What is a Class E License?

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Each state creates its own classes of licenses. Some states have Class E licenses that enable you to drive certain vehicles, ranging from mopeds or motorcycles to for-hire vehicles carrying multiple passengers, depending on the state.

If the only license you have ever had is a typical driver’s license, you may not be aware of all of the types of driver’s licenses out there. In most states, you will see Class A, B, C and D licenses, some of which are for personal driving and others for commercial driving. Or you’ll notice Class M licenses for motorcycles and mopeds. There is also sometimes a Class E license, like in Missouri, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina. However, these Class E licenses are not all for the same thing. It just goes to show, you need to make sure you obtain the proper license in the state where you live because each state does things a little bit differently.

TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)

A Class E License does not mean the same thing around the country. Driver’s license designations vary by state.

Class E License by State

  • Florida: If you have a Class E license, you can operate any non-commercial vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) less than 26,001 pounds, including passenger vehicles, 15-passenger vans, trucks, recreational vehicles and two or three-wheel motor vehicles 50 cc or less, like mopeds (The term "cc" means "

    cubic centimeters of displacement"). The fee for an original Class E or renewing this license is currently $48.  Georgia: In Georgia, a Class E license gives you the privilege to drive any combination of vehicles with a GVWR of 16,001 pounds or more, so long as the GVWR of the vehicle(s) being towed are in excess of 10,000 pounds. It also includes all vehicles covered by Class F and Class C. The cost of an original Class E license is $32.
    Kentucky: A Class E license in Kentucky includes only mopeds.
    Louisiana: Louisiana’s Class E license covers personal vehicles under 10,001 pounds. If you are currently under 69 years old, this costs about $32. Some offices charge a $6 service fee. Missouri: Class E licenses in Missouri are for drivers who are hired to transport property or persons or for driving another person’s vehicle in the course of employment. A Class E license valid for up to six years is $35. New Jersey: In New Jersey, a Class E is a motorcycle license, costing $24. New York: If you have a Class E license in New York, you can operate any vehicle in Class D, which are vehicles up to GVWR of 26,000 pounds, and for-hire vehicles carrying up to 14 passengers. The price varies by your age. You will pay between $90 and $120. * South Carolina: South Carolina’s Class E vehicles include non-commercial, single unit vehicles that weigh less than 26,000 pounds. Obtaining an eight-year license currently costs $25.

While there are many differences in Class E licenses across the U.S., there are some similarities. A Class E license is usually for non-commercial vehicles, though some include for-hire work. However, even the for-hire license is different than a Commercial Driver’s License, which enables you to drive large commercial vehicles, like semi-trucks. A Class E license often covers vehicles larger than your typical family sedan, such as large passenger vans. However, don’t forget, in a couple states, a Class E license is for a motorcycle or moped.

Do You Need a Class E License?

If you want to drive anything other than a typical personal vehicle, whether it’s a car, truck or van, then you need to look into what other license is necessary. Motorcycles and mopeds often require an endorsement on your license, or an entirely different license if you do not have a normal driver’s license. Driving large passenger vans often requires a different license, and driving limos or other for-hire vehicles may require a special license or endorsement.

Make sure to look up the license options in your state before getting behind the wheel of something other than your personal vehicle.

References

About the Author

Victoria E. Langley is a legal content writer living in the Pacific Northwest. She holds a B.A. in philosophy from Northern Illinois University and a J.D. from the John Marshall Law School of Chicago. She has worked as a clerk for a boutique law firm handling breach of contract litigation, a corporate document reviewer, and a legal counselor for a transactional law clinic. She now focuses on translating legalese into everyday language for firms around the country. Her work has appeared on the U.S. News Law Directory and many law firm's sites. Learn more from her website, langleylegalwriter.com