Becoming a chauffeur can be an exciting job experience that allows you to interact with numerous people throughout your week. It can also be quite attractive to many applicants because of the flexible hours and work schedule, the types of cars you get to drive, and the ability to make tips on top of your traditional pay.
To become a chauffeur, you really only need to meet the state’s requirements, have a great knowledge of your city and how to get around, and have good driving abilities. In Florida, you are required to obtain a Class C Commercial Driver’s License – or CDL – in order to be a chauffeur. To obtain a CDL you must:
- Be a Florida resident
- Provide proof of identity
- Provide proof of residency
- Be at least 18 years of age (or 21 if you wish to escort individuals across state lines)
- Pass a general knowledge test
- Pass a road test
- Turn over previous licenses
Florida’s General Knowledge Test
If a person meets the basic requirements needed to obtain a Class C CDL, then they may take the general knowledge test. The general knowledge test is a multiple-choice test consisting of at least 30 questions, with each question relating to general commercial motor vehicle operation and road safety. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles provides a study handbook that can be obtained online or at your local DMV office to use to study before your test. To obtain a passing score, the driver must answer at least 80 percent of the questions correctly.
Florida’s Road Test
Once a driver has met both the basic requirements and passed the general knowledge test they must pass the road test driving in a limousine to obtain their Class C CDL. Not all states require a road test to be passed to qualify for a CDL, but Florida is one of the states that does. The road test is made up of three basic components:
- The pre-trip vehicle inspection – the driver inspects the vehicle while explaining to the examiner what they are inspecting and why.
- The control of the limousine – the test proctor asks the driver to maneuver forward, backward, and parking within traffic lanes, around cones, and other control mechanisms
- The traffic test – the examiner will ride along with the driver in the limousine on the main road and in traffic. The examiner may ask the driver to make specific turns, park in a designated area, make lane changes at a specified time, and perform other real-life limousine traffic driving functions.
CHAUFFEUR DRIVER TRAINING PROGRAMS
There are some private training programs designed to train drivers on the necessary skills and requirements of being a chauffeur driver. However, it is important to know that these courses are completely voluntary and are not required to become a professional chauffeur. In fact, to become a professional chauffeur, a driver is not even required to have a high school diploma or GED.
ON THE JOB TRAINING
While formal education and training is not required, most luxury transportation companies require their new chauffeurs to complete some sort of one the job training before they can begin transporting clients. All luxury transportation services have a duty to their clients to provide their clients with a high quality, knowledgeable, and safe driver, so they will want to see these skills demonstrated by their new drivers before they send them out on the road with their clients.
CLEAN DRIVING RECORD
If a driver has too many driving infractions, or any major driving infractions on their driving record they will most likely have a difficult time finding a reputable luxury transportation company willing to hire them. In addition to having a clean driving record, a professional chauffeur is required to pass a background check, so they should also have a clean criminal record. It is also important for a professional chauffeur to maintain both their driving record and criminal record as luxury transportation companies will check both regularly throughout their career. Because the company is responsible for their clients’ safety and their drivers’ actions, most luxury transportation companies hold all their professional chauffeurs to a high standard.
While personal characteristics are not an actual requirement of becoming a professional chauffeur, there are many personal traits that a luxury transportation company will look for before hiring a driver as a professional chauffeur. It is always important for a chauffeur to maintain a high standard of professionalism and be committed to providing excellent customer service. A good chauffeur will always inspect their vehicle before picking up their customers, keep their vehicle clean and well stocked, always arrive on time, and always open and close the doors for clients when entering or exiting the vehicle. A chauffeur will also need to determine when communication with the client is necessary or desired, and when it is not. Finally, a good chauffeur will be familiar with their local traffic conditions and know the quickest and safest routes to take, and will also be able to provide clients with local knowledge.
If you are looking for the best in professional chauffeured luxury transportation in the Tampa Bay and surrounding areas, contact Affari Transportation today. We are proud to be the leader in luxury transportation within the Tampa Bay area and we look forward to working with you to provide you the best in luxury transportation services for your next event.