Experiences involving transportation in Chicago
These information pages can help you get started in learning about some of the laws and registration requirements that may apply to your experiences on Airbnb. These pages include summaries of some of the rules that may apply to different sorts of activities, and contain links to government resources that you may find helpful.
Please understand that these information pages are not comprehensive, and are not legal advice. If you are unsure about how local laws or this information may apply to you or your experience, we encourage you to check with official sources or seek legal advice.
Please note that we don’t update this information in real time, so you should confirm that the laws or procedures have not changed recently.*
Do I need a special license or permit to drive my guests to and from my experience if I don’t charge them for the ride?
You don’t need a special license or permit to drive your guests as long as you are not charging them for the ride.
In order to drive guests without getting an extra license or permit, you:
- cannot charge them for the transportation you provide (either directly or by adding the cost of transportation to your experience fee), and
- should clearly mention in your listing that transportation will be provided “at no charge.”
If you want to charge your guests for the ride, you need to get a special license to do so.
- Example: Tim takes his guests on a baseball-themed tour of Wrigley Field and the surrounding popular pubs and eating spots. Tim wants to give them a free ride to/from the experience. Tim’s listing makes it clear he will pick up guests who need a ride to the experience at no charge to the guest. Tim does not need special licenses (aside from his regular driver’s license) to do this.
If I want to charge for the ride, which special license or permit do I need to drive guests to and from my experience?
If you’re charging your guests to drive them around the City of Chicago, you must ensure that your vehicle meets the criteria of a Public Passenger Vehicle per the City’s Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP) department and obtain a Public Chauffeur License. In order to get your public chauffeur’s license ($5 fee):
- You must be 21 years old
- You must hold an active, permanent driver’s license in good standing with the State of Illinois or some other US state
- Attend the Public Chauffeur Training Institute and receive a certificate of completion
- Pass a written public chauffeur licensing exam
- Establish proof of at least a one year driving record
- Have not outstanding debt to the City (parking tickets, administrative fines, water bill, etc.) or unpaid child support, and
- Pass a national/FBI background check which includes fingerprinting and providing a photo.
Picking guests up at the airport: The Chicago area airports have special rules applicable to passenger pickup and drop-offs at the airports. Be sure to familiarize yourself with these rules prior to completing any airport trips.
- Example: Marcie wants to give her guests a ride to her experience involving a walking tour of Chicago’s most historic architecture. Marcie charges each guest $10 for the ride. Since Marcie is charging guests a fee to drive them in the City of Chicago, she’ll need to obtain in advance a Public Chauffeur License to operate a Public Passenger Vehicle. Among other requirements, she will need to undergo a background check, take a public chauffeur course, pass a written chauffeur exam, and obtain auto and workers compensation insurance. She will also have to ensure that her vehicle is eligible to be used as a Public Passenger Vehicle, demonstrate her vehicle is safe and in proper condition, and place a public vehicle emblem on her car.
How else can I help my guests get to and from my experience?
How you handle your experience and your guest’s transportation needs is entirely up to you. You may choose to:
- Give them a ride for free.
- Charge them for the ride if you have the necessary licenses.
- Get them a Lyft, Uber, taxi, or other state licensed vehicle with a licensed driver. You can even pay for these licensed transportations options yourself and include the cost as part of your experience price.
- Ask your Guests to simply meet you at the experience location.
*Airbnb is not responsible for the reliability or correctness of the information contained in any links to third party sites (including any links to legislation and regulations).