A Class E license can be a basic driver's license or a license only for those who drive particular types of vehicles. If they drive for a living, drivers may need to upgrade to a Class E license to meet their state's license requirements. Not every state has a Class E designation for driver's licenses, and those that do don't often use it for the same purpose. Class E licenses are available in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Jersey, New York and South Carolina.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
A Class E license is for drivers of cars, trucks, vans or other specialized vehicles who drive for both commercial and noncommercial purposes. It can be a standard license in one state, as it is in Florida, or a specialized license for drivers of vehicles-for-hire, like in New York.
Definition of Class E License
One size does not fit all when it comes to this license designation. A Class E license is for drivers of cars, trucks, vans or other specialized vehicles who drive for both commercial and noncommercial purposes. It can be a standard license to drive in one state, as it is in Florida, or a specialized license for drivers of vehicles-for-hire, like in New York.
It is generally a license for passenger vehicles rather than a commercial driver's license (CDL) for tractor trailers and other large commercial motor vehicles or school buses. The purpose of a Class E license varies from state to state, as do the requirements for getting one. Drivers in the states listed above who need a Class E license should contact their local DMV for more information about what it covers and how to get it.
Florida Class E License Designation
A Class E driver's license is the standard license for those who drive personal vehicles in Florida. These are vehicles that weigh less than 26,001 pounds and include:
- Vans with a capacity of up to 15 people, including the driver.
- Recreational Vehicles (RVs).
- Two or three-wheeled vehicles, such as mopeds or scooters, but not motorcycles. (There are additional requirements for motorcycles in Florida. Class E drivers will receive an endorsement when meeting these.)
Drivers who want a standard driver's license in the state of Florida must:
- Take and complete drug and alcohol courses.
- Be at least 16 years of age.
- Pass a hearing and vision test.
- Pass a written exam and driving test.
- Provide ID and any other required documents to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) department.
New York Class E License Designation
New York's Class E license is for drivers who transport people in taxis, limousines and vans. When applying for a Class E license, a driver must give up their standard or Class D license by relinquishing it to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Drivers who have taken written, road and vision tests for a standard license do not need to retake them; they just need to reapply for the Class E designation. Those who don't already have a standard license must take the applicable tests.
Drivers applying for a Class E license in New York State must:
- Show proof of their identity and date of birth to the DMV. Information from a Class D license is acceptable. Those who don't have one will have to use another form of official identification.
- Fill out an Application for Permit, Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card, also known as a Form MV-44.
- Pay the fees required by the DMV. The department calculates these based on the expiration date of the driver's current license so the driver will not know the amount of the total fees until their DMV appointment.
Louisiana Class E License Designation
Louisiana is much like Florida in its Class E designation, but its requirements differ. This is a standard license that allows drivers to operate personal vehicles under 10,001 pounds and farm vehicles operated by a farmer. A motorcycle license can be added as an endorsement. Its requirements are:
- Attendance at a driver's education course licensed by the Louisiana Department of Public Safety. This includes 30 hours of class time and eight hours of behind-the-wheel courses.
- Attendance of six hours of pre-licensing instruction, plus eight hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.
- Proof of identity such as a birth certificate, current passport or military ID.
- Social Security number verification from the driver's Social Security card, a W-2 form or a printout or letter from the Social Security Administration.
- Proof of identity from a secondary identification document.
Before Louisiana issues a Class E license, applicants must complete and pass a vision test, a written test and a road test. The applicant must also show to the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles (OMV) that their vehicle registration and insurance are up to date. This license is good for six years.
Missouri Class E License Designation
A Class E license in Missouri is a for-hire license only. People who want one must:
- Drive a vehicle transporting 14 passengers or less, such as a shuttle driver.
- Driver a vehicle delivering products for a business, such as a florist driver.
- Drive a vehicle owned by a business to carry freight or other merchandise. The vehicle must have a 26,000 pound or less gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) and not have a placard requirement for hazardous materials.
Some for-hire drivers do not need a Class E license in Missouri. Those who drive a vehicle with a GVWR of less than or equal to 12,000 pounds and transport passengers for a transportation network or taxi company, and those who transport fast food or deli foods do not need this type of license. Drivers who wish to acquire a Class E license must pass a written exam, a vision test and a road test.
Drivers who already have a Class F or standard license do not need to take the road test for a Class E license, but they must still meet the requirements for a full license if they are under 18 years old.
- AAA Digest of Motor Laws: Types of Driver's Licenses
- Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles: License Classes, Endorsements & Designations
- LA DPS Office of Motor Vehicles: Class E – First Time Driver's License – Adults
- Missouri Department of Revenue: Missouri Driver Guide
- NY DMV: Application for Permit, Driver License or Non-Driver ID Card
- NY DMV: New York State Driver License Types and Classes
Michelle Nati is an associate editor and writer who has reported on legal, criminal and government news for PasadenaNow.com and Complex Media. She holds a B.A. in Communications and English from Niagara University.