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The role of chauffeur developed during the 17th century when drivers were hired to manage horse drawn carriages. When carriages were replaced by cars, chauffeurs were used to stoke their steam powered engines. The role of the chauffeur continued to evolve with the passage of time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, for example, identifies drivers of public para-transit vehicles as chauffeurs. Formally attired chauffeurs continue to attend to the cars and comfort of wealthy people, including people with disabilities. Trained chauffeurs, employed by private companies, drive adaptive vehicles for passengers with disabilities. Unlike the shared-ride system of public para-transit, these chauffeurs are privately paid and offer traditional amenities

All states require a chauffeur to have a valid driver's license that is based upon written examination, a vision test, and a test of driving skills. Chauffeurs receive further education and evaluation in states that require "hack" licenses for their chauffeurs. Qualifications for a "hack" license vary between states, but typically include a background check of criminal and driving records, inquiries about drug and alcohol use, and a medical examination. If you hire a chauffeur on a special occasion to transport 8 or more guests, your driver will need the additional instruction and experience to qualify for a Commercial Driver's License (CDL). School bus drivers require special training that is reflected in a CDL with a passenger (P) endorsement.

A Passenger Assistance Technique (PAT) certificate can be a valuable qualification for the chauffeur of people with disabilities. Qualification is based upon formal knowledge about disabilities and practical experience in meeting the needs of passengers with disabilities. Drivers are educated to provide adept and respectful assistance, and trained in a variety of techniques that optimize the safety of passenger and chauffeur. These techniques include lifting and the secure placement of people in wheelchairs.

When hiring a chauffeur who drives a company car, request documentation of state mandated inspection. Also confirm that assistive equipment in modified vehicles has been inspected in state approved facilities. Needless to say, your personal car requires the same inspection. The safety of passengers and chauffeurs depends upon the mechanical function of their cars.


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