How to get your license: Taxis and other for hire
The applicant/licensee must comply with all applicable laws and rules, even if not covered below.
Who needs a license?
Any individual or business that transports people for a fee in a for hire vehicle, such as a taxi, cabulance, and any other vehicle used for transporting passengers for payment unless noted below.
You don’t need a for hire license if you:
- Provide free transportation to and from parking lots, hotels, and rental offices
- Drive school buses exclusively under contract with a school district
- Drive ride-sharing vehicles
- Provide a service using a vehicle licensed through Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to:
- Carry passengers for nonprofit organizations that transport people with special needs and their attendants
- Act as an auto transportation company - transport passengers, their baggage or freight, on regularly scheduled time and rates
- Act as an excursion service and charter carrier of passengers
- Drive a limousine and have a license through us (DOL) to act as a limousine carrier
If the following name requirements are not met, it will cause a delay in processing your application:
- The business application, the vehicle registration certificates, and the certificate of liability insurance document must include both a business entity name and a DBA name.
- The names must be the same on all documents.
How to apply
Note: We issue this license, but it's processed by the Department of Revenue's Business Licensing Service (BLS). BLS prints it on the business license they provide. They refer to licenses issued by us as endorsements to the business license.
What you'll need
- A valid email address, if you'd like your license and vehicle certificates emailed to you for faster service
- Supporting documents shown below, ready for upload.
- Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit/debit card (transaction fee charged) or bank account information for E-check to pay:
- Applicable BLS fees
- For Hire license, vehicle certificate, and taxi meter fees
Want to apply by mail?
- Complete or obtain the following:
- Supporting documents shown below
- Mail the completed forms and supporting documents with a check/money order payable to the Department of Revenue for the BLS fees and the for hire license, vehicle certificate, and taxi meter fees to:
State of Washington
Business Licensing Service
PO Box 9034
Olympia, WA 98507–9034
Supporting documents for your application
- , completed and signed by your local jurisdiction authority
- Vehicle registration certificates - Copy for each taxi with Use Class of "F/H" or "CAB" See sample registration
- Certificate of liability insurance - It must show:
- Insurance company name - approved to do business in WA
- Policy number
- Name of insured (owner name) and operating name (DBA/trade name)
- Coverage effective and expire dates
- $325,000 - minimum combined single limit coverage or $300,000/$100,000/$25,000 - split limit coverage
- Year, make and VIN of each car - VIN must match the registration
- Certificate holder box shows - State of Washington, Department of Licensing, PO Box 9039, Olympia, WA 98507-9039
After you apply
After all correct documents have been received, we will send your license and vehicle certificates to the address on file within 14 business days. You can provide an email address and ask that we email your license and vehicle certificates.
Sample of completed forms
- Sample - Business License Application
- Sample - For Hire Addendum
- Sample - Certificate of liability insurance
- Sample - Registration
- Get prepared for wine tour season
- Central repository of Permit Timeliness Data
- ORIA central data repository
- ORIA regulatory handbook