11/23/2016

Ride Sharing, Taxi, and Limo Driver Regulations

A growing number of drivers are making extra money through transportation network companies (TNCs), also commonly known as ride sharing (Uber, Lyft, etc.)  TNCs use smartphone networks to connect drivers and passengers.  Even with the growing popularity of ride sharing, traditional taxicabs and limo services continue to thrive, especially in large cities and at airports.  If you are looking at becoming a TNC, taxi, or limo driver, there are different regulations for each that you should know about.  All three are overseen by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

TNC drivers differ from taxi and limo drivers because they can work however much or little they want; it is not their primary occupation.  However, the state still has regulations for drivers.  Drivers must pass a medical exam, and their vehicles must go through an annual inspection.  Information and forms for drivers are available at the PUC's TNC webpage.  This website also includes some consumer information, including how to file a complaint about a TNC driver.

Taxicabs, shuttles, etc. fall into the category the PUC refers to as "common carriers."  There are a number of medical forms and auto inspection documents that must be filed in order to qualify as a driver.  Furthermore, taxi drivers must submit fingerprints for background checks.  Vehicle, driver, business, fingerprint, tariff, and complaint information can be found at the PUC's common carrier webpage.  This page also links to a database where you can search registered permits.  Common carriers are required to display their permit number on their vehicle.

Limousine drivers are also required to submit fingerprints, medical forms, and driver inspection information.  There are some differences in regulations from taxicab drivers because many limo drivers are self-employed.  Limos fall under the PUC category of "limited regulation carriers." For a carrier information packet, forms, and other information see the PUC's limited regulation carrier webpage.

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