Michigan Chauffeur License

When is a Michigan Chauffeur License Required

You will need a Michigan Chauffeur License if any of the following conditions apply. 

  • Are employed for the principal purpose of operating a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more. (See note below.)
  • Operate a motor vehicle as a carrier of passengers or as a common or contract carrier of property.
  • Operate a bus or a school bus.

More detailed information is available at the Michigan Secretary of State.

Michigan law state that:

Michigan law considers someone to be employed for the principal purpose of operating a motor vehicle “when the person’s employment customarily involves the necessary use of a motor vehicle for hire or for transporting passengers for hire, or for transporting for gain or hire any merchandise for display, sale, or delivery.” (MCL 257.6(2))

How do you apply for a Michigan Chauffeur License

To obtain a Michigan chauffeur license:

  • You need to be at least 16 years of age and have completed segments 1 and 2 of driver education and hold a Graduated Driver License Level 2 or 3. 
  • You must pass the written chauffeur license knowledge test. (skills test will be required if you this is your first time with a license).
  • Pay the $35 license fee.

 You may need to get a commercial driver license, in addition to the chauffeur license to operate certain commercial vehicles.

Who is exempt from needing a Chauffeur License.

You will not need a Michigan Chauffeur license in the following instances.

  • A farmer or farmer’s employee operating a vehicle exclusively in connection with the farming operation.
  • All firefighter or members of fire departments that drives an ambulance.
  • A firefighter or police officer that operates equipment used exclusively in connection with their employment.
  • Utility company employees hired to drive trucks used to transport employees, materials, and tools.
  • Service or repair personnel that operate vehicles to carry their tools and transport parts or appliances only incidentally in connection with their employment.
  • Any Emergency medical services personnel operating an ambulance.
  • County road commission employees and other employees of local units of government who do not drive their vehicles and whose work consists of hauling road building materials and supplies for the road commission or other municipal purposes.
  • Michigan DOT employees whose work consists of operating vehicles with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds or more who transports highway and bridge maintenance materials and supplies for state trunkline maintenance.
  • Anyone operating a motor vehicle for a volunteer program who only receives reimbursement for vehicle operating costs.
  • Anyone who operates a motor home for personal use.
  • Parent or parent’s representatives who transporting students to or from school and school-related events.
  • Taxicab driver, limousine driver, or transport drivers such as (Uber or Lyft drivers).
  • A vehicle towing a trailer or other vehicle with a GVWR of 10,001 pounds or more when the GCWR is 26,001 pounds or more.
  • Vehicles (including buses) having a GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more.
  • A vehicle under 26,001 pounds GVWR that:
    1. Vehicles that carry 16 or more persons (including the driver)
    2. Carries hazardous materials in amounts requiring special warning labels.

Finally, for more information on how to obtain a Michigan Commercial Drivers License, click on the highlighted link.