March 28, 2012
OLYMPIA — Springtime is prom season for high school students, and the Department of Licensing reminds parents and students that in addition to getting their dresses and suits ready for the big night, they should also check to see if the limo they hire is licensed by the state.
“There are many quality limousine companies to choose from in Washington state, but you don’t want to be taken for a ride by an unlicensed limousine company,” Department of Licensing Director Alan Haight said. “Always check references and make sure the company is licensed before you hire them.”
Limousine operators in Washington are required to be licensed, carry sufficient liability insurance, and undergo annual safety inspections by the Washington State Patrol or City of Seattle. Chauffeurs must be at least 21 years of age, hold a valid driver license, complete a chauffeur training course and pass a State Patrol background check.
Haight said a website, Craigslist ad, or a simple advertisement in the phone book or newspaper does not guarantee the operator is licensed. Unlicensed limousine operators may not meet state insurance or safety requirements and it can be difficult to hold them accountable if problems arise.
A video about renting a limo is on DOL’s YouTube channel.
To find out if the limousine service you plan to use is licensed by the state, visit the Department of Licensing website at www.dol.wa.gov/business/limousine/. Scroll down to the area for consumers, click on “Look up a business or professional license” and then “Search business license.” If you do not see the business listed, or you do not see it listed as a limousine company, please call 360.705.6744. They can help you verify that the limousine company is properly licensed.