How to get your license: Taxis and For Hire
Who needs a license?
You do, if you transport passengers for a fee in for-hire vehicles, including:
- Vehicles that transport people for a fee.
- Don’t have a fixed route or fixed starting and ending points.
- Transport riders who are confined to a wheelchair, or
- Are physically restricted – they can’t be safely transported by public mass transportation, taxicabs, or automobiles.
- Riders transported by cabulance must:
- Be stable.
- Not be incapacitated from medications.
- Not need oxygen or medical attention en route.
- Any other vehicles used for transporting passengers for payment.
You don’t need a For Hire License for:
- Providing courtesy transportation at no charge to and from parking lots, hotels, and rental offices.
- Auto stages (i.e., vehicles carrying passengers and their baggage or freight, on a regular schedule of time and rates).
- School buses operating exclusively under contract with a school district.
- Ride-sharing vehicles (RCW 46.74).
- Vehicles used by a nonprofit organization transporting persons with special needs and their attendants.
- Limousine carriers (who have their own licensing requirements).
- Auto transportation companies (who have their own licensing requirements).
- Excursion service carriers and charter carriers of passengers (who have their own licensing requirements).
Taxi / For Hire business license requirements
When applying for a license, make sure that:
- The same owner name is on the Business License Application, Vehicle Registration Certificate, and Certificate of Liability Insurance.
- All vehicle registration certificates show a Use Class of “F/H” or “CAB”.
- The Certificate of Insurance has:
- Your policy number, name of insured, and operating name.
- Effective and expiration dates that show current coverage.
- The name of the insurance company.
- A minimum combined single limit coverage of $325,000 or split limit coverage of $300,000/$100,000/$25,000.
- The year, make, and complete Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) of each car. These must match the vehicle registration certificates.
- The certificate holder as State of Washington, Dept of Licensing, PO Box 9039, Olympia, WA 98507-9039.
How to apply
- Complete these forms:
- Gather the following:
- Copy of the vehicle registration for each vehicle
- Certificate of liability insurance
- Mail your application, addendum, vehicle registration(s), certificate of insurance, and fee (check or money order payable to Department of Revenue):
State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507-9034
- When your paperwork is received and correct, we’ll mail your vehicle certificates to the address on your business license. This takes about 3 weeks.
Note: Remember to contact our office, in writing, if your address changes.