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:

  • 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:

  • 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

  1. Complete these forms:
  2. Gather the following:
    • Copy of the vehicle registration for each vehicle
    • Certificate of liability insurance
  3. 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
  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 contact our office, in writing, if your address changes.

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