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Thread: Newbie in Chicagoland- 1st post

  1. #1

    Default Newbie in Chicagoland- 1st post

    Hello everyone! I'm looking for a new career as either a limo driver or a taxi driver, and I have some questions. How do you get a Chicago Chauffeurs License? Are the qualifications the same for a limo driver and a taxi driver? Currently I have a CDL-B license. Do I need to get a "Passenger" endorsement? Which limo companies should I approach for employment? Which limo companies should I stay away from? Any advice would be appreciated.

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    Is there someone from Chicago that can help this lad out?
    Tim Wiegman, Jr.
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    good morning
    I want to die while asleep like my grandfather,
    not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.

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    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    First lets clarify. There are taxi drivers and there are cab drivers. There are fed ex drivers and UPS drivers but there is no such thing as a limo driver. We are chauffeurs!

    That concludes lesson #1. Call George Jacobs at Windy City Limo in Chicago. Tell him I sent you to sit and chat about this business. Tell him just what you posted here and he will help you with the knowledge base.

    Good luck!
    Jim A. Luff
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  5. #5

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    Jim- Thanks for the reply. Lesson #1 learned!

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    Senior Member MrQ45Limo's Avatar
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    Ali is from Shy town!

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    Senior Member Cedar Mill Limousine's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Limo Scene View Post
    First lets clarify. There are taxi drivers and there are cab drivers. There are fed ex drivers and UPS drivers but there is no such thing as a limo driver. We are chauffeurs!

    That concludes lesson #1. Call George Jacobs at Windy City Limo in Chicago. Tell him I sent you to sit and chat about this business. Tell him just what you posted here and he will help you with the knowledge base.

    Good luck!
    Nice answer Jim. I do not know George personally, but have only heard good things.

    Tom, I am from across the border (IN), so I do not know everything about Chicago, but I was told by the Illinois Secretary of State's office that you do not need anything other than a regular driver's license for vehicles rated 15 passengers or less. I am a little fuzzy on the exacts of the special license in order to chauffeur within the city, but I know they do have a class that you must take (who all have to take it I am unsure). Do some Google searches on "chicago chauffeur license mpea". That will get you started if you were not able to contact George. Best way to find out who not to work for-this will take a lot of research. Some pay percentage, some pay hourly. Some specialize in AP runs, some specialize in weddings, etc. Some do not pay while you are sitting at AP waiting for hours for a run. There are many variables in a big city-if you are a social bug you could try going to O'Hare's commercial lot and chat up some of the chauffeurs to see if they'll be honest with you (Thursdays are one of the busiest nights, might try a different night as you won't find a place to park). Carey, Windy City, and O'Hare/Midway seem to be a couple of the biggest outfits that I have seen in the city.

    Good luck and feel free to email or call me if you ever need anything.
    Rich Rottier
    219.808.0976 | richrottier@gmail.com

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    Senior Member MrQ45Limo's Avatar
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    Oh don't you forget about "American" in Chicago now that's a big out-fit

  9. #9

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    Rich - Thanks for the info. Getting some education just by reading come of the posts on this site. I've learned that you don't need a Chicago Chauffeurs License in all instances to work in Chicago, depending on where you pick-up and drop-off your
    client(s). If point A is in the suburbs and point B is in the city, I think you're OK without the license, but if points A & B are both in the city, then you do need the Chicago Chauffeurs License. I went to Harold Washington College today and signed up for the 1-day restricted Public Chauffeur License class which I will attend tomorrow. I'll touch up my resume, make some phone calls, do some door-knocking, and hopefully become a working chauffeur soon! Again, thanks for the reply.

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    Senior Member Limo Padawan Ali's Avatar
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    Most of it has been covered here. Basically for working in the city you need a 'hard-card' that you can get after taking the class at Harold Washington. Also to work in the city you need city plates, the color of the plates change every year (this year its yellow) and you need a livery business license sticker that you stick in the window (this applies if you own the car)

    If you just operate in the suburbs and go to the city once in a while (from suburbs only) then you dont need a special license, but you do need an MPEA decal that you put on your window and you pay $3.50 a day (not per trip) for going into the city. Also, Ohare and midway has a $2 departure stamp you need when picking up passengers.

    Here is a link with number for more info

    http://egov.cityofchicago.org:80/cit...OID=-536895023

  11. #11
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    Quote Originally Posted by TominWorth View Post
    Rich - If point A is in the suburbs and point B is in the city, I think you're OK without the license, but if points A & B are both in the city, then you do need the Chicago Chauffeurs License.
    I was curious as my business will focus on weddings, if you pickup at A (burbs) and drop off is at B(Chicago), but then need to pick them back up from B to drop them off at a Hotel/house (burbs) do you still need the license?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Limo Padawan Ali's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrba1 View Post
    I was curious as my business will focus on weddings, if you pickup at A (burbs) and drop off is at B(Chicago), but then need to pick them back up from B to drop them off at a Hotel/house (burbs) do you still need the license?
    For this scenario you would not need the license. Basic rule is, if you pick up from the city and drop off in the city (city to city) you need the license and city plates.

    Any business that is suburb to suburb, city to suburb or suburb to city, you do not need the license. By 'city' im referring to the city of chicago area.
    Last edited by Ali; May 1st, 2009 at 10:40 AM.

  13. #13
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    thanks Ali. I really appreciate the help.

    Does city also include O'Hare?

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    Senior Member Limo Padawan Ali's Avatar
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    Yes Ohare is in the city of chicago.

  15. #15

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    Ali,

    Thanks for the info, you've been helpful.

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