some may not require a special license, whereas other districts, such as Houston, mandate strict requirements. Check with your local TX government for more information.
While many sport and off-road vehicles don't require a special license or endorsement, you may have to meet certain age and safety class requirements. Some vehicles may require you to hold a motorcycle license or endorsement. For more information, please visit our Motorcycle License in Texas page.
All-Terrain Vehicles (ATV)
To operate an ATV in Texas, the following may apply:
- If you're younger than 14 years old, you must be supervised by your parent or guardian.
- When riding on public land, you must carry an ATV safety course certificate. If you're a younger operator, you don't need to meet this requirement if you are riding with your parent who owns a safety certificate.