How to get your license: Taxis

Who needs a license?

Any business that transports passengers for a fee in for-hire vehicles must have a For Hire License, including:

  • Taxicabs, which are motor vehicles that transport people for a fee and don’t have a fixed route or fixed starting and ending points.
  • Cabulances that transport riders who are confined to a wheelchair or otherwise physically restricted so 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.

License exemptions

You don’t need a For Hire License for:

  • Auto stages.
  • School buses operating exclusively under a contract to a school district.
  • Ride-sharing vehicles (RCW 46.74).
  • Licensed limousine carriers (RCW 46.72A).
  • Vehicles used by nonprofit organizations to transport the elderly or handicapped and their attendants (RCW 81.66).
  • Vehicles used by auto transportation companies (RCW 81.68).
  • Vehicles used to provide courtesy transportation at no charge to and from parking lots, hotels, and rental offices.
  • Vehicles licensed as excursion service carriers and charter carriers of passengers (RCW 81.70).

How to apply

  1. Complete the following forms:
  2. Gather the following documentation:
    • Copy of the vehicle registration for each vehicle
    • Certificate of Insurance
  3. Mail your completed application, supporting documents, and fee (check or money order payable to the Department of Revenue) to:
    State of Washington
    Business Licensing Service
    PO Box 9034
    Olympia, WA 98507-9034
  4. Once all your paperwork is received and correct, we’ll mail your vehicle certificates to the address on your business license. This will take about 3 weeks.

Please remember to enclose all necessary documents and fees with your completed application and contact our office, in writing, with any changes in address. Incomplete submissions may delay your license.

Other licensing requirements

  • The owner name and firm/trade name must be the same on the Business License Application, vehicle registration certificate, and insurance.
  • The Use Class on the vehicle registration certificate must be “F/H” or “CAB”.
  • Insurance information must:
    • Include your policy number, name of insured, and operating name.
    • Have policy effective and expiration dates that show current coverage.
    • Display the name of the insurance company.
    • Show minimum combined single limit coverage of $325,000 or split limit coverage of $300,000/$100,000/$25,000.
    • Show year, make and complete VIN number of each car, which must match vehicle registration certificate.
    • List the certificate holder as State of Washington, Business Licensing Service, PO Box 9034, Olympia, WA 98507-9034.
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