What is the difference between a “Chauffeur License” and a Commercial Driver License (CDL)?
Guidance: Without being too technical, the “Chauffeur License” is a driver’s license just as an “operator’s license” is a driver’s license. The State of Michigan requires its residents to obtain a “Chauffeur License” if they are employed for the principal purpose of operating a commercial motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or more. The CDL (although it is called a license) is really a privilege required and granted by the state to operate a larger sized commercial motor vehicle. Upon meeting the testing requirements for a CDL, a Michigan resident will have a CDL vehicle designator (A, B or C), representative of the type of vehicle he/she is permitted to operate, added to his/her “Chauffeur License.” In some cases, the CDL privilege can be added to an operator’s license. The key point is that a resident of Michigan cannot merely apply for a CDL. There must be an existing driver’s license (chauffeur or operator) for the CDL privilege to be added.