Limousine drivers, or chauffeurs, accomplish several tasks in addition to transporting passengers. They may plan itineraries for client's trips or play the role of a client's secretary. Drivers work for businesses or government agencies, or they are hired for single trips. The savvy ones know every street in their local area and can identify more than one way to get to most destinations. Whether they're self-employed or working for a company, limo drivers regard safety and customer service as their top priorities.
Review the Eligibility Basics
Employers may prefer limo drivers who have at least a high school diploma, but it's usually not a requirement. However, limo drivers must have a driver's license, and employers often require applicants to have a clean driving record. Drivers must be knowledgeable about traffic laws, street layouts, landmarks and the most scenic travel routes. They may be called on to answer questions from passengers about the local population, history or popular restaurants.
Obtain a CDL
Drivers who transport more than 16 passengers, including themselves, are required to have a commercial driver's license with a passenger endorsement. The Department of Motor Vehicles issues CDLs, but requirements and procedures vary by state. For example, Connecticut requires applicants to pass a criminal background check. Most states require applicants to be a minimum of 18 years old, hold a driver's license, complete a medical review, and pass written knowledge and practical skills driving tests.
Get Licensed and Noticed
Some municipalities and states have additional regulations for limo drivers. Many require drivers to obtain a chauffeur's license, which is usually granted upon successful completion of a drug test and written exam on local regulations and geography. Employers typically put new drivers through a short period of orientation and training. Self-employed drivers must promote their services and build a client base. For example, as part of their unparalleled service, they may offer their passengers chewing gum, a corkscrew or other essentials as needed.
Meet the Demand
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics recognizes limo drivers under the broader category of taxi drivers and chauffeurs. It expects employment opportunities to grow 16 percent between 2012 and 2022, which is faster than the average of all occupations. According to the BLS, the demand for chauffeurs will grow as corporate travel increases, because many limo drivers rely on clients traveling for business. It reports that drivers without schedule limitations should have the best prospects.