How to get your license: Taxis

Who needs a license?

You do, if you transport passengers for a fee in for-hire vehicles, including:

  • Taxicabs:
    • Vehicles that transport people for a fee.
    • Don’t have a fixed route or fixed starting and ending points.
  • Cabulances:
    • 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.

License exemptions

You don’t need a For Hire License for:

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

How to apply

  1. Complete these forms:
  2. Documentation:
    • Copy of the vehicle registration for each vehicle
    • Certificate of Insurance
  3. Mail your application, documents, and fee (check or money order payable to Department of Revenue):
    State of Washington
    Business Licensing Service
    PO Box 9034
    Olympia, WA 98507-9034
  4. 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 enclose all necessary documents and fees with your application. Contact our office, in writing, if your address changes.

Other licensing requirements

  • The owner 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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