Special Licenses in Washington

Special Licenses in Washington

Depending on the type of vehicle you want to drive, you may need to apply for a license class or endorsement other than your regular, noncommercial Washington driver's license.

On this page you'll find general information about some of the license classes and endorsements available to you.

If you are looking for information about applying for a standard driver's license, please visit our pages on:

Washington Commercial Driver's Licenses

Some vehicles and driving professions will require you to hold a commercial driver's license. You'll need a WA CDL if you want to:

  • Drive heavy vehicles.
  • Transport a lot of people.
  • Carry hazardous materials.

For more information, please visit our Applying for a New CDL in Washington page.

School Bus Requirements

To drive a school bus in Washington, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Successfully complete a bus driver training course.
  • Pass the scrutiny of a criminal background check. For more detailed information consult the Washington law.
  • Hold a valid first-aid card.
  • Hold a valid medical examination certificate.
  • Keep current with all continuing school bus driver requirements as defined in the Washington Administrative Code.

Shuttle Van Requirements

You do not need a commercial driver's license (CDL) to operate a shuttle van carrying fewer than 16 passengers, including yourself.

WA Chauffeur & Taxi Driver License Requirements

Specific rules and regulations are governed by each municipality in Washington.

You may need to:

  • Pass a medical certification.
  • Have a clean driving record.
  • Pass a background check.
  • Pay a special licensing fee.

Washington Chauffeur's License Requirements

To obtain a chauffeur's license in WA, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Have a Washington driver's license.
  • Have successfully completed a training course approved by the Department of Licensing (DOL).
  • Have passed a written examination.
  • Pass a criminal background check conducted by the Washington State Patrol.
  • Have a medical certificate verifying that you're physically approved to be a chauffeur.

For more information, please contact the Washington DMV.

Chauffeuring in SUVs

The Department of Licensing (DOL) defines a sport utility vehicle as a vehicle which seats 3 to 6 passengers behind the driver, and possesses a minimum wheelbase of 116 inches.

If you're going to be driving one of these as a professional chauffeur, all license requirements fall under the chauffeur category as described above. If you're just driving your own personal SUV, you only need a Washington driver's license.

Washington Sport Vehicles

While many sport vehicles don't require a special license, some do require you to be a certain age or pass a safety class.

Certain sport vehicles may require you to hold a motorcycle license or endorsement. For more information, please visit our Motorcycle License in Washington page.


You don't need a special license to drive an ATV in Washington. If you're younger than 13 years old, you must stay on roads designated off-highway and be with someone 18 years old or older who has a driver's license.


No special license is needed is required to drive a snowmobile, but if you're younger than 12 years old, you can't ride a snowmobile on public roads. If you're between 12 and 16 years old, you must complete a snowmobile safety class, like the one offered by the Washington State Snowmobile Association, before you can ride on public roads.

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